It’s Tuesday. I’m sitting here after a particularly draining session with my personal trainer. I told her I needed to work so hard that my brain shut off. I’ll feel my abs until Saturday and my brain is still going.
I’m tired. Exhausted is actually a better word. If there a word more severe than exhausted that’s actually the right word, but I don’t know it. Physically yes, but also mentally and emotionally.
It comes in waves. The frustration. With the “boys will be boys” and the “that’s just who they are” and the need to put on a smile and go about life as if everything is just perfectly fine because it’s easier if you play the ostrich.
I volley between angry and heartbroken and scared. Sometimes I feel all three. Mostly, just heartbroken and scared.
I see things I didn’t see a year ago. I’m more tender to them. I react differently. I don’t laugh at the unfunny jokes. Sometimes, when I’m brave I even say I don’t find them funny. Occasionally, I open my mouth and say more. I wish I didn’t regret it, but often do.
I don’t want to be that person. The stick in the mud. The angry feminist. The raging voice that grates and annoys.
But I am angry. And I am a feminist. If only because I realize now how it’s still necessary to be one. We still live in a world where men find assault or the bragging about it okay, or worse, funny. Women who still blame the victim. We still have bullies who haven’t been taught our personhood is a right not because we are someone’s wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend but because we EXIST.
And I don’t know what else to do with my voice. I’m tired of swallowing it down and smiling and running away and keeping peace. Maybe people need to be annoyed? Why aren’t more people annoyed? Why aren’t more women just PISSED?
I don’t know how to find the balance yet. I don’t sit well in tension. I worry, I fret. I want people to like me. But I don’t know how long I can want that because as much as I want to be liked, I want things to change more.
I’m angry and heartbroken and sad. I’m more than exhausted. I’m absolutely terrified and uncomfortable and I don’t know if any of the things I do or words I say are going to matter one tiny little iota.
But I won’t be quiet.