As a woman in the time I was raised in, I feel it was common to grow up by growing in. We’re taught to speak only when spoken to, to become small. We watch our mothers slave away at a home cooked meal only to have the flavor criticized, no matter how good the food was. We’re told to be grateful for everything we’ve been given. Raised on the idea that a woman’s only purpose is to please or support a man.
Now, I don’t want to say that you’re wrong if you want that but I find it a toxic environment for our growing minds to be raised in. I also don’t want you to feel pity for me. Yes, my home life was far from perfect but I still learned a lot from it.
Earlier this week I found myself talking with a friend of mine about their vacation. I was honestly curious about all the plans they had but everytime I asked a question I felt myself cringe. That voice in my head telling me my curiosity doesn’t matter. That I was being annoying and I would be better off leaving the conversation to save myself the embarrassment.
Just thinking about it now I want to take it all back. But I don’t want to live like that. I want to be able to be friends with someone of an opposite gender without automatically feeling like someone will call me out for secretly liking them or that I’m just seeking attention. But those are the thoughts I was raised on. I can’t remember a time that I honestly had one male friend in school that I wasn’t told I had a crush on. So now, when I have a “I just want to be their friend” thought, it is immediately followed by an “oh no, I don’t want to have a crush on them.” And then immediately retract into my little shell waiting for them to strike up a conversation because i don’t want to seem desperate for attention or loud or needy or any of those descriptive words that we associate with ‘annoying’ and ‘women.’
If I’m being honest with you, this isn’t the blog I wanted to write tonight but I can’t help but come back to it. All I want is to talk to friends, regardless of gender, and not hate myself for having too much to say. For being too excited about something. For laughing too loud. I want to stop feeling to need to apologize for who I am.
I am a person like everyone else. My voice deserves the chance to be heard.