Warning: this post is about to be self-indulgent AF.
It’s International Women’s Day! Or, well, almost at the time of writing this. As a fierce feminist, I find this day to be very empowering and filled with positivity, heralding strong, incredible women from all walks of life, dealing with all kinds of struggles. We shout about the women who inspire us, who, one way or another, paved the way. And I’m about that. I am. But this year I kind of wanted to talk about me, but also us. Acknowledging ourselves as women and what we go through, whether down to our gender, race, sexuality. Whatever. Or those things we go through that everyone suffers with, regardless of any of those extra tags we might use to identify ourselves.
For instance, recently I wrote about the rejection you face when job hunting. Through that experience, job politics, juggling a long distance relationship and everything else life has to offer, I’ve been struggling a bit. Mostly with how I view myself, whether or not I’m good enough; if I’ll ever succeed in all these things I’m battling so ceaselessly for. And whilst I’m well aware that they’re very normal hurdles people go through, it doesn’t take away from the fact I’ve come to realise just how strong I am. Just how much strength is held in this mismatched, slightly chubby, always-with-the-sharpest-winged-eyeliner girl. Or, rather, woman.
So I thought it was important to acknowledge that and hold out the torch for you to see it in yourselves, too. By comparison to many, I’ve gone through very little. Mostly personal battles that felt humungous to me, but to someone else may seem ridiculous and dramatic. In the last few months there have been external things as well, though and, at times, I’ve had to choose between fight or flight. And I guess the reason I’m writing this is because I’ve surprised myself with just how many times I’ve chosen fight without a second thought.
I’ve surprised myself with how little I’ve accepted taking things lying down. I’ve protected my small corner and known my worth, managed to be heard even above all the noise of the voices in my head talking me down.
When you face rejection and failure, it’s tough. It’s some of the hardest pills you’ll ever have to swallow, in no uncertain terms. Especially because the only way forward is to pick yourself back up and try, try, try again.
I haven’t known anything as emotionally draining as the last few months. But I also hadn’t known myself to be such a fighter either. And I’m proud of that. Above all else, I’m proud, even if I haven’t achieved much of anything as of yet. I’m proud that I carry on and piece back together my sense of worth; I’m proud I speak my mind and don’t just take it when it’s wrong; I’m proud of my relationship, even if I’m the one who tests its limits most.
The point? Today we should celebrate all women, but sometimes I think we should spare a second to celebrate the number one woman in our lives. Here’s the cheesy bit — that means ourselves. We’ve all got battle scars and the strength it takes to let them heal too often goes unrecognised.