On being a woman.

In honor of International Women’s Day.

Being a woman is not easy – but neither is being human.

Familial and societal imposed expectations. Perceived limitations of self and fear of not being enough – or doing enough, or loving enough, or caring enough, or anything – enough!

When we speak out, some think we are bitches. When we hold back, some think we are weak.

When we apply make-up and pay attention to how we look, some say we are vain. When we don’t, some say we’ve let ourselves go.

If we’re thin, we’re not thin enough. If we’re fat, we feel rejected and unloved.

“Be strong. You can do anything. There are no limits. Live large.

“Be a lady. Don’t fuss. Don’t whine. Don’t nag. Don’t breathe. Shrink yourself so that you fit into everyone else’s little box.

The spoken and unspoken messages are loud and so conflicting that we often end up losing ourselves, unsure of how to behave and how to live.

In the end, we try to do it all and be everything to everybody. But we can’t and we must stop trying because no one wins.

A woman needs to be true to herself.

She needs to be open, honest, authentic and sincere.

She needs to know her strengths and her weaknesses, and allow room for both.

She can raise a family or build an empire.

She can ask for help and ask for a raise.

She can be loud or quiet, big or small.

She needs to be who she is and love herself deeply, no matter what.

She needs to be her own best friend.

So what is a woman?

I am a woman.

There is strength in my silence and power in my voice.

I am a woman.

My size does not define me.

I am woman.

Complex, but not complicated.

I am a woman.

My tears are not a show of weakness, but a testament to my resilience.

I am a woman.

Passionate, lustful, driven and tenacious.

I am a woman.

Soft, tender, understanding and kind.

I am a woman.

My moods are like the weather and we all have stormy days.

I am a woman.

Do not expect me to fit into your perceived gender role and don’t judge me when I’m not who you expect me to be.

I am a woman.

Beautiful not because of the exterior like the color of my eyes or the shape of my nose, but because of my interior, my mind, heart and soul.

I am a woman.

Joyful, exuberant, excited and hopeful, living a life filled with curiosity and zeal.

I am a woman.

Hurt, beaten, battered and torn, but with a strength and resilience like you’ve never known.

I am a woman.

I wear many hats. A friend, a sister, mother, cousin, daughter, niece, colleague, lover, fighter, neighbor, fellow human.

I am a woman.

Relationships do not define me. I want you, but don’t need you. I will give my love to you and share myself with you, but I’m not yours to own.

I am a woman.

Born to be me. Born to be free. Born to be whatever I choose to be.

Author: E.M. Murphy

A voracious writer, lifetime learner and eternal seeker who aims to open minds and hearts. Armed with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a NASM Certified Behavior Change Specialist, humanity and humor is at the heart of my writing, reminding us that the key to success will always start with a genuine concern for others while making sure to be true to our authentic selves.

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