pain

I Wish It Didn’t Hurt To Be This Kind Of Woman

Painting by Andrea Kowch

Painting by Andrea Kowch

Being who you are can sometimes be in direct opposition to what the world is looking for, which can leave us feeling lost and lonely. Let Saskia Layden share a few stanzas on how to thrive if you stick out:

I wish it didn’t hurt
to be this kind of woman.
A woman with no home,
no job,
no man.
A woman who loves to love
but never needs.
A woman armed with only a backpack
and her intuition.

A woman whose freedom rests completely
on her courage
to wake up every morning
and live each moment
authentically,
unapologetically,
bravely.

I wish I could say how blissful this always is,
how mostly it doesn’t hurt,
but I spend some days wondering,

Who will want this kind of woman?
What will a man do with her?
Who will wash his clothes?
Make his dinner?
Have his babies?

There are plenty of women in this world
willing to submit,
settle,
satisfy,
commit.

So sometimes it hurts.
Mostly in the places where the roots are supposed to grow.
Roots that should dig
deep into the ground,
burrowing into a land,
a family,
a man.
Where do the roots go without the soil?
Without a home?

Instead,
my roots have turned into thick,
beautiful,
green and flowering vines
that dangle in the air like a golden chandelier.
But do not be fooled.
They are like magnets.
Searching for anyone,
anyplace,
to cling to
to wrap themselves around.

I once spent an entire summer day on my knees
breaking and uprooting a garden bed infested with vines.
Sweet potato and papaya tree plants surrounded by the hungry weeds.
As I cut my hands
pulling, breaking, and struggling,
I thought,
They will come back.
They always do.

Written by Saskia Layden