Choices

Destiny’s Child: A Letter To Young Women

It takes strength, determination and commitment, as a young woman, to get up from under the thumb of Society’s expectations and burdens.  We’re raised to believe we need to put others before us in a way that goes beyond simple altruism. A woman is to carry her family, her friends, her neighbours and society at large on her back and do it gracefully. 

But who thinks of the woman’s needs?  Who thinks of her dreams and aspirations?

Society’s taken strides to encourage independence in women but I’ve found, whether in a bid to keep us realistic or simply because a lot of people still feel that way internally, their encouragement always has a limit. 

A glass ceiling. 

How many of our own parents have encouraged us as young women to truly be independent?

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No one seems to discuss the fact that a degree doesn’t guarantee that.  Nor does money or a car, although they might make your life a bit more comfortable. 

Independence starts from within.  It, like knowledge, is something no one can take away from you without your consent. 

As one grows, one experiences loss.  We lose friends, partners, family, mindsets and assets. In fact one might say the only constants in your life right now, truly, are yourself, and change. 

But when was the last time you thought about your goals and aspirations? Without the little voice in your head reminding you of what everyone else expects of you. 

When last? 

To quote the author  Paulo Coehlo  “To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only obligation.” 

It sounds a bit unrealistic, granted, but the older you get, the more important this message will become.  There will never be a shortage of people who want you to do what they want you to do, and everyone seems to know what’s best for the next person while never taking their own advice.  

As much as I don’t know anyone else’s destiny, I can tell you this, it’s never to become somebody else’s project/puppet.  Your separate existence as an entity is so for a reason.  You have a life and you have choices. 

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Independence also requires a lot of self love.  

You need to love yourself enough to want the best for yourself, by your standards. But desire is not enough, you must also love yourself enough to seek it out.  This will mean endless hours of self actualization, some of which may be rather tedious. You may become the boring [read: focused] one, and you WILL face quite a few hurdles, but the adversity faced will seem rather minuscule once you achieve your goals. 

There is no specific mold to the perfect life.  No one has the blueprint and therefore, no one can truly tell you you’re wrong to follow your passions. 

A woman is capable of so much, far more than we can ever imagine.  

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Why not achieve it all? 

Put yourself first for a change. Put your dreams first. 

Put your Life first. 

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” 
― Paulo Coelho, Alchemist

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Love For Sale

“You overlooking every nigga that ain’t quite ready,
To make it rain on you like about to break a levee,
Hold up, that pussy petty.
Yeah, your nails did, your hair did,
Your cell phone is selfish,It only got numbers that come with a Hummer..” – Kendrick Lamar, Memories Back Then

 

Is it really though?  And if so, what’s wrong with that?

See, you can use your mind to get ahead in Life, that’s expected.  You can use your name, it’s sometimes frowned upon but really, go ahead.  You can use who you know, what you’ve seen or what you can do. But using your body, that’s downright sleazy.  

A woman who only associates with wealthy men is considered a gold digger. Called a Ho, shallow, considered unintelligent, she disgusts many, is looked down upon and might as well be a prostitute according to them, she IS in their eyes, save for the street walking. 

And I think that has got to be the silliest way of looking at it. The worst. 

 

Why do people think these women are unintelligent/uneducated?

Possibly because back in the days when women were thought to not need an education,  she “needed” a wealthy man  for support.  Maybe, to shame them for their choice, to make them appear as nothing but bodies, mindless, starving vixens. Obviously to make them appear as ones not deserving of respect because people would think they have nothing to offer.  

 

These women are some of the strongest, smartest women in our society today.  Who else can realize that they can use what they have to get what they want and actually follow through to live as they want despite the judgement and backlash? 

 

Why should I be ashamed to use my body but proud to use my mind?  I mean, other people can know what I know, but if I have the kind of body that draws attention and admirers, are you telling me that I should ignore that, and not couple it with my intellect, because you’ll judge me? It’s not happening. 

 

“Say No to Struggle” A friend reminds me every time we’re together.  Honey, does it make sense to capitalize on everything that you have except the one thing you always possess, that comes naturally?

No,  this is not me telling women to actively seek out wealthy men, or to be escorts or sex workers, this is me telling them they have the right to, if they want to. 

Asa Akira’s a porn star who absolutely adores her job.  She gets paid to fuck and can take on as many men as she wants.  You can tell she happily comes to work. Pun intended. I’ve never seen her even the least bit uncomfortable in her scenes.

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve been called a slut, a whore..All I know is, I’m insatiable.” -Asa

Skin Diamond too. Everyone she works with from actors and actresses to photographers say she’s a breeze to work with because she’s passionate about it. Isn’t that lovely?

Would you do it? I mean, we all love sex. Okay, most of us do. But if you have a passion for it, as a woman, would you? Other than the obvious, explaining to parents…blah blah blah..what else would hold you back? I know “What would people think?” is on that mental list. How does that make you feel? That you’d let something as trivial as opinions that would have nothing to do with your actual job keep you from pursuing it? Logic says that fear makes sense. What does Love say?

It’s your body.

Your image.

Your Life.

Your conscience.

You are your responsibility.

I tend to tell people that Shame is an inherited emotion. We feel ashamed because people tell us we should be and that’s not fair.  If you insist, you have the right to tell me what’s appropriate in society, but you can’t tell me what’s appropriate for Me. 

People still do though. Often. Passionately. I’ve found their voices aren’t as loud as my feelings and my conscience. I wish it was the same for others.  

There’s no shame in doing what you want with what’s yours. It’s yours. Other people’s opinions are theirs. Don’t let them dictate what you do, they don’t know what you want nor need. 

Live. 

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All Falls Down

The first decision I ever made as an adult was to drop out of school.

As my mother stared at me in disbelief, tears in her eyes, she asked me why and I said “I want to be happy. I’m not happy.” and started crying. She looked at me like I’d gone mad as my father rolled his eyes.

Ware [You say] happy? Get your degree and that will make you happy.”

I didn’t budge and neither did they.

My aunts came wondering what had gone wrong. My father stopped speaking to me and my mother seemed to wither away.

One of my aunts asked me why I wouldn’t go back and when I told her it’s because I didn’t want to, she said “Life is not about what you want” to which I responded “Then what is the point in living?” She didn’t have an answer for me.

I stayed home for close to a year. Wallowing mostly. In self pity, shame.

Was I wrong? Why couldn’t I be miserable and yet focused like the other kids? Had I shamed my family because I didn’t want to be one of those people who wake up at 36 and think “Fuck. I wasted it all.”

The worst part was, I didn’t know what exactly I wanted to do. I had simply jumped off a cliff with no parachute and I felt silly.

My father would lie to people as I stood next to him and tell them I was still a Business student. My mother would look away, smile her sad smile and sigh. Me? I became annoyed with society. It was then that I realized just how expectations can steal your joy if you let them.

I wasn’t doing what I was expected to do and so I was considered a failure.

I had to choose between going back and soldiering on, hating every moment, and getting through where I was now.

I couldn’t go back.

Things had already gotten bad, how much worse could it get?

A few months later I applied and got accepted to a school in SA. Everything looked good, My mother was happy for me and we were excited. Until my father, being the one with the finances needed to pay for my fees said “I’m not paying for her to do anything that doesn’t make sense” and walked away.

10 days before I was set to leave.

Again, I wondered if I’d made the right decision.

After a few more months of self loathing and doubt I was finally accepted to study Journalism here.

I can’t say I was happy, I try to avoid that, but I can tell you it felt right.

Were my parents pleased now?

No, not really.

Because Journalism wasn’t a “real course” and they wanted me to go back and try Business again.

What I learned from that is as  much as parents claim to have good intentions, a lot of them need to tell us outright “I will only be happy with your Life if it goes how I want it to.”

Now, when people ask me what I do with my Life I have a very proud “Nothing” ready. For the next month or so. Then I explain why and I get the “You’ll be starting first year again?” question like that’s the worse thing to ever happen to someone.

And I proudly say “Yes, doing a course I love.”

The sooner you decide what you need to do, the better.

A lot of people don’t even realize that in a few years, they’ll be miserable. They think they’re in a bad space now, but when you look back and see all the time you wasted and none of it was because you wanted to do it, you didn’t enjoy any of it, there’s a certain kind of sadness and shame that creeps in.

Realizing you had all that time and all you did was give it to someone else to live for and through you.

We tend to look at people who think about their lives before deciding to live as idiots. As if they’re wasting their time and they’re weak but what’s so strong about following a routine everyone else has?

Some people are content doing what they’re supposed to.

Others only know how to live how they want to.

But I get it though.

“The concept of school seemed so secure.” – Kanye West

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