I Can Save Myself, Thanks
Take your big strong manliness elsewhere.
I used to dream about being a princess in a fairy tale. I’d be in the clutches of a dragon when a handsome knight would swoop down to rescue me. Or an evil wizard would hold me captive, and I’d wait for my prince to break down the door and save me.
It never crossed my mind to try and rescue myself, because the idea of being saved was just so romantic.
Those were the dreams of a young girl. A girl who’d been taught to let a man take the reins, a girl who never even considered she could hold reins of her own.
All my life I’ve been taught to let a man take over and accept my role as the damsel. I’d hear things like, “You don’t need to worry about working honey, your husband will take care of that.”
“Don’t bother getting yourself dirty, it’s a man’s job to change a tire.”
“Having a hard time in school? Well, don’t sweat it. You’re not going to need an education as a housewife.”
And for the most part, I went along with it. It’s all I knew. I was told I was nothing more than a damsel in distress, so that’s how I acted.
But then I started experiencing more of life. I started forming my own opinions and noticed how much being a damsel sucked.
Because I had no idea how to change a tire, I found myself stranded on a remote highway, waiting for — you guessed it, a man — to come save me.
Because I was told not to worry about school, I didn’t push myself and regretted it immensely years down the road. I found myself returning to school later on, wishing I’d been more dedicated to studying when I was younger.
The list goes on and on, but if there’s anything I know now, it’s that I’m done being a damsel. I’m done waiting for a man to save me — when I’m perfectly capable of saving myself.
I’m done believing I need a man — because I don’t.
This belief isn’t unique to me: my husband and I recently befriended an older lady and her middle-aged daughter who are textbook damsels. They forever complain about their lot in life, saying if they just had a man to take care of them then everything would be different.
They could easily make the changes they wish to see in their lives with a bit of hard work, but they’re convinced a man is the difference-maker. Their key to a happy life. So, they put all their energy into looking for a man to save them, blind to their ability to save themselves.
I’m done listening to what other people tell me I need to do and be. No one gets to decide that but me, and if I want to get dirty learning something new, I can. If I want to have a career of my own, I can.
It’s my choice what I want to do with my life — if I want to be a damsel in distress or a knight in shining armor.
Now, my dreams have changed. I no longer see myself waiting in desperation for a man to come save me, not at all. Now, I’m the one saving myself.
I’m the one running through fire to defeat the dragon.
I’m the one crashing through dungeon walls and locking up the bad guys.
And occasionally, I’m the one saving the poor little prince who got himself in a bind. :)