Independent Happiness – Powerful Woman Monologue #6
About the Author: Teacher Girl is a single 20-something who writes an anonymous personal blog where she deals with everything from being a high school English teacher and freelance photographer, to dating and the uncertainty of life in he 20’s. She is sarcastic, funny, passionate, and kind-hearted. In her free time she loves writing, taking pictures, dancing, eating, sleeping, and traveling. Oh, and she might be a tad obsessed with her cat.
“Don’t you want a cart?”
“Let me help you to your car.”
“Are you sure you don’t need help?”
I hear these things each and every day as I make my way around my city. It was as I was grocery shopping yesterday and asked for the third time on that one trip if I didn’t want a cart, that I realized just how fiercely independent I tend to be.
It isn’t as if I don’t appreciate the gestures of these well meaning gentlemen, but the constant look of shock and worry about my carrying heavy things gets to be a bit tiresome after awhile. Yes, I realize that I am rather petite. At 5’3 and a curvy but average build, I guess I do not look as if I can manage heavy lifting. And yes, there are times that I do need help, but I also am more than capable of asking. This not to say that I am against chivalry or people helping each other, but I am certainly against the stigma that all women help to do the most basic of tasks, like shopping at the grocery store.
If I think about it, I have never had a choice in being on my own. Being the only child of a single mother meant my childhood was spent mostly alone and I was expected to manage. That meant coming home from school, making my own snack, and taking care of myself until my mother got home from work, and this was at age six. Later, when my mother married and had other children, I was already a teenager, expected to help and contribute.
I moved out of the house at 17 and never really looked back. It wasn’t a question, and now a nearly decade later at age 26, I can do almost everything I need to in life on my own. A boatload of groceries, rearranging the furniture, taking out the trash; I’ve got this. Despite my changing relationship statuses over the past decade, I have always been powerfully independent.
I guess the point in all of this is that I have come to know my female power not out of some sense of inherent right, but out of necessity. I don’t consider myself a feminist, more a “choice-ist.” If a woman wants to go work, put her career and personal life first, and never have children, let her. If she wants to spend her days raising her kids and maintaining her house, she should be able to do that too. My own mother was a college and career woman, who later spent a decade as a mother and housewife when my younger siblings were born. No one choice is any better than the other, and that, to me, is what epitomizes female power and equality of the sexes.
Sometimes I wonder if my independence is the reason I am not married. I am okay my own; I want what I want and I am not afraid of it. Though I have dreams and the longing to settle down and have children, this desperate want is also my biggest fear, and in that I guess is both the complexity of being a woman and the confusion of being a 20-something.
Though the ever-present question in my life seems to be “will you ever get married?” (I hear it from my students, family, and friends) I don’t worry all that much about it anymore. I have independent happiness. I am okay alone; and it doesn’t make me a lesbian, spinster, crazy cat lady, or someone who is afraid of commitment, it just makes me ME.
About the series: Powerful Woman Monologues are compiled in response to the media’s representation of women as inspired by the film Miss Representation. If you would like to participate, email me. Any kind of creative contribution is welcome from anyone.
Special thanks to Ashley of Little Leaf Photography & Design for graciously creating the badge for our series!