We were born to live in this world. We learn things. we hear things. we doubt things. However, sometimes we need to learn about ourselves. To know what’s our limit, not just by being told by others. It’s only less than half century ago women were not allowed to vote like men. Women were not encouraged to go to school, to get education, to be intelligent and creative. and nowadays, we all see that women can be good educated, intelligent, creative and being feminine at the same time. While facing choosing medicine or engineering for college, i chose engineering – civil engineering. I guess i just have some weird thing in my bones that i want to prove i can be cool. i am not gay and i am just not a princess girl. Being the third daughter in the family, i was raised somehow like a boy by my parents. My mother never encouraged me to do makeups or spending time in dressing up like other girls. She always encourages me to do something more practical, coz that’s the type of woman she is. My father worked as an electrician. I learned how to use his pliers, hammers and copper wire to make my first necklace and earrings. I basically do what ever other boys do except they way they pee. I fight with boys a lot of times for anti-bullying, including protecting my younger brother from older bullies. I learned how to be independent, be strong and be compassionate to the weaker and i deeply understand how important a fair and equal society is.
During my teenage hood, i was considered being cool and admired by all the teenage fellows. I surprisingly got along with those naughty boys and learned from them in my late middle school. Just during a very short time, i transferred myself from one of the most brilliant student to be a ‘bad’ student very quickly. This doesn’t mean i did everything wrong though. I decided to change to some high school which took academics more seriously. Thank god i made that decision and again, i transferred the mild-naughty girl to a completely needy girl in the new high school during the first few weeks. I spend time with all the needy students and did nothing but reading books and studying. My hair was cut very short during my whole childhood and teenage hood. I was miscalled as a sir from behind on a bus one time, not even a boy, but a sir. how funny is that?
No one would give me any privilege either in shopping or anything as i didn’t have anything related to cute princess. I guess i got so used to be treated as a boy. It’s like Aya in Game of thrones, deeply i am proud of being a girl, but i also want to explore myself how far i can reach without those pretty cute looks.
Now let me tell you, i feel so glad and lucky that i did what i did in high school. Choosing reading books rather than just learning how to do makeups helped me recognized the world. I quickly learned that there’s a better world outside than china. I learned english and opened my eyes and mind. When you read more books and learn more knowledge, your heart will become more wild and higher. I didn’t just want to stay in that little town my whole life. I aimed to go abroad to experience the completely different world. When your mind is not limited by the world, you will give yourself a bigger dream. I had that big dream already in high school.
After entered the university, i sort of wanted to give myself a break and become more girly. I started keeping long hair, wearing nice dresses, pretending being ridiculously innocent and stupid in front of the boys i dated, expecting the boys will protect me and like me. It didn’t work. I realized i was smarter and more mature than a lot of the boys i knew. It’s a hard work to pretend being silly and innocent. Unfortunately, the side effects i got was i really started believing a lot of things i was born not to be doing, like swimming. I started to believe i would never be able to swim. i even made an excuse for myself it’s because of my body structure.
What’s worse is that i put that idea into my head so deeply and i even started avoiding things and not even giving things a try. I came to australia 4 years ago, i was afraid of learning new things here as there are just too much information every day. Everything is new. People’s body language and facial expression is so different from where i came from. Why people you never met would smile at you so nicely on the street? Why they hug each other when they just met the first time? Even when i just went to the bank to open a bank account, those words i saw on the paper are just sooo different from what i have learned from my books. i wanted a driving license, but i didn’t even try after i heard about driving written test. I didn’t even wanted to learn road rules.
My question to myself now is: what happened to me? where did the young ambitious and nerdy girl go? The last 5 years i perhaps have read less than 5 books. well, of course, i mean in english. English is like Mountain Everest in front of me. i can’t climb over, neither would i ever want. I was surprised by how much i have put in my head last several years, especially during the two years while i was dating a man. It was only very recently, started trying some thing over my believing zone. I fixed a car from dead battery coz i didn’t believe the insurance tradesman told my friend that “the battery broke down because the electricity drained out and it costs $200 to get a new one from him”. It was like a sudden waking up. I have never touched a car battery. Even this professional tradesman said there’s no other ways to fix it. And i am a girl. how would it be possible for a girl who doesn’t know any mechanics about cars to fix a car? I didn’t believe until i used my simple tools and took the battery out of the car. I put the recharge on and recharged the batter. After i put it back and started the engine. The engine sounded like a magic. I was so encouraged by myself. I could fix something that some men said there’s no other way to fix.
But hold on, why aren’t girls able to do something if just because some men are not able to handle? Where did i get that theory?
You won’t realize how much you have been effected by the stereotypes until you walk out of your believing zone and proved yourself.
We always want so many beautiful things to happen in our lives. but we often just limit it to the dream. We find excuses for ourselves to believe so that we can avoid things we find hard to over come. and put that idea into our head and believe it deeply.
No need a lot of words to express our fear. We fear too much in this world. We fear people’s opinions. We fear failure. We fear being looked down upon or being judged for the way we act or we dressed… Even in the end, we all physically disappear from the earth and becomes nothing. Why don’t just walk out of the long term believing zone and try to grab something you have being longed for a very long long time? Sail from your safety harbor. A boat means nothing if it just stops at it’s safe harbor its whole life.