“Within every woman there is a wild and natural force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity and ageless knowing. Her name is Wild Woman but she is… An endangered species.”
— Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Every morning I open my eyes, get out of bed and put on my favorite sweater that neatly hangs over the arm of the chair next to where I sleep. The sweater is such a comfort after getting out of a warm bed; it helps with the transition to daytime and the state of being awake. I walk over to the kitchen, stretch my sleepy limbs in a slow, deliberate way and turn on the electric kettle to boil some water.
It’s time for my morning ceremony.
Have you ever heard of Pantone Institute? It is an establishment started back in the 50s with the sole purpose of communicating color amidst various professions, from designers and architects to painters and corporate labels. After all my purple may be different from your purple since color is still very much based on perception and subjectivity.
While out shopping with a friend at a local thrift store, I stumbled upon a dress. Now, this is not a story of me falling in love with it at first sight or realizing it’s the one thing my life has been missing. This is a story of hidden potential.
‘What on earth are you wearing today?!’ I froze by the door of the classroom I just entered, attempting to make myself smaller and less in the spotlight as I was running late for my Russian literature class. For an eighth grader growing up in Ukraine I was tall and too curvy for a twelve year old, as puberty graced me much earlier than my female counterparts.
As a woman I am expected to maintain a perfect exterior. Free of imperfections, my skin must be glowing and radiant, my eyebrows perfectly tweezed, my eyelashes curled up, thick and black, to make my eyes stand out. I am to have frizz-free hair that does exactly what it is supposed to, as if willed to by magic. My nails are to be clean, trimmed and manicured. They will look nice with my small and delicate hands, which I am, of course, to have.
Last night I had a vivid dream. I was standing in the middle of a beautiful building, circular in shape, with many large windows letting in a great amount of natural light. There seemed to be no top in sight, the cylinder that was this building never seemed to end. I quickly glanced at how to get to the top, I knew I absolutely must reach it. Something important and amazing waited for me there.
I was recently walking on one of Seattle’s lovely beaches during the low tide. It has left the beach looking abandoned, with a number of sea creatures struggling to survive the sudden dry land they found themselves upon. I saw sea stars that crumbled up and dried out, I saw a number of little fish that did not return to the water to get another breath of air. There was a feeling of sadness and a bit of despair, seeing these creatures suffer through one of Mother Nature’s flows.
fear * fi(ə)r/ * noun – an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
You know the definition of fear, you have felt it many times before. Your palms get sweaty, your breathing becomes more rapid, your heart is pounding in your chest. You feel like your vision is sharper, yet everything around you is blurred, moving in slow motion. You are paralyzed with fear.
We all enjoy good company. Whether it is engaging in an interesting conversation over a delicious meal, enjoying a board game with family or the bond of friendship we feel while laughing together with our best friends, it is a fact that socializing has many benefits.
But today I would like to sing praise to the opposite of socializing and talk about the beauty of solitude. If the world alone sends you running for the hills, be mindful that here I am using a simple noun not the feeling its appearance invokes in many people. I am describing a state whereas a person is simply without anyone else present. That person doesn’t have to lonely to be alone. Do you see?