The world makes girls feel small. The world tells girls to take up tiny spaces. The world says girls are nothing. I never really liked feminists. I certainly would never consider myself one. In fact if I had to lump myself into a group I’d think of myself as a conservative republican. A girl who is more in line with old white men than the contemporary millennial woman. But I was thinking about it today. Maybe it’s the fact that I have a daughter. It is true. The world makes women less than.
I feel trapped. Trapped in a word of expectation– I am a mom, a daughter, a wife, I have a full time job. Somehow I wish I knew before that it was permissible to not be what the world expected of me. To not be a wife and a mom and work in a job that I could honestly care less about and that a monkey could do. But for some reasons, as apparently intelligent as I am, I did not understand that. I didn’t understand that I did not have to live up to social expectations until it was far too late.
Exactly where does that leave me? Here with a bucket list of dreams half lived, of duties I have to fulfill but not enjoy. I am not sure where I even got the idea that life was supposed to be enjoyable. I was raised to think that this life was just a test. A preparation for life everlasting. It didn’t much matter how painful or unjust life was. It was just a matter of weathering it to the end for a reward of everlasting paradise. I’m not so sure that’s true anymore. I need to figure out where I fit in in this big picture.
Smashed into a tiny space, I sit. I never dealt with or recognized my own self-loathing as much as I have the last couple years. I used to eat and eat and eat and pack myself with fat and extra padding to insulate myself from the pain of the outside world. Well I started dealing with that. I don’t eat quite so much and I exercise pretty much every day. I have lost a lot of weight. But as the pounds fall off, the insecurities mount higher and higher. I don’t feel any better about myself. I just feel more vulnerable. I feel smaller, but not more insignificant. I think I am right to feel small. In this giant universe we are all specks of insignificant dust. But then what is the point? Am I too tiny to make a difference? Does nothing I do really matter? And if it doesn’t then why are any of us here in the first place?
I don’t know why we are here. I have found some power in lifting. Something powerful about walking up to that bar stacked with weights, feeling my shins touch the cold metal, gripping my hands around the bar. The blisters on my palms ripping open every time I touch it. Heaving all my might from my tiny fingers up through my chunky thighs, my soft belly, and my too big arms. Throwing the bar above my head while jolting my hips forward. I feel victorious. I feel mighty, I feel like I could conquer the word. But beyond this, I don’t really know what is going to make me happy.
I feel like running. God do I feel like running. Going far, far away. Selling everything I have. Living in a tiny city somewhere in South America. Bringing nothing with me but my family. I don’t know that that would be good for them. I don’t know why I have to think about everything so much.
I feel small. The world makes me feel small. I make me feel small. But I am small. A tiny grain of sand in an ocean of everything bigger. But somehow I have to feel like something matters. That there is a purpose to all this. That life isn’t a random piece of chaos left up to change and nothing else. That being alive is important I wonder if everyone has to feel like this. It’s part of an evolutionary mind that humans must feel purposeful. Otherwise we would cease procreating and being productive and just wither away and die. I think this year I am going to look to be a part of something bigger. A part of something more than me and my little family and getting so self-absorbed is so monumentally detrimental.
I am tired of feeling like a huge blob being forced through a funnel. A big mass of mess trickling out the bottom into a cup full of everything that is complacent and normal. So what is the point of it all? I’m not sure. To make everyone else happy? To make yourself happy? Religion? To serve god? To serve country? to serve men? To find something that completes you? To make a difference? And ultimately does any of it matter? Does it matter if I am good or bad or black or white or any shade of grey in between? I don’t want to drip. I don’t want to be forced through a funnel. I want to be full. I want to overflow. I want to take up more space than I am allowed. I want to be big and boisterous and alive. But I’m not sure how to do it and I’m not sure how it fits in with the rest of everything else that is greater than I am.