About a year ago I went back to visit my family in Michigan, and brought my ukulele with me, which I had learned to play some months before (albeit not that well). Considering the last time my parents saw me play an instrument I was a chubby 7th grader (I played clarinet, and to this day I still can’t believe at one point in my life I could read music), I thought they’d be ecstatic to hear me play and sing songs.
My excitement, however, was met with very little enthusiasm on their end. I practically had to tackle them to the ground and tie their hands and feet to the furniture and yell, “you will hear me sing and play dammit!” for them to listen. And even when I did, all I got was, “oh that’s nice honey” (as they patted me on the head like the family dog).*
But seriously, I was disappointed, so I texted my friend Dave and waxed #firstworldproblems on his ass about how I have evil parents who don’t love me. His response was something to the effect of, “Tonya, you’re a grown-ass woman and you don’t need the approval from your parents about your
lack of musical ability. You have plenty of friends who love like tolerate you.”*
But he really did use the term “grown-ass woman,” so that is what I really want to focus on in this post, because lately I’ve been saying that phrase a lot to myself. It does two things really: One, it shuts my ruminating and highly emotional mind down quickly. Two, it makes me laugh.
Here are some examples of how I’ve applied the GAWT (Grown-Ass Woman Theory) to some areas in my life lately, and how it may help you too. Men, feel free to substitute GAWT with GAMT, although you can stick with GAWT…I don’t judge.
Those F*cking Work Snacks
I’ll be damned if I haven’t come up with 800 ways I can use to try to avoid eating the (free!) work snacks.
I walk by and get all self-whiny, “ohhhhhhh man, I just can’t seem to avoid the peanut butter-covered pretzels!!” “But I feel soooooo frumpy right now!!!” I attempt to turn the dispenser ever-so-slowly as to only let a few pretzels out of pretzel jail, but the dispenser ends up pretzel-vomitting like a million instead. Shit! Now I HAVE to eat ALL of them!
“You know Tonya (I say to myself), your a mutha ____ grown-ass woman!!” First, no one is holding a gun to your head to eat anything, let alone these delicious salty delights. And secondly, no one is holding a gun to your head to make you eat all of them that come out of the dispenser.”
“Hmmm, you have a good point, inner mean bitch.” Problem solved!
Peer Pressure and/or Caring What People Think About You
First of all, if you are one of those people who says you don’t care what people think about you then:
A) You’re lying.
B) See A.
I like what Amy Schumer has to say about this. In an interview someone asked her if she cares what people think about her, and she said that she cares what people she cares about think of her.
Whew! That narrows things down a bit.
I think of all the money I spent on crap over the years that were meant to impress the other 90% of the population who don’t really care about me, and I cringe. I think of the money I spent on beach volleyball lessons because I was trying to fit in with a certain crew. Or the decor in my apartments over the years so people thought I was trendy and cool enough. The list could go on…!
Earlier this past week, I lost battery power in my Fitbit (it’s funny how many times #firstworldproblems keep coming up in this post), right in the middle of a workweek challenge I have going on with other PF bloggers. “Oh no! Dammit! I’ll have to lose some steps while my Fitbit charges.” Well boo-freaking-hoo. I might lose the challenge. You know who doesn’t care? That’s right? A grown-ass woman! She is just happy that she is working out and staying healthy, despite losing a Fitbit challenge.
Guilt…Over Just About Everything!
I was listening to the awesome podcast Let It Be from Brooke McAlary and Kelly Exeter. I’m loving this podcast by the way, and especially loved an episode they had on saying “no.’ I could relate to it so much! They, like I do, often get served a big ol’ spoonful of guilt when it comes to saying “no” (This is, of course, because we care too much about what people think of us).
A GAW is not mean about saying “no,” but also doesn’t have to go into a book-length explanation on why they are saying it either. I have to laugh at that because I did that very thing when I said “no” to my blog friend about turning down an opportunity he had. I laid the apology on super thick, as if I’d actually done something wrong. Je-SUS!
I think women especially are somehow prone to feelings of guilt for doing things that are (GASP!) “selfish.” Selfish things like: taking care of your mind/body/spirit, relaxing, slowing down, prioritizing. I mean, right?
I know sometimes we actually do do those things that are good for us, but I’ll bet I’m not the only one who does sometimes feel guilty about it, or like I should be more productive every second of every day.
Of course old habits die hard and it’s easier said than done to change our mindset and behaviors overnight, but I would encourage you, as I have started doing myself, that when we feel weak, beat down, tired, peer pressure, having eating or spending urges, that you give your inner GAW a name or voice, and certainly an attitude, and have her yell at you when you need it.
“(Insert your name here), YOU’RE A GROWN-ASS WOMAN, SO STOP (insert negative thought or behavior) RIGHT NOW!”
What area of your life do you need to say, “I’m a Grown-Ass Woman (Man)?
*I tend to exaggerate. 🙂