If you know me, then I’m almost certain that you know my mother. And, let me start off by saying that Tam (my momma) is a queen with a capital Q. If you need something done and done right, you call her. Pretty much everyone in my life knows this. Tam saves the day on a consistent basis, she takes shit from no one and I’m often left in awe of her ‘boss-lady’ persona.
To me, what I know about being a woman I’ve learned from watching my mother over the years. She taught me that being strong is nothing to be ashamed of, however, it’s important to know that being strong doesn’t equate to being mean or a bully. Do what you do and do it with kindness but, never ever be afraid to speak your mind and stand your ground. It’s taken me a lot of my adult years to truly channel my inner Tam.
So, what does it mean to be a lady?
To me, it means being comfortable in being unapologetically you. Lovin’ you some damn you! Putting a hard stop to this perpetual need to apologize or make excuses. With me, I operate on the basis of you either like me or you don’t. I will not apologize for being someone I’m not, nor will I apologize for doing what makes me happy. It’s an attitude that I’ve only adopted in my older years and something that has shaped how I tackle my career, relationships and friendships alike.
Now, one very important note, this is not to say that I can’t admit when I’m in the wrong. That is not what I’m getting at in the slightest. But instead, what my mom has taught me, and the lesson that continues to shape my view of womanhood, is eliminating what many call the ‘sorry syndrome’. You never have to apologize for asking a question, having something to say or being who you want to be. I found this quote on the Artidote Facebook page the other day and I have to share as it perfectly aligns with what I’m trying to get across:
“Stop apologizing. You don’t have to say sorry for how you laugh, or how you dress, how you make your hair, how you do your makeup, how you speak. You don’t have to be sorry for being yourself. Do it fearlessly. It’s time to accept: this is you, and you gotta spend the rest of your life with you. So start loving your sarcasm, your awkwardness, your weirdness, your peculiar habits, your unique talents, your everything. It will make your life so much easier to simply be yourself.”
And that’s just it. Being self-assured, confident, happy or assertive is nothing to apologize for. I’m particularly grateful that I have the mother I do, as she has instilled this in me from a very early age. But not everyone has a Tam, so this is something that I make a conscious effort to pass along to all the kick ass ladies in my life. Of course, my view of womanhood will continue to evolve as I experience this crazy little thing called life. But for now, I’m making my way through my 20’s embracing every inch of my strong personality, continuing to surround myself with a group of friends that cannot be beat and counting my lucky stars that I have a strong, inspiring, compassionate woman like Tam to show me the ropes.