It is interesting how one comment can change how you walk away from a conversation. One comment can leave an impression on you that really forces you to think about things in your life. For me, this occurred when I was sitting in a crowded restaurant this spring, catching up on life with one of my best friends amongst the chatter filling the room. She was discussing how much she loved her fiancé and how excited she was about their upcoming wedding. “You know it’s not like I am like you where I don’t need anyone. You are all ‘I am woman, hear me roar’ and that is great but it’s not for me.” I believe I stared for a good 15 seconds (felt like an entire minute), deciding how I wanted to respond.
It is funny to me how some people can think that because a woman is independent, that she just suddenly wants to do literally everything on her own. I, like others, also want to meet someone and fall in love. I, like others, also want help with life when things are overwhelmingly busy. I, like others, also want people to check in on me and make sure that I am doing okay with things in life. However, being an independent woman tends to shun the notions for most people and they assume that you like to go home from your facetious prideful day of telling everyone “thanks but no thanks” when they offer assistance and play with your cats (I would only have dogs anyways), while spending an evening in solitude. Why??? Can I not be both, independent and strong AND have a softer side filled with hope, desire for love and helpfulness in my life? Is there a reason why it has to be one or the other?
In 1920, women secured a milestone in history with the 19th amendment giving them the right to vote. It was not an easy or quick battle but they fought hard to be seen as independents. Is somebody telling me that ALL of these women didn’t have or want families and to be loved? Yes, I definitely have molded myself into an independent, strong, courageous, and say anything person. My personality is not always for everyone and my level of determination, hard headedness, and stubbornness can be a bit much to handle. I am the one who all my friends and family come to when they need advice about the most random things and time and time again I deliver it without judgment (mostly….I am human you know!), yet when is someone going to decide that maybe I want someone to check on me? Am I really considered a secretive person with walls up, or is it actually that I have made myself into such a strong and reliable person for everyone else in my life, that they are blind to see when I might want to lean on them?
I wanted to write this article as a part of my blogs launch on Independence Day because I think it is important to state that it IS okay to be an strong, beautiful, intelligent and strong willed woman and that doesn’t make you any less likely to have the same human desires as the other people or women in your life that don’t necessarily have the same drive. Acceptance is always a key part of life. If you accept your friends for who they are then they should accept you as well, but just know that with that acceptance and independence, there is a good chance that they will never fully understand you, and that’s okay.
Our country fought hard to become the land of the free and home of the brave. I know I will continue to be grateful and make the most of everything they sacrificed, without apology, but certainly with plenty of acceptance.
Cheers to all you Independent woman out there. You aren’t for everyone, but you are definitely for someone.
The modern day Independent Woman (NOT the spinster!)