I found freedom y'all and I refuse to give it up. I am not ready to give it up. I don't want to give it up.
Well, at least not quite yet.
If you grew up in the 1980s, 1990s, or early 2000s the majority of women are raised to pursue higher education, build a career, secure the bag, invest in property, buy a home, be a wife, and a mother. For generations upon generations, this societal standard has always been the American dream. It is what we measure our worth by. It is what we believe is happiness; the things we own, the things we have accomplished, and the titles we have earned.
AND we are to believe we must achieve all of these things in our twenties and thirties.
Say what and says who?
Now, don't get me wrong, we as women, and our role in society has most definitely transformed.
We are resiliently multifaceted. We are boss SHEeos, entrepreneurs, doctors, law enforcement officers, firefighters, pilots, scientists, officers in the military, and G.O.A.T athletes on top of being wives and mothers. We are leading in male-dominated industries and we have a 17-year-old Swedish girl on the other side of the world advocating for climate change. We as women have come up and came through tenfold. We have shown our worth to the world in a gender-biased society. Clap for yourselves ladies because we do this effortlessly and more importantly, it is done with grace.
Yet, there are times we often lose ourselves to this so-called American dream.
We lose our identity while maintaining a family, a career, an image, or living up to expectations that are not our own. We slowly unravel without notice until we do not know our reflection in the mirror. We stop looking in the mirror because all we see is a stranger in a body. And to try to pull yourself out of a dark place seems impossible.
I lost myself assuming an identity that was not my own.
I had a respectable career. I had a fancy career title. I had a six-figure salary. I dressed the part, faked the role, played the game, sold the lie, but it was not fulfilling. Nor was it me. I had no control over my life so by choice I let it all go. Sometimes being a straight arrow is so blinding. Sometimes tradition is so misleading. Sometimes we outgrow cultural norms. You start to come to a point where you ask yourself, "Who am I doing all of this for?"
The answer is, "Not for me."
I was able to find myself again and I am still exploring parts of myself unknown; undoing conditioned thoughts and behavior.
I am free and I have never been happier.
The American dream has been redefined, shifted, flipped, and reversed. We live in a society that is becoming spiritually woke. With this widespread shift, more and more women are becoming spiritually aligned.
Some women are walking away from stressful careers and opting for simplicity. We are living in different countries and experiencing new cultures. We are renovating vans to be living spaces and taking road trips. We are mastering our craft and learning new skills. We're doing whatever it takes to live the life we dream of. And you know what? We are completely happy.
It's peace, purpose, and freedom over everything.
We adopt and alter what is aligned with our authentic selves. This shift in thinking and alignment to self has made me realize your twenties and thirties are meant to be lived and lived fully.
It's a time for silly mistakes, lessons learned, knowledge, new experiences, exploration, and travel. It's a time for being eccentric, vibrant, and authentic. It's a time for digging deep into yourself with thought-provoking questions. It's about creating a life you love for yourself before sharing it with anyone else.
It's about pouring into your cup (mentally, emotionally, and physically) and the only commitment you should have is to honor yourself first. I mean hey, if that man comes along, and he is aligned with all that you're doing — co-create this life together.
But wait, so what are your forties for?
After everything is said and done, I think it's perfectly OK to settle down in your forties. At least, that is what I have decided for myself. Yes, I know, this may happen before I enter my forties. Women are getting married and having children later, regardless of the path chosen to get there. It is also our new normal. A friend of mine, once married and divorced, selflessly decided to raise a child on her own. By the way, she is a boss marine, fitness competitor, and mother to a beautiful little girl. My mother was pregnant with me at 34 years old and a cousin delivered her last baby at 43 years old.
Now, here I am at 35 still living my best life.
Are women selfish because they choose a less traditional route? I think we have the right to be, I mean look at how far we have come. Are women who choose themselves for a little bit longer doing so out of fear? No, I think we just want to live a life without regret.
Women can be successful in all areas of their lives. It is never going to be linear or based on a timeline either. Success will never manifest in a specific order. If you were to ask me four years ago if I saw myself having the freedom I do now, I would have not even imagined it.
I still would have been tied to conditioned beliefs, traditions, societal norms, and timelines. Timelines set forth by none other than my father. After all that I have accomplished–let me tell you he is still not satisfied, and I still do not care. I check the boxes off my own list.
Everyone has their path to follow, some are more spiritually aligned than others, and some are just beginning their journey, and that's OK. People find themselves in the process, through experiences, and often through trauma. My only wish for all women is to create a life you love with your own rules and standards. It is never too late to start.
We write our own stories.
We define our own success.
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Originally published on September 27, 2020