Being 100 percent, authentically you is extremely freeing. It is awesome, brave, and takes courage and strength.
It is also completely exhausting at times.
Like, I-think-I-have-Influenza tired.
The more I age, the more I advance. The more I advance, the more I realize how living my life in the constraints of other’s opinions or wants or desires for me is not an option. This leads me to be lonely at times, and on an unchartered path.
It is great. It is exciting and freeing and fun and quiet on this path.
It is also terribly arduous. I have to cut down the branches myself. I have to clear the path step by step and navigate through weeds and tall grass. I have scratches. I am thirsty. I am tired.
I want to stop. I want to turn back and get off the road less traveled.
As a woman, I have often thought lately, is this is why women so often settle?
Not because they don’t know who they truly want to be (although I am sure that sometimes this may be the case).
Not because they aren’t brave enough to strike out on a new path (after all, the map has been in their soul, burning in their hearts, for years).
But simply put: They are tired.
Tired of fighting to get what they have earned.
So they take 80 percent.
Tired of convincing others that they are valid candidates.
So they remove their application.
Tired of jumping up and down “Pick me! Pick me!”
So they stop raising their hands.
Tired of negotiating for what they deserve.
So they settle.
Tired of hearing no.
So they give up on yes.
We must not grow weary. We must not stop pushing, negotiating, innovating, speaking, raising our hands, and throwing our hat in the ring.
It is inevitable you will grow tired. You will want to quit; you will want to go back to the path well-traveled.
When you see a woman starting to fatigue, start to settle, please, don’t let her. Point her toward the wilderness. Give her a drink, a pep talk, some nods of encouragement. Then send her forth.
Even better: Lend her your light.
She needs it.
Sasha K. Shillcutt is an anesthesiologist who blogs at Brave Enough.
Image credit: Shutterstock.com