Being A Woman (Or Identifying As One) Sets Us Up For A Lot Of Flack

I’ve been continuing to mull over the idea of self identity and worth recently, encouraged by staring down the road filled with potential game changers big and small (will some graduate program admit me, please? who do I bring to semiformal?).

I think being female (or identifying as such), sets us up for taking a ton of flack.

We feel the:

  • Need to measure up
  • Need for approval from peers
  • Desire to always expect the best in people
  • Want to pluck every-last-damn-hair out of that eyebrow arch because that’s what Zooey Deschanel does and she’s God’s gift to Earth.

We overschedule, we work the second shift at home after a long day of tasks, we try to keep our superwoman cape out of the muck.

And it’s hard as hell.

A couple Tuesdays ago I realized I had quadruple booked myself for a three hour time span, I dropped the ball in a very non-delicate way. Sort of a disco ball slamming onto the ballroom floor and shattering all over the place…or maybe more like the chandelier going wild in the Phantom of the Opera. After cancelling one obligation, and mashing the other three together, I had ample time to question what am I doing.

Why do I always cheerfully say yes, even if I’m unsure? Is that because it’s how my personality just goes, or is it because society conditioned me to be this way because I’m female? Or is it because I’m from the ‘Burbs and grew up around those notorious overachieving soccer moms?

Lord only knows. All I can do is to take deep breaths and work on looking up from my cell phone screen while I’m walking. Take a little more me time, and be fully present in conversations.

For some archaic American Dream related reason, part of having it all together seems to be having a partner by your side.

Take for example a sorority formal event. These can stretch for hours. If you are unsure about someone, do you really want to drag them along on a 6+ hour first date with one million variables, just for the sake of saying you brought someone that wasn’t “just a friend?” Nope. But will you anyway? Because you are superwoman, and she always has a date?

Take that pressure off yourself. You are amazing. Life isn’t about finding your identity in someone and merging into one Marshmallow and Lilypad mess. It’s about finding someone who holds your heart in theirs and can point out every aspect of you that they adore.

Life is not about finding someone that society tells you to so you can have a beaming light above your head that signals I am normal, I have it all together!

There’s no such thing.

If anything, being with someone makes you stranger, and that’s the best part. You don’t need that life partner today, there’s no rush. I know you feel the pressure, you’re shaking your head at me and saying “you don’t know what it’s like out here in the fishbowl of singleness!”

Point taken. But I’ll be your biggest cheerleader.

Wait for that person who loves your quirks (maybe you like a more defined aforementioned eyebrow arch!), wait for that person who listens to your every word with rapt attention. Wait for that person who doesn’t even touch that “what I need in a perfect partner” checklist you made with your friends, but instead causes you to crumple it up and wonder why you ever bothered with it anyway.

Maybe it’ll happen tomorrow while you’re buying lunch at the corner deli. Maybe it’ll happen in a month, or a year, or in a couple years at a subway stop when you trip and completely fall on them.

Love yourself, and all else will fall into place. Get off that Pinboard and go actually make that recipe, go on that trip, make that craft. Define your own superwoman. TC mark

featured image – Flickr / JD Hancock

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