I thank God daily for the person he made me! Maybe it is vanity, maybe I am disillusioned.. but I have always genuinely liked myself. Regardless of the societal norm, regardless of what someone may actually say to me or of me- I am okay with who I am.
I get very tired of apologizing for having a "strong" personality. To be perfectly honest, I LOVE being a strong, independent woman. It is simply the way I was wired.
I was discussing this "label" of mine with a friend taking a few classes in aromatherapy and aesthetics.. that perhaps it is not so much that I have a strong personality as perhaps my energy is strong. I feel. I taste. I question. I live.
One of the hardest things to do is to tame your spirit. I have tried and tried for years to come off more genteel, or pristine, or passive or calming or.. whatever. The truth is, I am a strong woman. I embrace my energy. I embrace my passion.
There are a ton of women out there that embody the qualities (personality wise) that I admire. Usually, when I select someone as a friend (and they are female), they will typically have a very "strong" personality. While I use that word strong, I want to make it completely clear that the word does NOT mean - angry, or bossy, or manipulative. I am talking women who are survivors, fighters, truth-seekers, or passionate. You can be all these things, without giving up your femininity or a smile. The difference is, we choose to be kind because it is a choice, not out of fear, or because we are told we should.
One of my biggest goals as a teenager was to be successful. To me - success meant that I was capable of taking care of myself, without the help of anyone else, and to be able to pursue my interests without any misgiving. I am not completely sure where this thought process comes from. It is not as if I grew up without a father. I did, and my parents are still together. My father was even the bread winner. It is not as if my father or mother beat me, so the need for physical protection was not ingrained in me. I did, however, grow up with a lot of "push" from very strong women in my life. Push to be the best.. and yes, that could wear any kid down.. but in the end, it did not dictate who I am.
I just knew I wanted to be able to take care of me. I wanted to do things my way. I wanted to pursue any interest I wanted. I wanted to love without any inhibitions. I want more than anything to be completely used up before I die. I want every ounce of my talent, every fiber of my being - to be used the way God intended.
I try so hard to expose myself to new ideas, new activities, new people. I wait for that one thing to "click" and then I embrace it and add it to my personality.
I think part of my struggle this year (that in the end strengthened me) was that I did indeed marry an arab. Who happens to be a devout muslim - who just so happens to believe in the traditional role of a wife. What is interesting is that the qualities of my independence is what was a draw for him. What I do like, is he taught me how to be me - and compromise, something that is not an easy concept for someone like me.
I am grateful and I am full of passion for life.
I am strong, and I refuse to apologize.
What about you? What label are you sometimes stuck with, and how do you embrace it??