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Monday, July 30, 2018

The other F-word

Girl, you are born with a fire inside of you.

Your fire scares everyone.

Image result for feminist quotesThe strength that comes from that fire is intimidating. The strength you have is unmatched. That's why, for as long as we have existed the world has tried to extinguish our fire. To make us lesser than, and weak. Simply because the world fears us.

You can see the fear when you stand up for yourself,

when you raise your voice,

when you tell a man no,

when you do something that's not ladylike.

Most of us are taught when we are little we are supposed to "act like a lady". All the way back to the nursery rhymes, "girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice." We are watered down from birth, taught to play with dolls and pretty things. We are convinced we need someone to make us whole whether that’s a husband, kids, or shiny things. As women, we are told we are pretty or beautiful or a dozen other superficial compliments. Men are complimented on their strength, their drive or determination. They are taught through school to build one another up. They are taught teamwork and camaraderie. Girls are implanted with competition and cattiness. We are infused with jealousy and mistrust of other women.

How amazing would it be if girls were taught to lift each other up and celebrate their ferocity? Instead of bitterness, girls should be taught their self-worth has nothing to do with their thick or thin thighs, the curves they do or don’t have or the color of their skin, hair, whatever. Maybe then, women would stop fearing whether another woman was going to take her man, and instead, she would realize the man was not worth keeping if that was her fear? We are not a bunch of sleeping princesses waiting for our prince to arrive and awake us with a kiss? We have our own damn sword.

I'm a feminist. I'm that other F-word most folks get squeamish about. The thing is; I have not always been the best feminist. I don't really meet the stereotype everyone pictures. I don't hate men. I'm not some angry, bitter lesbian who refuses to shave her pits and wear a bra. Well, scratch that I guess, I am a lesbian but definitely not bitter or angry, and I do shave but the bra part is iffy depending on the time of day. I guess what I'm trying to say is, I have just learned over time that women are sorely underrated and taken for granted. In my lifetime, I have been too loud, too pretty, too smart, too strong, too much of one thing or another to some man. I have been made to feel less than because the man I was with felt less than a man. I have watered myself down to make a man feel better about himself. Never realizing, my strength and my intelligence is not a fault. Just like feminism is not a dirty word. Feminism does not have to look a certain way. It just starts in small increments, the things we teach our daughters and even our sons. 

Friday, July 6, 2018

The Highs and Lows

In the age of social media, it can be easy to see someone’s life and judge your own based on their highs. To see someone’s highlights but never know there’s a struggle going on leads down a dark path. So, here I am being real. I am not always rainbows and sunshine. Some days, anxiety can be found festering below the surface. 

I’m a worry wart. 
I stress, often. 
I take on more than I can handle.
I want to make everyone happy.
I love hard.
I feel deeply.
I have highs and lows.
I get anxious. 
I’m an emotional person.

I know these things about myself. 

And, I always hope knowing them is half the battle. 

 I am a restless soul who rarely slows down. A definite fault of mine. I think because of this, I'm also a person who needs an outlet. Hence, all the running I do. When that slows down or stops, or I take on more than I can handle, shit starts going sideways.  I start to feel the ropes that I usually keep sorted and knotted up neatly, pull me in a million different directions. 

On bad days, I can still show up and make an effort to treat the world better than it treats me. But, I sometimes have really bad days. I have times when I can’t deal. Those days, I just can’t. Negativity doesn't bounce off so well, it digs its heels in deep. Those are the days where holding my shit together isn’t possible. I become a bit self-destructive. I get so down on myself that I can feel the self-loathing ooze from every pore. Those days, I don't know what else to do but cry. Those days don't happen often, luckily. But, they are the days I need extra; extra time, extra patience and extra love.

But, I'm a work in progress. I have been broken to pieces and glued myself together anew. I'm not who I was, I have grown and changed and am more myself now than I have ever been. So, I forgive myself...

Today, I will breathe.
I will think of solutions, not problems.
Today I will not let worry get the best of me.
Today my stress will not control me.
I will breathe,
Because I’m a badass woman.
I am gentle and strong.
I am fire and grace. 
I will smile on purpose.
I’ve got this.