I am a big fan of Jane Austen.
I can relate to her heroines. I can relate to the pressures of being a young woman trying to find her voice amongst the pressures of finding a husband and becoming a wife. This pressure is still true to this day. Sure, I have much more rights as a woman – and I am incredibly grateful for them – but the pressure is still there. The questions, “Are you dating anyone special?” or “Why don’t you try online dating again?” are constant.
It’s an interior and exterior pressure. Not only are my family and friends asking these questions, but I too ask myself and put on this pressure that leads to me asking myself, “Am I not enough?” Thankfully, I am in a good place right now with it all and I am enjoying the freedom and autonomy that comes with singleness (as you can see it’s phases and unfortunately, it changes).
Another annoyance to being a single independent woman in the 21st century is the pressure of being successful. I get ask the question, “So, have you got a promotion recently? Why don’t you apply for this job? Oh, yes, move to that job I am sure you can make a lot more money.” Lately, this has been the pressure. People have given up on my romantic value and they have turned to my economic value. And that’s what it feels like, my value – my worth – is at question. It’s not who I am but what I can offer that is most important.
In very brief moments I think back to Austen’s day and I yearn for the times when only my value as a wife and mother could be questioned. But alas I will take off my rose-colored glasses and remind myself it’s just hard being a woman in any time and in any place.