Do I want to be an independent woman?

There are songs about it.  Women are praised for it. We all want to be it, don’t we?  I am referring to being independent.  This past year I have heard it so many times.  I’ve said it so many times.  I’ve felt it many times.  I am on the fence about whether or not I like it.  I know it is not the most politically correct thing to say, but being an independent woman kind of sucks.  What I mean is, I don’t want to be an independent woman.  I want help.  I need help.  People were put on this earth to help one another and I am no longer going to be too embarrassed to admit that I can’t do everything myself.

For the past several years, I have been going through a major transition in my life.  It is a welcomed transition and I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life, but the process has been very lonely and I have had to do many things on my own.  I have been the quintessential independent woman.  I can change my own oil, change a tire, shoot a rifle or handgun, (better than most), move heavy objects, etc. all by myself.  I even have even been given the name, Superwoman by my colleagues.  People often wonder how I can do so much.  My answer is, because I have to.  I honestly do not want to be an independent woman. I want to be able to do all of the things I listed, but I don’t want to have to do them all by myself.  I wears me out.  When I take off my fancy bulletproof, uniform with the chiseled muscles embossed on the glossy exterior, what lies beneath  is a battered and bruised body with aches and pains. That body is in need of a warm bath, massage, and bandages, but I am too tired to run the bath or reach for the bandages.  Instead I sit and wait until the throbbing pain subsides and I put on the Superwoman garb to cover what has yet to heal and walk out into the next day to begin again as an “independent woman”.

The Superwoman moniker is somewhat true in my case.  On the outside looking in, I may seem invincible.  My superhero uniform is pristine and I am, for whatever reason, freakishly strong physically.  I only sleep, at most, three hours a night and function perfectly on just those three hours (my grandmother was the same way.  It is apparently a gene mutation. You can read a little about it here. )  All of these things are remarkably impressive, but unlike most superheroes, I lack the ability of rapid healing.  I feel the effects of my “independence” physically and emotionally.  I will have to admit that a lot of it is my fault.  When I was younger, I was so proud of all of my seemingly superhuman abilities and loved to show them off.  I taught everyone around me that I could do everything myself.  After a while, offers to help stopped coming in because I supposedly didn’t need it.  I was an “independent woman who didn’t need no help”.  I didn’t like it then and I don’t like it now.  I gave in to the pressure of being the independent woman.  I wore it like a badge of honor, but it became my scarlet letter.  Being the “independent woman” was shielding me from the help I needed.

Years later, I realize I am in the same pattern.  I am no longer challenging men to arm wrestling contests, but I am still showcasing my “independence”.  Now I would welcome any help that is offered, but I have shown that I don’t need it.  As old habits die hard, I have become accustomed to turning down help because I have also convinced myself that I am invincible.  I have recently had to allow myself to show weakness.  Every superhero has his or her limits and I have reached mine.   As before, I can still do all of those things, but it is getting harder to just throw on the costume and make it through another day.

Now I have to create new habits and change old behaviors.  These past few months have been quite challenging, even for this superhero.  I have never cried so much in my life.  I have wondered why no one has been around to help.  I had to realize that I had put on a superhuman performance that showed all of my loved ones that I could handle everything on my own.  I truly believe in being vulnerable.  In some areas of my life I feel that I am, but I never ask for help.  I have no problem expressing my feelings or showing when I am hurt, disappointed, unhappy, etc., but I never ask for help with dealing with those things.  I have a lot of work to do.  As I have mentioned before in many of my previous posts, I am a work in progress.

I would like to challenge all of us to not only be open to help, but to also ask for when when we need it.  We were not put on this earth to travel this journey alone.  Although it is great to be self-sufficient, self-reliant, and self-supporting, we don’t have to be, nor should we be.

 

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Bloom

We have all been planted.  Some can bloom in their present situation.  Some need to be uprooted and transported to an environment conducive to growth.  Regardless of your situation, you owe it to yourself to blossom.

Sometimes change needs to happen. If your present situation is not to your liking, by all means, do something to improve it.  Things could always be worse, but they could also be better.  There is always a bright side.  Don’t be afraid of the light.  The grass is not always greener on the other side, but if there is no sunlight on your side of the fence, nothing will grow.  Make a move!  Go out and find the sunlight to fuel your growth.

Making Room

We have all heard “Out with the old, in with the new.”  It sounds so pleasant, but it can be very difficult.  Sometimes it can happen abruptly and without warning.

If you have read some of my previous posts, you will know that I went through a season of unfortunate events.  The first unfortunate event was the second accident in my minivan.  I was on my way to the body shop to get an estimate for a rear end collision that caused some minor damage to my rear bumper.  I had planned on doing some Christmas shopping as well.  I had my mother and my two-year-old son in tow at the time when a pickup truck crossed the median,  T-boned another truck which in turn hit me, pushing my van into oncoming traffic on the opposite side of the highway.  The first truck went on to hit the car behind me. Fortunately, the oncoming traffic was far enough away not to hit me again.  After the dust cleared, I checked to see if my mom and son were okay, snapped my dislocated thumb back in place (yeah, I’m tough like that), I realized all of my airbags had deployed which meant my van was surely a total loss.  The drunk driver who hit us had destroyed my mommymobile and caused so much damage and injury to others as well. The last person hit was seriously, but not life-threateningly injured.

The paramedics came to take us to the hospital and as I could see that my mom and son were okay, I wondered what lingering aches and pains would follow us in the upcoming days, and possibly years to come.  I hoped my thumb was not broken.  It wasn’t, and my mom and son were fine (my mother and I needed several weeks of physical therapy, but on the whole, we were okay).  After my family and I made it safely home from the hospital, I started to think about my mommymobile.  I had purchased it when I was still working.  Now as a full-time, stay-at-home mom, my family was living on just one salary. I wondered if we would be able to get another vehicle comparable to the one we had.  I loved that van.  Fortunately, we were able to get a used van identical to the one we had.  This one even had all of the bells and whistles my base-model had not.  Something I loved was replaced with something better.

I think of this story when I have challenging moments in my life.  There are times when I need to make room for better things.  I cannot get too attached to something that may be blocking the place of something better.  Go with the flow.  Allow things to be transient.  Oftentimes we tend to hold on to things with the mindset of scarcity.  The world is abundant.  We have more than we need at our disposal and should never hold on so tightly to things with the belief they cannot be replaced.

I would like to challenge all of us to make room.  Purge the old and tattered and make room for something new.  We deserve it!

 

Keep it Simple

the-daily-mantra-relax-relate-release-sundaysbest-thedailymantra-wisdom-wordstoliveby-goldenrule-t

In life we often try to make things more complicated than they are.  If we can just take the time to listen to what our hearts, minds, and bodies are telling us, we can face the world and all its challenges with confidence.

 

Living Without Loneliness – How to Feel More Fulfilled- Deepak Chopra

The co-founder of the Chopra Foundation and author of Super Brain shows you how to feel more fulfilled.

Source: Living Without Loneliness – How to Feel More Fulfilled- Deepak Chopra

Artist Louise Bourgeois on How Solitude Enriches Creative Work – Brain Pickings

“You are born alone. You die alone. The value of the space in between is trust and love.”

Source: Artist Louise Bourgeois on How Solitude Enriches Creative Work – Brain Pickings

Reconnecting

fearless

In many of my posts I mention how I am a work in progress.  I am on a constant journey toward becoming the best and happiest person I can be.  Part of that process is reconnecting with things that make me happy.  Years ago I began restoring furniture.  I would find an old ratty, damaged piece and make it look brand new again.  Sometimes I would re-purpose it into something entirely different, or I would simply restore it.  I had such pride in the finished product and looked forward to my next project.  The whole process was invigorating.  I would search antique markets, thrift stores, and yard sales for the perfect piece, then I would plan what I would do with it.  I took pleasure in selecting my tools, paint, fixture, and various accouterments to make the piece complete.  I really threw myself into it.  I would spend hours making it just right and I loved every minute of it.  Some of the items I would give away as gifts and some I would keep for myself.  Nonetheless, I felt a sense of accomplishment with the finished product.  It was not only the act of creating something, but the entire experience.  I used my time for something that fed my soul.

 

As I have mentioned in other posts, I went through a very challenging period a few years ago.  I really disconnected at that time.  I disconnected from my passions, friends, and myself.  I stopped doing many of the things that made me happy.  I stopped communicating and spending time with my friends because I was embarrassed by who I had become.  I had become overweight, sad, and just not a pleasant person to be around.  I had lost all motivation to live.  I was merely existing.

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Thankfully, I made it through that challenging period and I am continuing to reconnect with the things and the people I love.  Recently, I reconnected with a very good friend who shares my interest in restoring furniture.  Just seeing some of the things he’s done made me want to get back into restoring furniture too.  I had collected several pieces that were just quietly waiting in my shed in the hopes they would eventually see the light of day.  A couple of weeks ago, I pulled out an old vanity that belonged to my great-great aunt.  It was in okay condition, but required a lot of work.  I gratefully welcomed the challenge.  It wasn’t my best work as I have been out of practice for a while, but I was still very proud of it.  There are a few more things I need to do to it, but I was so thrilled by the way it turned out I couldn’t wait to take a picture of the almost finished product.

Before vanityafter vanity

vanity accessories

Reconnecting with my hobby and my friend have had amazing results on my soul. Renewing the friendship has led me to reestablish other relationships and connect to the part of me that was truly living life.

I would like to challenge all of us to reconnect to some of the good people and things we may have disconnected from.  As we reconnect, we may find even more food for our souls.

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