The Inner Battles of a Twentysomething
Searching in the mirror for some answers,
some direction, some idea of whether or not
I’m what they want,
what they expect,
what they need.
Living my life, trying to be everything:
Daughter, mother, sister, friend,
Lover, counselor, maid, secretary,
And I just want to be enough
as I am.
Intelligent young woman
with many goals,
but so many worries.
How do I reconcile
the dreams of my youth
with the indecision
of my reality?
So many roles to fill
as I stretch myself thin,
trying to be mature when
I’m often a child,
Stable, to balance others’ pain,
Ambitious, when I just get so tired,
And strong, to prove that
I can make it in a man’s world -
where they’ve already stereotyped me
as emotional and insecure.
Although, secretly, I am
emotional and insecure,
but that doesn’t mean that I’m weak.
If my worth is decided by my accomplishments,
then what would be considered an accomplishment?
Going to school, graduating, maintaining a career,
getting married, having children?
All of these?
What if I were a man?
Would “accomplishment” mean something different?
What if I never marry?
Will I be labeled an unlovable eccentric?
What if I miss the “baby deadline”?
And if I have kids,
what if I stay at home to raise my kids?
Does my value as a person lessen?
These questions crowd my subconscious
like little pebbles to add to the weight
on my shoulders.
What’s the right answer?
Would the pebbles drop if I knew?
And I cannot find answers in the mirror,
but I can see the reflection of
a person full of
doubt, fear, pride, courage -
who simultaneously wants to scream
and collapse in overwhelmed frustration
and laugh at the absurdity of it all.
Because this girl – this woman, me –
has made it this far in life and
chooses to keep overcoming obstacles
and challenging societal expectations
on the journey to understanding myself,
and all women
a little better.