I’m more than a bird
I’m more than a plane
More than some pretty face beside a train
And it’s not easy to be me
Isn’t it great when inspiration comes to you in a song? Everything is already laid out for you in artistic form, and usually, it even rhymes! Music is something that is unique to human beings, and if you think about it, something that connects us all to each other. I may not speak the same language as a girl in China or Russia or Belize, but I’m willing to bet that I could find a girl living in at least one of those countries who can appreciate music by Taylor Swift or Ed Sheeran. (And not just because they’re international superstars!)
Anyway, back to my inspiration for today – the four lines quoted above were taken from a song called “Superman” by the band Five for Fighting. To put it in a few words, the song is basically speaking from the point of view of Superman, imagining his thoughts on being considered a “hero” even though he still struggles with the same self-doubt which each of us wrestle with. I know my description of it makes the song sound trivial and a bit laughable, but give it a chance.
The thing I love most about this song is that everyone can relate to it in some way. We all want to be the hero/heroine of our own stories. We want to be the one who everyone else looks up to, the one that other people wish they could be. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, the problem with that mentality is that we often think that we have to be perfect all the time.
This is a problem that women suffer from especially, although I do know many men who struggle with it as well. However, since I am obviously a woman, I can only speak about this issue from the feminine perspective. Somehow, we get the idea into our heads that the people who have been heroes and role models for us are perfect, so therefore, when others looks up to us, we have to be perfect. We have to look perfect (perfect hair, perfect makeup, perfect outfit), we have to act perfectly in every situation (cool, comfortable, poised, gracious, funny, clever,etc.), and we have to possess all the talents of “the perfect woman”, which is a completely arbitrary ideal which all of us have in our minds, even though it differs a bit for each person.
For me personally, my “perfect woman” looks something like a woman whose hair always falls in perfect glossy curls (which would never dare to get tangled and messy on a windy day, or poof up uncontrollably when it’s humid out). Her makeup is always on point, and her clothes are always in keeping with the latest trends, while still quite expressive of her own individual personality. Her house/ apartment/ room is neat and organized, with all those cute little organizational bins and boards and baskets in their assigned spots (like the ones you find from ThirtyOne or something similar), and her own inspirational artwork on the walls. I could go on for a while about my “perfect” woman, but I’ll stop there.
You get the idea, right? My ideal woman sounds amazing, like Superwoman. But allow me to let you in on a little secret: there’s no such thing as Superwoman.
Okay, calm down, pick your jaw up off the floor and breathe. I’m sorry to have to be the one to reveal to you that your whole life is a lie, but it’s true; Superwoman doesn’t exist. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a wonderful thing to strive for, and I most definitely believe in striving to be the BEST version of me that I can be each and every day, one day at a time. But the vital thing that you MUST remember in striving for that is this: you will fail. It’s a simple fact of life: nobody’s perfect, and everybody fails. However, just because you fall doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get back up again. Just because you fail once or twice or a hundred times or more doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give try just one more time.
To illustrate my point of why the “perfect woman” is an impossible goal to achieve, let’s take a look at my own idea of a “perfect woman”. My Superwoman can’t exist because:
- There is not one single woman in the world who has perfect hair. Everyone has bad hair days; every woman’s hair gets tangled and dirty and windblown and frustrating.
- Nobody’s makeup is on point 100% of the time; even supermodels surely have days when they don’t feel like putting on their makeup…right?
- Very few people in the world actually have the money to keep up with all the latest trends and fashions, so I think it’s reasonable to expect to fall short of “perfect” on this point.
- Well, I know there are many people who are good at being neat and organized. As for me, well…. let’s just say that’s one trait that I wish I had inherited from my mother.
- As much as I would love all the cute little bins and boxes and baskets for organizing and making my dorm room look adorable, that’s also something I don’t have the money for. Also, I’m a bit challenged when it comes to artsy things, even though I do try very hard. (Seriously though, very primitive stick figures are the only things I can draw that look even halfway decent. Three cheers for all those who have the artistic ability of a four-year old!)
I realize that my examples are pretty specific to me and my personality, but hopefully you get my point.
I’m not trying to prove that Superwoman doesn’t exist to bring you down. But I always want to be as real and down-to-earth as I can be, so I’m not going to lie to you. I’m sure that everyone reading this can think of at least one woman in their life who has the seemingly “perfect” life or who tries really hard to have that “perfect” life. But here’s my challenge for you: go and talk to them. You ask, “Talk to them about what, exactly?” Talk to them about their life. Talk to them about their families, or their careers (or both, if they’re among those admirable few who are somehow able to balance a career and a family). Even if they seem to have it all together, I can guarantee you that they don’t feel that way all the time. They realize, perhaps more than anyone else, that life doesn’t come with an instruction manual. We’re all just trying to feel our way through it as we go along, one step and one day at a time.
And you know what? That’s okay 🙂
I’m only a man in a silly red sheet
Digging for kryptonite on this one way street.
Only a man in a funny red sheet
Looking for special things inside of me
Inside of me, inside of me…
And it’s not easy,
It’s not easy to be me.