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The Cost of Being an Independent Woman

I was raised by feminist parents who believed in balance and only wanted the world for me. Maybe even the universe. They told me I could be or do anything I wanted (assuming

it was something lofty that either helped the world or made me financially independent). This is a gift that keeps giving and I've passed it down to my kids. I've been happily married for 32 years to a man who supports my adventuresome spirit and fierce need to be always growing and trying things that scare me.

The tricky thing about being a strong, capable woman is that it's hard to be anything else. People assume I always have my shit together and don't need help. It means being aware of injustices and harboring a willingness to put in the time, energy or money to fight them. It means I'm anywhere from a little to seriously pissed a lot of the time. Like the other day when I was shopping with my husband at a men's clothing store and the sales guy turned to me to tell me how to launder my husband's new clothes. I wanted to punch him in the face. My husband said, "I do the laundry at our house," to the surprised idiot who had put a small cloud over an otherwise pleasant shopping trip. Yeah, it's not that big of deal but when you add up a million little assumptions, inconveniences, or lost opportunities it becomes exhausting.

Being an independent woman is a lifestyle and it colors my world. I have lots of different types of relationships and in some of them I don't express myself fully because I know some of the people I care about will never understand my drive or my angst about what it means to be a woman in a man's world (which it still is, contrary to some truly optimistic people's beliefs).

Would I give up my badass attitude to make my life easier? Absolutely not. I've had amazing experiences, created change and helped other women soar. I've raised a next generation who believes 100% in equality. I've had a seat at the table. I've won big and lost big and I wouldn't change any of it.

So I'll keep fighting for women, myself included, so that someday my kids' kids will not think that being an independent woman is a thing. We'll just be women.


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