Art image by: Maxine Vee
I have chronic burnout from decades of functioning in a masculine world.
Many women would think that opening statement is a bit too harsh and we as women can do everything men can do. I wholeheartedly agree but is it truly what are soul wants us to do?
Throughout my twenties and into my mid-forties, I experienced success in the male-dominated world. I hustled and battled to secure a place in the boardroom, determined to prove that I could make more money than any man and take on all the duties in my home. Part of this zeal was due to my competitive nature which is the masculine, while the other part stemmed from knowing that if I did not take care of what needed to be done, no one else would.
As a teenager of the eighties, I grew up watching Dolly Parton sing 9 to 5, while power suits and shoulder pads were all the rage and Joan Collins was slaying the formidable bitch in Dynasty. Society was telling me that being the strong forceful women was where it was at.
In my thirties my friends and I would meet at book club and praise each other when we discussed how busy we were. We'd come together over drinks and loud conversations as we shared stories of our lives: debts to pay, mortgage rates, new babies and promotions at work. When I look back on those nights, all of us were ultra-independent—it made us proud that we were the breadwinners and leaders of our respective households.
When I divorced in my early forties, I took to the dating scene like a naive and overly-masculine person. I was initiating text conversations with men and asking them out on dates, then paying for them and following up afterwards. Despite my feminine image, all of my actions were very masculine. I know what you're thinking: Gail, it's 2023 - why can't women initiate dates and chase a man? Of course they can, but does it actually work? Are these men only dating you because you are available and they have nothing else to do? The masculine energy of hunting is not negative - however, having to take that role myself was truly exhausting and expensive.
So now I will say again, functioning in the masculine society has exhausted me.
I had no choice, we had no choice, the world told us to play the masculine game and we did it.
It has taken me a while to realize that embracing my feminine side doesn't prevent me from achieving what I want or make me weak. It doesn't make me vulnerable or feeble either; it just means I'm able to do so with more grace and gentleness towards myself. My perception of success is now much different to how it was when I was focused on masculine energy.
I never fully comprehended the value of being present and mindful of time until recently. I understood there was never enough time in the day to DO all the things I needed to DO but I never truly grasped the commodity of time.
I am honestly sick of living in my masculine in order to survive. I don't want to have to be forceful or overly assertive in order to get people to listen to me. I don't want to keep going without ever taking a break. I don't feel comfortable receiving instead of giving and I'm tired of feeling ashamed for admitting that someone's words or actions have hurt me.
I want to give myself permission to BE, I want to go with the flow, I want to be open to receiving, I want to encourage my softer side without having to raise my voice. I want to just sit and be still, trusting in life’s natural ebb and flow as the seasons come and go, free from guilt or resistance.
I want to be at peace being a women.