“Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard
Some do it with a bitter look
Some with a flattering word
The coward does it with a kiss
The brave man with a sword”
― Oscar Wilde, The Ballad Of Reading Gaol
We begin to find and become ourselves when we notice how we are already found, already truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who we were born to be. The only problem is that there is also so much other stuff, typically fixations with how people perceive us, how to get more of the things that we think will make us happy, and with keeping our weight down. So the real issue is how do we gently stop being who we aren’t? How do we relieve ourselves of the false fronts of people-pleasing and affectation, the obsessive need for power and security, the backpack of old pain, and the psychic Spanx that keeps us smaller and contained?
Here’s how I became myself: mess, failure, mistakes, disappointments, and extensive reading; limbo, indecision, setbacks, addiction, public embarrassment, and endless conversations with my best women friends; the loss of people without whom I could not live, the loss of pets that left me reeling, dizzying betrayals but much greater loyalty, and overall, choosing as my motto William Blake’s line that we are here to learn to endure the beams of love."
The magnificent Anne Lamott on how to begin becoming the person you were meant to be.explore-blog)
The women who are first to get naked, howl at the moon and jump into the sea.
The women who drink too much whiskey, stay up too late and have sex like they mean it.
The women who know they aren’t sluts because they enjoy sex, but human beings with a healthy sexual appetite.
The women who will ask you for what they need in bed.
This is for the women who seek relentless joy; the ones who know how to laugh with their whole souls.
The women who speak to strangers because they have no fear in their hearts.
The ones who wear “night make up” in the morning or don’t own mascara.
The women who know their worth, who plant their feet and roar in their brilliance.
The women who aren’t afraid to tell a man to get the fuck out of her heart if he doesn’t honour her heart.
This is for the women who rock combat boots with frilly skirts.
The women who swear like truck drivers.
The women who hold the people who harass or wrong them with fierce accountability.
The women who flip gender norms and false limitations the bird and live to run successful companies giving “the man” a run for his name.
The ones who don’t find their success a compliment just because they have a vagina.
Women like Gloria Steinem who, when she was told, “We want a writer, not a woman. Go home,” kept writing anyway.
This is for the women who drink coffee at midnight and wine in the morning, and dare you to question it.
For the women who open doors for men and are confident enough to have doors opened for them.
Who use “no” to be in service for themselves.
Who don’t give a damn about pleasing the world, and do sweetly as they wish.
For the superheroes—the single moms who work three jobs to make it. I salute your resilient, cape-flapping, ambitious selves.
This is for the women who throw down what they love, and don’t waste time following society’s pressures to exist behind a white picket fence.
The women who create wildly, unbalanced, ferociously and in a blur at times.
The women who know how to be busy and know how to plant their feet in the earth and get grounded.
These are the women I want around me.”