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A tweet caused me to pause and consider what it means for me to have a voice that is heard in a society that is still silencing women. This has been long coming but I suppose what has really propelled me is that for the first time I told one of my closest friends my biggest dream. The magnitude of it scares me but also fuels the fire that is the passion I have for seeing it realized.

The magnitude of this dream, confiding for the first time to a friend about this dream, and the pause invoked by the tweet made me realize: while my voice might be heard and I am allowed to be who I am unapologetically, my mother never had the chance.

I tend to be hard on my mother; from a one-dimensional view she would rather have me be traditional wife material:- cook for your man, wash your man’s clothes, iron said man’s clothes, nurture his children, etc. From a three dimensional view: what if she projects this onto me because as a little girl she was silenced by one too many men, as a young woman her voice though it had the power to change nations got disregarded, as a mother and wife though she is an equal partner and is responsible for other beings besides herself she has been silenced as she is not the head of the house. My father might not silence me but what if he silenced my mother the same way many men and women have done to her.

The voice I have today stands on my mother’s silence. My mother is finally getting to see what she would have wanted for herself. I get to look at her and tell her I don’t want to conform to a society that is determined to have a woman’s dreams not realized. I can make choices my mother never had the chance to do as the eldest daughter in her family. The woman in her conditioned to conform to societal norms that benefitted the patriarchy would rather I am not considered an outcast. However, I know the little girl in her, the little girl whose dreams were never realized, the little girl pushed to the bottom of her heart, is fucking proud of me. The woman in her though scared of what I will be labelled, the woman in her wanting what she considers best for me in accordance to society, that woman allowed me to be who I am today. On her silence, I stand and on her silence like a phoenix from the ashes I will rise no matter how many times I am set alight.

The fire that is patriarchy might have burnt my mother’s dreams to ashes but from those ashes, I rise. I am the rebirth of my mother’s unheard voice and the reincarnation of her unrealized dreams.

Woman, I was, standing for the little girl silenced by one too many men. Woman, I am, rebirthed from the fire that burnt my mother’s dreams. Woman, I will be, rising like a phoenix from the ashes, a voice as powerful as a lion’s roar.

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As International Women’s Day was in March, I would like to know and appreciate your stories as well regarding your womanhood journies. Leave a comment below, let us share the beauty of womanhood.

Originally published on Medium.

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