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My excessive energy, extreme narcissism, and intense love of neon-colored spandex is both managed and fueled by my addiction to fitness. I push myself to extremes and I push other people's buttons. Obviously I needed my own blog.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Confidence, Humility, and Being a Girl

I was born in 1986, and as a girl born in the 80s, I grew up being told I could be anything I wanted to be and that I am just as good as any boy. But then I was also told that my teachers were more likely to call on boys than the girls in class, that I wasn't a good math student because girls were better at things like reading and writing, and that I needed to prove myself every day to be seen as smart.

Once out of school, I kept being told how women have to act confident and work to be taken seriously in a workplace full of men, especially white straight men. I think there were maybe 8 white straight men in all 53 offices over at TFA, but dammit, I needed to learn to hold my own and be taken seriously by them. Every other Facebook post is about leaning in, conveying confidence, and the double standard of women being seen as bitches at work while men get seen as bosses for the same behavior. I still long for the days when Facebook was full of pictures of you making duck faces with your sorority sisters while your boyfriend threw up in the lefthand corner in a delightfully fucked up photobomb. Now between engagement rings, sonograms, and new houses, I have to be told how to function in the workplace as a woman and in the world as a woman, and oh wait, now you think I've gotten too muscular and I no longer look like a woman.

So this morning my shrink informs me that his hypothesis on why I suck at dating is that my confidence is too threatening and I need to tone it down so others can feel more comfortable being themselves around me while they get to know me. 

I'm just going to let that marinate for a moment.

(My hypothesis is that I go on dates with people I meet on the internet and I sleep with my neighbors. Now who has that degree is psychology?)

Now I know he can't have possibly meant that I need to make myself less than so that a man will like me more. Apparently he thinks this will help women to like me more too. I politely told him what I think of his hypothesis and limited myself to two f-bombs and only one you've got to be kidding me.

I was ticked off but I'm usually good at receiving feedback, so I reached out to the person I guess I'm kind of dating to ask his opinion. Bless his heart, he answered candidly.

Bless your heart is fuck you in Southern.
Speaking candidly, there are days when I'm not sure how I get out of bed. I certainly don't feel confident or smart or good enough. I feel tired and alone, and under a lot of pressure to be someone who has her shit together. Sometimes, actually a lot lately, I think about packing up and heading back home and admitting that being unhappy in New York is easier than striking it out on my own anywhere else. But I suck it up, tell myself that I'm the only one that thinks I look fat in that top, and go out to honey badger it.

The one place where I do feel confident is the CrossFit box. My mother very nicely bought me two unlimited weeks at Pure Barre but now I've been stuck going to that instead before it expires. I like Pure Barre but I wouldn't say it makes me feel confident. I like that CrossFit is redefining beauty. I like that it supports women and gives us space to be badasses together and with men. CrossFit is incredibly humbling, but it has also made me prouder than I have ever been. A barbell can hand you your ass as quickly as it can make you victory dance across the floor.

I want girls to know that they are more than capable of playing with the big boys. I want them to know that it doesn't matter how beautiful you are physically, because that doesn't matter if you can't look yourself in the eye in the mirror.

Maybe my confidence is threatening to others. I don't think I'm perfect by any means. I think that's pretty apparent if you read this blog. But why should I dim my light to allow you to shine brighter? Do I want to date or even be friends with someone who will only like me if I make myself less?

I leave you with my absolute favorite CrossFit video of all time. I think these women and their confidence are beautiful.

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