Graduating woman enters the world
Isfeld senior influenced by strong women
Editor’s note: Today is International Women’s Day
BY SARAH NUEZ
The person I am is greatly influenced by the women I want to be. The people and places where I’ve seen acts of femininity, strength, controversy, and attitude, have shaped who I’m becoming.
I’d like to say I’ve already done a lot of growing, and that I’m emotionally and mentally developed for a teenager. This is partly because of the impressive amount of purposeful women I’ve surrounded myself with.
Kiley Verbowski, the one who showed me femininity doesn’t belong in a box, allowed me to be less stressed about not having long hair and a petite body. My mother, who has occupied her time with sports into her 50s. My sister, whose intelligence and can-do attitude is something I always aspire. Frida Kahlo, an early feminist who taught me, alongside Dr. Claire, that it’s okay to be a sexual woman, or alternatively, an abstinent one.
But these are other people, not me. So I ask, what have I done to be a strong woman?
As a graduating woman, how do I know I can make it in the real world? I’m far too full of insecurities to dive into the many new things heading my way with any kind of confidence. The lack of courage is at a point where I don’t even feel sure if I can call myself a woman.
I feel too young and unaccomplished to have that status. I relate being a woman to a strong and independent type of person, a person I feel I’m not yet.
And still, these insecurities feel almost natural. Just because I’m young and naive doesn’t mean I’ll be stuck that way for long. Learning will be a full time job after I graduate, and that goes the same for all my classmates, regardless of gender.
I feel excited to surround myself with new women, to learn more about them and myself. Women unlike the homegrown island girls I’ve spent my whole high school career with and feel judged by and whom I judge. I’ll get to grow to be confident in a different way, and feel empowered by my friends.
I can take on my own part of the world and have the stamina to challenge what I disagree with. I will be ready to deal with the unavoidable oversexualization of my body and workplace sexism.
My attitude is positive and realistic. Struggle is inescapable, so all I can do is look forward to bringing a personal touch to everything I do.
Sarah Nuez is a senior at Mark Isfeld High School and a contributor to the Comox Valley CivicJournalism Project. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.