Last week, I wrote a blog post about feeling like the past two years of my life had been a detour around and away from myself. That same evening, I reread an essay by Laurie Penny recounting how she spent her twenties playing the supporting actress in various men's stories rather than the lead actress in her own.
Her words helped me see how my detour was a way of being someone else's story in order to avoid writing my story. Why? Well, as Penny writes,
After college, it seemed easier to join a boy's story (heyyy string of stable boyfriends with full time jobs and salaries) than to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life (because blogger/astrologer/idea-haver doesn't sell so well at family dinner). It felt safer to be on a pre-existing path than to strike out on my own in the dark. But, as Penny also writes, being That Girl never seemed to stick:
So, last week when I wrote that I felt I was on the precipice of real change, I realize now that I'm just on the precipice of growing up. I always thought that I was going to be the girl in someone else's story. As fiercely independent as I am, I still imagined my life attached to a man's (blame this on growing up in the South, watching too many rom-coms, etc.).
But 2016 has been a real wake up call that no man is coming (or sticking) around with the perfect story for me to attach myself to. So now I find myself doing the work of being a grown woman. I'm channelling my inner Beyoncé (slay) and writing my own story.
And 2017 is going to be a big year -- a huge year for me. My first year of full financial independence. My first year of feeling at home in Chicago. My first year of working to start my own business. It feels like my first year of real freedom.
What do you hope 2017 holds for you, you grown women? How can we grow together?
amazing gif by the amazing Pop Aesthete