A page from the earlier chapters of my life…
When I was back in junior high school, I had a boyfriend (who shall remain nameless). He was actually my first boyfriend, and our story is not really all that different from others I have heard. Let’s see. Boy likes girl. Girl starts to like boy. Boy and girl become a couple. Other girls notice boy, and boy, who is now full of of himself, breaks up with girl and starts to date other girls. The end.
Well, around the time of the break-up, Karen White’s song, “I’m Not Your Superwoman“ was really popular, and I loved it. Even back then, I was obsessed with words and lyrics, and hers really touched my heart, in a sense, the song became my anthem. So, one night, I picked up a pen and some paper and wrote the boy a letter, a letter filled with Karen White’s lyrics vehemently exclaiming,
“I’m not your superwoman.
I’m not the kind of girl that you can let down and think that everything is okay.
Boy, I am only human.
This girl needs more than occasional hugs as a token of love from you to me.”
The next day, I gave him the letter, and needless to say, not only did he read the letter, but he let all of his boys read the letter as well. Within minutes, I became the laughing stock of the school (maybe not the whole school, but you get the point). It was really sad. I was really sad.
In his defense, the boy didn’t fully understand the importance of the lyrics, for he was a child. And as much as I’d like to think that Karen White’s lyrics mirrored my situation, they did not. I mean really, I was only 14 years old, barely a woman, and most definitely not super.
So let’s fast forward 20 plus years. Well, I still remember the boy, our “so-called” relationship, and the letter (his friends probably remember it too). However, I remember it not because I was so affected by the event, but because I recognize that even today, I am still singing some version of Karen White’s song. I am still screaming “I’m not your superwoman”, but now as an adult, I freaking mean it.
I sing this song in many areas of my life: in my marriage, at my job, to myself. I sing it because I have made myself believe that I am Super enough do what another song says women can do,
“I can bring home the bacon, Fry it up in a pan,
And never let you forget you’re a man!
I can work ’til five o’clock, Come home and read Tickety-Tock
And if its lovin’ you want
I can kiss you and give you the shivers…”
Now this 1980’s jingle, really makes women think they are “Super”, and I for one think it worked a little too well. The song boasts all the things that a woman can do by herself. She works all day, she cooks dinner, she reads to the kids, and she still has time for loving– no help necessary. When in reality, this woman does not exist, even though for years, this has been the belief of many women. In fact, women have been proud to refer themselves as a Superwoman even if being super has stressed them, depressed them, or killed them. It’s true. They have been super because for a number of reasons, they have had to be super. You see, this is the life many women have created for themselves, myself included.
But now, I know that being Super is exhausting, and it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be. At 41, I admit that I need help. I don’t want to look like I have it all together. I really just want a good night’s sleep and a morning with no 5:10 A.M. alarm. I am tired of being Super, and I am tired of the expectation of Super. I need help, and this admission does not make me weak. It makes me Smart and it makes me Strong, and that is a title I will gladly own.
Stop Being Super and Ask For Help!