When Being Is Not Enough

Pride-and-Prejudice-pride-and-prejudice-2005-10311013-1280-554I 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. 

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5 thoughts on “When Being Is Not Enough

  1. I got married at 25 so I’ve never really felt the “why are you single” pressure. However, being back in school, I sometimes now get the “when are you going to join the real world?” pressure, or after being married a few years and getting ever closer to 30 I get the “when will you procreate?” pressure. So really, no matter your situation or position in time, there’s pressure from society. Lately I’ve also felt a lot of “why aren’t you skinny?” pressure. So as I shout “I am not my size!” at the world, I will join you in shouting “I am not my economic worth” with you, because I feel that applies to me to. LIVE AND LET LIVE. The end.

    1. It sucks the pressure is always there, no matter what. I know for my mom she has pressure to be the best grandma, and so she looks to me to give her grandchildren.

      Thank you for sharing Brit! I hope you’re doing well 🙂

  2. I am the oldest of four kids. Hell, I am the oldest of nine grand kids and the only one not married. I dated a sociopath for four years and part of the reason why I stuck with him was because I felt this internal pressure to get married. It all came crashing down a few months ago, and as hard as it is, I am much happier now. People think that in this world, you have to get married, and as britparis said, procreate. There are so many pressures on women to be perfect at everything (just look at Pinterest). The grass is always greener!! 🙂

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