Being a woman is a tough gig. We were talking on the weekend about how the expectations placed on us are different; especially when it comes to being women, mothers, daughters, lovers, friends. These conversations between women, assuring those amongst us feeling the weight of that pressure, are essential. Because if we don’t call bullshit on this stuff, no one will.

What was the moral of that story, I wondered. Why had I endured the length of that story with glazed eyes and a bored, half asleep expression? What IS the moral of this story? That mothers can’t leave their children but fathers can. That women can’t talk to married men but if he started it, then that’s ok. That no matter what, I should always be dissatisfied and ‘working on’ my body.

I think the moral of this story actually sucks.

As the conversation turns to our day-to-day lives I realise that I’m dissatisfied not with my body like they told me too, but with this same old conversation. The one that says their husband wouldn’t have married them if she didn’t change her name. The one that says one day I’ll regret not having children and don’t I feel that I’m missing out? The one that says that my business, the life I’ve built for myself, should be secondary to making sure my house is clean and the washing is done.

I’m tired of this conversation about what being a woman requires of me. Loree, who turned 22 this past weekend (hey babe), told me that she admired my confidence. It’s a conversation I’ve had before. We huddled around the fire pit and sipped our warming beverages and in the partial darkness. Our faces lit by the glow of the fire, I said to her that you simply have to do what you want, and damn what people think about you.

There’s a whole world of freedom in that.

You have to do you.

And allow people to do them.

I may not be naked on my Instagram feed, but I will fight for your right to be. I do what I want with the motto to harm none, and I think you should too. I may not always have my hair or makeup done (and by always, I mean hardly ever), but I will go to battle against those who say you shouldn’t care so much. I found myself in the strange position of choosing whether or not I am to be a mother, and I say that’s your choice to make as well.

And on and on the list goes…

During the Confident You Week Two emails (subscribe now and you can access the archives of what you’ve missed) I challenged the team to ‘do you’. Which is one of those ridiculous, cliché things to say, I know. But there comes a time when rebellion is your only way to freedom. That by not caring what ‘they’ think of you will you ever have the freedom to be who you want to be.

Let me say to you, don’t be crushed by the weight of the expectations of anyone. Especially not those expectations you somehow managed to turn inward and hold yourself hostage. You should feel free to express yourself in whatever manner you see fit. Within whatever parameters you deem to be fit. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

For me, that’s the moral of my story, of THIS story. Strong, confident, you.

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