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Being a Woman

Being a woman is an interesting thing. I feel like there is this constant pressure to be: …. What you ask? Well fill in the blank. Be whatever is asked of you that day, I suppose.

Being a single woman in her thirties is both rewarding, yet sometimes frustrating. No matter how accomplished I am, at the end of every conversation or thrown somewhere in the middle, is, are you dating? Who are you dating? Do you want to have children? You know that’s considered a geriatric pregnancy at your age? You haven’t had a boyfriend in years? Wow, that's a red flag. If you do XYZ you may find it hard to date…if you do XYZ you may…. insert any phrase I’ve heard a million times.

Four years ago, the same month my boyfriend died I had multiple people ask me when I would date again. THE. SAME. MONTH. It’s somehow become appropriate to ask strangers why they’re single…as if being in a relationship is a requirement for living. I wonder, why in the world are we so fixated on the dating lives of women? And deep down I know no matter how accomplished I become as a single person, the congratulations I get now will be nothing compared to when I get married and have children. And don’t get me wrong. Those things are beautiful, and I look forward to them SOMEDAY. But I want to celebrate me NOW. The me that’s just me. The me before I become someone's wife or mother. The me now is important too and quite frankly I’ve worked really hard to become the me I am today.

So much of the way we celebrate women revolves around how they relate to other humans. …. bridal shower, bachelorette party, baby shower, wedding, Mother’s Day, etc. Although important celebrations, they require another human to be involved…. All of these are lovely but let’s also celebrate the woman who finally left her toxic job or got promoted. The woman who is not pregnant and has no desire to be. The woman who was depressed for months and finally got out of bed.

As I write this on Women’s Equality Day, I think about how the older I get the more I realize how much things have really stayed the same. As women continue to make strides, I can’t ignore the fact that this world wasn’t made for us. It wasn’t set up for us to succeed and adding being a black woman on top of that is a whole other ball game, but I’ll save that for another post.

You’re told to ‘JUST BE YOURSELF' but that’s a lie because you can only be yourself if everyone agrees that that is the self you should be. You have to constantly be on guard because as a woman you are literally hunted by various predators…. Oh! But don’t forget to smile! And always have a good attitude! NOBODY likes a woman with a bad attitude. Even if the “attitude” is defending yourself after constantly and consistently being disrespected. Even if the “attitude” is because you’re on your period and it feels like someone is literally stabbing you from the inside. Even if the "attitude" is not even an attitude, it’s you finally walking away from something that no longer serves you, you’re just being gaslighted by someone who was benefiting from your lack of boundaries.

But the kicker to all of this and despite it all. I wouldn’t change being a woman. I actually think I’m pretty good at haha. But this is a reminder to celebrate the women in your life, exactly where they are at. The non-mothers, the mothers, the mothers to be, the single, the not single, the ones who can cook, the ones who can’t, the ones who work a 9-5, the ones who stay home and take care of the household. ALL WOMEN should be celebrated. We are all needed.

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Paulita Dunlap
Paulita Dunlap
Sep 01, 2022

I love it 💕

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