It’s almost 5 A.M. in Chicago and I just spent the past 30 minutes walking home. I did so by myself- a stubborn habit I’ve adapted due to impatience waiting for public transportation at this hour and an as attempt to retrieve the serenity I feel when I’m alone after an entire evening spent socializing over too many cocktails.
What would probably be considered an average Saturday night for most 21-year-olds, I’ve somehow seized as an opportunity to confront a conflict I wasn’t quite sure existed in the first place. The conflict being myself vs. the alter-ego I like to think I portray.
I write about women’s issues and I call myself a feminist because feminists are women I admire and attempt to emulate. On most days, I do so successfully, for the most part, at least. But then you have nights like tonight- nothing exactly goes wrong, but one thing leads to another and I’m suddenly reminded why I’ve chosen this path in the first place.
Don’t let the all-black monochromatic wardrobe fool you. I may opt for leather jackets and combat boots, but my favorite movie is Breakfast at Tiffany’s and my grandparents are the loves of my life. As much as I’d like to be seen as this strong, outspoken, bad ass lady example for my “baby sisters” to look up to, I sometimes have a hard time grasping the concept that I’m still healing. I do my thing and I love what I do, but my own vulnerability comes through more often than I’d like. It leaves me feeling like I’m 6-years-old and playing dress up.
It’s hard to come to terms with things like this when you’re a perfectionist/control freak. Get good grades, do this, do that- all of that you have power over. When things are taken out of your control, it’s hard to accept the fact that side effects are also inevitable. It’s impossible to explain how badly you want to move on when you’ve been a coward about taking the steps to get there in the first place.
My question is this: at what point do you stop emulating the people you admire and instead, stand next to them?
I talk about how women shouldn’t be judged for their sexuality and yet, I’ve subconsciously taken up a modest Hepburn-esque wardrobe that doesn’t translate as sexy to most people. I have to wonder if I’m just developing a more sophisticated preference and growing up or am I actually running away from the sort of freedoms I speak up for every day?
At this point, I’m sleepy and as a favor to all of you to remain coherent in my writing, I’m going to bed. But I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me and everything I believe in. Words can’t describe what you’ve done for me.