On a longer boat trip yesterday, I settled down to read and take a much needed nap. It was the close to another long and tiring weekend, that also ended up being personally challenging as well. I am the type of person that very much lives in my head and to me, I am always the problem and while I am cognizant of that fact, and despite my near constant failure, I am always looking to be better, to do better, to be the perfection I see in everyone else. So, I was excited when I found this article (http://qz.com/762868/giving-up-alcohol-opened-my-eyes-to-the-infuriating-truth-about-why-women-drink/) on my news feed and settled down to read it. At first it was awesome and I could not have agreed more and it made me feel a little better about myself until the end. The piece closed with the author and a a few other women, at the 'deep end' of the pool essentially judging a group of other women at the 'shallow end' for drinking at a bachelorette party. Not only did it ruin the article, it made me sad. Sad that here was an otherwise awesome and relatable article for women in general that became over-shadowed, at least for me, again by the fact that women always feel the need to judge others to validate their life. It made me sad for the author because she has a story to tell, she has needs, wants, feelings and failures, but why add that part at the end. The little part that invalidates the women's lives she is judging, for reasons unbeknownst to me, because it did not seem an imperative to the story that she was writing, unless I misread the whole piece and the only point she was trying to convey was that she was at some form of higher understanding which made her better than other women who still drink, even just a little. But, it didn't seem like that.
It got me thinking about why I was so bothered by it. Then I started thinking about all the women I smiled at this weekend at the regatta only to be met with scowls, some have been doing it for years but year after year I keep smiling. Like I have said before sailing is one of the most misogynistic activities a woman can participate in, silly me for thinking other women would want a conspiratorial grin (we made it through another day) much less to talk after a day of being out on the water with 3 men in a 22 ft boat. There are definitely awesome women sailors, who love to talk about the day on the water, and just because you want to be friendly with someone, it does not mean they have to be friendly with you, but for me it will always sucks because I do take it personally and like I said, I am aware of my short comings, believe me. I just wish that us women could be better to each other sometimes, nay, all the times. Not just more understanding, but more forgiving.
You see, I am sure all of this thinking is precipitated by my upcoming birthday and thinking about the past year. My 33rd year on this planet has been an weird one. Fun, but frustrating. I have gotten closer to some awesome people, went on adventures with some cool cats, have been frustrated by my near constant failures concerning employment and other areas, have gotten to spend a ton of time with family, and in general am still trying to figure out who I am in all of this. How can I be better, how can I be like the people I know, how can I be less frustrating, more perfect. I keep waiting for myself to figure it out, like everyone else has. What can be said when the same issues you had at 17, 23, and 27 crop up still when you are 33? My biggest question in all of this continues to simply be, "When will I grow up?" As weird as I am, I cannot be the only one with insecurities.
So as you can see, with all of this, it is easy to sit back and let my jealousy of all of you guide my need to judge. But, that is the one thing I can honestly say I am and have been cognizant about in the last year and it was why I was so bothered by the end of the article. It is why I am bothered by smile thing. So many of you are doing awesome an amazing things, when I see pictures, when I talk to you, whenever something negative floats into my head, and lets be honest we all do it, I have been mentally slapping myself. Not a face palming gesture, but a literal bitch slap to myself in my brain and chastising to stop it. Stop it because we all feel crappy sometimes so we need to live in our triumphs and perfect moments. I mentally slap myself to stop wishing people felt my failures or failure period, because they most likely do have their own. I don't want to be the kind of person who judges someone I know nothing about, and I most certainly do not want to be the kind of person who judges someone I know a lot about, because as much as we know them we are not them. So instead of judging someone, next time think about why. Is it our own failures driving us? Can we reconcile our personal experiences to the world around us and realize everyone has a different experience? Most of all, for all of my lady friends out there, think about how awesome our lives would be if we embraced each other instead of the constant competing. To women we know and don't know, lets offer each other a bit of grace because we most likely are NOT going to get it from anywhere else, so lets give each other the grace we deserve. We all strive for perfection, but for those of you I know, you are all pretty perfect to me, and for those women I don't I am sure you are too in your own way. It might not be you, but the society we live in.