GenX Women Stopped Using Their Voices

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I wasn’t a latchkey genx kid, but I was a go outside, stay outside, and don’t come inside until the mosquitoes start biting kind of genx kid, and honestly it was all the same. 

Black Handled Key on Key Hole

Our parents didn’t devote their lives to raising us the way we’ve done to our kids. I want to be totally real. I’m not saying one way is better than the other, and in a lot of ways we’ve turned into helicopter parents of craziness, so maybe they were onto something. 

I’m pretty sure there’s a middle ground somewhere. Hopefully our kids figure it out. 

Generational curses. What a whip. 

Anyway, I digress, (I do that a lot, if you’re not into a random tangent now and again, I might not be the daily columnist for you…) what I’m trying to say here is, we were so preoccupied with working, giving our families the picture perfect lives, volunteering, and honestly just trying to impress our super strict boomer parents while showing them that you can parent without a belt in your hand that we forgot about us. 

We are great at using our voices. We are so good at standing up for someone when they’ve been wronged— but we never stand up for ourselves. It’s as if we’ve been taught to fade into the wallpaper and orchestrate everyone else’s happiness while ignoring ours. 

Honestly it’s more than that. We’ve taught the path to our happiness is to help others find theirs. And maybe it is, but not at the expense of our own health, well-being and joy. 

That’s the key here to treat ourselves with the same kindness we’d treat our best friend. But maybe even take that a step further. What if we treated ourselves with even more kindness than we have treated our best friends and we stopped to speak up?

Not for others, but for our own selves. As I’ve started writing, I’ve started to hear from other women in similar situations about how alone they feel. About how they don’t understand what their own joy even is. About how they’ve spent so long making everyone happy that they don’t even know what else makes them happy. 

And I get that— of course it all goes back to worth. We worry that we aren’t worth anything to anyone if we aren’t making them happy even though we can’t actually make anyone feel any certain way, and their own actions control their own feelings way more than anything we can do for them. 

Monochrome Photo of Keys and Door Knob

Which is why we are just going to spend this week doing what we want. 

What if it makes them happy anyway? 

Even better… what if it makes us happy?

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