I am the youngest sibling of three, all girls. I grew up having countless play-dates with my cousins, who are also, all girls. So when I say that I was always surrounded by an intense ‘girl power’ energy throughout my childhood, I really mean it. That energy stayed with me through adolescence and has continued into my adult life.
I’m grateful for my upbringing and I am so proud to be a woman.
What I love most about it is the complexity of womanhood. As women most of us have to play a number of roles, none of which singularly defines us. With this post, I hope to share a few of the different roles I play that make up the beautiful complexity of a what being a woman means to me.
As a daughter
My parents have shaped me into the person I am today. They continually set the bar higher for me and push me to keep striving towards excellence. While they have always been open to me defining my own standard of excellence, a patriarchal society doesn’t always agree. There have been numerous times on my journey to excellence that my parents have battled with the phrase ““What will they say?” Having lived my whole life in India, I’ve struggled with that phrase more often than I’d like to admit, and I’m thrilled that in recent years we’re finally moving further and further away from it.
As a (long-distance) girlfriend
Having struggled with the ability to nail being the perfect girlfriend has followed me through every past relationship. You hear everyone tell you you’re good enough and more than good enough, but you’re always wondering if you’re truly doing enough. In trying to protect myself from another broken heart every instinct is to put up walls for self preservation. Over the last two years I’ve began to realize that to let happiness in you have to let doubt step out.
As a working professional
In the first month of my full-time job I was awarded the best participant at a company conference. My pride in my achievement dissipated a little the minute a manager asked me to meet him separately for drinks later and the entire group assumed the worst of me. The fact that there are so many women I know that have had to justify their professional abilities and fight the battle of brains over beauty is appalling. It is something women fight everyday in their careers and the only consolation is that we are finally making some headway.
Every woman I know juggles the multiple roles in her life. Some days we ace it and feel invincible and others, well, not so much. The fact that we are made up of all these layers is a reinforcement to make more time for myself and appreciate how far I’ve come. Maybe as we struggle to find our balance it’s also time to believe that we do deserve love, respect and happiness and expect nothing less.