My whole life I have been surrounded by exceptional people. I'm beginning to realize how just unusual my situation has been. I have had people who encouraged me to do well in school, to pursue and develop talents, to play sports, to be creative, to work for independence. I wasn't ever aware of what "feminism" was until well into my college experience, but when I studied it and learned about it, I wondered why it was such a big deal. Wasn't it a given that women were equal to men?
I had been just as important to my soccer team as the boys had been. I had competed in math competitions just as much as the boys had. I had participated in leadership roles just as much as the boys had. And I had a mom, dad, church leaders, friends, friends' parents, aunts, uncles, grandmas, grandpas, cousins...people as far as I could see telling me that what I was doing was normal. I wasn't overly praised for doing these things because I was a girl. I wasn't held back and discourage because I was a girl. I was a person, just as capable of being successful as any person around me.
Having recently started to try and grow up, I'm realizing that that's not the case for a lot of girls and women. It's important for me to realize that my experience is not everyone else's, and it's important for me to at least be the same type of person I was surrounded by growing up, and that I continue to be surrounded by. I am still very blessed to have had few experiences of blatant discrimination based on my gender. Or so I thought. dun dun duuuunnn.
As I take on more real life responsibility, I've been drastically more hard on myself. Disclaimer: I have emotions - a lot of them. They are each so vital to my experience and I wouldn't want to live my life without every one of them. Joy, frustration, sorrow, humor, boredom, excitement, anxiousness....I want them all. I need them all.
But lately the adversary has been taking some of those emotions and using them against me. I tell myself I'm not worth it, that I can't do it, that my only purpose is to be in the background, that I'm not good at what I try to do, that I'm not succeeding or living the life truly independent women live, that since I'm not getting a masters degree my education is worthless, that I'll never be a top executive because frankly i don't really want to and that makes me less of a strong woman.
As I write it out it seems so bogus! But when it's running through my head it seems so true.
Thus, in honor of International Women's Day, I'm committing myself to fight off the most chauvinistic, selfish, evil, greedy and discriminating being in existence. I will work on liberating myself from his destructive influence. He wants us all to be miserable, and I think he works especially hard on women.
But guess what? We're stronger.
peace and IWD