I have had a bunch of emails and requests for more blogs…thank you thank you thank you…but I hesitate to write…my hesitation is only in the fact that "who really cares what I have to say?" I am no expert by any stretch nor do I want to be. I'm just a girl with something to say…aren't we all??? I'm going to say what I think and that's where I pause…because it's what I think…just little old me! But…I'll humor my fans today (thanks mom and Leif) and post again! This is one of those judgement free posts and by that I mean, if you plan to judge me just go ahead and click on that little "x" in the corner of your tab and go about your day…seriously!!! Go on!!!
I use this blog as a journal…a journal of words, pictures, and memories…it's not meant to show off when I create a pinterest worthy birthday party, blame someone when I am mad and I'm certainly not looking for compliments, or kudos, or pity…I'm just telling you a few stories…maybe you'll walk away saying "someone else feels like I do" maybe you'll say "gosh, I never thought of that" or maybe you'll beg for your 10 minutes back! Bottom line is that I am in no way soliciting a compliment or attention…trust me, I have 2 little boys who give me AMPLE attention on a daily basis…especially when I enter the bathroom or get on the phone! These are just words…proceed at your own choosing!
When I was in the 4th grade I remember being the only girl that could climb the rope to the top. Most girls were afraid, incapable, or just too cute to try. I bet they could have but being athletic wasn't "cool"! Now, at the age of…ok ya'll know how old I am,or at least close to it so, now, at my age (wink wink) I am still climbing to the top of the rope….literally and figuratively! Some ropes are longer than others. However, I am no longer the only girl. I am one of the girls and not even one of the few girls! I am joined by so many amazing, strong, determined and down right bad ass women at the top of the ropes and still climbing! At the gym this morning every girl made it to the top and that was just the 9 am'ers…the day was young and I have no doubt that many more got there…and those that didn't? Well, they'll get there because they are in it to win it….in it to be better, do better and feel better! They are making that choice day in and day out. Reaching for the top isn't just something that I am experiencing in the gym but something I experience in my business and just recently in my friendships as well! This isn't a literal blog about ropes, and the 4th grade and girl power, although who doesn't love girl power? But let's get serious for a moment and dissect girl power, confidence and everything in between. Let's talk about the struggles, the insecurity, and where that comes from. More importantly let's talk about those ladies that are fighting every single day to be the best they can be...to be at the top of their best self and those who face the uncontrollable negativities on the way. Power and confidence isn't reserved for just the girls. It's for everyone, but I am speaking from my perspective. Let me give it to you ladies (and gents) straight. I lack confidence…big time! I am incredibly insecure, super sensitive, and so tough on myself. There's a part of me that wonders what happened to the 4th grader that didn't care what was cool as I climbed the rope or did back flips at recess. I have my excuses but back then I was fine with being me…now? Not so much!
You know that old saying "you have to love yourself for others to love you"…I say "bump" that! I say maybe the problem is others…other people holding us back. We all have our perspective on things but that's where it falls…other's words are making it hard for us to love ourselves and to be honest, it's not only other girls and here's an example of why I say that…I am muscular…always have been and I hope that I always will be! God gave me a capable body and I use it every single day. I am not skinny, thin, or "small"…yes, I have a petite frame but I surely make up for it in muscle mass. Early on in the summer I had a male companion make a comment about my size…something to the effect of "damn muscle man…wouldn't want to meet you in a dark alley". "Did he just call me a man???" In fairness my mom made a similar comment about me being muscular although she didn't call me a man. That single comment ruined my summer. I avoided this person, avoided the pool, and to be honest I avoided people! I felt HUGE!!!! I looked in the mirror and all I could see was my "broadness". The meanie in me wanted to comeback with something that wasn't so nice about having a "gut" or needing to put down the beer and pick up some weights, but I didn't! I let that mean voice talk to me for the WHOLE ENTIRE SUMMER. Yes, seriously…I let that tear me up! My fault, I know. Fast forward to a very recent comment made to me, again by a man, but this time by someone that I work out with, around or near at the gym. His comment was something to the effect of…"you've been working really hard and you look really fit, you go girl"…not creeper status...just genuine perspective (thankfully an athletic perspective)! Completely in passing…almost like a verbal high five! That comment has stuck with me…not because I think it was true or not true, not because I need validation from anyone, and certainly not that I am looking for a man to find me attractive. It stuck with me because it was kind. It stuck with me because that person had a choice to make, he noticed the positive and decided to share, this person made up for another a-hole's rude and completely unsolicited comment solely for the purpose of…I am not even sure the purpose in telling a female she is manly! I feel like this world is spending so much time tearing us (especially women) apart. You have a college education why aren't you using it?, you have money why do you work?, you're already fit why do you work out?, your business isn't legitimate, you feed your kids that?, I can't believe you spent that much on a purse, ew gross how can you eat your meat like that, I can't believe your kids still has a pacifier, you let your kids sleep with you?, you rock them to sleep, you homeschool, you private school, is that real leather, fur, organic, gmo, non gmo, HMO, PPO…GOOD GOD MAKE IT STOP…. People blame the media, or other girls, or magazines but I really wonder where it comes from. Why do other people feel so compelled to tell me…about me? Why did this man…a husband, a father, someone with a daughter, a mother and a wife, feel that it was OK to even say anything. I doubt he is up to date on the latest issue of cosmo or what vogue thinks is attractive. Was it a joke? Maybe…but how is that even remotely funny? I know that the bigger question many are asking is "Why do you care?". Sorry, folks, I am not superwoman with a metal heart and an ego of steel! I am a women who struggles daily…seriously, daily with what I see in the mirror. I cry…often, I obsess about things, and I consistently feel inferior. I care because…because I care! I care what you say to me, I care about my feelings, and I care about what you choose to say to my face! I just do! That will not change and maybe that is where I am wrong.
However, I know that I am not the only one who feels this way. I know plenty of moms who wonder why their daughters are saying the word fat! Sure, girls can hear their moms say it, but many of these moms are fit, confident, and badass women. Where does this negativity come from? It's not even just about body image…Aiden picked a flower for me while waiting for his turn in the never ending football line the other night. He told me later that a kid knocked it out of his hand and told him that picking flowers was for girls…"excuse me little bobby??? You're right…he was picking it for me you little chump and guess what???? I am a girl. In 20 years you'll be taking a lesson out of his book when you can't get a girl to talk to you. Lay off my kid or I'll put you into the ground just like you did that flower"…ok, sorry! I digress! There I go being all manly and violent! But seriously…where does all of this "my opinion is fact" come from…your opinion is just that….an opinion! If a woman in a bikini who feels the need to suck in until her ribs show is what you find attractive then GREAT! But that is your opinion only…not a fact, not the law, and certainly not my problem! How about we teach our kids to be kind. I get that "kids will be kids" but really??? They don't have to agree, they don't have to support and they certainly don't have to open their mouths. Tolerance doesn't mean you agree and yes, I realize that there is freedom of speech. But why would you want to express that right just for the sake of hurting another person because telling me I look like a man certainly isn't out of concern. As adults we are all guilty…me included! Yet, we aren't immune to that awful and hurtful emotion that is invoked on negative opinions. Our kids are watching and you better believe that they are emulating! I see it daily with the words that my 6 year old uses with my 2 year old. He emulates the way I parent…talk about a reality check!!! Tone of voice noted! I hear it from my friends whose daughters think they are fat, or those kids who tell adults that decision "x" is a bad one and that they shouldn't do certain things. I hear it with other children who are teasing or excluding kids because they are (insert any naive, silly and completely rediculous reasoning here?!!!! I have heard Aiden tell his brother he can't do something….my new response is "unless you are encouraging him to be strong and capable, please leave the parenting to me".
It is everywhere… what happened to kindness? What happened to tact? What happened to respect? Why is everything we say negative? I seriously love this comment/quote/graphic that I see everywhere….(2 versions)
So as we climb that rope…the rope of life in the pursuit of dreams come true... the fourth grader in me still climbs it like a monkey but hell, I'm climbing…I see no end, I see no red line, there is no tap out…but along the way there are a ton of choices. I am trying my hardest to choose the rope of kindness. The one of tolerance, acceptance, and of less judgement! The one that makes YOU, yes YOU, feel good about yourself! I know that I will slide down, get splinters, and probably have to start over…but I promise that I am trying my best to be better, do better and perpetuate better! I hope you will too!!!!