She's organized and exercises. She drinks plenty of water and always knows what to say. The woman I most want to be thinks positively - all the time. She eats only what's good for her and stops worrying (about everything) once and for all.
This woman in my head can drive on the highway and attend family functions without anxiety. She knows how to sew, knit, write, and wallpaper. This dream girl ages gracefully and carries the wisdom of her years with an ever-present smile on her lips and in her eyes, serenity tucked neatly away in her pocket.
She knows how to parent, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and teach. She's rooted in tradition but always willing and able to learn something new. She lives a life both extraordinary and simple; equally down to dirt basic and roller coaster rush.
This woman I want to be has time, finds time, makes time, and uses her time well. She keeps up with the laundry, the dishes, the bills, and all those papers that need review. She's witty. Intelligent. Thoughtful. Creative. And always kind. She's seldom superficial and always weighs just what she's supposed to.
She's confident. Sweet. Lives without guilt. Happy at home, but ready for adventure. She's always on time but still stops to smell the roses. Compassionate. Courageous. Light in spirit and full of heart.
I am this woman I'm supposed to be. And so are you. We are every woman. Sometimes half-full. Sometimes half-empty. Equal parts on a tear and can't get out of our own way. Simultaneously full of life and drop-dead tired, we are the sum of our parts. We can't be all - all the time - try as we might and wish that we could.
But we are most of these things some of the time, and in any combination - these toppings make for one really good pizza.
I'm not writing about perfection. I'm writing about potential. The woman who lives inside my head doesn't want to be perfect. If you were to ask her, she'd say she wants to live fully to the best of her ability. Potential energy is stored energy. We have potential energy on any given day in any particular mood to interact on our lives in any possible combination of the women we already are.
It's not an all or nothing life I'm living. It's this, that, and the other. A little more patient one day, a little more frantically get-it-done the next. Here a little centered and sane, there a little energized and strong-willed.
I'm every woman.
It's all in me.
Written by Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson
Performed by Chaka Kahn and Whitney Houston
I can't please all the people, all the time - least of all, apparently, myself. And I can't promise to permanently banish that woman who lives and talks inside my head, continually lamenting all I could be, but am not. But I can understand her better and that understanding might just set her free from that rut of thinking she's got herself stuck in. It just might free her from self-doubt, and self-criticism, and self-destructive cycles of thought.
An Independence Day - of sorts.