The Remember the Time Blog Hop theme this week is rivalry.
I remember being on the playground in elementary school, a lanky girl with curly bangs and pants that might have been too short, afraid of a lot of things (like somersaults and heights), but still adamant that I could do anything any boy could. It didn’t matter that I was a girl.
My favorite place on the playground was the tall grab bars that you could swing on like a gymnast.
Everyone was into pulling their legs onto the bar, swinging from their legs, then grabbing on and doing a flip to let go and land on your feet. (Was that confusing? It sounded confusing to me.) Even though I was scared to do this on anything but the middle height bar, I was so proud of myself, and childishly boasted to all the boys how awesome I was because of it. I was very adamant even then that even though I was a girl, it didn’t mean I couldn’t do anything else they could do. Despite my ignorant fears of heights, tucking my head under, and apparently callouses on my hands that kept me away from the monkey bars, I felt that I was invincible.
When I was about 8 or 9, I played a lot with P, a boy who lived next door. Our backyards were separated by a chain-link fence, and since his mom usually wouldn’t let him come over to play, we would play games over the fence together. Despite his mild personality, I constantly asserted how I was “better” at things, or was generally bossy and pushy with him. For instance, he’d spit and I’d get angry if he did it in front of me (“Swallow it! That’s so gross!”), and generally acting how I viewed as confident, but in retrospect, looks more like I was being a bit of a bully. I remember my mom telling me to be nicer to him, and I thought I was being nice…enough.
In middle and high school, especially, my personal rivalry with boys took a turn for the worst. It led to me being teased and picked on more than it might have if I hadn’t been as headstrong, stubborn, and adamant at being exactly who I was. What I didn’t realize is I could have maybe avoided some bitterness and hurt in the long run if I had kept being exactly who I was, but without the defensiveness and need to prove myself.
To be honest, I’m still defensive. I still catch myself saying things that sound haughty and self-important that I instantly feel bad about saying. I’m still stubborn, headstrong, and adamant if I think I’m right. And I firmly believe that just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I can’t do something at the same caliber as a man, if not better. I still have bouts with hobbies or pastimes that are traditionally male where I feel the need to prove myself or that others don’t take me seriously. (Enter WoW as a prime example.) However, I’m glad I’ve moved past my childish insistence on being right that were possibly destructive rather than constructive. I promise I won’t sing the “anything you can do, I can do better” song anymore. Maybe.
This post was part of the Remember the Time Blog Hop hosted by Emily from The Waiting and Kelly at Are You Finished Yet?. Want to write a post of your own? Visit here for instructions and the link up!