The “Good Girl” Bites the Dust

by on November 29th, 2014
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The day I finally grew up was the day I stopped being a “good girl.” It was the day I slowed down long enough to admit to myself that I was tired of telling myself it was okay to not feel okay. It was the day the “good girl” finally bit the dust.

There I sat a fifty-something “good girl” with everything my culture told me I should have in order to be happy. I had the husband and the children, the house and the career. I had the education and the comforts. I had hit the marks and toed the lines, but my heart was numb and the achievements of my life sparkled for all to see like silver paper stars on the forehead of a “good girl.”

And I had been so very, very good. Dinners were made, meetings were met, homework was helped and clothes were folded. Cars were driven here and there and my smile shone pinched and perfect. The alarm clock was set. Tonsils were checked and teeth were straightened. Pets were vetted and vaccinated. Baseball and tennis, tutoring and music, bedtimes and bath times all marched to the beat of my orderly direction. Duties were dealt with and “yes” was the answer to every request. My husband had become just tolerated as parents and relatives were catered to. And I was a very “good girl.”

But beneath the beaming brow of every “good girl” resides the heart and mind, the soul and spirit, of a woman who is becoming an older woman with each passing day. How much of ourselves do we keep buttoned up and pressed down and primped perfect? How much of our individual worth and beauty do we set on the back burner as we rush about being “get-it-done darlings” for everyone else?

We must do it all so very well, don’t you know? Isn’t this what will make us happy–being so very good? I so thought this, until I realized the “good girl” had to go. She brought with her a subtle resentment and a quiet anger. Her burden was a guilt-shot, wiggling disappointment. So I made a decision. I ditched the “good girl” and began the search for me. What served my growth and my spirit? Which decisions were mine and which were rote responses that I needed to discard? And slowly, I began to learn myself.

Today I am a good woman. I can say, “No.” I know that I matter just as much as you. I no longer bend to anyone else’s opinion of me. Perfection is no longer part of my vision. Putting others first is not always a given. I decide what is valuable and needs my attention. I choose what I can let go. I know what I cannot.

So, if you are struggling with disappointment and a quiet anger, you might want to look at the “good girl”–or boy–in your life. Maybe they need to bite the dust.

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