I’m Tired of Always Having to be Strong.

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“She’s strong, but she’s exhausted.” ~ r.h. sin

I’m tired, but even that is too casual, too shallow of a description for the weariness that lies in my bones.

I’m exhausted from being strong, from acting like I have it all together, and from being everything to everyone.

I never particularly set out to be this kind of woman, yet it seems through the bitter choices and the sweet idealizations of not wanting to let anyone down, I found myself worn-out and lost, wondering if someday someone would be there for me in all the ways I have been there for them.

Perhaps it happened by mistake, because the biggest irony is that when others look at me they see me as strong. They see me as competent and able, but inside I would never label myself with those qualities because—while they see me surefooted and steady—inside I am shaking.

I tried, I really did. Every morning, despite my exhaustion, I still do.

Even when my shoulders slump, and my eyes become clouded from tears of feeling things too deeply, I breathe in and tell myself that it will all be okay—whether I feel like that or not.

I suppose I’ve been trying to be strong since before I realized what women like me were called, or that we had our own genre: The strong, independent, self-sufficient woman. It sounds nice, doesn’t it? And I guess when we are told that’s what we should become, then it’s no surprise that we manifest those qualities.

But, the problem with being this over-simplified definition of a woman? The world actually believes us.

I haven’t met one of these goddesses who, although many would describe her as such, doesn’t also long for help, for guidance, for leadership, for someone to just fall against at the end of the day. Someone she can rely on, knowing that she doesn’t have to be anything other than her beautiful self.

The truth is we can sit here with our glasses of pinot grigio saying we don’t need a man, or a warrior, but the reality is we wouldn’t be saying that if we weren’t trying to convince ourselves of that fact.

The lesson we all can learn is that there is no shame in needing someone. There is no fault in saying: “I can’t do this life thing all on my own.” There is nothing wrong with thinking that two strong hearts are better than one.

I’m so tired. I’m tired of living up to this ideal. More than that—I’m simply tired of being strong.

I long to be taken care of, not financially, for that sort of thing has never turned my head for very long, but I want a strong arm around my shoulders, someone who can hold me down, no matter the storm I endured that day.

I’m done with pretending anything. I’m done with pretending that I am so formidable.

I’m simply done with being strong when the reality is, more often than not, I feel like I’m not being myself—playing a charade of feminism.

That’s not to downplay who we are and what we deserve as women, but there’s also something to be said for embracing who we are and what feels the most natural for us. There’s something to be said for being soft.

These words are those that I ran from for so long because it seemed they had a negative connotation. After all, I was supposed to aspire to lead the ranks and smash the glass ceiling, right? It wasn’t supposed to be enough for me in this life to simply love and be loved.

And so I spun my own misery by successfully pretending that I was strong. Everyone eventually believed me. When that began to happen a sore opened inside my heart with the devastating knowledge that I could only fake it for so long.

I give up.

Not because I have failed, but because I have learned. Can I do anything, or be anyone that I need to in that moment? Yes—but does that mean I am meant to? No. I can’t do it all. At this point I am done trying.

I am done being this infallible woman who seems to be able to do anything, and whether it’s in the workplace, with family or friends, even my role as a mother—I just can’t do it any longer.

I can’t pretend that I have this ability to do it all, and not just that, but with a smile on my face. I can’t pretend I don’t need anyone to help me—that’s all I want.

Life isn’t about faking it until we make it, it’s about letting ourselves be real with what we need and want and then being willing to bleed for it.

It’s about feeling rather than thinking, and it’s about simply giving in to the passions within our hearts, and the softness of arms that feel like home. Without those things, what is the point of any of this, if it’s not to need another?

Perhaps as more time passes I’m becoming immune to being someone that others only want to see, or maybe the reality is that I’ve never been good at that. But, it seems that I’ve just grown exhausted from pretending that I am this strong.

It’s not that I am weak, but sometimes, it’s those of us that are the strongest, that end up needing someone the most.

I’m seeing that’s where I am now.

Don’t we all need someone who’s just a little bit stronger than we are? Someone who can kiss it where it hurts and hug us like nothing else matters.

Someone who can remind us that we don’t really need to be that strong—all the time.

 

~

Author: Kate Rose

Image: Sarah Diniz Outeiro/Unsplash 

Editor: Lieselle Davidson

 

 

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Anissa Martin-Rooney Oct 24, 2018 11:21am

So true! Thank you.

Vicky Morales Oct 24, 2018 3:51am

Wow!

Xuolliam Ahsirt Sep 30, 2018 2:30am

Your words always just pierce right through my soul to the parts of me buried deep within and remind me that it's all gonna be alright. Thank you.

Robyn Wallace Sep 12, 2018 8:06am

Love this. I am that woman too, picking everyone else off the floor, dusting them off and setting them back up on their feet. In my relationships with males I have had to be the mother to grown men because they were just little boys... used up and drained. I want that strong man to be there to say hey it's ok. I never wanted riches, just to make a comfortable home and have family around me which I do but everyone is so 'busy' just trying to survive, me included.

Jo Jo Purbaugh Sep 11, 2018 1:53pm

Its like you read my mind!!!! That was well written and how I have been feeling. Thank you so much for writing this.

Candy Charlene Braaf Sep 11, 2018 12:40pm

Thank you.

Laura Ann Sep 10, 2018 8:50pm

yeasssss I'm tired too!

Delfina Delfina Sep 10, 2018 5:18pm

Thank you so much.

Rose Crawford Sep 7, 2018 11:50am

As always, your words bring comfort that we are not alone. Thank you!

Darlene Buck Sep 4, 2018 2:49pm

Thank you. Well said

Deb Rebar Aug 30, 2018 2:36pm

Had to double check to make sure I didn't write this myself because it's my life story as well ;-)

Leanne Muir Aug 25, 2018 11:15pm

Wow that felt like I was telling my story, and gave myself a wake up call so needed to see that i feel lighter

Caroline McIntosh Aug 25, 2018 6:05pm

Your words touched me so much that I found myself tearing up. I do hope, a year later, that things worked out for you. That you found the strength, the release to be able to handle what you needed and had someone to help you be strong. Bless you..Sangeetha

Caroline McIntosh Aug 25, 2018 6:00pm

Funny, I didn't read who the author was as I started reading this article. However, at the end of it, having found myself inside your words, I saw who had written the piece. I kid you not, at the end, when I saw your name? I said "Aww, of course this was Kate!" You have such a beautiful way with words, using them as they should be: To paint for others what they need to "hear" or read. Thank you once again for your incredible insight and wisdom. Good to see a new piece from you, well maybe not "new" although it came across my Elephant feed just now. all the best! A total fan......

Kimberly Ann Aug 24, 2018 2:21pm

This is most likely one of the best articles I have read! Thank you Katie Rose for writing this .

Hakim N Aug 22, 2018 11:51pm

Yes! I get stonewalled everytime I am vulnerable.

Sabrina Denise Aug 22, 2018 10:20pm

Ohhhh Kate Rose- how you write the words in my heart ...

Cynthia Keefover Aug 22, 2018 3:22am

Like you were reading my thoughts of late...could not have written it better. Thank you.

Anna Thomas Aug 22, 2018 1:02am

Singing my life with these words ...

Donna Skiles Aug 18, 2018 1:53pm

This is how I feel. My husband of 47 years passed away a few months ago. Now I am alone. I just want someone to take me in their arms and say I will be there for you and never let go.

Cassandra Bellarei Aug 18, 2018 12:33pm

Thank you. Words from my heart as well.

Kelli A Burke Jun 5, 2018 2:04am

...I just want a partner in life to share the burden and the joy.

Erica Lee May 8, 2018 6:29pm

Thank you for putting into words what I have been struggling with. It's empowering to know others are feeling the same. Hugs to all of us strong women!

Jenifer Claire Collier Apr 24, 2018 4:53am

Thank you for this. It is me. I am so tired of acting like I have it all together. I am broken.

Melina Powers Mar 19, 2018 2:14am

Don’t we all need someone who’s just a little bit stronger than we are? Someone who can kiss it where it hurts and hug us like nothing else matters. <3

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Kate Rose

Kate Rose is an artist, free thinker, lover, writer, passionate yogi, teacher, mother, rule breaker, and rebel. She can usually be found walking barefoot in the moonlight between worlds with the dreams of stars still hanging in her hair, swaying her hips to the music of life and smelling of sweet bourbon and honeysuckle. She lives for adventure and wakes each morning with the excitement of a new day waiting to unfold at her feet. She truly believes the best is yet to come and waits, with bated breath, to see what it may hold. Follow her on TwitterFacebook or Instagram, and find more of her words on her website.