I had a friend, whom I respect, tell me that things with women are fine. I think I told him that that to many who have questioned women’s historic pushes towards equity, things have always been fine.
I once read the reason men have the confidence to succeed is that history has never told them anything different.
I don’t have much of a preface for this; it’s suiting because we spend much of our time prefacing our points already with “I just wanted to…” or “If I could just to say…” or “If you don’t mind, I’d just like to….”
So I’m just going to say it: “I’m sharing moments of awakening with the hope that others might become increasingly self-aware, should you also find yourself exhibiting similar subconscious thoughts or behaviors.
It feels good to just get it out; I recommend trying it in your next email or communique.
We’ve commonly heard, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” However sometimes as women, we’re still learning to love ourselves as we love our neighbors, and what it means to prioritize the care and wellbeing of ourselves as we do with others.
Sometimes, as women, we are allowed to hear that we are amazing, but we are not allowed to think that of ourselves. “Be humble,” we’re told, to deter boastfulness, but girls, we’re not even there yet — we are at a deficit. We are still working on, at a minimum, unapologetically owning the area we take up on earth.
We squeeze ourselves into the leftover spaces. We go out of our way to make others comfortable, and work to not make others uncomfortable. Like it’s been said, we make ourselves smaller.
We “sneak passed by people really quick, “ and take the next elevator when others would crowd. On last month’s flight, someone tapped me out of a dead sleep to use the restroom; I wondered, when I need to ask the aisle seat to move, does anybody else hesitate like I do? (Dehydrate like I do?)
Sometimes, as women, we are accommodating to the point of our own detriment.
We let it pass instead of getting our question answered, thinking “I’ll just look it up.” However, we are deserving of letting people wait.
We are worth waiting for. We are worth the wait.
Today I was walking in an aisle (one of those scenarios where both parties have owness to move) maintained my course and let him walk around me.
I think he was surprised. I think I felt powerful.
In the course of writing this, two men approached me the line, “Writing a novel?” Both were visibly surprised when I said that I was. Though it was actually a book of essays, they didn’t plan on me having such big dreams.
If “small” scenarios and changes can build our power, so may “small” scenarios erase it. And so:
I’m not going to make myself small, because I’m already not small.
I’m not going to silence my perspective, because I’m already not quiet.
I’m not going to “sneak right by,” but politely ask someone to move, and I’m going to wait until they do.
I am going to make my presence known because, ladies, the alternative is to not exist, and we already do.
The world needs to behave accordingly // The world needs to adjust accordingly // The world needs to adjust to us accordingly.
In a room of strangers, we assume others must know more than we do, but our experiences are as valid as anyone’s. Knowing that, we can stand in any room and speak our truths — everything else can be learned.
What in your life is telling you to be small?