Today I had a lot of stuff going on in the morning and I didn’t know how to fit a workout in. I decided to set the alarm and go to the gym really early, before the kids were up getting ready for school. What? I wanted to get up early to exercise? Who am I? This behavior is completely unprecedented.
For years people have told me, “You’re such a strong woman.” I hear it quite often. Every time I hear that, there is a coda in my head, “It’s just a front.” People always say that I’m strong, but I’ve known all along that it’s just an act. I puff myself up big and make noise like I’m strong. I know how to sound like I’m a tough, rational woman, but it’s just pretend. I wish I were a strong woman, but the act is all I got.
Inside I’ve always known that I’m not really smart, not really savvy, and definitely not one to make sound choices. It’s just not who I am. A strong woman is not obese, divorced, and unemployed. I talk a great game though. Nobody can fake Strong Woman like me. That’s why I hear, “You’re amazing,” so often. And right after I hear it, my brain gives me the coda, “It’s just an act.”
One of the things that I was busy with today was meeting with a friend. I was commenting on some of the changes that have been taking place in my behavior and the impact on my relationships. My friend said, “Most don’t know how to deal with a strong, independent person.” It’s the first time that I’ve heard it that afterward there was just internal silence. No, actually there was internal agreement. I actually had to stop the conversation because I was having an epiphany in that moment. I am a strong woman when I CHOOSE to be. It’s not like I am genetically predetermined to be weak and depressed. It’s a choice, or rather, a series of choices! Today I chose to get up in the dark in order to go exercise. Tomorrow I’ll make choices at Thanksgiving dinner. I’m making choices about my behavior in relationships. I realize that I sound like an idiot saying this, but I can choose the things that will make me strong. I can choose to be a strong person through my actions. It’s just that simple, if I let it be that simple.