This post is dated 9/2/16 and was taken from my old blog.
I’m so happy that fall is in the air and it is finally cooing down. Fall is my favorite season, not only because it contains my birthday, but because it marks the return of some long-missed pastimes. Football, pumpkin spice lattes/pumpkin patches/pumpkin everything, that crunchy sound leaves make when you jump in them, etc. Of course, it also marks the exponential growth of every girl’s level of basic, so boys, prepare yourselves.
On a more serious note, I’ve also learned over the past week that the “go-getter” that we all admire and aspire to be has been causing many of us, including myself, to hold ourselves to unrealistic standards.
Specifically, I’ve been struggling to fulfill an obligation within my sorority. Being a respected member of my chapter and fulfilling all of my obligations is one of the most important aspects of my life. I live everyday with the intention of being the best sister and friend I can be.
However, recently I’ve struggled to fulfill an obligation due to my health (my dysautonomia) and as a result I’ve had a pretty stressful internal battle of whether to push through and be the go-getter or to relinquish this obligation.
Every time I thought about getting out of my commitment, I felt like I would be viewed as a weak person, and I had a hard time not seeing myself in the same way. I felt like I was a failure and would lose all of the respect and approval of my sorority sisters.
What I’ve learned from the days of suffering through this battle is that it shouldn’t have been a battle in the first place.
If your mental and/or physical health and stability are at risk for any reason, you NEED to stop and take a step back and access the situation. I realized that yes, stepping out of my obligation does set the chapter back to a certain extent, but I cannot be a value-adding member of my chapter at all if I am not okay myself.
After finally stepping out of this obligation, I’ve learned that it was an opportunity for growth.
Being a go-getter does not mean you are weak when you are not able to fulfill a commitment.
Even though my example involved women, this is not a gender-specific issue. I would say it is even more important to be able to be vulnerable in the face of men. As women, we often feel especially strong pressure to prove ourselves to men, to prove that we are “just as strong and driven”. Although this is complete bullshit, it’s the world we live in and we cannot pretend that sexism has been eradicated, even among our generation.
Go-getters are people who are strong enough to acknowledge their needs and respond to them in a way that allows them to lead happy and successful lives. Being vulnerable is not a weakness, but a strength, and that is something we need to be teaching our children in order to raise a physically and mentally stronger generation.
Peace and love on this beautiful day,