Power Balance this
I like being independent. I like that when I come home, it’s my home. That I’m free to put on my pyjamas and wash my make-up off as soon as I get home, even if that’s 17:30 (rare, but it happens). I like that my car is registered in my name, that I choose to surround myself with people that I consider to have worth. That I can renovate and paint my refrigerator blue, with yellow flowers if I so choose. That I can mend my own clothes. That I can eat marshmallows for dinner and that I have the confidence to sit at a restaurant alone.
I like that I drink cider out of a bottle without caring whether you think it’s common. I like that I can get up every morning and go to a job that fulfils and challenges me daily. I like that I set my sights high and that I have enough confidence in my abilities to aspire every day to reach them. I like that I can hang my own portraits and iron a shirt perfectly. I like that I am opinionated. I like that I’m not afraid to say I don’t know. I like that I’m emotional and that I’m not scared of getting hurt anymore, because I know I can pick myself up again, no matter how hard the fall. I like that my life is structured around that which I find important and not dependant on the belief system and life of another.
But please read this *I like* cautiously. I said I like being INDEPENDENT. That has nothing to do with being single. I have, bar a year or two when that girly naivety of wanting to be loved more than wanting to be who you are took a hold of me, always been independent. And I’ve had a lot of boyfriends.
I don’t know when women started equating being independent with being single. That notion in itself is anti-feminist. I mean, I’m not exactly the spokesperson for feminism. I don’t own any self-help books, I shave my legs before any date, and I don’t make posters crying about how my rights are being infringed because of my sex – We all have rights, if yours are being arbitrarily infringed, it’s because you’re a weak idiot, not because you’re a woman. Get a grip… I digress.
Being an independent woman in no way implies that you have to swear off men and that you are somehow weak because you don’t want to end up living your life alone and single. It just means that you have to prioritise according to your own standards. We are bombarded daily with the message that you can be whatever you want to me. No one can or should limit that for you. If what you want to be is a housewife, then that’s what you want to be. It does not make you any less independent as a person. Men still want women in their lives, they may just be more adapt at prioritising their independence over their need to please their girlfriends. Something women still seem to have a hard time doing.
Sorry, I’m not trying to dish out a backhand bitch slap in a cat fight ladies, but I am trying to bring some cold, hard perspective into the mix. Stop whining so much. (And by all means, I am saying this to the mirror too) You have to live your life and the truth is that you have no other choice but to deal with your issues. It’s the nature of the beast. You learn to cope because you have no other choice. Life doesn’t have a Lemon & Herb option. It’s pure peri-peri hell the whole way through. Buy some milk, get on with it. You are responsible for your own life, whether you are single or not. Any women worth her weight in gold will be the first to tell you that even though it’s great to have a partner to support you through the tough times, your partner cannot actually take over your problems and magically solve them.
All these fairy tales we watched when we were little girls have one thing in common. The damsel in distress gets rescued by this knight in shining armour that magically solves all her problems. But we don’t live in a cartoon, and you know better than to accept an apple from a stranger or wonder off by yourself into a dark castle tower. You don’t need a man to be a knight in shining armour if you apply common sense to your life and avoid getting yourself into a stupid contract that leaves you without your own voice. If you do this, you can enjoy a man’s company for what it is, and not for the purpose he can serve in your life.
There is, however, a major flaw in this independent woman way of life. I am currently very content with my single status and I’m in no hurry to rush off into the arms of a boyfriend, but if I do happen to meet a guy that I do like (another rarity, but it happens) then part of what I want him to like about me is my independence. I want him to like that I am quite capable of ordering a round of drinks in a crowded bar all on my own. I know, it’s a hard skill to master, but I think I’ll be ok thanks. I want him to like that I have my own life and that there are some things that have absolutely nothing to do with him. I want him to like that I am a hot blooded person with desires of my own. But this creates a problem. Because what I have now communicated to this great guy who appreciates me for who I am, is that I can function just fine without him. This is true, of course, but just because I can, doesn’t necessarily mean that I want to.
This sentiment leads to me constantly walking on a tight rope, balancing the independent-I-am-capable-of-calling-him me and the romantic-I-want-him-to-call-me me. Can someone please make a funky little bracelet to steady that balance? Preferably diamond studded and hot pink. I fully understand that this must be very confusing for men, because on the one hand there is this woman who is strong enough to know what she wants and isn’t afraid to say what that is, and the woman who gets upset because you didn’t call.
So here’s me raining a cold shower on men’s parade too. We’ve all come a long way in terms of equality and I give you a big thank you on behalf of womanhood for accepting me as a person, as an equal, not because I am a woman and you are a man, but because I am worthy of your respect, as you are of mine. But just because you can treat me like one of the blokes without offending my delicate female sensibilities, does not make me any less of a woman. I know… I know. You want to raise the ‘you cannot have your cake and eat it too’ defence.
Let me enlighten you. Not only can I buy the ingredients myself with money from my own bank account, bake the whole damn cake myself to delicious heavenly perfection, decorate it with my own name and sparkles on top, serve it on beautiful fine china, with tea, and eat it too, but I have the power to invite you in for a slice if I find you worthy. All you have to do is show up. Is that so terribly unreasonable to expect?
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