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Mountain Echo

Online newspaper of Altoona Area High School in Altoona, Pennsylvania
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The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

Letters from my room: the virtues of being a woman

Makenzie Closson

On my most pessimistic days I find myself looking in the mirror and realizing that I am a woman, and, somehow, that makes me feel worse.

Growing up sensitive is a curse in disguise of a glorious mess. How much sadness can I romanticize before it’s no longer beautiful? Was it ever beautiful, or was I always just sad? There was always pity involved, but that pity was built in. I am a woman, and that’s pitiful. 

As more days pass, and I encounter more people, I hear things I shouldn’t. I find myself being desensitized to these things being said indirectly, or even directly, to me. Derogatory comments that should bother me don’t, because it’s no longer my first time hearing them. I’m expected to cry, overreact, become frustrating to work with, however; suddenly, I’m not ashamed of that. 

The fear of vulnerability is slowly killing human connection for everything it’s worth. There is nothing special about forming romantic relationships anymore, because we are no longer allowing ourselves to feel anything. A conversation consists of pictures of foreheads being exchanged every second of every day, barriers are being put up between people you see daily at school and confinement is something that becomes rare and used for an ulterior benefit. How infuriating is that for the population of humans who crave the intimacy of feeling emotions?

However, despite the most recent years of declining emotional contact, nobody can feel an emotion quite like a woman does.

Anger feels like a rage that’s been building for years upon years, sadness is heart wrenching, sending us into the deepest pits of overthinking and self-criticizing, while happiness makes us feel like every bad thing we felt before never was that bad at all. These feelings and thoughts are rapidly changing almost every day, sending us into a new spiral where things become complicated and confusing. There is never a moment of epiphany, it’s one emotion after another, each felt on such an intense level.

In the times between feeling and not feeling, there is always a moment of guilt. A moment of, “I shouldn’t have acted like this, I was being too much.” Too sensitive and not desensitized enough. This is how we were trained to feel. There is no such thing as ‘feeling something too much’— there is only feeling something. For years we have been told that our sensitivity makes us who we are. We can see the world in such angst because that’s all we’ve ever known. 

For the years of my life that were ruled purely by anger, I wondered why I had to feel this way. I would pry myself apart because I felt the need to uphold a certain standard men created for women, the one that is nearly impossible for a teenager to achieve. 

They’d say: We like girls with makeup, but natural makeup, not the kind that would stain our shirt if we wanted to hug you. Actually, scratch that, we decided we’d rather have you wear no makeup at all, you guys feel fake when you wear it. We like when you guys wear your hair down rather than up. Makes you prettier. But make sure your hair is long, we don’t like it short anymore.

All of this is essentially nonsense to me now, but it never used to be. I was taught through culture that dependency on a man is what we were made for. The power men have over us is something that they take advantage of. They know this—and that’s scary. 

I got older, though. I realized things, and I matured from them. I am no longer afraid to speak. I am no longer afraid to be angry. To be confused, frustrated, despondent or even agitated. Above all, I am not afraid to be happy. Womanhood is alluring, it’s complicated and it never gets easy. But, it’s pretty. In all life’s spite, I will braid your hair and tie the ends with pink ribbon. I’ll whisper secrets in your ear, I’ll giggle and squeal when something exciting happens, and I’ll wear my favorite skirt outside when it’s warm. I want to pick flowers and set them gently into my picnic basket, I want to paint my nails and wear dainty pearl necklaces. 

I want to feel, and I decided that I’m going to. Don’t pretend to not care about things that you know you should care about, because something is never nothing if you don’t want it to be.

There is nothing more agonizingly beautiful than womanhood. 

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About the Contributor
Makenzie Closson
Makenzie Closson, Associate Editor
My name is Makenzie Closson. I am a second year member of the Mountain Echo and Horseshoe yearbook staffs. Last year, I became a PSPA finalist and even won first in the state for yearbook copy writing. Besides just being involved in the publications, I'm a competitive dancer. I also enjoy playing my guitar, creating art and film making. After high school, I plan to attend a film school to become a director.

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