girl boundaries

I'm The Girl Who Will Never Stop Pushing Boundaries, And I'm Proud Of It

And I don't care what you have to say about it.

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I've been a dreamer and a doer all in one ever since I was young. I never let my gender stop me from doing anything, and I will never start.

I remember it vividly. It was a summer's day and I was outside on my bike with my brother playing cops and robbers – I was about 8 years old. If you don't know how the game works, if you were the cop, the goal of the game was to hit your bicycle tire on the robber's tire to make them stop and basically fall over, and if you were the robber, you had to escape. This doesn't make a difference to the point of the story, but it's a piece I remember sharply.

Well, my brother and I played that game for hours. I'd crawl back to the house with scrapes and bruises from falling over too many times because he (who is 2 years older than me) was always faster at getting away and better at catching me. One day, I got so sick of the game and always losing that I used all my might to ride as fast as I could away, and by doing this, I went around the block alone.

That was a big no-no. As I was on my escapade, my brother went inside the house to tell my mom that I broke her rule of not leaving the street without him. When I came back from my joy ride, I saw her standing there on the front lawn, arms crossed, hip to the left, and in my youth, with steam blowing from her ears. I got pulled inside, plopped down on the couch as she knelt in front of me with a finger wagging in my face as she said, "You know you aren't allowed to go around the block alone."

But it felt unfair. I was 8 years old and my brother was allowed to ride around the neighborhood alone when he was my age... why couldn't I? So I asked her, ballsy as hell, why can't girls be treated the same way boys are? Of course, my mother was disappointed not in me but society and said that it's just the way it is.

It turns out that just around the block from my house, a registered sex offender had moved in and my mom was worried that her little girl would be a target. She had warned my brother to steer clear of that area and trusted that he would, but it was different with me because I was a girl. I don't blame her because she was trying her best to take care of me, but it's terribly sad that girls are seen as weak links and too emotionally fragile to deal with the hard facts.

And so I decided to become a journalist where my profession would be based on those facts. This revelation came many years later, but I do think it stems from this experience in one way or another. Ever since then, I've always tried to change the dialogue in any way I can by talking to people who have a very one-track mind when it comes to gender roles.

Recently, I was having a conversation with someone when she asked me what my plans are for after I graduate in the spring. I told her that it's my dream to get a job in New York City so I can live up there, be back by my family and be in an area that I've always felt the most comfortable in, and she asked me if I had a boyfriend who I would be moving up with. I told her our plan is to go up together as long as everything works out and she said, "That's great, at least you can have someone to depend on."

That's where the defeat starts to settle in again. There's this aura of doubt that a woman can do anything on her own, especially something as big as moving to a big city. Of course, it's going to be easier having him come with me, but it could be equally as easy to move in with a friend who is a girl. I told her that I definitely understand the sentiment, but I don't depend on anyone other than myself. She nodded and wished me the best of luck as most people would, and I left.

I normally would have let the comment go, but if we don't stop them from happening, people will never learn how much their words have an impact. Women do not need to depend on men to survive. It's been made very clear that they are more than capable, so this essence of doubt needs to diminish.

I'm the girl who will never stop pushing boundaries and I don't care what anyone has to say about it. You can think I'm crazy for dreaming big and for pushing to get there, but I'll be the one to show you that I can do anything.

Cover Image Credit:

Eli DeFaria

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs. In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm..

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Being Ugly

What it means to me

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Due to a series of ongoing events throughout my semester, I've reconsidered what it means for someone to truly be ugly. Though it is often used in terms of appearance, I do not see it as such-- now more than ever. Ugliness runs deeper than appearance-- it runs within one's soul and festers into other areas of one's life, particularly in their treatment of others.

I view ugliness as someone's conscious capacity and implementation of malice. Taking time and energy out of your day to hurt someone else, that's what I view as ugly. Some offenses are more minor than others, however, it is still a conscious effort to hurt or affect someone else negatively-- and that's the source of the problem. I truly wonder what causes that sort of behavior in someone, as I, along with most people, simply do not invest time or energy into hating or plotting against others. It seems like a full-time job.

I can theorize all sorts of reasons as to why someone would act this way: hate, jealousy, vengeance, etc. Yet, all of these reasons don't hit the root reason. It almost seems that some people are just innately ugly in their soul. This alludes to the timeless debate of whether one's personality is due to nature or nurture. Again, although our surroundings and environment do have a large effect in our behavior, that alibi only goes so far when multiple people are placed in the same environment, in the same situation, and only some are willing to cross moral boundaries in order to hurt the others. Just because an environment applies pressure to people, does not mean everyone is going to act out in malice, and it certainly does not give everyone an excuse to do so. Some people are simply conniving and, well, ugly inside.

If you have ever encountered people like this, I know from personal experience that it is such a drag. You have an enemy, essentially, whether you chose to or not, however based on their hatred towards you, they are now considered an enemy, a hater, and any other associated term. Know that they will do anything in their power to bring you down, even if it requires bending the truth and creating elaborate schemes, but you have to keep on doing you. Let them obsess over ways to bring you down. At the end of the day, their time and energy is being invested into bringing you down, while yours is being used to build yourself up. They will fall by default. So, keep your head high, act in grace, and make your money. They can sip on their Haterade and watch from below.

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