(a letter, really)
but sometimes I just need to stand up for me.
I’ve been the girl that will do, say, help, volunteer, smile, help, and never every want to ruffle a feather.
Sometimes I would just stand there with the feeling of incredulousness inside while the words yes, sure, I suppose I could do that come out of my mouth in betrayal. You know what I mean – when every bone in your body is screaming no way I can’t handle one more thing right now and how can afford those supplies and I don’t even really like baking and yet the smile and nodding and saying no problem somehow trump. And then, then I would drive home wondering why in the world I couldn’t just state that I simply could not do that but thanks for thinking of me at this time.
I learned at a young age that being agreeable meant less conflict. I didn’t want to be picked on and bullied anymore so instead I kind of became the person that would attempt to do anything to not create drama. But then the drama would build and build and build like a mountain of irritation inside.
I’d be mad at myself.
I’d be mad at others.
I’d be overworked.
Fast forward twenty years. And I’ve still been there.
And not always standing up for, well, me.
I hope you’ll understand when I tell you that now I might tell you no, I cannot. Or that whatever you said to me hurt my feelings. Or that I think that we need to do something different.
Don’t get me wrong.
I’m okay with listening. I’ll listen and seek to understand and holy moly I’ll pick my battles.
But I won’t forget me in the middle.
I won’t forget that sometimes it is better to say no than it is to say yes. Or that other times it is better to walk away then to try to drive yourself crazy trying to be heard.
Because the truth? And this is the truth for you as well.
You are worth it.
Let me tell you that one more time.
You are worth it.
You are worth it and it’s time that you see it, feel it, and hear it just like I have had to do. It’s not easy. We live in a world of facades and do this and wear this and act like this and sometimes it’s really crazy hard to draw a line in the sand and to say enough. But when we say enough and we learn to fight and love ourselves then we also begin to be a bit of real in a saturated world of hypothetical expectations.
Because that is what they so often are.
We can be amazing moms and giving people and we can still say no. Yes, yes, yes. That. Because there are seasons in our lives where no is the only answer – when there are new babies or crazy finances or you’re simply tired. Really. Listen. There is no guilt in saying no and doing what is right for you and not doing what you feel like you need to do at the moment to keep the status quo or because that’s just what we need to do.
So I hope you understand. Those are my words now.
Because the truth is this: I want to live and make an impact in this world. I don’t want to judge and pit women against each other. I don’t want to think this way is the best way versus that way versus that way versus that way. Us women have a great deal of work to be doing. And we really don’t have time to get stuck in mommy wars or throwing expectations on others. And, and, and… we need to be okay with others saying no and doing what is best for their families and themselves. Yes. That.
I think that’s it.
That’s what happens when I fly.
I think at 36k feet.
And today, today I thought I’d write those words. Because I think there are some of you out there who absolutely needed to read them as well. So today, today, I give you permission to fight for you. To say no. To say yes.
And to feel no guilt doing what you need to do.
Yes! You spoke right to my soul.
Absolutely, dear friend, we need to be able to say “NO”. It took me a very long time….I also needed to always add, “thank you for thinking of me”. But sometimes, it is the best answer….for you, for your children, for your sanity. And when we always say yes to every job, we are not going to be able to give our best or even our mediocre. Hold fast…..you have your priorities right.
I am one of those people that needs to hear your message today. Thank you for writing this.