I am constantly walking around with a feeling of anxiety over my heart and my head. My heart is constantly racing and I constantly have a headache. One of the many reasons I have anxiety, is because of who I am. Who I am is different to who you think I am, and very different to who you think I should become; and all the labels that come with those three categories.
One of the very first notions I learnt growing up is that I have to be a good wife. This is something that is embedded in my culture.
Let me put things into perspective I grew in a home that was fortunate in many ways. One of the biggest ways this home was fortunate was that I had an amazing role model for marriage. I used to hate the fact that my parents are Counselors, all the more MARRIAGE counselors; I always felt, “Stop meddling in people’s lives,” at that time I didn’t realize that other people actually wanted to invite strangers who had walked the same path to help them. That to me was absurd…help? Talking? Strangers?
You mad bro?
Getting back to my main point, it was a blessing to see a couple that loved each other through flaws and adversities in ways that now I know to not be the norm. On the other hand, I have come to realize that through family and society… being a wife is a big label that will determine a lot of my worth. If I have a successful marriage, that adds points to my worth. Part of me believes that in being a good wife I will find satisfaction. (Of some sort- not life satisfaction but something will be satisfied in the inside)
I grew up in a very messy room. Come see it now haha! Not dirty, just messy.
“You’ll struggle when you get married.” I don’t enjoy doing the laundry, “let’s see when you get married what you’ll do.”
And though I know in my core it was COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY unintentional, it was burned in my mind that I must prepare myself for when I get married. That this time I am spending as an unmarried girl who is turning into a woman, should be spent on preparing myself for the man that I will be spending the rest of my life with.
Back to marriage Counselling. Because they are counselors, they understand the importance of being selfless in love, ( everything they had seen up to this point was just proof, proof and more proof that marriages fail because of selfishness.)
The problem came when we combine that, with my natural personality. I am a giver. I give. I will give of myself so that you may do well. I am not bragging, but this is a characteristic that has given me a lot of hard times in my life.
I was, and still am very hard on myself when it comes to relationships (all relationships, not only romantic ones .) If I cannot keep the other party happy, I will always look at myself and question, “what did I do wrong?” And the sense of guilt floods my reasoning, because I must have done something. I always knew in my mind that it takes two to tango, but when it came down to reality I always blamed myself when the other person was upset. Now, at the age of 24 I am just coming to terms with the fact that I could have done everything right, and still it would not make the other person happy, not because I am bad or not enough, but something that has absolutely nothing to do with me.
See I told you? Combine the marriage notion, with overly giving, guilt, and low self esteem? BOOM you have a self destructive bomb. No one knew that this is how things would be wired in my brain.
Remember that low self esteem I was talking about? Maiym Bialik (of The Big Bang Theory) put it beautifully, “Almost all the models I see embracing their curves and talking about female empowerment are doing so by getting naked. Some prominent actresses and athletes, many of them known to inspire young girls to use their brains and their strength as a form of that we are sending especially to young girls is: “Above all else, be sexy!”
If you are not sexy, you are not desired, and if you are not desired, you are worthless. No one says it straight up like that, but that is the message burnt into the brains of a lot of the little ones out there.
Regardless of everything, we grow up with these ideals that we are told that we must fit certain molds.
There is more to you than who people tell you you should become. Be whomever you desire to be regardless of what the world tells you.
Focus on becoming YOU. Who YOU want to be, not what society tells you who to be! Easier said than done I know.
Let us raise our upcoming generations that they need to be themselves. Wait what does that even mean? Exactly! They need to discover themselves so they can be that- whatever it looks like! Too often we spend our lives only wearing the labels that have been placed on us and who society tells us to be, rather than who we really are.
Why wait until the next generations? Write your own labels.