Wednesday, January 25, 2012

To Be A Woman


I hear that a lot. But I’m a woman. So I don’t worry too much about being a man. I actually never worried too much about being a woman, either. I felt like a woman from the time I was born. But now I look around me and I see lots of other females; young females trying to find their way… old females who may have lost their way… and it’s funny… Now I sometimes actually think about being a woman.

It’s not an easy thing to be. I don’t discount the trials and tribulations of manhood by any stretch of the imagination. I truly have the highest respect for men and I’m sure it’s no less of a challenge for any of them who aspire to “real man” status in life, just as I aspire to “real woman” status in life. So what does it all mean? Maybe different things to different people… but this is what it means to ME:

To be a woman you have to be incredibly strong, and strength lies in different things than what you might have been led to think. It means you need the strength to take the high road when life drops drama on your doorstep. It means you need the strength to stand up and be heard even when you’re scared. You need the strength to overcome fears, face challenges, and forge ahead even when life is constantly pushing you back or knocking you down. And, it also does mean you need to be strong in the physical sense. I hate to say it, but you can’t go through life in the 21st century as a shrinking violet. Being physically fit not only keeps the doctor away, but it makes it a hell of a lot easier to be self-sufficient. Don’t be afraid of muscle. The stronger you get, the stronger you’ll be.

To be a woman you have to have clear and focused vision. You need the ability to see beyond what’s immediately in front of you and focus on the big picture. You need vision to spot lies, deceptions, shady business practices, dishonest people, and even sings of danger in everyday life. You must always have your pretty eyes wide open and alert. They need to see right from wrong, and the path leading you to where you want to be in life. You can’t close your eyes and you can’t ignore what they see. You can’t depend on anyone else to navigate this crazy life for you. It’s YOUR life and you have to take it by the balls.

To be a woman you cannot be lazy. You have to have energy and drive and determination. You cannot be too dependent upon anyone, or anything. You have to know that if the shit in life hits the fan, you’ll be ok just because you’re you, and you can handle anything. That’s not easy. You have to be a fighter, and you cannot be a quitter. You have to be willing to work for what you need, and to go the extra mile for what you want. And furthermore, you have to know the difference between what you need and what you want. They are NOT the same thing.

To be a woman you have to have to be smart. I say this all the time and I believe it right down to my bone marrow: Very few people are actually stupid. Most people are incredibly smart, it’s all a matter of how much education they’ve received, or how much they pursue. It’s all a matter of what they experience in life and whether or not they choose to learn. Aside from traditional schooling, every single person you encounter is a teacher and every single minute of every single day is an opportunity to learn. Do you take it? Or are you under the impression that you know enough? There’s a million different ways to be smart. Street smart, book smart, business savvy, artistically creative… none of it is any higher or lower; it’s what you choose to take away from every conversation and every experience in your life that makes the difference in how smart you become.

Why do you have to be so smart? Because in order to be a woman, you have to be a psychologist, a teacher, a repair person, a nurse, maintenance technician, a plumber, a chef, a housekeeper, a groundskeeper, a bookkeeper, a veterinarian, an administrative assistant, a travel agent, a receptionist, a diplomat, a representative, an advocate, an accountant, a private investigator, a best friend, a fashion expert, a lover, a mother (even if you don’t have children,) and of course… a witty and sexy temptress. (And no… that doesn’t mean you have to be a size 2.)

To be a woman you have to know something about everything. You have to know why and when you must change the oil in your car. You have to know that you can’t throw water on a grease fire and that you can never, ever mix ammonia with bleach. You have to know about sports and muscle cars and man caves and why you should respect male bonding. You have to know about caring for solid wood furniture that was built by hand 200 years ago, and you have to know how to take care of a brand new glass cook top stove. You have to know how to use a plunger and how to jump start a car. You have to know about the insects and animals in your area, and what to do if they bite you. You have to know what’s going on in the world, what the kids are into, where the bargains are, how to use the latest technology, how to make a soufflĂ©, how to get stains out of laundry, how to mend a broken heart, and which one is the salad fork. You have to know so much, and in so many different categories that you’re practically a walking encyclopedia.

Maybe it sounds hard, but it’s really not. I mean… ok, sure, SOME of it’s a challenge, but being a woman is incredibly rewarding. And, FYI, to be a woman, you also have to know when you reach your limits, when to ask for help, and how to let your guard down and trust someone. You have to know how to love unconditionally, how to forgive and forget, how to comfort and how to instill confidence. You have to be pretty damn special to be a woman. You also have to know that you’re pretty damn special… and not give yourself to any old Bozo who comes down the pike. Save your incredible skills and talents for a real man, and when he shows up, know enough to be honest with him and true to him. In the meantime… while you wait… kick life’s ass. If you don’t, it will kick yours for certain.