The Kind of Woman I Want to Be

 

I’m undecided about the kind of woman I want to be. I swing wildly between wanting to be two dramatically different women. And I worry endlessly about being the boring, blah, in-between version instead (which in turn, makes me more boring and blah).

the woman i want to be

You see, I really admire women who put it all out there. The slightly crude, drops an f-bomb or two, tells it like it is, woman. I want to be the woman who doesn’t give a crap what anyone thinks of me. She doesn’t embarrass easily. She’s confident, she’s fun, and she can throw back a tequila shot (something I’ve never been able to do). Some days I feel like her but most days, I’m not so bold.

The other woman I want to be is the poised, articulate, academic type. She’s respected and confident. She’s knowledgable about world issues and wants to leave the world a better place. She has the drive and the passion to make that happen. She knows which fork to use first at a dinner party and she can pronounce things on a fancy menu properly. Sometimes I want to be her too. [I especially wanted to be her last week when I ordered a Caprese sandwich and pronounced it caa-preece and was corrected by the waiter – it’s caa-pray-zay. This was followed by extreme embarrassment.]

I just feel like instead of just boldly being one of these women (because I am each of these, on occasion), I’m settling for somewhere in the middle. And what if that middle is just blah? What if I’m the diluted version of the woman I want to be?

I expressed this to N one day. What if I’m just a very regular person? What if there isn’t anything truly unique about me? [Insert something about “if I died” here] To which N replied, “those are really dark thoughts.” Um yeah, I guess they are. Or maybe it’s just me coming to the realization that I’m not a special snowflake, a frequent complaint about my generation.

I spend too much time worrying about making other people happy and not offending anyone. About being well-liked and not rocking the boat. And yet on the occasion that I do make the crude joke or drop a sassy one-liner, I often feel guilt later. Was it the wrong thing to say? Were people offended? Then I worry that because of this, that my words, my expressions of self, are so filtered that I lose all individuality.

I have zero desire to have fresh-cut flowers in my house all the time, to pay $140 for a pair of rubber boots (I’m looking at you, Hunters), to do Crossfit, hang tasselled garland anywhere, add glitter to random objects (I hate glitter…sorry friends, you can unfollow me now), own white furniture, or hang inspirational quotes on my wall. Kick me out of blog world, I just don’t.

I can handle being different in terms of “stuff”. But sometimes I worry that I’m doing the same thing with my personality. Altering myself to fit in with others expectations.

I want a life less filtered. I want to figure out how to be the most me version of me. I’m a work in process. But please, please, just don’t let me be boring.

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  • Omg I wrote about the exact same thing last month. Totally can relate!

  • I completely understand this dilemma. I find myself bouncing back and forth between the outgoing, compulsive woman and the calm, peace minded yoga woman. I so desperately want to be both! And a life unfiltered is the dream. I guess the biggest thing for me is just accepting me as me, and then being ok with how the world sees me. And if they see me as boring, that is their problem.

  • I can totally relate to this… being carefree or refined both seem to have their pluses, but society looks at them as being mutually exclusive instead of an individual being able to have sides of both. In the past I’ve tried molding to one or the other, but that got boring and as people we’re always adapting and changing. Being multi-dimensioned and un-boring is where it’s at! 🙂

  • I can totally relate to this… being carefree or refined both seem to have their pluses, but society looks at them as being mutually exclusive instead of an individual being able to have sides of both. In the past I’ve tried molding to one or the other, but that got boring and as people we’re always adapting and changing. Being multi-dimensioned and un-boring is where it’s at! 🙂

  • I think everyone wonders this at some point in their lives. Most of us probably wonder it several times in our lives. I love this post!

  • love this post, Nadine. I constantly struggle with bouncing between the two as well. I also really appreciate your honesty.

    also, funny story. I’ve always pronounced Caprese as “caa-pray-zay” but in South Africa, they pronounce it caa-preece. I was constantly embarrassed because they would correct me on how I would say it. I even started pronouncing it that way and had to correct myself when I moved back to the US.

  • A life less filtered – I like that. I think I often struggle with worrying about what other people think so I tend to self-censor too (I ask, was that socially inappropriate? Will they hate me later?).

    Perhaps it comes from a place of insecurity. Nonetheless, love your blog entries, You have me absolutely hooked!

  • I may not know you in the real world, but as far as your blog persona is concerned, you’re anything but boring. I think every woman (or blogger at least) struggles with this and I think the ones who come across as one cohesive image do MUCH filtering to make it appear that way. But I know exactly how you feel and I have the same mental debate all the time even when it comes to what photos I “should” post to Instagram. I say just keep it real and it’ll never be boring. xo

  • You know I love who you are.

    I think it all comes down to the company you keep. You can be the classy lady with one group and curse like a sailor with another group. I’m a different person around different people.

  • JC

    I am with you 100% on the hunter, glitter, and garland. I just don’t understand said obsessions. And i feel exactly like this. I often feel this way with everything from the way I dress to my career path. I feel so boring, but in the end i always wonder how much it really matters. I mean am i happy, would being a better, more interesting me actually make more happy? I mean it might right? but it might not too. So then here we go again taking the middle of the line and just kind of rolling with it. I could go on about this for like days.

  • You have a Harry Potter wand on your wall, I can assure you, you’re anything but boring. But I think this is something we all struggle with.

  • You took all my thoughts and basically put them into this blog post! Thank you!!

  • Nadine, I think this post resonates with a lot of women our age. We want to be it all, do it all, etc. and I think many of us have a really hard time finding that balance. Thank you for sharing your thoughts so many of us, myself included, can relate to!

  • Preach, sister! I completely feel the same way. But I think part of figuring out your identity IS essentially seeing how you personally like to balance these two characters, or whichever two or three or eighteen characters you’re deciding between. Nobody likes too much of anything anyway, right?

    And also, there are so many restaurant words I can’t pronounce. Or sometimes, I can pronounce it and the waiter can’t or my eating partner can’t and it’s just so much weird.

  • I feel this struggle in every aspect of my life. Along with what you mentioned over and over again I ask myself who I want to be. The girl who happily lives in the suburbs in a nice house or the carefree one who resides in the city in a box. Or how about the young and fun single 20 something or a responsible wife. How do I know which is right?

  • You know, I’ve been to Italian restaurants in American where I say “Ca-pray-zay” (I studied Italian and that makes me classy, yeah?) and the server totally says “Ca-preece”back to me when verifying my order. And apparently it’s bru-sket-ta instead of bru-shet-ta, but oh well, I like the second better.

    And there’s nothing wrong with being considerate. Being afraid of rocking the boat isn’t a bad thing, it’s more like choosing your battles and not being a senseless drama queen. And I think sophisticated ladies are awesome when they can take that ca-preece sandwich and tell someone when to shove it, because nobody puts baby in a corner.

  • are we the same person? I’m 100 % serious. im with you on all of this. I especially agree about being in the middle. and especially about hunter boots, crossfit and glitter.

  • I can completely relate. I think as we get older we have been through many seasons of life and we try to figure out who we want to be now. Who we want to be remembered as. Who we can be that makes us happy. There is nothing wrong with that as long as you figure it out.

  • I think the last thing you could ever be is boring. When I read your blog, I see someone who is very colorful and full of life. I see someone who is classy, but has a little bit of sass and some edge as well. I see someone who is smart and good at expressing herself. I see someone who is passionate about a lot of different things. I see someone who is unafraid to be herself, even if she feels like sometimes that makes her the odd one out (for the record, I don’t want to put glitter on random crap either. Glitter gets everywhere and that’s just annoying as heck!).

    You’re never boring, Nadine, no matter how in-between or filtered down a version of yourself you feel. That’s why I keep coming back to your blog time and again. 🙂

  • i love this post. sometimes I feel like I need to fit into a personality that I see in others, or have this trait or that. but I fail to be confident in just me often. and I will not buy hunters. hello $25 knock offs. i like you.

  • Samantha

    I love this. Seriously. We all get so caught up in what everyone else is doing and what everyone else has and at the end of the day, WE are the ones that need to be happy with ourselves. Everyone’s happiness comes from something different and being exactly who they are meant to be 🙂

  • Wow! I can totally relate. I think we sometimes can get so caught up in the sum of what we are we forget to just be! It’s all apart of the process though. You’re exactly who you’re supposed to be! Thanks for reassuring me I’m not alone 🙂

    -Melody @ http://www.MAREVOL.com

  • I think we all reach this point multiple times in our lives. I’m more on the crass side, but I hate confrontation and I hate offending people so I’m also very filtered, especially in my blogs (also because I know my family is reading !).
    From what I’ve read in your blogs, I think you’re a great person and the fact that you blog alone makes you very unboring. I love reading your blogs.
    If you ever want to live your life a little less boring, just make your bucket list. Add a few things that are out of your comfort zone, but that you think would be fun, and go for it! Couldn’t hurt.

  • I don’t think there is any reason to think or say you should be kicked out of the blog world for not liking something. It would be boring if every blogger liked and did the same exact things. Personally I love hanging quotes, and adding little glittery touches to my office space but I don’t think differently of someone who doesn’t – to each their own. I understand your struggle to become the women who want to be – I do as well and I know I am still learning and probably will till the day I die. I guess I’m trying to say don’t sell yourself short or think you are “failing” if you aren’t into certain trends – because that is what they are – trends that will come and go – maybe you will love the next one, maybe you won’t and that is ok. I think you are a success for examining yourself and the world you live in and trying to decide how you fit it – life is all about learning, growing, and experiencing and it sounds to me that you are doing just that.

  • How did you know that I recently wrote a post very similar to this?! I wrote about how I’m not “cool,” but actually, I am very cool. I’ll let you figure that one out: http://emily-makes.com/i-am-not-cool/

    Anyway, this is a great post. I often feel conflicted like this too.

  • It’s like you’ve taken the thoughts right out of my mind, lol. I’m the same way and it drives me bonkers. I can definitely relate with this whole paragraph too:

    “I have zero desire to have fresh-cut flowers in my house all the time, to pay $140 for a pair of rubber boots (I’m looking at you, Hunters), to do Crossfit, hang tasselled garland anywhere, add glitter to random objects (I hate glitter…sorry friends, you can unfollow me now), own white furniture, or hang inspirational quotes on my wall. Kick me out of blog world, I just don’t.”

    Minus the quotes, because I do love them. But all that other junk? Nope.

  • This totally hits home with me. I’m 24 and feeling the exact same way right now. I want to be this awesome outgoing, riveting person while also being a classy, poised, admired young lady. Since I can’t get my shit together sometimes I’m the first person and sometimes I’m the second, which probably makes everyone around me think I’m bipolar. Great post! I’m glad I’m not the only one out there who feels this way 🙂

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  • oh nadine, you speak the same things as me, but in the opposite direction. i’m that tequila shot throwing, curse word using girl. my love for my boldness has grown over the last few years, but I believe only because of Jason.

    you see, it’s not cool or kosher or all kinds of words to be a drinking, cursing, God-loving girl. like, supposedly, that’s all impossible. And while I know all those things can live in one woman, i’m still terrified that i’m not allowed to be contradictory. that my life is supposed to be all kinds of holy as church always said. i try to silence the boldness, to stifle my deep desire to lead and change conversations (churchy and otherwise), to take on the roll as a not-rocker-of-the-boat. it makes me all kinds of stressed out and then i usually come to jason crying and he always says the same thing:

    “you’re being afraid of who you were made to be which means you’re crossing out what makes you unique. stop editing before you change the story of yourself, amber.”

    and, somehow I think you’ll appreciate what’s there in that truth. what makes you unique is your respect for women who are bold and boisterous while simultaneously treasuring the classy, confident woman because that’s rare (says that girl who’s been told I’m too much to be friends with). you’re a special snowflake that’s acutely aware of the special-ness of each snowflake around you –something that’s charming and dear and uncommon, it seems.

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  • A motivating discussion is worth comment.
    I do believe that you should publish more on this subject, it may not be a taboo subject but usually people do not talk about these issues.
    To the next! All the best!!

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