It is March 8th, 2018 and according to my calendar and social media, it is International Women’s Day.
To be honest, I had no idea there was such a day. I don’t spend a lot of time following trends, politics or anything related to social movements. It’s not that I don’t care but sometimes my depression closes me off to the world and my focus or view becomes very narrow.
So I was pleasantly surprised this morning to see all these posts from the men I follow on social media. They were saying thanks to the women in their lives and just celebrating women in general. It gave me a good feeling as a woman to see that there are men out there in the world that truly appreciate and value the women in their lives. It is not something that I am personally used to.
I grew up, as I’ve written about before, with all these obstacles in place that I had to learn how to maneuver through as a female.
First and the most obvious is that I am a minority but not just any minority. I come from a cultural background of people who have been historically overlooked and been forced to be “silent” by a majority of society. Indigenous to these lands called the United States of America. A group of people who were forcibly removed from their lands and then confined to designated territories determined by a government that was not our own. Some fought back for many years before those historically relevant “Indian Wars” finally ceased. Broken but not spiritually as a people some continued on and are prospering today yet many continue to fight the “old wounds” caused by the nation we were forced to live under.
Second, I grew up poor which became a two-fold part of who I am today. I understand what is like to struggle and live a meager existence but in turn, it gave me a true appreciation for what I have now. By some peoples’ standards the way we live as a family may seem sparse but the basics are always covered. We have a roof over our heads, vehicles, all the bills paid, food, clothing, and access to medical care if needed. We don’t have a lot of room for extras, wants, or niceties but we make do. Hopefully, as we go along the financial situation will change for the better.
Third, I was exposed to a family dynamic and a life that was filled with abuse in all forms. Whether physical, sexual, mental, verbal, or emotional these were inflicted by my parents, relatives, and others that I came in contact with as I grew. By all accounts and historical data based on these factors my life could have ended up with me becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol, being homeless, or in jail. Yet, I had a very positive and strong female influence on my life through my grandmother, aunts, and cousins. They showed me that I could accomplish whatever I wanted in life but had to work hard for it.
Lastly, being exposed to the abusive behaviors of others, I did not develop “mentally” healthy. I have struggled with depression and anxiety since I was young. This could be seen in my overbearing, aggressive and competitive nature as a kid. Then later in early adulthood my compulsive reactions to stress through excessive drinking, bingeing, weight gain/loss, promiscuity, gambling and financial instability. I became a single mother after many relationships. Then eventually getting married which ended in divorce many years later after living with an emotionally abusive spouse.
I am finally on the road to recovery from the depressive state I’ve been living in my whole life through counseling and therapy.
This is me as a minority woman living in the world today. Unfortunately, others out there in the world are experiencing the same thing at this moment. That is what makes me angry the most at times. Knowing that there is a woman or girl who needs help the way I did in this modern world. Knowing that there are still men out there who believe that a woman’s place is still the home, taking care of kids and nothing else. Knowing that if a woman stands up for herself she called a “bitch”, “ball breaker”, or “whiny” by both men and women.
The only way it will change is for more days like today that emphasizes our importance as a part of the world we live in. To emphasize the contributions that women make to business, government, and society as a whole. To emphasize the ethical, humane, and equal treatment that all people should have. To encourage women to stand up and let their voices be heard.
We as women were not only built to nurture and care for others but to also lead the way when no one else will. It takes courage, strength, and bravery to do so, something we already have in us. It is automatically a part of us, as a female, because we were built to give birth to both men and women.
As a woman and mother, I hope that I have instilled these ideas of strength, courage, bravery, knowledge, compassion, and kindness in my own daughters as well as my sons. My hope is that they will one day become people who change the world for everyone.
So today on this International Women’s Day I celebrate two young women, my daughters. I recognize them for their kindness, compassion, caring, and strength. They are beautiful in my eyes, smart, funny, and determined. I know that they have the ability in them to become and do whatever they want in their lives. I will always be here to support them in future endeavors no matter what they are.
I also want to recognize the women in my life who made an impact on who I am now. My grandmothers, Rose Wyman Allen (Deceased) and Patsy Byars (Deceased). My aunts Mary Ann Butler, Irene Whitlow, Sue Ellen Griffith, Twila Allen, Mary Allen (Deceased), Lula Allen (Deceased), and Marcella Schrum (Deceased). I have so many cousins that there would be too many to name but there are a few who made a difference for me. Liz Wolftongue, Melissa Denny, Rosemary Blie, Viola Buckley, Marion Renshaw and Marlene Gabbard. These women have been there my whole life and I have been there for theirs.
Women today are going to change the world.
- We know our value as women.
- We know what we bring to the table.
- We know how strong we are physically, mentally, and emotionally.
- We know that we are smart, capable and determined.
- We know our hearts have love and compassion for those around us.
- We are daughters, mothers, wives, sisters, girlfriends and everyday women.
- We have the strength to walk away when we need to and stay when we want to.
- We still have value and purpose in this world despite the generations between us.
All we need is for others to get out our way and let us move forward.
Thank you for taking the time and stopping by.
Have an awesome day and a fabulous week!
May peace, love, happiness, and good vibes find you wherever you are in the world.