I would consider myself a strong woman. I am in my late 30's, have had my fair share of ups and downs and have always had a strong personality. I was raised by both my parents - a headstrong Mother and a dad that often would come in after the fact and soothe my soul. I learned to stand up for myself and my beliefs at an early age because I was taught to speak my mind and while this did not serve me well in my late teens and early 20's, in my 30's I have learned to control that impulse that those fiery Aries are known for and to carry on being a more grown-up version of who I used to be. Lately, though, I realize that the balance of both are becoming more and more critical as I continue to 'grow up.' People seem to seek one aspect of personality, but when confronted have no idea how to manage it.
A word I have started to actively dislike is the word 'needy.'
This is a word I have been called as of late, and when I talk to people about it and how I feel about it they look at me as to say 'you didn't know'? At first, I was amused by this concept but as I let the idea marinate - I started to wonder how all of my values were being questioned by merely being me and sharing what I desire in my life. It is a weird feeling to really challenge yourself and reflect on how others 'view' you. I consider myself a very good person and thought I was viewed the same as I felt - proof that as you get older, you can be still naive about how people see and perceive you despite your best efforts.
I spoke about how I felt with one of my best guy friends and his response to me was "Suzie - there is nothing wrong with knowing what you want." That made me feel better, but then made me feel even more conflicted because I agree with that 100%. So why is it viewed negatively by both men and women that when a woman knows what she wants and verbalizes it, she shamed and considered "needy." Perhaps it is because so many cannot - or maybe because so many just don't know how to respond to it - regardless it still hurts - a lot. Being told you are 'needy' is in my mind no better than being told you are sucking the life out of someone - literally.
The Power of Words
Women have a hard time finding ways to express themselves in our society. It is hard when trying to relate to men or women because each sex has a fantastic way of finding ways to create doubt in the mind of the speaker - often merely with a look. Having high expectations of yourself and others though...is that a problem? Having high standards as a woman makes you look like a bitch - while men having high standards makes them successful and desirable. That doesn't seem fair now, does it?
My mother always taught me "Suzanne - if you want something - ask for it," and I have always kept that near and dear to my heart. What I ask from my friends is not monetary or material - it is simply to be treated by the Golden Rule. I simply ask for honesty, friendship, respect and fun and somehow to some that has come across as being "needy." I wonder though - if you don't 100% love and enjoy a relationship, what the point to staying in it - friends or romantic?
Is Being Needy OK?
If having high standards makes me needy, I guess I am needy. Despite having serious contempt for that word, if society needs to label a professional woman with a University Degree who knows what she wants and has the skills to verbalize it, I guess that is what I will have to live with. Will I continue to feel ashamed that the standards I try and show others are simply the ones I hope to receive back - no. Will I hold people accountable for that - depends on our relationship, but I refuse to lower my standards for people who cannot see the value in who I am as a person. You give me 100% - I will always give you back 200%, and that is where the best relationships lie.
Be You - At All Costs
I have an incredible sense of integrity and authenticity to myself. I did a lot of soul searching through my 20's to the present and the person I am today isn't who I was yesterday. I can't be, and every day is a new day to start again and remember who you are is who you are. Your expectations, body, gender, life...it is you. If you don't like an aspect - work on changing it, but be true to yourself always. Sometimes we all need to be selfish - not at the expense of harming others, but sometimes you need to focus on you for a bit and decide what makes you happy and go after it. If others don't like it or cannot accept it - that is OK. Be You. Always Be You.
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