Tuesday, November 08, 2011

A time to fight, a time to acquiesce?

***Keep in mind that I'm writing this post while on Benadryl and Prednisone in large amounts. Anything I write should be taken with a grain of salt and any glaring errors should be overlooked.***

There was a time when someone telling me that I couldn't do something served to raise my hackles and make me try even harder.  I remember one time when we were at the feed store picking up some rabbit feed.  We ordered our feed in the building and then took the car around to the loading dock.  I must have been about 12 or so. It was Mom, Ben and I there.  We pulled up along side the loading dock and Ben and I got out of the car to start loading the feed.  I reached for a bag of feed so that I could put it in the car.  As I did so, one of the mill workers told me that I couldn't do that because I was a girl.  I don't remember saying anything, Mom says fire burned in my eyes. I remember picking up that bag of feed and putting it in the back of the van.  I was so determined to do it.  The mill hand told me to come back when I was older and get a job.
It wasn't a big deal.  Loading a bag of feed isn't hard work or important work.  My intense desire to do so was largely caused by being told I couldn't because I was a girl.  Now, I don't mind letting the guys do the work, but they all know that I can.  And my brothers know that if they ever tell me I can't do something because I'm a girl, they'd better watch out.
But things are changing.  Maybe it's just because I'm tired of it all, maybe it's because I'm learning to accept my limits,  maybe it's something else, but now, someone telling me I can't simply hurts and makes me angry.  It no longer stirs me to try and prove a point.
I experienced this recently.  Someone outright telling me that I couldn't do something for a not great reason.  My initial response wasn't my normal, "oh yes I can!  just you wait and see", but just anger and pain.  And then maybe even a little bit of acceptance.  Not full acceptance, but some.

I could fight it.  I could do what it is that they said I couldn't because I know I can if I'm given the chance.  But I'd be doing it just to prove a point and it might not be worth it.  I wonder how many of the battles I have fought have been to prove a point, either to myself or to someone else. I wonder how things would change if I stopped fighting to prove a point, stopped trying to measure up and simply accepted that I don't have to prove my worth to anyone, myself included.

1 comment:

Valerie said...

Good stuff. My initial response when reading it was "no! fight! reach for your full potential!", but really, it can be a pride issue, & ultimately you're very right, none of it determines your worth. My end thoughts actually tie back in with your chosen title-- if there are other more valuable things that can be done with your time, why waste it in proving yourself to people who doubt you? (How much do people like that usually even care if you prove them wrong? Sometimes a lot, but usually it's just stuff.) People should see how awesome one is by what one chooses to do & say, not what one chooses to prove.