Gila, I think many woman, myself included, feel obligated to be good girls. There is a great deal of pressure on females to conform, settle down, take care of everyone, be good. We are the glue that holds families, communities, churches, and society together, and we are told we have to conform or civilization will disintegrate. If civilization is that fragile and no one else (men) wants to hold it together, let it crumble.

I spent nearly fifty years being the good girl, putting everyone’s feelings before mine, giving up what I wanted for the desires of everyone else. After a series of epiphanies, I started listening to my inner voice — it was so soft and frightened, I could barely make out the messages she had for me. For thirteen years I’ve worked at discovering myself and what I want. It isn’t easy. I regress often.

I am fortunate that at the beginning of my self-discovery journey, I met a wonderful man who treasures me and wants me to be happy. He reminds me that I am worthy of attention. He encourages me to find balance. We are good at maintaining balance with one another — we share the workload and the joy. But, I still struggle daily to maintain balance with my daughter. She is my challenge.

I just realized that most of the other people who got my life out of balance, who demanded too much from me and gave little in return, have fallen by the wayside, like a bird’s down when she is ready to fly.

I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.

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