Womanhood: Part I

This was a blog entry I wrote back in May, but was in a rush and couldn’t post it until now. The only difference is that now I am 25. I have become womaner.

“You know, then I feel that pressure, like, I need to learn how to become a wife. I need to prepare.” -Me

“But you know, it always bothers me when people say that, because what about just becoming a woman?” -Dear Friend

What does it mean to “become a wife” before you’ve ever even been a girlfriend? Or maybe you’ve been a girlfriend, but it was so far from anything even close to a grown up relationship that you couldn’t tell the difference between what went down and Elementary School love notes. A state of giddy being the only mutual factor.

People will have their own opinions of what becoming a wife entails, from a plethora of worldviews…mine being more subject to the Biblical. That being said, what about becoming a woman? How do we go about doing that? I still feel like a child at times, and I suppose I aspire to be a “Proverbs 31 Woman,” but goodness gracious, she’s already hitched. And half of what she does is for her man and children. I have neither of those.

Because of the lack of practical guidance in this world, I have created a list that will involve what I think it means to become a woman.

  1. Love others tirelessly. When you’re worn out physically, mentally, emotionally, you better dig to find whatever is left to give away.
  2. Get fought up when it is necessary. Namely when someone you love is getting hurt, it’s okay to get in someone’s face to defend a loved one’s honor.
  3. Brush it off 75% of the time. Don’t let your pride get in the way, for “defending your honor” is not as valiant as it sounds. It’s not the same as backing up a friend, and this isn’t the Civil War.
  4. Know how to cook, clean, and do the laundry. Notice I didn’t say “and do these things all the time.” How often you feel like doing them is up to you, but the know-how is what’s key. I would say the same thing for men, but that’s not my audience.
  5. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Laugh at yourself as much as possible. If you’re like me and often look strangely subdued because your eyebrows are almost always furrowed (the thinking brow), break it up some. And laugh with and at other people too, it’s good for your heart.
  6. Challenge yourself in everything. Physically, mentally, socially, spiritually. Oftentimes we create our own limits, so push past them. Listen, I’m no life coach, but refusing to stay stagnant is good life advice for anyone, woman or man.
  7. Formulate your dreams and aspirations, and move toward them. It’s alright to have a plan, and if something disrupts them, that is just fine as well. But having a blueprint is NEVER a bad idea. God is the architect, so He’ll change what He sees fit.
  8. Respect your parents, your elders, your everyone. Realize that you would be nowhere without them, and treat them as such. I would also say, call them by “ma’am” and “sir,” but that’s projecting my Southern upbringing onto everyone.
  9. Keep a tight rein on that agile tongue. Whether you’re being pessimistic or straight up catty, cut out those trans fats. It weighs you and others down…and does no one any favors. It can also suck the spirit right out of you. You want to speak words that breathe life. I still need practice on this, especially when I’m driving. Oftentimes I’ll say something like: “Yeah, I’m totally judging you right now, I’m pretty sure you are of minimal intelligence and thoroughly stupid.” Yes, that person cut me off and was being stupid, but it’s still not right.
  10. Get closer to your Creator. Talk to Him, consult with Him, love Him, know Him, surrender to Him. No one could ever know you better. Water and sun this relationship. It’s the one that matters most.

Remember that a 24 year old is telling you all of these things. I still think what I’ve said is sound, but goodness, I’ve got some growing to do. This is a woman trying to become a woman telling you how to become a woman. So, yeah…

Be on the lookout for “Womanhood: Part II”…I don’t know what it’s going to be about yet, so there’s that.

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Is Being Heard “Our right” ?

I think I’ve been ridiculously spoiled by my recent years of education. A counselor-in-training who has become accustomed to conversations with colleagues that begin with an earnest “How are you doing?” and end with the questionee comfortably spilling their current state, be they sad or overwhelmed or upset, et cetera. It is an insulated bubble of intelligent women (a few men sprinkled here and there) for whom being transparent, open, and vulnerable is oftentimes seen as a strength within the realm of self-analyzation and personal wellness.

That has been my world for the past two and a half years. Constant talk of emotions, feelings, and searching for the depth behind them, and although it can be quite taxing from time to time, it is its own form of therapy.

Then the holidays arrive, and you’re with family. Family that you only see about 2-4 times a year, if that. You’re the only girl among 3 brothers, and truly are the most sensitive one. You are also a strange concoction of people-pleaser combined with stubborn, which is at times confounding and subsequently exhausting. And there is always so much testosterone in the room. You’ve lived with it, it’s a part of who you are…but that essential need that you have to partake in open dialogue with regard to recent disputes?

Not so fundamental to them.

So, while you’re about to burst if you can’t talk it out, be heard, or at least understood or empathized with (no “you’re right” necessary)…they’re just fine avoiding what they perceive to be an odd and slightly more mature edition of a temper tantrum. And there you are, in a bit of a bind because you HAVE to be acknowledged, you just HAVE to be supported in some fashion, or else you will implode.

Because it is an injustice, so you think, completely unfair and inhumane to not be considered. “But, bu-bu-bu-but…my feewings…” you inwardly blubber. “IT IS MY RIGHT!!” you holler at no one in particular, probably your lipstick-inscribed mirror. Those inspirational quotes are not getting you much of anywhere in this moment.

You want a human ear, and believe that it is deserved on the sole basis that you are a human being and need it for mental and emotional well being.

But is it really your right? Is that really my right? In a world where we currently have about five billion different modes through which we can share our opinions or attain feedback…is it our right to be heard? Or is it a luxury indigenous to those of us who have way too much time on our hands?