I’ve been a little MIA lately and there’s multiple explanations for that, but I won’t bother you with the details. I’ve been under a lot of pressure lately, mostly of my own accord but it still seems inescapable. I find I’m constantly reminding myself to do better, to be better and all I can do is try and keep up with everything.. My list feels never ending: homework, my part-time job, volunteering, applying for teacher’s college, maintaining my relationships and most importantly maintaining myself. I pride myself in multi-tasking and being on top of everything because I consider myself a “doer”. There aren’t a lot of days where I sit down and admit defeat. But today was one of those days.. All I could picture in my mind today was a tiny version of myself climbing a mountain and instead of getting closer with each step, I keep being pushed backwards.
I’m the type of person who doesn’t let things get to me, the type who tries to see the bright side and I try to avoid showing all or any signs of weakness. Today was different. I let my guard down and it wasn’t that I finally accepted I can’t do everything on my own but all of a sudden everything just seemed so much darker than it was at the beginning of the day. The light in my tunnel seems to be getting more dim with each passing hour and all I need to do is just get to the end before I’m lost in the dark..
Today was a hard day- two steps forward and a mile back. But I made it. If that’s any consolation, I made it. I may not have gotten done what I intended, and I may have spent a better part of it feeling sorry for myself and crying like a schmuck- but I survived. If I can learn anything from today, it’s that I can make it, and I will.
As a woman, I find it incredibly irritating that I cannot leave my own house without being unsure of how I look. I realize this is extremely superficial, but at the same time- isn’t everyone else thinking the same thing? I mean of course I believe confidence, and relationships come from something more than looks, but in a city filled with fascinating people it can be frustrating that everyone gravitates towards beauty. Constantly thinking “Do these jeans make me look fat?” “Is he going to like her more than me because she’s prettier?” “What would it take for me to get his attention?”. When did we become so obsessed with beauty? When did we accept the premise that beauty is one particular look? I want to change the way we think.. I want to be part of the influence that starts a revolution of loving yourself, inside and out. No matter what people tell you, what is on the outside does count, but it’s not about how much you look like a model on a magazine, or your ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend but what matters is what makes you unique. I sound like every other self-esteem sounding board, but I believe it through and through. Being a young girl in this day in age would be incredibly difficult, and at twenty one years old I am still very unconfident in how I look. The only way this is ever going to change is if we make the difference. I want to believe there is beauty in the world still, and not the beauty they promote in magazines, but the type of beauty that is so bright it shines through your inner or outer facade. Show me the type of beauty that allows a young girl to believe in herself again, or the type of beauty that urges a man to approach a woman with confidence. This kind of beauty has been missing for a long time, and I think it’s our time to let it back in our worlds..
I wouldn’t in any way classify myself as a “feminist” per say, as there are many ideas about what a feminist might be.. Throughout the transition from First Wave, to Second Wave onto Third Wave Feminism, women are constantly plagued by the “F Word”. We cannot say or disagree with a movement or idea in the media because we will be charged with “man-hating” or “excessive emotions”. What I find interesting is that the women who oppose feminism or the female action don’t necessary dislike the platforms from which these women propose to make changes from, but rather dispute the affiliation from which these concepts stem. I agree with some of the aspects these women argue for: equality in pay, equality in the workplace and that many of our media forms replicate these assumptions about women and how we look or act. But what I find critical is the way in which women are pursuing to change the outlook of women in the media.. I am not sure that opposing these forms with “Slut Walk” is an appropriate response, even though we would like to reconstruct the terminology of “slut” or “bitch” these terms are used commonly by women and men alike. Redirecting the meaning of these terms is a admirable cause, but not one I think is going to be easily done. I sympathize with this ploy, however I think that we might gain more ground by closing the gap between men and women, educating both in the name of equality. This type of education needs to start early on in ages, as many children and youths are plagued by the constant representations of men and women in the media, video games as well as in literature. We need to stop fighting what “has been done” and approach what “can be done” in the future because it is our children and our youth that will determine how men and women are represented. We need to leave First, Second and Third Wave Feminism alone, these movements are so defined in our history that they do not have an approachable platform for the future. We need to create a new future, one that we can determine the direction of, instead of allowing our ideas of equality for men and women to be determined by the past.
I’ve never thought of myself as someone who has a hard time facing change, mainly for the reason that I get bored easily and constantly need new interests but while reviewing my teachers college applications I had an unnerving thought.. Choosing where to go to teachers college has always been a simple thing for me, because I’ve always wanted to travel and go as far as I could without looking back. Yet looking at my prospective schools, I’m noticing that they draw me nearer and nearer to home.. I could blame it on my lack of financial planning, social aspects and many other scapegoats I’m sure but what does this really say about me I wonder? I’ve been searching high and low for a reason to be, for something or someone to draw me in and instead of pursuing the unknown I instead I grasp at what I’ve already known. I can’t help but feel there’s a reason to be moving backwards and what worries me is that when I finally figure out what it is, it’ll be too late..
“Some cause happiness wherever they go, others whenever they go..”
I read this quote a long time ago and it stuck with me because I truly believe that there is a silver lining in everything and all it takes is a sunny disposition to find it. Many people will walk in and out of your life and as you grow up you have to learn how to handle this type of pain. Choose happiness. Choose to be positive when all else fails you. Be the type of person who brings sunshine on a rainy day, not the person who brings the storm but the one who carries an umbrella.
I’ve learned a lot of about letting go in the last couple years and if life has taught me anything it is that people come and go, bringing rain or shine when they do. In four years of university I have met a lot of people- some I don’t think I could live without and some I hope to never see again. Ideally we would meet only those who bring out the best in us, who let us shine while they remain dull or those who we help sparkle when they’re in the limelight. But this isn’t reality, we won’t always be able to tell what kind of person someone is right away and sometimes we’ll never know. The important thing is that we learn to take these situations with a smile and to never let the negatives overwhelm the positives.
People leave and sometimes that’s even harder because they’re choosing to walk out of your life but that is their decision and you will be all the better for it. Instead of dwelling on the reasons it didn’t work out, focus instead on the reasons you’re better because of it.