That’s right, you heard me.
I’m a lass who loves her independence, but is also realising more and more how much nicer life is when I admit I need help.
To concede I’m not perfect.
And just for the record, needing help and crying are not synonymous with weakness.
It may sound ridiculous to actually have to state that as fact, but unfortunately for me I really do.
But, it’s okay. I know I’m not alone; I have first-hand accounts and mounting evidence my high expectations of who I should be are not solely Megan-esque.
In fact, I’ve witnessed many other women break down because they can’t keep up the pretence any longer of everything being okay. Including me.
I’ve heard women end discussing a problem with, “But I’ll pull myself together.” Me too.
I’ve seen less of this from men, but that’s not to say I haven’t seen it or that this is a problem exclusive to women.
I think it’s more pervasive in women because of our place in society through the ages:
‘I totally could have killed a bigger lion, I’m so sorry honey’.
‘Oh I don’t bother rock painting – no one would want to see what I have to say.’
‘These aren’t tears, the gazelle I caught earlier was just super sweaty and it flung all over me.’
I can almost hear my ancestors say.
We’re still fighting the good fight, great-great-great….great-great-great gran!
There are times when I’m like a pro-cowgirl, lassoing every perfectionist tendency, should, must, and independence-building thought that comes my ways.
There are other days when I’m the one caught in the rope trapped.
My expectation of where I should be financially right now has a particularly thick rope and good stronghold.
My idea of the kind of career woman I should be, the body I should have, the level of togetherness I should possess are all frontrunners as well.
The thing about this rodeo that goes on in my mind is that for a long time I wasn’t even aware it was happening.
I thought it was normal to just do life to fit the expectations of others, whether the others were society in general or more specifically, my parents and anyone in between.
It didn’t matter if I didn’t know you, what you said or how you looked only reinforced my ideas of who I should be.
Then one day, a horse escaped the rodeo and I was like, “What the heck are you doing here?”
He led me back to the rodeo, which was about to celebrate its 20th anniversary and I stood in shock.
This had been going on the whole time and I had no clue.
The rodeo is still running, but I’ve managed to free a few more horses every year. Sometimes they come back and I have to remind them that they need to go.
Travel has been a catalyst for helping me see the rodeo grounds more clearly.
And, to be honest, the more I see of it, the further I see it extends.
The more answers I find out about myself, the more questions I have.
But that’s okay. I am full of paradoxes and am comfortable with them.
I think we all are.
Some of us are perhaps a little too comfortable (Me).
And some of us are not comfortable enough (aka stressed chickens; yes, the rodeo grounds includes a barn filled with animals). Also me.
At the moment, my skills as a cowgirl are limited to roping down what I can and trying to let go of all the animals there.
That’s to say, I can’t offer some kind of easy solution.
I wish I could.
For now, all I can offer you is that you aren’t alone.
I’d love to normalise and validate our entire perfectionist, must-live-up-to-society’s-impression-of-success/good woman/good man tendencies.
To hear and then recount stories of women and men the world over about when they realised they had a rodeo going on in their own mind.
What happened that made them think, “I have to do this on my own with as little negative emotion as possible.”
And who or what helped them overcome that and not be who they thought they should but whoever they thought they might like to be.
If that day comes, I think I might just call it ‘I’m A Strong Independent Woman Who Needs Help & Cries A Lot.’
Or, ‘Megan-esque: It’s An Epidemic.’
I’m undecided. As always.