The women that I know are women I have seen from a distance.
I have seen them grow up. I have heard their secrets. I have listened to their “grown-up” problems. I looked at them as if they were gods. Those who can slip through anything. Strong enough to tell you off truthfully. They were smart, loving and independent.
Until they stopped.
Those women who I looked up to started to show the wrinkles in their lives to me. And when the wrinkles became mile high canyons, I stopped looking up to them. They were no longer strong, independent and even their love felt forced. When did everything stop being perfect? When did they start shitting on my hopes and admiration for them? It wasn’t enough to know they made mistakes, but to know that their mistakes were so unlike how I visualized them. Their mistakes were so deep and so silly that I wondered how they even built their lives without hesitation. How did they go so long with being so unhappy? How did they tolerate that unhappiness for so long?
I have a mother, four aunts (her sisters) and my own sister. In other words, people that I thought should have been my role models on how to be a strong independent woman. It turns out, every action that I have seen has been selfish. Knowingly bad choices, deep depression, ignoring the truth about themselves, drug addiction, unchecked severe anxiety and even late divorce has made them seem… selfishly broken. I have learned many things from their abundant mistakes. The first thing being: tolerating things. They just tolerate the bad until they have had enough. This is scary to me because I do it so well myself. I guess I learned from the best… But this is a bad thing because it means that I have the will to tolerate staying with a bad husband, tolerating staying at a bad job, or tolerating no self-growth before either exploding or becoming an unhappy puppet. I have a tendency to accept that something isn’t working out but staying with it anyway. I blame my high toleration on the fact that I don’t know what I want out of life. And I have seen that the women in my life have also been confused about this as well. They don’t know what makes them happy without bringing outer variables into it. There is nothing about themselves that keeps them on a self-actualized autopilot. And to define “self-actualized pilot,” sure there is turbulence, but at least there is a happy constant in their life. Most likely from within. A fact too far from the current truth.
I fear for my future because I can go down a path that resembles theirs. One mistake and I’m automatically like them. I have lived that way most of my adult life. Avoiding myself being remotely like them. Even being in their presence now scares me. Like they will somehow touch their skin onto mine and I will fail at life. But I know that is just a silly, ignorant thing to say. What I mean is that I just don’t want to compare myself to them. Not until I get it together. A happy, fulfilled life. Most likely medicated and visiting a psychiatrist’s office often. At least I can prevent the problems from happening because I am starting to see them emerge. Nonetheless, I am worried. (See? Anxiety.)
There is a quote that I really liked from a Tyler Perry film. Most recently, I have been thinking about it a lot. It’s about how you are the reason you succeed or fail in life. I identify with it, because I have blamed the adults in my life for causing me emotional problems even though that I shouldn’t marinate in those types of thoughts.
You’re in jail
because of what you did.
Learn how to take some responsibility
for yourself. For your own stuff.
I can’t stand folks wanna be the victim.
“This person did this so I’m this way.”
Everybody got a story.
Your mama and daddy
gave you life.
That’s all they do. No matter
how good, how bad the life was…
…it’s up to you to make something of it.
Suck it up and shut the hell up.
-Madea from “Madea Goes To Jail”
Harsh and true words Madea. (She is such a wise badass) This world values different things. Mistakes from the women and men in my life will always happen. No one’s perfect. But repeat offenders are a real problem. I would like to not be one of these people. I want to be successful and happy. I want a partner that wants the same things and will undergo the same constant struggles as me. I want to teach my kids that they will make the same mistakes until they will get it right. I want them to look up to me and see that I can form healthy relationships and hopefully see how it can benefit them. As someone who is a first generation kid in this country, it seems like I will know a little better about how to handle my kids and find what I want and don’t want. But I am jumping ahead a few years… That is if I even have kids or even a person to mentor in life.
But back to the women. Again, I have learned so much from them. I have shared laughs, professional advice, fun day trips and have seen above and beyond hospitality from them. They took me in when they didn’t have to. They are still wonderfully kind people. They are absolute treasures in my life. After all, they are still family. Family doesn’t ignore each other. If anything they are guilty of sharing too much. I just wish that I could see them live up to their full and free potential again. Confidence, independence, strength, intelligence and love. It’s all I want to see.
-The Human Girl