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These girls aren’t wounded so much as post-​wounded, and I see their sisters everywhere. They’re over it. I am not a melodramatic person. God help the woman who is. What I’ll call “post-​wounded” isn’t a shift in deep feeling (we understand these women still hurt) but a shift away from wounded affect: These women are aware that “woundedness” is overdone and overrated. They are wary of melodrama, so they stay numb or clever instead. Post-​wounded women make jokes about being wounded or get impatient with women who hurt too much. The post-​wounded woman conducts herself as if preempting certain accusations: Don’t cry too loud; don’t play victim. Don’t ask for pain meds you don’t need; don’t give those doctors another reason to doubt. Post-​wounded women fuck men who don’t love them and then they feel mildly sad about it, or just blasé about it; they refuse to hurt about it or to admit they hurt about it—​or else they are endlessly self-​aware about it, if they do allow themselves this hurting.

The post-​wounded posture is claustrophobic: jadedness, aching gone implicit, sarcasm quick on the heels of anything that might look like self-​pity. I see it in female writers and their female narrators, troves of stories about vaguely dissatisfied women who no longer fully own their feelings. Pain is everywhere and nowhere. Post-​wounded women know that postures of pain play into limited and outmoded conceptions of womanhood. Their hurt has a new native language spoken in several dialects: sarcastic, jaded, opaque; cool and clever. They guard against those moments when melodrama or self-​pity might split their careful seams of intellect, expose the shame of self-​absorption without self-​awareness.

Leslie Jamison, “Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain” (via not-nai)

(Source: et--cetera)

Laugh, even when you feel too sick or too worn out or tired.
Smile, even when you’re trying not to cry and the tears are blurring your vision. Sing, even when people stare at you and tell you your voice is crappy. Trust, even when your heart begs you not to. Twirl, even when your mind makes no sense of what you see. Frolick, even when you are made fun of. Kiss, even when others are watching. Sleep, even when you’re afraid of what the dreams might bring. Run, even when it feels like you can’t run any more. And, always, remember, even when the memories pinch your heart. Because the pain of all your experience is what makes you the person you are now. And without your experience—-you are an empty page, a blank notebook, a missing lyric. What makes you brave is your willingness to live through your terrible life and hold your head up high the next day. So don’t live life in fear. Because you are stronger now, after all the crap has happened, than you ever were back before it started.
Alysha Speer (via observando)
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