Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I am an insecure woman

Heart pounding and palms sweating, I can't seem to run away from the same old me, for every night screaming "I'm just a girl" at the top of my lungs, punk rock knocked back and in the end no irony. I am just a girl. When it is time to stand up, I am the kind who falls back. Palms sweating, heart pounding, standing on these quaking knees. It is what it is, because I can't afford to let the fear stop me. I bade it leave. When I did, it was like that old children's rhyme about "rain, rain, go away."

It always came back another day, and it still does.

Myself as a younger insecure woman

One day I saw two conflicting messages on my Facebook Wall: one said that we should tell every girl she is beautiful, and the other said that girls should be told we are more than beautiful. To tell myself I was more than beautiful, I had to go way deep down into the land of pretend where an actress occupies some secret part of me, the same part that everyone who sings in the shower secretly has ownership over.

That me spoke to me, and as the saying goes that behind every great man, there is a great woman... she decided to whisper to me in confidence every bright and wonderful thing I would see in me if I was a man who was just like me. Although there is no man like me, for there is only me, a woman, nervous and with a fought-off case of indigestion. She who was me told me that it was okay to be good at something. She who was me told other women it was okay for them to be good at something.

But in the heart of every insecure woman is a hater, and the hater is herself, tearing her down.

I try to calm down because I don't want to play myself. And I tell me, "Does it make any sense to you? Am I speaking plainly? You know I'm sincere, but then I fumble over words. I am always working. How humble does a woman have to be not to be called a bitch? Why is it that I have to do this thing where I apologize for every strong feeling I might have? What is wrong with me? Am I wrong?"

But no, we don't speak of such things. We don't speak of intelligences, of purpose, or of deeper meaning, but we are boiled down to modesty or sexuality. We are boiled down to our essential parts, so that you understand why Emily Bronte used a pseudonym. When you are full of dark thoughts, and you know the brutality of human nature, it wriggles around and you just keep it hidden because you know why Emily Bronte used a pseudonym.


But it doesn't make sense, because it never made sense. If you prop a sister up for five minutes someone's looking to see if her ass is too wide. It doesn't make sense because it never made sense. Could there really be anything special in me? Is there a rousing chorus of "Who in the hell does she think she is?" Do I have to hide?

Could I ever be good at anything?

If I was good at something, could I ever be good enough? All wisdom and time, and withering skin, and a toast to middle age, we are all jokers because it goes down easier that way. Laughter and wit, the wisdom of an old Star Trek episode is all Gene Rodenberry knowing people prefer the truth delivered by people in alien costumes. Truth, if we have to face it, is brutally painful. We can see the beauty in it, and we can't take the rest of it.

Truth must be a woman. 

An insecure woman glitzed over in poetic language and funny jokes, because she's either a funny girl, or a pretty girl. Truth. When it comes on too strong you might feel like someone punched you in the gut - and we wouldn't want that now. Truth.

But I'm just saying because people say things. Because we have thoughts, and we try to communicate. We string together words and we hope someone's listening. Is anybody listening? Does anybody care? I know someone cares, and yet... here I am. An insecure woman seeking your approval. Stroke my ego, it is flaccid. Mine, not his.

I don't care if I lack the equipment.

This self-depreciating humor is a symptom of the fact that I know if I don't poke fun of myself on a regular basis, someone is going to call me a bitch, for holding my head up a moment too long, and I can't take that. I'm an insecure woman, seeking your approval, but you already know that. We lie and pretend that I'm strong. You'll say that I'm strong, but you know that I'm weak. You will say that I'm strong because I just keep on going, on and on, on and on. You say I am strong because I don't give up but I'm afraid, we just pretend I'm not.

Are you afraid?

Picking and prodding to seek out my weakness. If I seem like I'm okay, I'm not sure that's acceptable to all parties involved. Are you okay with me being okay? Usually, I'm something like a doormat. I tried to develop some backbone, but hell, it's not easy.

Nobody is perfect.

Not me. I'm an insecure woman.

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