Chapter Twenty-Three: A Day in the Life of a Woman
Every morning, I wake up, make some coffee and some breakfast, and I feel calm and relaxed, ready to start my day. I feel confident, like I can face anything. Then I look in the mirror. I stare at my face, and the bags under my eyes, the pimple on my forehead, the blackheads on my nose. I look at my hair, thrown up in a bun on top of my head, because I can't do anything else with it, especially in the summertime. I look at my body, that I wish looked like the models on the covers of magazines. And I don't feel confident or ready to face anything, even the simplest of tasks. I feel ugly, fat, gross, like if only I could grow my hair out or shed some weight I would finally be happy with myself. But I know it won't stop there; I'll want to change everything about the way I look. Then I start hunting for something to wear. I try on cute dresses, but they always look weird on me, whether it's too short or I just feel uncomfortable. So I try on some jeans and maybe a nice top, but the top is too tight and the jeans make me look bloated. I try so hard to dress up nice, like maybe today is the day I'll have a killer outfit and feel like I look great. But then I always end up throwing on a T-shirt and some comfy leggings and figure, "Why not, I guess I'll just look like a bum again today."
Then I go out and run some errands, and I run into people that I haven't seen in a while. And we exchange a few pleasantries, like how have you been, what have you been up to, where are you working? And I have to tell them how my life is going, and it's definitely not going as well as I would've hoped at this point. Then I'm feeling self-conscious, like wow, they look good, and I look like a scrub in a potato sack. And when I go on my way, I'm over-thinking the whole ordeal in my head as I'm walking away. Did I share too much? Did they think I looked bad in this shirt? Am I a loser? Probably. And every time I catch a stranger staring at me I'm wondering if they're silently judging me in their head without even getting to know me first, or if they think I'm pretty and would like to get to know me. It becomes a kind of paranoia, and I'm pretty sure all women know what I'm talking about. Are those people laughing at me or talking about me? Is that cashier silently making fun of my lipstick? Do I have sweat stains or is my makeup running? It's like we have to wear this kind of invisible armor at all times, and we can only take it off at home when we take off our bra and open our bottle of wine.
It sucks having to live this way. I wish I could just be at peace with myself and not care what others think. But it's hard; society has taught us that it's not okay to be human; it's not okay to make a mistake or wear something wacky or be bold with our every day decisions. It's not okay to sweat too much or laugh too loud or just to enjoy ourselves a little. And do you know why? It's because of the social media sites that post embarrassing pictures of women who don't necessarily know what "fashion" is, who wear clothes that may be a little too tight or see-through. Who are you to judge someone? If she put on that outfit, she obviously must've felt like she looked beautiful, and who is anybody to tell her she doesn't? All these names get thrown around. Slut, whore, trashy, ugly, fat, gross, weird, and many more, and we wonder why women have such bad self esteem? It's because we are doing this to each other! Women are actually tearing each other down and ripping each other apart from the inside out when really we should be building each other up. We should be praising each other, complimenting each other, helping each other out. I bet if even ONE person told you that you were beautiful every day, you might start to believe it. It took me my entire life to feel like I was beautiful, but I finally do. I still might have those days when I look in the mirror and hate what I see. But it's all in the perspective. From inside your head, there are always going to be nasty thoughts, thinking you should be skinnier or wear less makeup or hating the way your face looks sometimes. But from the outside, there is always going to be somebody who views you as the most beautiful woman in the world. I know as well as anyone that I'm not always going to feel beautiful, or even LOOK beautiful, but I know my boyfriend thinks I am, and my friends and my family think I am, and that's really all that matters to me.
There's the whole period thing, guys. I know it's weird to talk about sometimes, but we literally bleed out of ourselves for a week straight, give or take a few days. We go through insane mood swings, because we literally can't help it. We will cuddle you sweetly in the morning and then we will rip your head off at night. As long as you force feed us chocolate, we might be ok. It will take a lot of patience, and a lot of prayer, and OODLES of alcohol, but I swear being married to us will end up ok in the end. I'm well aware that we can be bitchy. And I'm also well aware that we can be impossible to live with. But if you had to deal with all that pain, you would be too. Our cramps seize our abdomen and make it almost impossible to focus on anything else. And women literally push babies out of their hoo-has. We are WARRIORS. The amount of problems we struggle with on the daily are enough to cripple our sanity.
I may not be the strongest woman ever, but the fact that I am still standing today means I can make it through anything. Sometimes I look at women who are mothers, very strong mothers, and I wonder how in the world they can do it. Look at my beautiful sister-in-law, for example. She works full time, 8-5 every single day (sometimes even later), and she comes home to her baby boy and plays with him, makes dinner, feeds the dog and cat, does chores, whatever else she has to get done, and she still has a smile on her face when her husband gets home. She is literally the strongest woman I know; along with my mom. My mother is my biggest hero. She raised three hellions who challenged her every move, rebelled against her every chance they got, and also at the same time she has worked for over two decades as a kindergarten teacher. And now she is the best nana ever to two amazing little children, and I couldn't be more ecstatic that she will be the nana to my children. She works so hard to run this family, and still makes time for all of her activities; like leading youth group, singing in the choir, taking Zumba class, going to staff meetings, and anything else she takes on.
So, in conclusion, I think women are the strongest people on Earth. Not to dump on men or anything, because don't get me wrong, there are amazing men in this world, including my father, brothers, and incredible boyfriend. But women go through some pretty powerful, deep stuff every single day. We're criticized, judged, belittled, mocked, discriminated against, taken advantage of, objectified, and over-worked. We are made to feel a fool when we say something out of the ordinary. I think every one of us should be damn proud to be a woman, and never take it for granted. We are all put on this earth for a purpose. We were made to be beautiful, every single one of us.
People make jokes about women being put in their place. TRY LIVING ONE DAY WITHOUT WOMEN. See where it gets you. Women cut your hair, deliver your mail, plow your roads, patrol your city to keep it safe, watch your children, TEACH your children, and women just make life better in general. Bank on that, bub.