In a society where everyone puts on a convincing front, portraying themselves as genuinely confident, by waking up extra early to put on a full costume. No one speaks on the ugly reality of low self-esteem or general social anxiety. Where are those who want to speak life into others by showing them that these struggles are real and should not be ignored? Life’s obstacles are rough and tougher on some than others but there is a positive side to every negative.
A major obstacle for most women is self-esteem. Some women may compete with each other for male attention or confirmation from others that they are beautiful or to prove that whatever they are doing, matters. For some women low self-esteem is directly connected to their depression or depressive state, for other women it may be due to the 15 likes on a selfie that they projected would get at least 50 and for other women; their self-esteem comes from the recognition of their successes in life by strangers or even people around them.
For most, it could be a combination of everything. Take me for example, a young, black, Hispanic, woman; in America. For starters, not one person under the age of eighteen instantly recognizes me as an adult because of my age (and the fact that most of them are taller than I). Appearance wise, I’m not recognized and sometimes not accepted as being Hispanic or of Latin decent due to my Afro and darker toned skin. On the other side I, and this is true for most suburban black people, am also not accepted as black for not living in or exposing my struggle. Last, but definitely not least, we can add into the mix all of the many struggles that come with being a woman such as equal pay/the cost of beauty/constant judgement etc. Then we factor in the fact that I am under thirty so I am less deserving of respect from older professionals but too old to be acting childish and needy or confused; which is true for most recent college grads that I know of. When you combine all of these issues and add a few dashes of daily life struggles such as, living paycheck to paycheck to pay off student loans, a car- note, Health Insurance, personal expenses, groceries and household bills one could say I am tired. Mentally, physically and emotionally tired.
Yet. I won’t ever give up.
You may be tired too. Tired of putting together that costume each day, tired of posting selfies to social media that is all too time consuming, tired of competing with your male-counterpart who does less than you but makes 2-3,000$ more, tired of eating plain lettuce because all you want is a Busken donut for breakfast and maybe even just tired from staying up all night. Many women are tired and stressed out for many different reasons.
But as you should know, we will not give up.
While I may struggle with the day-to-day external and internal struggles I know that I have a purpose. I know that being black has made it easier for me to connect with the inner-city children I work with and mentor. Being Hispanic has made it easier for me to obtain a job/career and also in networking with other bilingual people. As a woman, I may not be afforded every privilege a man has but I am blessed to be a member of many female-centered organizations such as the American Association of University Women. As a young professional I am able to connect my college friends to older mentors in their field as well as connect with a few mentors myself. I realized, when I became exhausted, that if I went to sleep those who depend on me may give up too. And that.
That is the last thing I want.
I look around me at other women, such as yourself, who have these same struggles and each one I come across I say a prayer for.
In them I see that self-determination (working that costume), the inability to give up (constantly trying to prove themselves), the light that a majority of the world needs and the passion that so many people seek (perhaps through working extra hard in their profession).
I want to tell each and every one of those women that they can do anything that they set out to do and work hard for, I want to yell out, “You got this sis!” but then I don’t. I sit back and I say my prayer, then I go write about the strength of these women and find through my words that I am also inspiring myself. So as my words inspire me, I hope that they inspire you in return. The struggle that you may be facing, in whichever capacity that is, this is not the extent of your existence but a mere stumble in the road on your path to fulfilling God’s destined plan for you. It is not our struggles that hinder our growth, it is our struggles that enable our growth. Embrace what is wrong in your life and acknowledge it through prayer. As you work your way through these struggles say a prayer of gratitude for making it another day, say a prayer of hope for the strength and courage to move forward, say a prayer ahead of time to ensure that you will persevere.
And as you pray on, know this:
I pray that you continuously work hard to get where you want to be in life. I pray that no obstacle is ever tough enough to hold you back. I pray that no matter how tired you are that you will always get the job done. I pray that you always find the inner strength. I pray that the well wishes you speak for the women around you, the women you do not know or the women who have touched your life in some way, also reach you.