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Speak Up While You Can

It’s been awhile since I last posted. I realize now that the reason for this is not that I don’t have things to say but rather I’m not confident my voice is worth hearing.

This strikes me as sad. It’s true, I lack self confidence. I’m pretty sure to those close to me that’s never been a secret. But as an adult, as a person who is starting to really catch glimpses of the passage of time, I’m beginning to feel an urgent need to overcome this nonsense. I don’t have forever and before I know it it could be too late.

But why do I feel such a deficit of self worth? Is it simply that I care too much what others think of me? Sure, that’s a common malady and one that I most certainly suffer from. Is it merely that embarrassment is almost physically painful for me?  Of course, that would make one shy from being heard. Is it possibly that whole messy business of being raised a women in a culture that makes very clear, women are meant to be seen and not heard? Yes. Yep. That one.

I know it’s a tired subject for many. A cliche that turns off a crowd in an instant. But it truly affects how I view myself. And when I examine why this feeling of worth eludes me, I wonder if it comes from my failure to reach the standards that women are judged by.

Women are applauded for being beautiful, thin, sexy, without flaws, accommodating and without opinion. I know this not only from what I witness in the media but from my own experience of not being most of those things (I can say that “without opinion” is not my strong suit). Women should not be heard because they have nothing important to say, right? We are ornaments, and for those of us who are not attractive enough to be decorative, we are irrelevant. I was taught this. I am still being reminded of this. It affects how I exist. It affects my sense of worth.

I do not claim that it is men that have created this system. I think it is an established order held in place by both of the sexes. Women feed into it when they solely concern themselves with their appearance. When they willingly apologize for existing or having a challenging opinion. When they raise there children within these culturally enforced parameters, not allowing the growth that comes from new life to take us in another direction.

But, I want to break away from this. I want to say “fuck you” and live as an unabashed, unapologetic, free-to-create-and-make-mistakes person. I want to express my thoughts and not feel ashamed. If creating is the purpose of our lives, I don’t want to waste mine wondering if my creations are worth making. Is that even a question that needs to be asked?

So, painfully, I am trying to open myself up to….myself. I am a woman with flaws. I am not a supermodel, or anything close. I make mistakes, struggle against this life, have thoughts that are worth considering and hope that one day I can make a contribution that will help others. Because that’s the point of all this. I don’t want to miss out waiting for someone else to tell me I’m allowed to be me.

 

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