Do It “Like A Girl”

I was your typical sexist’s definition of a girl: weak and a cry baby. I was told that I dressed “like a girl”, ran “like a girl”, played “like a girl”, and spoke “like a girl”. It came to a point where I thought hearing the words ‘like a girl’ was an insult, a label that I couldn’t run from but wished that I could. Up until high school, I was criticized for dressing a certain way, acting a certain way, or speaking a certain way, ways that didn’t fit in with what the limitations of how ladies ought to be. I have to admit that it was very constricting and confusing. It was as if ever since I was little, the society that was there to build be up failed me.

It was also an acceptable excuse for people. “Oh, she’s emotional because she’s a girl”, “She’s dressed that way because she’s trying to impress someone”, “Don’t mind her, she’s just hormonal”, “That’s just how girls are”. It has always boiled down to the point where being a girl was something definable and limited.

Luckily for me, I got to escape the toxicity of it all. Despite having been stamped “GIRL” like part of a herd of cattle, I chose to leave my safety bubble. Sheltered that I was, I chose to study in a university miles away from home. That decision changed it all for me. Albeit there being doubts on my part with countless tears at night, I realized that I wasn’t that weak girl everyone made me out to be. I was weak because I listened to them. I grew stronger the moment that I didn’t.

Twenty-three years of hearing the same words over and over again, sometimes directed at me, most of the time I hear it around me, I’ve understood and come to terms with one of the key ingredients in life: You shouldn’t let others define you, let words constrict you, and most of all, lose yourself in all that mess.

I’ve transitioned immensely from being that little girl who thought that being like a girl meant something derogatory to the woman that I am right now who has experience so much from the world. I’ve had the opportunity to explore the places far beyond where the waters meet our lands to realize how strong we were built, how creative we were made to think, and how beautiful being a woman truly is.

So, let me tell you what it really is to be “like a girl” (a woman):

“You dress like a girl” means I wear with me my dignity and confidence. I express myself in the humblest yet intrinsic way. You will look at me in and awe and see not what brand I’m wearing, what color, nor the cut, but you will see the allure of regality.

“You speak like a girl” means I speak with eloquence and brilliance, with validity in my speech. I impart with the subtle parting of my lips meaningfulness, not hate. With every letter that rolls out of my tongue, I enunciate my thoughts that they may educate others, not tear them down.

“You move like a girl” means I let grace drip from my fingertips. With every step, I show my strength with how I carry my body, my soul. With my poise, I bewitch you, and with my elegance, I enchant you.

“You cry too much because you’re a girl” means with every tear, whether out of joy or melancholy, I care. I have every right to feel what I feel, to let out every drop to heal myself and those around me. I express my innermost thoughts and desires and rage in the meekest way by being quietly enveloped in my thoughts as I wash my face of yesterday’s despair. I cry because I am human too.

“You think too much like a girl” means I am critical and creative. I analyze at the same time I let my ideas flow. I am a master of thinking of one thing to hundreds of things all at once without breaking a sweat. I am the maker of my path, the architect of my future.

“You are a girl”, a woman, means there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. So, please, continue to do it “like a girl”.

 

Stop Telling Me I’m Drunk

Stop telling me I’m drunk so you think you have an excuse to touch me. I don’t need you holding my hand while I get a glass of water. I don’t need you to help me sit back down. I don’t need you touching my shoulders to “help” me sit up straight. I especially don’t need you caressing my head while I dozed off. I am not drunk.

Stop telling me I’m drunk so you have an excuse to say that I need you. Why is it so hard for you to believe something like this:
“I guess I’m just the type of girl who doesn’t need to depend on a guy”
because all you said was:
“haha yeah right. Whatever. You’re going to eat your words.”
No matter how many times I said “I’m okay. Really”, and no matter how many times you’ve seen me move about the room soberly (going to the restroom, getting a glass of water, changing the music playlist), you insist that I need your help, like I’m a 6 year old girl who can’t decide for herself. Why?
I am not drunk.

Stop telling me I’m drunk so you have an excuse to follow me around to make sure “I’m okay”.
“Let me just stay right here beside you.”
“No, it’s okay. You can go back in. I just wan’t to look at the sky.”
“Haha. Don’t be stupid. Should I lie beside you now?”
I am not drunk.

Stop telling me I’m drunk to come up with stories about you and I. I didn’t tell the room about whatever non-existent past we had. I was completely aware of what I was saying, no matter how slurred they may have seemed to you. I asked one of our friends if I’ve said anything. She said, “Uh, no.” Stop putting words in my mouth. I am not drunk.

Stop telling me I’m drunk to blame me for “coming on to you”. I in no way “came on to you”. All I’ve said (not even remotely close to coming on is), “Come on and join the game!!!!!!” You said I kept touching you. HA. HAHAHAHA. The only touching I did was the same touching I did to everybody else – put my hands on all of your shoulders to either get your attention or to let you guys know I was passing behind you. I am not drunk.

Stop telling me I’m drunk so that you have an excuse to criticize me about my body. “Oh wow, you have a lot of stretch marks.” “Your breasts look small.” “You do squats? HAHAHA….ok, sure.”
I don’t know if you’ve said those things hoping that I would forget them the next day. I am not drunk.

Stop telling me I’m drunk to make my ‘NO’ sound meaningless. No, I do not want to kiss you. No, I do not want to date you. No, I do not need a hug.
“hahaha, ok. sure…..but, can I at least have a kiss?”
Didn’t you just ask me that, and didn’t I just say no?
I am not drunk.

Stop telling me I’m drunk to make whatever you wanted to happen justifiable.

Human Error

The inability to realize
that no matter what our
religion or gender or race
or geographic background,
we all have about 98 percent
in common with each other.
Yes, the differences between
male and female are biological,
but if you look at the biology
as a matter of percentage,
there aren’t a whole lot of
things that are different.
Race is different purely as a
social construction, not as
an inherent difference. And
religion – whether you believe
in God or Yahweh or Allah or
something else, odds are that
at heart you want the same
things. For whatever reason,
we like to focus on the
2 percent that’s different,
and most of the conflict
in the world comes from that.

– pg 77, Every Day by David Levithan

Random Acts Of Kindness

I’ve recently gone back to my endless Tumblr scrolling nights, and I saw a post that I didn’t want to forget and thought to pass it along to you guys as well. Here’s what the post said:

Have you ever come across a homeless individual and felt totally uncomfortable?

You see them and you know they are in need, but you are not sure what to do. You know that handing them money is not the best thing. But, you also see that they clearly have some needs. Their lips are chapped. They are hungry. They are thirsty. They are asking for help.

How can you help?

Here is a simple idea – blessing bags.

There are so many beggars and homeless people in Manila, from toddlers to really old people. They usually go up to your car while you’re stuck in traffic or at a stop light, knock on your window, and hope that someone rolls it down to give them food, money, or whatever else. Some even approach you while you’re just walking on the street. There are people who are a bit skeptical about the beggars because some believe that they just pretend to beg to get extra money or they, specifically the kids, work for a group who tells the kids to beg for money and give it to whoever’s in charge. Both instances have been proven, but that’s not always the case.

Whenever I see beggars approach my car or me while I’m walking, as much as possible I don’t give them money. Rather, I give them food instead. They’re very thankful after, so it really makes me feel happy to see them happy over a simple granola bar or fries from Mcdonald’s . I really have a soft spot for them!

The blessing bag (if you’ve clicked the link to the post and saw the picture hihi) is just a simple zip lock bag filled with a few crackers, toiletries, socks, and coins that you could keep a few (or a lot!) in your car and just give it to the homeless if you come across one. You can add whatever you want too – whatever you feel that they’d appreciate or really need : )

This is such a brilliant and simple way to just go out of your way to do something for someone else. And it doesn’t even have to be just for the homeless. You can do something nice for a friend, a family member, a co-worker, someone you met on the bus, whoever! Random acts of kindness can totally brighten up your day and everyone else’s!

So, that’s that! Here’s hoping that you, wherever you are, have a fantastic day ahead, and always remember to smile and just let all the positivity flow through you : )