This morning, I woke up tired. Not just sleepy, or in a lingering trance from the previous night’s fading dreams. My head felt like it was filled with a thick fog, and my eyes were unwelcoming of the morning’s blinding sun beams.
Today begins another day of the same old routine and I was tired of it. I was tired of living as a woman in a man’s world. I was tired of being summed up by the opinions of men who can’t handle my confidence. I was tired of my decisions being questioned. I was tired of my orders being defied by insubordination and chauvinism. I was tired of being expected to act like a lady but keep up with the guys. I was tired of being told that the insults laced with sarcasm are just jokes. I was tired of my feelings and emotions being laughed off as a weakness.
But I get up and go through the routine of my day, with walls around my heart, and swords in my back pocket, ready to defend myself at a moment’s notice. I put on a strong front and hide the emotions coursing through my body. I do this hour after hour, till all that I have to and want to do are done.
But as the day came to an exhausting close, I feel the weight of my sleepy eyelids, the impending headache and the humming ache of my heart. I realize I am done feeling this way. I am done living in constant conflict and reservation, doubt and insecurity. I am tired of my attitude being altered by patronage and condescension. I am tired of my choices coming second after others.
Because I know that I am strong. I am smart. I am confident. I will not let others define me. I have opinions I am not afraid to express. I make decisions that I do not regret. I have feelings that I am not ashamed of.
I decide then that I will no longer allow the insecurity and arrogance of others dictate my life. I am a woman, and I am strong. I will not let others decide the worthiness of my love, the value of my voice, the merit of my contributions. I will not let others ridicule my choices.
In those final moments of the night, as the sky turned to black and the stars started to peek out from behind the trees, I felt this resolve wash over my body. In my moment of the awakening, I felt my mind clear, and my heart lift. I felt the clouds of doubt and uncertainty part. I felt the promise of the twinkling stars. I fell asleep then, with a renewed purpose to live my life loudly, boldly and peacefully.
Sarah Ritter is a writer and poet whose first poetry collection “Inspirations, Transformations and Revelations: A Poetic Expression of My Personal Journey,” was published in March 2019. In her spare time she writes for her online blog and creates homemade greeting cards.
You can read more of her writing at Sarah Ritter’s Revelations…A Collection of My Poems & Short Stories