In the past few months, I have met so many truly inspiring and beautiful women. From women who are stay-at-home mums to students who have endured unthinkable circumstances to women are running their own companies. As I spent more and more time with each of them, I noticed one seemingly omnipresent theme: they all hide the biggest, scariest, and most hurt parts of themselves.
Surprisingly, I was not shocked at all. I only became more aware of the fact that their stories, and especially the difficult parts, are what made them... well, women have got gumption and so beautiful.
The past year has truly been one of the most trying years I have ever faced. It was one of those days stretched over the better part of the year. My whole life seems to have shifted into another level of this game we call Life – a level which I now know few (but unfortunately too many) people understand. This game consists mainly of fighting of demons both in the flesh and of the mind.
As I gained day-after-day, Life has come and gone and returned once more; blurring into a string of indistinct solar and lunar cycles. In this absolute confusion, I have found that I can so easily isolate myself – from more than just people. Sometimes I even achieve total bliss by just zoning out and not dealing with my problems. But as I have lived through more days than anyone would have said I would, I realised it is not weak to want people. But it is difficult. It is as difficult to want people as it is easy to isolate yourself completely. Because who would want to see my raw and hurt?
My mum loves to tell the story of how when I was a toddler I would refuse to cry whenever I got hurt. She tells that I would just stand there and shut my eyes really hard, frown, and will the tears away. I would then turn around and continue with whatever I was doing, not having shed one tear.
With all that has happened in the last year, I learned that not only is it okay to not be okay and not to be ashamed of it, but that it is okay to want comfort from other people. It does not mean that you are weak (on the contrary) and I can assure you the person you go to for help will not think that of you either. It also does not include the rejection of your rawness and hurting, but rather the acceptance and love of the entire you.
Once in every five years or so my mum gets violently ill. I am talking about head-splitting migraines, flu that lasts weeks, or something akin to that. And today was that day.
As we were driving to my campus her eyelids began to swell – a sign that I know signals a very ill mum. Her throbbing headache of the past three/four days had morphed into a brain-numbing yet throbbing, stabbing pain all over.
I coerced her into seeing my doctor, which she was not keen on because of the aforementioned and reigning “it seems weak” mentality. But in the waiting room, she laid her head down on my shoulder and I felt it. I felt the warmth and comfort that comes from caring for someone who, in their most physically or mentally ill moment, totally trusts you.
As women of the world, we have a responsibility to everyone else occupying our lives. It is our responsibility to show that with our strength we are compassionate so that they may go out and be the resemblance of compassion and strength to others. We have the insanely awesome ability to be both strong and caring; brave and compassionate and we get to share it.
So, when you get up tomorrow and you are putting on whatever readies you for your life, and you take the world on guns blazing once again, remember that when your fire flickers or dies out, it is okay to say that “I need you.” And most probably your loved one will only love you more (if that’s even possible).