I lean up against the wall and look up at the stars. Somewhere off in the distance, music is booming and in the other direction, friends are laughing. Trash surrounds me on all sides and the smell is rotten but somehow sweet like boiled spinach and splenda. I have a coughing attack, which had been happening for the past couple of days. But I swig down some water, close my eyes, and breathe. I try to remember why I was doing this…why was I doing this? Oh yeah, to help out a family member and make some extra cash. It would be well worth it in the end to see the finished product, clean and styled to the satisfaction of the next tenant. So I move onto round 4 of the branch job I’d been doing for the past 30 minutes, knowing this is just another one of those experiences that will build my character. I remember that there’s a verse in the Bible that talks about doing things to the best of your ability and brake the branches harder. I get the hang of it and decide to push harder for my own sake, and the sake of my partner. Then I half smile, knowing that I’ll laugh at this some day.
Ok soooo, I’m someone who likes to work hard. I hate waking up at 4:00 in the morning, patience isn’t my best quality, and I’ve never been a super amazing public speaker. Those are some of my flaws. But still, I have some things I can be proud of. Like my strength. If you ask me to fold up chairs and put them away, I can do that. Moving furniture? I’m good with that, too. Carrying heavy groceries? Done. So lately I’ve been doing a lot of that kind of work, not because I prefer it, but because I do okay at it. I helped someone move all the stuff out of their yard that they were going to sell for a garage sale. It was going well for awhile, there were 3 of us but the other 2 were guys. All I did was waddle my feet a bit as I was shifting something heavy from side to side, but that was all it took. “Be careful, don’t kill yourself,” one guy said. “Hold on..let me get that for you. I’m so used to the women staying in the kitchen and cleaning, this is new,” was another reply. *Straight face* They did admit that I was a hard worker and that they were impressed, but the taste in my mouth was already a little sour. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that there are things I can’t physically handle that men can. I would be a fool to try to pick up a whole refrigerator all on my own, or to try to push a truck out of the mud on a stormy day. I acknowledge and respect men for all the things they do for us women, that’s why God made them the way they are. It’s just the fact that no matter where I go, whenever I try to do anything strenuous, this is the reaction I get. It’s like I’m not expected to get my hands dirty. If I need help, I have no problem admitting it and carrying only half. I can share. But to assume that just because I’m a woman that means I’m dainty, psshh. I’m sorry, it’s not the 1950’s anymore.
I hope this doesn’t sound like a rant, I just thought I’d write a mini-blog on this because it can be really irritating. I’ve always been a tomboy. I love playing sports and running in the mud. I like the feeling of accomplishment that comes from beating odds. So for all the women out there who do that, keep at it. You don’t have to love the color pink and stand on the sidelines. Lastly, to all the men out there, I love y’all. Again, you are very much appreciated. You are the “samsons” of our time. But if we want to be a little bold, don’t feel emasculated. There’s nothing more attractive than when a man believes in a woman. We’ll appreciate it in the end. I’ll leave you with this, 1 Timothy 3:11 says, “In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.” So trust us men, we got this.