Warning: Adult language ahead.
We’re beat down and exhausted. Not physically, but mentally. We are tired of holding, not only our life together, but everyone else’s. We are drained and sad because we are conditioned to stay strong. But who do we break to? Who do we fall to when the weight of the world has crashed down on us? Who do we call?
We fall to ourselves. We turn to the only ones who have stayed by our side through everything—that is the beautiful woman looking back at us in the mirror. We are our backbones. We are our strength. That’s the hard part about being a strong woman. Everyone expects us to have our shit together.
They turn to us when their world has gone dark. And they look to us when it seems as if all hope is lost. But we must be strong. We can’t show our fear. We can’t express the scared, tired, little girl that is hiding inside us, so we suffer. All while holding the world up as if we are some type of superwoman.
We suffer because we sacrifice every ounce of our being to make sure our people are cared for—that they’re happy—that we can be who they count on. But who holds us up? Sometimes it’s all too much. Sometimes all we want to do is break down.
Well, strong woman, break the fuck down. It is okay. It is okay for you to be broken. It is perfectly acceptable to break and cry snot-faced cries in the middle of the day. It is perfectly okay to not recognize who you are. To feel lost, to be alone, scared, and terrified. It is, simply, just okay. You are allowed to break down. You are allowed to feel the pain, and you are fucking allowed to feel like you cannot go on another day.
But only for so long, strong woman.
Once you have shattered, once have cried your snot-faced cries and your mascara eyes have dried, it is time to pick yourself up—because we are the strong ones. We are the ones to hold our humans up. We are the ones to keep moving; people look to us for our strength and hope in life. We are the rocks—whether we chose to be or not. Whether we see our influence or not. We are who our people look to. Our experiences may have chiseled our hearts, built our walls, guarded our trust in people’s actions and words. They may have shaped our demeanor, but regardless, those experiences have allowed our people to trust in us.
We are the ones who show up. We are the ones who will answer their snot-faced crying phone calls in the middle of the night. We are the ones who will always show up. It’s simple. We just, simply, show up.
People are given a personal journey in life before they are born, and ours was to be strong. We have fought battles we did not want to fight. We have sacrificed things we should not have sacrificed. And we have, unfortunately, given up parts of ourselves to protect our people.
But you are human, my sweet, strong woman. You are alive. And you must remind yourself that you are allowed to feel. You are allowed to fight on, but you are more than allowed to just break the fuck down. But we must keep dancing and we must keep moving along.
There are beautiful things ahead for us. There are adventures with our name on it. And there is someone waiting for you. There is someone who is ready to, finally, be your rock. They are waiting to be your strong one. But for now, forgive yourself for carrying the weight of everyone else. Just show up for yourself. Be your own warrior. Stop searching and find it within yourself.
When your lessons have been learned, your heart is ready, and your mind is full, your humans will come. They will show up.
You do not need these humans like you need your beautiful, soulful self. But they are waiting. They are ready to be your Kleenex when you cry snot-faced cries. And they are ready to be your pillow when you fall. Life sucks sometimes. But it is also a beautiful thing, as long as we let ourselves see it. Find the beauty. Find the light. And just keep moving. Be your rock, but don’t forget to let yourself fall.
The hardest lesson I have learned in life is that it is okay to give myself time to heal. Life has thrown me rocks time and time again, and I keep picking them up, building my castle, and trudging along. Our strength did not come from keeling over and letting whatever it is we’re facing kick our ass. We became strong by fighting and using those rocks to hold us up.
Just don’t forget about you. You beautiful, crazy, strong, sensual, caring human.
You, strong woman, are what make this life beautiful. You are what everyone needs in their life. You are the reason for the sun, the moon, and the earth. You make the wind dance and the thunder crack. You are a force to be reckoned with, and you are strong like the waves of the fiercest storm. But you are also as fragile as the wings of a butterfly. You need time to feel and be reminded that you do not need to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. You are human. So feel it. Let it break you. Cry your snot-faced cries. But remember to breathe. Breathe it in, and let it all go.
Just don’t forget to stand back up.
Author: Stephanie Nemchik
Image: Author’s Own, Mildred Pierce
Editor: Travis May