I want to speak to the person, particularly woman, who wants to carve her own way. You don’t have to identify as feminist. You don’t have to be a rebel. You don’t even have to have a type A personality or be a loud mouth. What you do have to be though is unashamedly, undoubtedly, with capital letters: BOLD.
Societal pressures aside, women tend to conform to ridiculous ideals readily. What’s even worse I think is the expectation for us to conform. According to ‘the rules’, we should all be clones of each other. Reminds me of Chimamanda Ngozi’s line on Beyonce’s Flawless which says “You can aim to be successful, but not too much otherwise you will threaten the man”. If you’ve been in my presence when this part plays you’ll immedidiately notice how I shriek with laughter. Every.Single.Time. What type of man is this that is threatened by my brilliance? Certainly not one I would want.
No. This is not a male bashing fest. It’s a female empowering one. The two can co-exist. Read that last sentence again for good measure. I love men. I love them more when they aren’t touching my body. Men are great! That being said, I am very MUCH here for women. And not just sexually. And with this, I arrive to my point…
Women could be more courageous in the pursuing of their wants. I watch a lot of women in real life and from afar, and they always seem to have a cloud of guilt following them. They feel guilty for wanting time away from children or partners or family or work. They feel guilty for saying no to loved ones, to society’s dogmatic expectations. They feel guilty for shining brightly. They feel guilty for saying yes to themselves first. And this, this misery is the norm. How dare you be different! How dare you make your own choices independent of what someone else thinks or will say? Who died and made you King?
But, why must someone die though?
You were born to rule. You were born to create the life you want. We can all be the Queen Elizabeth and the King Bey of our own lives. Throw the guilt away. Learn how to say ok. Learn that not all days are created equal and that on some days especially in the very beginning, the guilt will continue to ghost you. But lose that guilt you must!
Guilt is a courage stealer and I don’t know about you but to live in this life, you need all the courage you can summon up. This life is for the brave. So show up. Stop making excuses. Stop saying I’m sorry. Do that now. I can’t stress that enough especially for us women. You cannot be bold and apologetic. The two are allergic to each other.
Yes. People will rebel against your movement of ‘Courage 24/7’. Expect that. If they aren’t then you’re doing it wrong. Know that for all the times you said sorry and gave in, you taught somebody that this is who you are and that that is what they should expect from you. Take responsibility for that. Forgive yourself and start over. You have new responsibilities now. You have the responsibility to say YES to yourself without guilting yourself into submission. You have the responsibility to make sure that those who you let enter your life are on the same wave length as you are. My mom has always said to me that it’s rare for someone to pull you up if they are beneath you. It sounds crass even as I say it, but let me tell you, it’s as true as cookies. Try feeding an infant when they don’t want to eat. Same concept. Those you are closest to reflect who you are. Don’t fool yourself and think you’re different. I did and it was a long lesson especially because I was dealing with people who were content with who they were. Good for them. Not so much for me. Crowd mentality is never a good thing. You should always hear your own voice above everyone else’s. What do you think? What do you want? How do you feel? And then follow it.
Peer pressure, societal pressure, political pressure. These are our lives. Be bold enough to realise your particular set of stripes and then go ahead and flaunt them. We were not made on a conveyor belt somewhere above the clouds.