Forgive the lateness of the post, but it was a busy day for me, yesterday. As you all know by now, yesterday was National Women’s Day. I wore a bright red shirt and went about my day being myself: a strong, determined, independent woman.
I am a white, cisgender woman, happily engaged to the love of her life. I know how incredibly fortunate I am to lead the life that I do—a life where I do not feel limited by society for being who I am. I have family, friends, and a fiancé who support, love, and push me to be whatever I want.
As I young child, I remember often thinking “girls were better than boys.” I had my reasons for it, but there was always this competition to see who was better. Now, this post could get specific. It could get political, but that’s not what I want to do. I want to talk about me.
I know how that sounds, but allow me to continue. I grew up in a male-dominated household. It was a house of a lot of testosterone, sports, and everything that goes with it. It wasn’t until I got older that I really began to appreciate the men in my life—men who have always been there for me to inspire and guide me, and will always be there for me no matter what. But growing up as the only female child with four older brothers, I often looked to my mother. She was and is someone I look up to and can relate to. I am my mother’s clone and, while that was said jokingly a lot, it was always received as a huge compliment.
I always gravitated towards women in my life: cousins, friends, teachers, etc. Now here is an important statement: I, by no means, want to belittle the support and inspiration I got from my father, brothers, male friends, and teachers—that is not the purpose of this post, because they have been absolute game changers in my life. But yesterday, I spent the day thinking about what it means to me to be a woman, as well as all the women who have changed my life.
Women who taught me to love myself for who I am. Women who taught me that I am worthy… of everything. Women who held me up when I was falling. Women who showed me my potential. Women who taught me to believe in myself and work hard for the things I want. The mindset that the people in my life helped me develop allowed me to never feel inferior. Someone told me I wasn’t good enough? Bullshit. Someone told me I couldn’t do something? Watch me.
The reality of gender inequality is real, even if not everyone experiences it. Feel free to disagree, but it’s real. It comes in many forms and in many levels of severity, but it’s there. If you deny it, it’s because you are fortunate enough not to have to live it. With that said, here is the last bit I’ll say:
I owe a lot to the women in my life and the women I look up to outside my personal network (and in history). Yesterday, I got up at my new time because women inspired me to become an early riser. I sat down to do the job I love because I know I deserve to love every aspect of my life. I did my job because I worked hard to get my degree, alongside other women working towards the same goal. I did my job with confidence because of the women who pushed me to be better. Many nights, I make dinner because I love cooking, not because it’s assumed of me. I bake because I love creating, and if it tastes good? Bring it on. I didn’t watch TV because I found it within myself to want to improve. I went to the gym because I’m in pain after 12 years of dancing and I see what not moving has done to me—to my body, my joints, my abilities. I worked hard to improve myself and my health. I lived a normal day because of women in history who paved the way. I lived a normal day because I’ve been inspired by women my whole life.
I plan on getting married to a man who loves me and supports me. I plan on starting a family. I plan on forwarding my career and working hard. If I can be at home with my kids at some point? You bet your ass I will. I plan on starting my own business catered to my strengths. I plan on seeing the world. I plan on continuing my journey through yoga. I plan on adopting a child. I plan on teaching any daughters I am blessed with that they are unstoppable. They are powerful, strong, and capable of anything they are willing to work hard at.
I can be a wife. I can be independent. I can be a mom. I can be a designer. I can be an entrepreneur. I can be a yogi. I can be a fighter. I can be a leader. I can be a friend. I can be a cook. I can be a CEO. I can be all this because I am a woman.
And I can be whoever I want.