Pretty Little Challenge- Being a Woman
Growing up, I was a tomboy. I loved sports and I wasn’t “girly” at all. I didn’t care about those things like other girls did. I mean I did ask my mom to go shopping with me for a training bra that I clearly didn’t need. But besides that, I liked to dress in boys’ clothes and hang with the guys. I never thought much about gender roles. Looking back, it was the most comfortable I felt with myself in terms of identity.

Fast forward a few years. Everyone was getting their periods and talking about relationships, and I couldn’t relate. I was a late bloomer, and to be honest, it didn’t seem fun to get a period or have relationship problems. I kind of just ignored it and focused on school and sports. I wish I would have stayed focus, but if I never experienced the good and bad of living life, then I don’t think I would be the person I am today. And I like her. But it took a long time.

Now, enough about me. Let’s talk late teens Erin. Here came the insecurities, the awkwardness, the bullying, and much more. My confidence dropped and I felt more like an outsider than ever. But remember, I always put on a façade. Maybe it was a smile, but it was probably fake confidence draped in sarcasm. I felt awkward and didn’t know where to turn.

I finally started liking boys and got my period. This changed everything. The emotions were everywhere as well as my attention span. I couldn’t concentrate as much, and I wanted to see what this whole dating thing looked like. I guess you would call it getting in touch with my feminine side, but I just wanted to fit in. I was growing tired of routine. I just wanted to be “normal.” I actually just wanted to feel happy and peaceful, but I didn’t really grasp it at the time. I was determined to try and be more girly, and more social. But per usual, I went extreme, and it gave me the attention I thought I wanted. It felt good in the beginning, but I didn’t realize all of the hidden experiences and feelings that the majority of us women go through. The silent pain of feeling like I had no power or voice over myself began to kick in. I hated it. But it was everywhere in my world. I didn’t know any better, and I definitely thought that men ruled everything, and that respect wasn’t given easily. I would become the challenge. And the sad part is that I believed I had to play the role. So, I did. At some points, it served as survival. Sometimes, it was fun until it wasn’t.

From a disrespectful boss (to say the least) to selfish and narcissist men that treated me like their property, I was their challenge. I was always competitive, so I thought I was standing my ground, but I was really flirting with danger, and usually, it was not going to end well.

I remember one day, my boss called me into the office. He said I would be his right-hand woman. I felt so empowered. I had overcome a lot of experiences and anxiety throughout my life and young adult life, that I was so proud of myself. I had just been in the hospital with stress symptoms after not being able to leave my parent’s house for months. I would dream of having a successful job downtown. It didn’t seem like an option, but I never ever gave up hope and surrendered to faith. Here was my chance. I knew I could do the job even though it was fast-paced, and I was so anxious. One of my dreams was coming true, and I teared up with happy emotions. But as I thanked him, and began to walk out the door, he got up from his chair, and told me to come back over and sit down. I wanted to believe that he forgot to tell me something, but my gut was screaming at me. I knew I should have walked out the door, but my instincts and I were not friends yet. I didn’t like or trust in myself, so I gave the power to everyone else. In this moment, I decided to turn back around and go sit back down. To be continued…
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RWVFmgnY November 19, 2020


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