I’m not feeling to well today but this is something I really want to write and so I am going to do the best I can with it. I have a problem that is probably one that a lot of my female readers can relate to. I am frequently mistaken for Superwoman.
I am strong. Emotionally, intellectually, even physically (I have been known to hit an advanced yoga class that’s pretty much known as a ‘guys class’ and am usually the only chick there as the teacher does a full hour of brutal upper body torture.) strong. I am your go-to person in a crisis. If the building is burning down or your world is falling apart in some catastrophic way, I’m a good person to turn to. I’m a problem solver. I don’t like to spend a lot of time processing the injustice of the problem at hand. I just want to move on and make everything work again.
Not too long ago, I lost a parent. It wasn’t a complete surprise, but it was sudden. In the hospital hallway I heard a family friend say that I was “removed” because instead of crying I was dealing with all of the things that needed to be done. There was a lot that needed to be done and someone needed to do it all. I’m usually the best person for that stuff.
I imagine that there are a lot of women reading this right now who are thinking, “hey, that’s me”. We are self-sufficient and competent and able to move mountains if that’s what it takes to get the job done. I’m not sure how we came to be this way. I know my mom wasn’t this way. If she did something once, and it was hard, she didn’t try it a second time. She just said it was too hard and she couldn’t do it. “Too hard” for me means that I’ve tried repeatedly and failed repeatedly and have somehow become incapable of trying again.
Anyway, I think I’ve made myself clear on that. I am a strong woman. But I am not Superwoman. Not even close. And a lot of people, men and women, don’t get that.
A few years ago I cut a certain friend out of my life. There were a lot of reasons for it. But the moment I knew I had to do it was when I was trying to explain to her that I was upset with her complete and utter lack of support for me, when I needed it, and her response was, “But you’re so strong. You don’t need anyone.”
There are people who see me that way. Men who look at me that way. Who look at me and assume that I am invulnerable. That all I need out of a relationship is some interesting dinner conversation and hot sex (yeah, those things are good, too).
The man I am looking for, the one who will be my appropriate and ideal partner (ideal is such a hot button word, but I’m going to go with it here) will see me and understand that what I need almost more than anything is someone I can be vulnerable with. Someone who will let me be weak around them. Someone who will understand that all of that strength is exhausting and takes its toll, year after year and that one of the greatest gifts that he can give me is the ability to just let him be strong for me, sometimes, so that I don’t have to hold the weight of the world on my shoulders every second of every day.
And how does a guy do that? Not by being arrogant or displaying his innate, superior value. One minute of that crap and I’ll laugh in his face. On my more charitable days I say that everyone on the planet is of equal value (on other days I mutter about how most people are worthless pieces of shit). No, it’s something I can’t really articulate well. But there are men who understand how to be strong and confident without being arrogant. Who can lead without being pushy. Who can take control of situations without being a bully. There are women who can do this too, sure.
This is one of the unknowns with Mr. Potential. I have not let my guard down around him much. I have no idea how he sees me or even what he wants from me. And I have no idea if he can be the guy who lets me be completely vulnerable. I’ve only had that a few times and I know that, because it was so right for me, that I don’t really want to settle for anything less.
OK. I think I’ve talked around that as much as I’m willing to today. BTW, I was inspired to write this by a great post by Susan Mernit on Blogher called Sex & relationships: What’s the right degree of transparency for you?
Lastly, a little bit of blog business. I am SO happy to see so many of the readers from my old url have found me here. I hope you’ll all grow fond of my new place and will adapt to the changes I’ve made and the additional changes yet to come. Please don’t forget to bookmark this new address (Yeah, I see you all on my little statcounter thingy coming here each day from the old site. It’s cool. I know change is hard.) This might be crass to mention, but if you had put me in your blogroll (Ah shucks, I am SO honored when people do that, btw, and yes I will eventually get my shit together and create my own “blogs I love”) please take a moment to update the url. I know that when I am visiting the sites I love and check out their blogroll I get kind of annoyed when I see a bunch of out of date links.
Tags: arrogant, BlogHer, vulnerable, yoga