Sometimes you say that I don’t give you the chance to see what’s really inside of me, since I tend to show you only the pretty parts. You are right: I tend to hide. And I’m not the only one.
It is not easy to be a woman. I know, I know. You have heard that before. I also know that you don’t totally understand what I mean, and I don’t totally blame you. We have a lot behind us, and between us, and on top of us that supports your confusion.
It is not fair to blame you. But let me get this straight: it is also unfair for us, the women in your life, to not be able to be understood.
Let me pause for a second. When we say that it’s not easy to be a woman, I’m talking about us: your friends, your lovers. All those girls you loved when you were young, those girls that made you burn inside for the first time. Your boss, your colleagues, your daughters. Your mother, the person who loved you even when nobody did.
I think that we deserve to be understood better, after all. Because with understanding comes empathy, and with empathy comes respect. And respect is all we crave.
So, starting again: it is not easy to be a woman. We feel—a lot. Remember the last time your heart was broken? How the intensity was almost physical, as if something was actually broken inside of you?
We experience that intensity often. We feel it every time we see injustice, and nothing is done about it. We feel it when we explain, but no one listens. We feel it when we are shining, sparkling under the sun with all the bright colors, and still we remain unseen. And we feel it more than ever when we are finally seen not as we are, but as something else: a fake version of us.
When you see only our shell without remembering that we are the one living inside, that’s when we feel broken. Because it’s simply unfair. Because there’s so much more to us; because we are made of so many layers.
Women also feel alive, in a way so whole that it gets overwhelming. We experience life through many dimensions, and this is not a choice for us, for we were made that way. Sometimes we talk with our bodies, we hear with our skin, we kiss with our eyes. When we look at something, we see its many parts; we dive deep to find more about those things that are not obvious at first sight. That’s who we are.
It seems precisely this, the depth of our essence, what confuses you the most. But it is also what captivates you.
Women reflect an ungraspable mystery. Women are bridges to the unknown, a portal to all the things that are not obvious. This makes us beautiful, but complex.
In a world shaped by men, little attention has been put to honor how women shape their world. We’ve been mocked, understated, turn into witches burning in flames. Unless we properly hide the aspects of ourselves that don’t fit with the way men see things, we are perceived as weak.
(I know you won’t consciously call me weak. But you do call me moody, and intense, and emotional, and difficult. And it hurts. Because that’s a part of my nature, and as I see it, I have the same right as you to embrace my nature without feeling ashamed. Without saying sorry. As every creature born into this existence, I deserve to be whole.)
This letter is my way to celebrate precisely that: my feminine wholeness. Now I’m presenting myself to you as a woman, and this is it. This time, I won’t make it simple to try to please you. Perhaps, I will discover that you prefer it this way. Perhaps, you’ll finally understand better.
Imagine how good it would feel for me, if you finally see why I’m not something you can label so easily. If you understand what I mean when I say that all I want is to be able to explore life as freely as you do, but as myself—not as you.
I’m here, just as you are. I’m here to experience life as who I really am, and to be celebrated for it. With no excuses. Without apologies. Without hiding.