I have long considered myself a champion of women. One of the most fulfilling parts of being a writer is empowering others to own their truth by sharing mine.
Honesty is strength; sharing our struggles with each other allows us to be vulnerable. It heals and encourages us. It is one of the million tiny steps that it takes to travel from darkness to hope, and every time I’m honest, I grow stronger — which makes the risk of truth-telling worth it.
Ever since becoming a mother, I have made it my mission to speak truthfully about the beauty and the bullshit of parenthood. I know that one day, my kids will probably read my work and either end up in therapy because of it, or become inspired to write their own truth. Mothers carry so much invisible emotional weight on their shoulders. Weight that no one will ever understand or see, because it comes from places that cannot accurately be imagined or described.
Today, I’m going to try.
I fear that my daughter will one day fall in love with a boy who has a crazy family. This fear is rooted in the fact that I once found myself in this exact situation, and it ended with me getting my face beat in and spending the rest of my life recovering from the heartbreak and anxiety of having people I loved turn on me.
I fear that my children will have unprotected sex. I did.
I fear that they will be so afraid of losing my approval that they will stop telling me the truth.
I do not fear that they will experiment with drugs. I fear that they will experiment with drugs and never be able to stop.
I fear that they will marry the wrong person.
I fear that I will die.
I have many fears, but my greatest fear is that my children will not be strong enough to lift others up, and will instead tear others down. Producing children who grow into adults that destroy others would absolutely devastate and shame me as a parent.
Fear causes us to destroy others rather than empower them. Can we just put fear aside for a little while, cram it into a box and stuff it under the ratty underwear in our dresser drawer? Fear holds us back, while bravery propels us forward.
Fearlessness allows us to experience life in such a way that not only do we change, but we are also able to change the people around us: by loving them, lifting them up, supporting them, and offering our applause. Everyone struggles, but women REALLY STRUGGLE. It’s ironic that women — the ones who need support the most — are often the most destructive to each other. Ask me how I know.
My greatest moment of destruction was at the hands of women.
My greatest moment of achievement was because of women.
Women gave birth to this world and we continue to give it life, so either lift us up or get the fuck out of our way.