My greatest fear is not that I will end up alone, but that I will end up alone and incapable of that freedom, unworthy of my independence; that I won’t have the means to support my solitude, ever up against the wall of ineptitude, a solo female in a realm not made for me.
I fear that I will be the woman who stays alone, but needs help surviving in this wounded world of men.
I fear the need because I know too well that I will ignore it. That I will not ask for help. That I will stay my path, stand my ground, rigid and stubborn as the tree I’ve become: rooted and growing, deep and tall, refusing to break in the throes of each storm, avoiding submission to the scorching sun.
But still, it’s my greatest fear—that I will bend and break and bow to all that I’ve fought so far.
I don’t want to give up. I don’t want to give in.
But my greatest fear is that I will. That I will believe I must.
I don’t want to believe that.
The world belongs to the powerful, the hungry, the men of blazing tendency. Gone is the love that would save us all, and this is precisely why: the women can’t fathom being alone to love as they are. They’ll wither and weaken and shatter under the masculine drive and glory of rising. At least that’s what they want us to think. That’s what we’ve been told.
And that’s my greatest fear. That I will drive and rise and become greater and greater, but for what? To be stopped? To be told I’m no real woman worthy of a man’s love as I endeavor to make my own world instead of swirling in the torment of his? That I will end up alone as a result, only to be told I’m no more a real woman for that? That I will do my best to compensate, but fail just as I already have? That I will love and lose unendingly, ever shrinking to fit as I die to expand?
My greatest fear—that I will do both—lays the foundation for this world. Completely. Relentlessly. Without fail.
Without a care.
And who am I to change it? Who am I to think that I can stand alone and yet love away the pain of being this fiercely driven woman in this manmade world? Where am I to go instead? Is there anywhere else?
Perhaps. But perhaps there is nowhere, no way to exist outside of the scope to which we’ve fallen prey with every chance. Perhaps I will end up alone and broken, or perhaps with another and broken nonetheless.
Either way, perhaps it’s written that I’ll fall to the need for help, for support, for togetherness when all I crave is independence with a strong kind of love to make it work.
Perhaps I can’t have it both ways in a world that welcomes only those lusting for power—in a man’s world as a lone female travelling through life.
And so who am I to think I can be different?
But then again, who am I to think I should stay the same?
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Author: Sara Rodriguez
Editor: Renée Picard