There's a new breed of woman. A new archetype emerging.
Many of the women around me, my friends and colleagues. We are in our 30s and 40s. We are single and have been for most of our lives. We have wanted lasting relationships. We have wanted a traditional family.
But we have not been willing to stay when we realized we were in unhealthy patterns. We have been working, relationship by relationship, strengthening our discernment, refining our attachment styles, relentless working on ourselves and with ourselves, to become more of who we are.
These women I am talking about are healers, therapists, workers, writers—women who have dedicated themselves to their spiritual paths and to all relationships. And here we are, at 30 or 40 or 50, and we are finding we have to do WAY more for ourselves and by ourselves than we ever imagined we'd have to.
Without a partner, we have to find ways of receiving touch, support and co-regulation through a broad network of sources, many of which are paid. Most of us have been willing to untangle attachment, pleasure, and expectations, become experts at communicating the specificities of what we want and need, been accused of being too picky (but if you heard some of our stories, I doubt you'd think so).
Today, I just want to reach out to those of you who are raising yourselves, reparenting yourselves, maybe parenting children, and doing it on your own. It's no small thing to take care of ourselves financially, energetically, bodily, sexually, and spiritually, especially in this culture where congregating with other people has to be planned so deliberately a lot of the time.
We are asked to construct, reconstruct ourselves and believe in ourselves from the inside out. All of this comes with a fair amount of heartbreak. I don't know what this archetype of woman is EXACTLY that is emerging. But MAGAMAMAs, I feel you.
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Kimberly Ann Johnson, author of The Fourth Trimester: A Postpartum Guide to Healing Your Body, Balancing Your Emotions, and Restoring Your Vitality