... which also happens to be: my birthday!
So before I go about today, I would just like to drop a short note here. Let this thought immortalize on this virtual cloud - for as long as the blogspot provider retains it.
All women are special. Just like any other gender, each individual is distinct from one another in terms of personality, strengths, weaknesses, passion, you name it.
That paragraph you just read, you probably have read similar lines countless times before. It's starting to sound cheesy. I feel so too. That said, there is this preconceived notion in my head (and I'm sure also in a lot of other people's heads) that women are expected to be a certain way, excel in certain skills set, and assume certain roles. Fall short and be frowned upon.
One of you readers might think, "well, that's just you.". To that I say, well, I wasn't borne into this world with the ability to generate these thoughts and beliefs without any outside influence. I'm not pointing fingers, that'd lead us nowhere. I'm just stating what's fact, to segue into the main point of this post.
30 years old now, I know myself better than any other past days. I know what kind of person I am, how my brain is wired, what I can and cannot do, what I like and do not like, what I dream of and what I wish did not exist. Which means, I know where I fall short in those expectations that some people (or even myself) measure me against. And all my life I've been hiding from it, embarassed but unwilling to admit, and building a cover up.
For example, women in my culture are expected to be able to cook. Yours truly cannot and do not cook. Now get this: anytime a conversation is leading to that topic, I wouldn't lie by saying I can cook; instead, I'd say, in a forced yet after so many times it felt natural way, "Oh I can't cook. I was never taught that I should cook. In fact, once I stepped foot in the kitchen, my mom would've shooed me away because, in her words, I would've had made a mess and her job more difficult. So I've always stirred clear from the kitchen."
Yeah sure, that mom-told-me-to-stay-away-from-
the-kitchen did happen once. But that was also probably the only time I offered to help her out. And who knows I probably offered in an insincere way, or my mom probably just happened to need to finish cooking early coz she had something else to do around the house, thus her declining. So you see, I've been coping with the fact that I cannot cook and am embarrassed for it, by bringing up overrated incident that would take people's focus away from frowning upon ME.
Similar case is how I delegate a big portion of caretaking Owen to the nanny. By "big" I mean bigger than what I think other moms would have expected fellow moms to delegate to a non-family. I'm embarassed that I do not have the natural ability to take care of a kid, and combined with the worry that I might screw it up or scar the poor kid for life, I subconsciously decided to just "leave it to the expert".
Man, that was as honest as I ever let myself.
In the weeks leading up to International Women's Day 2021, I've thought about this a lot. I thought of why, for years and years, I let those parts of myself and my embarassment about them chain me... even though I do have some other good qualities that would probably balance it out and make me a normal human being?
I'm about done with all of that. I decided that I am going to consciously let myself be vulnerable to the world and UNAPOLOGETIC for the things I'm not good at, and stay confident and proud for the things I am good at.
I'm not a woman who cooks. Not a woman who's natural in caring for a kid (in fact I used to hate kids lol). I'm not a woman who keeps a house clean and tidy and neat. I'm not a woman who puts on perfect make up and makes shading/contouring look so natural and easy.
But I am good at doing my job. A job that allows me to earn enough bucks to help the family feel convenient. I am highly in tune with my inner self. I am good at managing my own feelings, keeping myself content, and when I need to, articulating my feelings. I am self-sufficient. I am wonderfully made, powered by God.
For all those things, I shall not feel the need to apologize. I deserve to be exactly how I was made, just like every other woman on this planet, each a beautiful creation of God, deserves to celebrated. All women reading this, I hope you soon make peace with every flaw, every scar, every insecurity that weighs you down. We only unlock our full potential by fully accepting ourselves, being unapologetic for every little bit of you that God let be, and letting God use you in whatever He had designed for you.
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