I look at Facebook and see folks on there that post a lot of the same things. People are fake, no one cares about you but yourself, people don’t mind their own business, there’s drama every where they turn.
And as I read through my newsfeed, I see the stuff that’s shared. You know what it is, you’ve seen it. It’s hard when you’re used to a lifestyle to see that the common denominator is…well, you. My past life (and by that, I mean 10 years ago), was much different than my current life in that aspect. I think I recognize that
some a lot of times, I’m the problem, not the solution.
I remember complaining to my mother once that I had a college professor that made super inappropriate, embarrassing comments about my chest in the middle of lecture, and it happened weekly. My mother would gently say “Perhaps you could dress differently.”
That wasn’t the POINT. The POINT was that he shouldn’t be SAYING it. The POINT was that I was an adult, and as such, should dress however I wanted to. The POINT was that HE was at fault, not me. Why should I have to change my behavior because someone else can’t control themselves?
That was back when I thought that being a strong woman meant that I didn’t take any sh*t from anyone. I’d tell you exactly what I thought of you and I was mean and heartless and loud as well, so everyone knew. I was a STRONG woman, hear me roar. You think you can cross me? You’ll get it back tenfold. People used to have me write mean letters for them. I was ruthless. I was STRONG. I let no one get away with anything, while trying desperately to cover up my own mistakes.
At my old job, I made a lot of mistakes (ok, at all my old jobs). I can distinctly remember scrambling for an excuse; a reason, a person, a circumstance. There had to be something, someone, to blame. Something miraculous happened one day and I looked up and said “You know what? There’s no excuse. I wasn’t paying attention.” And even if there was an excuse, what was the point of bringing it up? What did evading responsibility for something I was responsible for actually accomplish?
All this culminated into a pretty significant realization that I was completely and totally wrong with my definition of a strong woman. You see, I was surrounded by strong women, and not a single one of them was loud and obnoxious. They weren’t unpredictable and mean, or unforgiving and unapproachable.
A strong woman stands silently, but patiently, knowing that the wrongs right themselves, as they always seem to do. A strong woman doesn’t tell everyone she knows about her problems, but asks quietly for help when she needs it. A strong woman knows she can’t do it all, and is ok with that. She smiles in the face of adversity, knowing that there is a plan. A strong woman cries, laughs, comforts, defends, loves, endures. She admits her weaknesses and surrounds herself with other strong women who are strong in ways she isn’t. There is strength in vulnerability, and that was a revelation I had never seen coming.
I’ve gotten e-cards that speak of my previous idea of strong women, and they always hit me right in the heart. They are always well meaning, but I want to scream that I am not that woman anymore. I don’t like her; she was “fun”, but she wasn’t growing. She was fake. I want to be remembered as someone with poise and grace, and believe me when I say that I know that is SO FAR OFF. For those of you that know me in real life and not just the blogosphere already know; for the rest of you, if you met me you would never think the person you see is the person you read. I mess up daily. I have made huge, massive mistakes, ones that would shock you, and I know that, because they shocked me. I’m nearly positive that some people read this and think “Ha!! If they only knew the REAL her.” Well, I’ll tell you; THIS is the real me. The part you knew? That was the messed up part. I’m working on that, though; matching the outside with the inside. Inside, this is me, and it’s uncomfortable to be vulnerable but it’s important because according to some of your messages to me, it’s helped. It’s helped you, or someone you know, and that’s awesome, y’all.
You see, the fastest way to change someone else is to change yourself. They follow suit; either by changing as well because they see something in you that’s different that they want, or by dropping out of your life. And sometimes that’s sad, but if you’re changing for the better, it’s always, always for the best when they walk away.
You simply can’t keep eating poisoned food and expect not to get sick. It will make you sick, every time. And yeah, so maybe the food shouldn’t be poisoned in the first place, but you don’t have to eat it. You’re only a victim once; after that, you’re a willing participant.
You just have to want it. And you know, well behaved women may not make history often, but you better believe that they leave a legacy, and I’ll take a legacy over history-making any day.