one of the hardest parts of being a “strong woman” is just that, remaining strong even on the toughest of days.
let’s be honest, life is rough man. some days just aren’t great. and some days the littlest thing in the world can get under your skin and turn your day for the worst. and maybe you’re having the best day, or week even and something hits you like a ton of bricks and you can’t find your smile. even worst, maybe you just don’t even want to look for it. or it’s just another straw on the camel’s back that brings you down right as you were done being sad. I get it. I’ve been on every end of this story. and what’s tough, is my “I’m a badass, don’t mess with me, I always have a smile on my face” persona completely cracks at that point…and this strong woman I used to recognize in the mirror has disappeared.
last week, i had one of those moments. i was in a great mood. i’ve been enjoying the company of some different people and just super busy at work and socially (which I enjoy), pushing hard in the gym and out of the gym and just having a decent week, when there it was…the comment that broke me. (I have to preface this with the fact that I did write about this last week, but had a chance to discuss it a bit today with someone, so i guess these are just some more reflections.) “she’s ugly as hell.” Wait? what? Excuse me? Yes, some internet troll got the best of me. The tears started welling up and the voices in my head began. “Well, I guess I don’t look that great, I should have re-done my make up and brushed my hair or at least put it in a better bun and clipped up the sides. And yea, this shirt isn’t the most flattering, and my face looks horrible today, why is my nose peeling?! And why didn’t I put on lipstick. Ugh they’re right, I am ugly as hell.”
Then and there, I kind of broke. I left the room and stood outside to gather my emotions before returning to my desk where I promised myself I wouldn’t cry. The tears welled up and left, welled up and left. And then my boss asked to chat. I stepped outside and knew what he wanted to talk about, but wasn’t sure how I was going to handle it. “It seems like you’ve been getting effected more with each negative comment…” Yep. Yes sir, you are right, with each one, the knife gorges deeper. “I don’t have the answers, but people are jerks and I want you to know I am here to help you through it and it probably isn’t going to change.” Of course, I began apologizing profusely, “I know, I need thicker skin. I don’t know why it bothers me. I’ll do better.” But what came out next was the actual truth. Because he wasn’t looking for an apology from me or for me to close myself off, but he wanted to know he cared and didn’t want me to lose my passion over some asshats on the internet. So back to what I said next…”the thing is, it hurts me so much more than others because I believe it.” I couldn’t look at him as the tears were flooding in. I laughed and apologized for the impromptu therapy session. And I could just feel his heart breaking for me.
Now, I’m super lucky to have an amazing boss and support system. Thanks to him, today I had a chance to chat with someone who would keep things light and anonymous. I think it honestly hit him harder than he realized (as a dad of 5, 3 of which are daughters, I think it just really tugged at his heart strings that people can be so cruel and hurtful). So today, after talking it out a bit, and trying to explain it to someone who may not completely understand but was a good listener, I said, “I just need to embrace my inner Beyonce.” She smiled and agreed, “yes, definitely.”
I left the conversation feeling slightly unsure about my next step, but slightly leaning toward the idea of just trying to remain as strong as possible. But something we talked about hit me. “No matter what it is that gets you down, we all have those moments where we need to call on our tribe and ask them to remind us how awesome we are.”
Somedays, despite the smile, I feel like I am fooling EVERYBODY! Don’t get me wrong, somedays I feel absolutely bad ass and amazing and yes, you’re jealous of my life because my life is pretty fantastic. But on those odd days when I feel gross or fat or ugly or stupid or lonely or sad or unaacomplished or slow or disgusting (yes, I could go on!) I have to realize that’s ok too. I can’t be 100% on my game everyday (or can I?!?!?). And on those days or moments, I need to find a way to be ok with that.
Ironically last week, I had about 3 friends tell me I am the hardest person on myself out of anyone they know. That’s always an interesting critique to me. My mom would cringe hearing me explain it, but if I’m not hard on myself trying to be better/faster/stronger/smarter/prettier/wiser/etc…then what’s the point?! I have a horrible (yet amazing) habit of committing 100% to basically everything I do. Passion I think would be a good way of describing it. I was raised not to half ass anything. So I don’t. But it’s a bit of a double edged sword. Because there’s always room for improvement…what’s that quote, “they tell me nothing is perfect, then why is it a word?” Like I said, double edged sword.
So today I realized a few things. I need to remember the good things people say about me. Maybe even collect those. How sad is it that I was keeping the mean, hateful comments…?! (WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME??). I also am considering therapy…again. I’m scared and really don’t know about it, but today it was explained to me like this — if you talk to someone about things to help you grow into a better version of yourself when your life is good and you’re NOT at rock bottom, you’re going to be much more receptive and interested in fixing the little things. So, I know I have my own glaring issues that have really come to the surface this past year, although I think they are pretty submersed from the public eye…I hope! I need to write down my goals and be specific. I know what I want, and I want to get there…so time to put pen to paper (I may even just publish them here…the universe needs to know!). I’ve gotta give myself a break, somedays. It’s great to be pushing to be better every day, but the speed bumps happen and if it isn’t an exactly perfect day, I need to be ok with it (that’s going to be a big one to work on). And embrace my inner Beyonce! I know that sounds silly, but to me, it makes all the sense in the world. She’s such a strong woman and you know she has those days where the media has gone after her or she’s tired or it’s just not her day (I’m assuming even Bey has bad days, I mean, did you hear Lemonade?!). But, consult your tribe. Deal with that. And move forward. Stop letting it control you. Control what you can. And continue to build others up and be nice. Compliment and make others around you strong. You can’t always be the strongest woman in the world, but you can be nice and you can help build others up.
I’m going to put a quote at the bottom of this post, which made me realize how much I need to change my brain and way of thinking. Because all the negatives I repeat to myself are manifesting in the world. And I do NOT need that negativity. So let’s manifest some positive sh*t! 🙂
Now if you made it just that far through this jumbled blog post…kudos to you! My brain is mush after this long day. I had every intention of writing something that made absolute sense this evening…but I just wrote, and this came out 🙂
“the world will see you the way you see you, and treat you the way you treat yourself.” – Beyonce