I didn’t ask for this. This life. I just thought I’d get up everyday and be normal, that I’d fit in.
I noticed a change in early middle school, not much, but mostly from the men, I’d get called on for questions, or I’d get noticed first when I lifted my hand to answer a question.
I never had trouble with grades, but I found that the grades started to find me quicker even though I wasn’t needing to work so hard for them.
I’ve never had the perfect responses to questions, I’ve never been on the ‘A’ list for whose the smartest in the class, but I’m certainly not dumb. I’m not someone to be trifled with in an argument. “Frankie will fight to the death” my best friend Sophie once said.
However, it seems over time that certain people started responded differently to some of my answers, but take other answers not as seriously. “That theorem wasn’t your strongest Frankie”, or “historically speaking, I think Dan had a stronger argument about the chemicals involved.” “Yes, that paper showed how witty Mr. Darcy actually was!”
I liked it before honestly. I liked knowing that what I was or how I looked was never a part of the picture.
It’s not that way anymore. It may not be that way for a number of years or never?
I’m not complaining, I’m extremely happy with my life, but where I used to just prove myself, I now never will. The assumption is now always the same.
I over heard a conversation I was never supposed to be privy too. I’m shocked by the statements, only for the fact that they were so bare, so truthful, and yet while I stood there, listening I realized my ’situation’ was much farther along than I had previously anticipated. “She’s smart I think?” the teacher was saying. “Though, sometimes I have to first realize that she actually has the right answer before waving off what she is saying.” “It’s like my eyes can’t come to agreement with what my ears are hearing, and with no deal, my mind is left with confusion.”
I cried that day, and that night, not out of pity for me, but that my reality was altered as well. I realized that evening that I was at a crossroads.
I had a decision to make, and although some would ‘say’ I was able to take both, it really only boils down to humanity and the decisions we decide to make while living amongst them.
Words are cheap, everyone, especially women in the educated sphere, will happily tell me not to fall in line with what my body is making an argument for. You are a woman, hear yourself roar! Ignore the makeup, ignore the clothes, ignore the looks, and live your life.
I could have done that.
I went down the road of beauty, and love. Academics are still a part of my life sure, and I’ve done just fine in my High school and College years, but I certainly didn’t do them while trying to be a plain non feminine version of myself.
I happily embraced my womanhood and enjoyed my femininity! I love my beauty, I have deep friendships with my girlfriends, and yes, I still was the Prom Queen.
Had I took the path of ‘smarts only’ I may have made something of myself, or possibly be the owner of a special skillset that no one cares to hear about. However, I still have multiple special skillsets and love who I am, I know who I want to be and I happily acknowledge that neither of those decisions are in line with the popular culture’s desire to ‘fix’ my problem.
Last night, while prepping for my date, I caught myself in the mirror for a few seconds. It takes a while to ‘get ready’, but I couldn’t be happier with that person in the mirror, I love her, and she is loved by many others.
Image Credit: theweddingscoop.com