False Dichotomies, The Kind of Woman I Want to Be & Why I Write

Motherhood, Womanhood, Life.

They all present false dichotomies. Although perhaps not innate to the vocation themselves, they are presented from the outside with so much pressure that they inevitably find themselves tied to it.

I remember growing up thinking I had to choose between girly girl & tomboy.
 between a pretty dress & playing sports.
between athleticism & makeup.
between being smart & being beautiful.

As I got older it continued,
I had to choose between being a prude & being promiscuous. 
between caring about my faith & being a goody-two-shoes.
between being responsible & having fun.
between having empathy & being principled.

I got my first jobs and I learned
I had to choose between being professional & being friendly.
between being "overly emotional" & having RBF.
between getting married & having fun or going on adventures.
between starting a family & having money.

When I became a mother I heard that
I had to choose between leaving my career & leaving my babies.
between not living up to potential & not being there for my kids.
between being unambitious & placing my career on a pedestal. 


If I have learned anything as an adult, I have learned that these dichotomies are false. They are all lies. When you come face to face with a lie you can't just call it so and be done. You have to dig at the very root and pull it out to prevent any further growth from happening. 

If I teach my daughters anything, it's that I want them to know that they do not have to choose from false dichotomies--that they are greater than labels--that they have a unique and individual soul that can't be boxed up into a personality type or stereotype or even a lifestyle.


Ultimately, this is what I want, who I want to be.

I want to be self-contained, yet free of self.
I want to be feminine and empathetic, while also direct and bold.
I want to be slapping-your-knee hilarious and thoughtful, intelligent and smart.
I want to be fit, in shape and still love myself and the way my body looks NOW.
I want to surrender deeper to my faith and it only make me more human and more relatable.
I want to be responsible and dependable AND spontaneous and fun.
I want to be friendly and professional.
I want to be able to exert a leadership role without anyone questioning if I am kind.
I want to stay true to principles and also have the sense to look at the world from a different perspective and show empathy to individuals and their hardships.
I want to be married AND have fun adventures.
I want to have kids AND be frugal.
I want to be home with my children and still use my gifts and talents in a meaningful way.

I want to be authentic, holy, independent, humble, courageous, bold, honest, sexy, faithful, zealous, empathetic, open, direct, kind, passionate, vulnerable, principled, intelligent and free. And above all, I want my heart to be a home.

It's a journey. I can't just pick a bunch of adjectives and designate them to myself. I need to daily remind myself that when I see an either/or, it might just be an invitation to be something more. 


This is why I want to become the best version of myself. This is why I have a blog. This is why I write. It's not to convince you that my life is perfect or great or enviable. I want to convince myself and I want my daughters to know that, when life hands you a false dichotomy, resist the temptation to box yourself in, and chase after everything that is true, everything that is good and everything that is beautiful. 

In that you will find the strength to overcome these dichotomies, and to become the best version of yourself.

I hope.

Reflection, PopularAmy O'Connell