The women I know don’t fit into boxes. There’s no perfect balance, no symmetry. The women I know are an evolving contradiction. Much like me, they confuse those who look onto them. The women I know are entire forces. Much like me.
Over the last three years this blog has become a journal of sorts. An opportunity to share and unpack some of my more vulnerable moments. In choosing vulnerability, I have been able to connect with so many incredible people. Some whom I’ve known of for years. Others, were complete strangers.
Often after posts people might comment or message, and I am so humbled to constantly exchange advice or affirmation. I receive a lot of messages that in ways, no matter how hard I try to avoid it, validate me. I want to talk about where this validation stems from. How projections of an individual can warp their sense of self.
I started to become really conscious of what I posted, and the picture being painted. I started avoiding conversations that asked me of my opinion, in case I contradicted it in the future. I avoided praise, I denied it. People didn’t see me missing the bus, falling down the stairs. I don’t post a selfie or go to coffee the days I cant get out of bed. The days I don’t eat at all or binge my feelings. I didn’t want to build a facade online or in person.
While enjoying a sense of support, I noticed a dialogue that had been set. I would get really interesting responses to things that seemed “too political” or if I posted a revealing picture, people were so surprised. I had to review this dichotomy of my realities. I didn’t understand, how in someone’s mind I was this overbearing politically minded woman, who most likely doesn’t like most people. Yet ten minutes later someone will message, thanking them for being so authentic and comfortable in my skin, that I’m some kind of wholesome and inspiring leader.
How I present to people I’ve just met, to followers on a blog, or social media platform, are very specific parts of me. How I interact with my family or my partner, or how I hold my self in a professional setting. I am like so many of the women around me, expansive. Multi-faceted to the point where boxes just don’t work anymore.
I have had countless conversations with women who feel reduced to the degree that their studying, the one interaction they had with someone or the booty pic they posted. One of the most recent interactions I’ve had with my boyfriend; was me telling him I felt minimised by his comments. Like my nature should be fun and flirty and when I ask a question it didn’t have standing. I don’t think people do it on purpose, especially the people that love me.
I understand this exchange as an individuals presentation of self not being a facade- but a natural reaction to context. Contextually my family know and love me being loud and kind and goofy. I am lighter and softer when my boyfriend is around. I’m usually trying to start a revolution with my long running friends. When people only have access to you online; they can only understand what you post.
Understand this; I’m not and never will be projections of me. All an individual can do, is work on becoming the closest version of their authentic self. That is what is important to me. Every day we are given boxes to check or to fill, even reduce to. We can be seen in so many different way. We are none of those things, and all of them. How we perceive ourselves is the most important thing in the world. A woman who understands who she is and where she’s been is a woman ready to achieve anything she damn well pleases.