What It’s Like to be a Woman

Woman Hard to Be by Darry D

Women are leaders, women are in the army, play all sports and do what men do. In Germany, there is a female president and overall, the idea of women being treated equal to men has been going around for a while. Women can do what men do, but two things: Grow old and gain weight.

I remember being in second and third grade. I had the double whammy going – I was overweight AND poor, therefore sporting cheap hand-me-downs and clothes that weren’t fashionable. I was bullied, made fun of and largely ignored. I had pretty good grades but the dumb and pretty girls had tons of friends and the boys lined up. By the time I reached 5th grade, I had lost most of the weight and vowed I’d “be prettier than all of these jerks when I get older.”

This started a lifelong experiment, unhealthy behavioral patterns, abuse to my body, psychological damage and self-esteem issues even years of therapy couldn’t quite fix. The horrible experiences I had from being abused at home and by society left me often despising the fact that I was female.

Over the years, I did what most of us girls do: I dieted, I did extreme workouts, I starved myself, I creamed, I used products and spent ungodly amounts of money to become what society tells me I should be; while at the same time sabotaging it and hating it. I got tons of tattoos, I dyed and cut off my “beautiful blond curls” and sported black, red and blue hair. I systematically dismantled the image of the pretty blond girl people wanted me to be. And yes, I paid a price. I will spare you to years of abuse I did to myself, simply because I had learned at the age of about 9 that I was not desirable, pretty and what boys wanted.

The sad thing is that these are engrained society traits. Nothing changes. Look at public figures and actors. Let’s take Johnny Depp – the man is 50 and dates a girl in her 20s. Let me not even start listing the examples of men I know, including my ex.
Men have been conditioned to believe that women should look and behave a certain way. They will say things like “I do like curvy women,” but their idea of curves is large breasts, small waist and nice hips. Ixnay on fat on the belly, thighs and butt, the place women do carry their fat naturally. They will state that they want women who are independent and smart, but the truth is that they are quickly willing to trade these traits for arm-candy. When they say “independent” they merely mean they don’t want to pay for everything and want her to have a job. Men will say that they, too, are put into categories and that women only want certain types and yet, I largely call BS on that. I don’t remember a single time any of the women I know broke up with a guy because he had gone bald, gained weight or grew older. I, however, can list a whole bunch of incidences where I was judged and rejected for having gained weight – even though I never was obese! I was considered too fat at size 8 and definitely a goner at size 10/12, which seems to be the range I am mostly finding myself in, especially since I turned 40. I was told at 125 lbs and 24 years old that I was too fat by my first husband; and that’s just one example.

When we get together with our friends, male or female, they will tell us that we are such a great catch; that we are smart, successful, beautiful and sexy; but if this is not how society sees us because we are not what’s being sold on TV and in the media as “hot,” we might as well see it for what it is – love and support from those who love us. This is why most of us don’t believe that we are what those close to us tell us. Our self-images are distorted and we no longer see ourselves through the eyes of an unbiased bystander. We’ve learned early on that the whole world will judge us, so we might as well follow suit – and this is what’s truly sad. We’ve learned to buy into the notion and actually believe that we are only worth something when we are young and sport a great body.

I find myself at the present stage – at 45, suffering from fibromyalgia, unable to work out hard, a horrible metabolism, a size 10, lots of tattoos, short, spiky red hair, never sporting skirts or dresses and utterly horrified by the idea of dating. I am so afraid of the judgment, the disappointment and rejection that I don’t even want to try. I am successful, I am intelligent, I make great money, I am independent and I am kind. Alas, I’m no longer young and skinny and last time I’ve checked, that really apparently outweighs who I am as a person.

Last time when I was in Germany, I overheard one of my nieces telling my great niece, who is 12, that she is starting to gain weight and better watch out that she doesn’t become fat. I just hung my head and thought “welcome to being a girl.”


Life – It Just Is

Life

Life has gotten a bad rep. Life is hard, life is unfair and sometimes it is full of surprises – namely, the bad kind. Life is a bitch, no matter how you slice and dice it and no matter what religion you are part of. Just ask the Buddhists (life is full of suffering), or the Christians (born into this world as a sinner and going down hill from there). So, what is there to look forward to and why do I need to pass on this misery to offspring? Maybe it’s due to the fact that life really isn’t all that bad.
What I have found is that life is not really a mystery. Yes, there often seems to be no apparent rhyme or reason for who gets dealt the ass card and who dwells in paradise, but that doesn’t mean it’s so hard to figure out. To me, life is common sense and there are certain rules, behaviors and thought patterns one can follow that make life a lot easier. Because, to the contrary of what people say, we do have control over our lives. We don’t have control over others or what happens to them, but we have full control over our own actions, thoughts, behaviors and the results they bring. Which brings me to one of the largest life rules – don’t be a jerk!
Yes, we can go out and horde and acquire and never share and be selfish. We can be unkind and act like jerks by being dishonest, deceitful, mean and spiteful. We can treat others badly, we can be victims, we can be cry babies, wanna bes, fakers, ungrateful douche bags and never learn a damn thing and maybe, we end up with the upper hand; for a little while. Maybe we get the job, raise and money we chased, but we won’t find happiness. This isn’t the power of some supernatural being. It’s cause and effect. How you treat others, what you do and say is exactly what you’re attracting in return. Selfish and heartless jerks tend to be lonely people – no friends or relationships to speak of. So, if no one wants anything to do with you and you relive the same crappy reality year in and out, it’s you and your actions, not life or anyone/anything else.
So what about the horrible things that happen to people? What about cancers, disease/sickness, death, crime, abuse, etc.? There is the “no rhyme or reason” part I’ve mentioned earlier. But how you deal with any of these things is again what defines you. It’s this “christened by fire” thing. I have found that those who experienced a lot of pain due to things that were out of their hands/they didn’t cause have become better and stronger people for it. I don’t know what it is, but those who have suffered the most often tend to have the biggest hearts, compassion and joy for life. Yes, there are those who became mean, bitter and even worse people, but that was usually due to the fact that they were jerks to begin with. Those who weren’t became even better people –and yes, this is something I sometimes struggle with, too. Really, it took THAT to help me learn what it’s all about??? I think I could have learned it without this experience!
What I wish is that people would have more common sense, would do less finger pointing, more apologizing and act and speak more with integrity, honesty and decency. That would take care of a whole bunch of bad lives. I had this fight with my aunt recently. She was upset because I never comment on anything she does and never “like” anything she posts. This woman has never cared for anyone in her entire life. Everything she says and does always has and always will be about her and only her. So I told her that and all hell broke loose. Alas, she lives in a nice home, she buys stuff, lots of stuff and has no friends, no family and no one who cares. The same goes for various other people I’ve encountered in my life. They complain about being all alone, their relationships not lasting, their lack of friends or family who calls or wants anything to do with them and they do this for years and decades and consistently fail to see that their very actions and words have created their own hell.
Life is not a bitch. Sometimes, bad people get away with murder (figuratively and literally speaking) and sometimes the best people get hit with tragedy, trauma and horror. But the very quality of the majority of our life and the people in it are a direct reflection of the people we are being in this world. Strong friendships, true love, a helping hand, compassion, fun, laughter, happiness and joy are all results of our character and the people we are. If we are not happy with the content, we must change our own actions and words, before we start unleashing on others. And if we are “good” people and still attract douche bags all the time, then we still must look within and find out why we feel we don’t deserve better and healthier and keep seeking out broken people who support our image of being non-deservant and not good enough.
Life always ends in death, but how we live until then is up to us. And if we want the journey to be as pleasant as possible we can do our part to make that happen. Our life and the people in it – one large reflection of who we are. So, be good, be loyal, be compassionate, honest, strong, kind and caring. Have integrity and dignity and trust that the ride will be less bumpy and more rewarding.