You know what happens when you wake up at 3am, don’t turn on the TV, and sit in the quiet for hours before finally giving up and going for a run in the dark? You think. You think a lot.
I haven’t done that in a while. Just thought. Just listened to my head and my heart. Sure, I’ve discussed things, I have argued about things, I’ve tried to convey what I’m saying to someone else, but I hadn’t given myself the opportunity to process everything that is happening to me in my life and figure out where I stand in all of it.
People have been bombarding me with questions lately about what I “want”. What I want for my future. What I want for my career. What I want for my relationships, my children, my house, my body… To a lesser extent, people have asked me what I “need” from the above, and for that, I have an answer.
To survive, I need:
- My Children
Period. Those are my “needs.” My wants list is longer, and while I do know what I want (for the most part) in the categories listed, I think the more important line of thinking at this juncture surrounds what I “deserve.” I was pondering this subject while I was sitting in the stillness of the house today, and again while I was out walking in the darkness of pre-dawn.
As my mind is apt to do, I expanded on this. What I was listing didn’t just apply to me. It applied to all women. So, in true Carrie fashion, here is a list.
ALL WOMEN DESERVE:
- …to look in the mirror feeling sexy and beautiful, even if she isn’t 20 years old or a size 4.
- …friends to keep her sane and love her even more when she’s not.
- …the unconditional adoration of a pet.
- …the right to experience the absolute joy of mothering a child.
- …a partner who loves her enough to fight for her.
- …to pursue their passions in life with everything they have.
- …to be heard.
- …to be respected.
- …the security of a home and family.
- …someone who can make her laugh.
- …someone she loves enough to cry over.
- …people she can trust.
- …places she can hide.
- …to be proud of herself.
- …the right to be selfish sometimes.
- …to be looked at like she is the only woman in the world.
- …to have her socks knocked off.
- …to hear “I Love You” from someone every day that means it.
- …a chance to shine.
- …a shoulder to lean on.
- …to feel with absolute certainty that she’s special, not just convenient.
- …time to herself.
- …an identity outside of “Mrs. Somebody” or “So and So’s Mother”
- …to be able to depend on others.
- …to know bliss, sorrow, elation, grief, peace, chaos and every emotion that lets her know she’s really living, not just going through the motions.
These are my thoughts. I am sure that many of these apply to men as well, but part of my process this morning was realizing how sometimes women have a tendency not to give themselves the right to the above. We might remove items on our list that will fulfill our needs in order to fulfill the needs of others. We might be afraid to make people work for the right to be a part of our lives, because deep down we know that there are those who will not be willing to do so. We might shoulder the burden instead of reaching out. We might love with our whole hearts when another is giving us a half assed effort at best.
Doing these things simply reinforces the belief that we don’t deserve any of it. When we allow people to give us the bare minimum, that’s what they are going to give us. And I see it all the time with friends and family. Most of the time, it’s the woman jumping through hoops to please friends, her children, her man. And nothing she does is ever good enough. She continues to run like a hamster in a wheel, going “Please love me, please pay attention to me, please see that I have needs, wants and desires too!”
This lesson has been a hard one for me to learn at times, as my nature has me looking at how everyone else’s needs should be addressed more so than my own. At least historically, that has been then case. I’ve grown a lot since my marriage ended. But while I need a reminder every now and then, I’m glad to know that when I take a hard look at myself in the mirror, I can rest assured that I won’t ever settle in to a life where the items in my list are shoved to the wayside again.
So while I may be cross eyed exhausted from lack of sleep, my head is surprisingly clear. I suppose I needed to empty it out and take inventory of what’s been floating around in it lately. Yay me.
XO – C