The pressure to be fun

The writer’s genuine anger at the things that are genuinely anger-inducing, next to her observations of boozy everything, reminded me of how exhausting it is to try and be nice/fun/happy/cool/collected/organized … Truthfully, I am exhausted now.
I am exhausted because my body is screaming for a good old fashioned solo retreat into the woods, while my mind is reeling with the lists of things I need to do. All while telling me to keep a cool, calm, put-together demeanor.
Throughout experiencing all the injustices that women face because of gender based harassment and inequality, they are still expected to smile. Not just smile, but also plan that perfect birthday party, ensure basic necessities are available, do laundry, keep fit, cook meals, pack backpacks, pack work bags, and remember the thousands of little details that make up life. Women are expected to get up with the sick kid – loosing sleep, but still be ready to rock another day the following morning. They are expected to be joyful all. the. time. As if lacking sleep, stressing out about work/family/life and still going to the gym so your fitbit team doesn’t tease you about your lack of steps is a real gift. As if watching opportunities go to male colleagues is a thrilling challenge, and with the right pair of heels you can show them all. As if the constant news reports of abused kids or raped women don’t already keep you up at night.
Because being tired/ upset/ near tears/ not smiling/ stressed means you’re not having it all – and that seems to be an affront to so many people somehow. Like, admitting life is difficult somehow means you don’t love your job/kids/partner/community/home.
Being sober or not is a choice. Judging others for their lack of smile or tired eyes is a choice.
I don’t need to force myself to show happiness to be happy. I am happy, most of the time. But I am also tired, and stressed, and unsure if what I am doing at any given moment is the right thing to do.

That should be okay – but still it is not.


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