How To Be Your Own Heroine

Saturday March 1 2014
by Pepper

When I emerged from university into the world at large, the first thing I realised was that there was no point in relying on other people to rescue me from the day-to-day struggles of adulthood. The sooner one gets this through their head, the better.

I’ve always been an idealistic person, and it quickly became clear that my knight-in-shining armour mentality was getting me nowhere in my new nebulous life. I wasn’t exactly expecting a man to swoop in and save me, but the idea that someone would bail me out when things got difficult…that died hard.

This was when I realised I would have to become my own heroine.

It can be easy to fall down on your face after the structure of school falls away, and you probably already have, or will. That’s totally awesome. Falling down is a really good way to figure out what you want. It’s a good way to get close to your goal of finding out who you really are. Just don’t let it stop you from picking yourself up and carrying on. I recently spent an entire week freaking about the idea of success, only to discover that the idea of success as most of society defines it isn’t something I want to apply to my life. And I’m in the arduous process of dumping it. Win.

In order to be your own heroine, you have to make your own path, driven by a goal that comes from your heart. I know that sounds cliché, but it’s totally true. I’ll go into detail so I don’t sound like an embroidery pillow.

Hunter S. Thompson gave his friend some really good advice about goals when he was just 20 years old, and I think it applies here. I’ve replaced his “he/his” with “she/her”, since I think we’re mostly ladies here, yes? He’s talking about the idea of setting goals, and how it can be unwise to be too specific in our goals, as we are mercurial, ever-changing creatures.

“In short, she has not dedicated her life to reaching a pre-defined goal, but she has rather chosen a way of life she KNOWS she will enjoy. The goal is absolutely secondary: it is the functioning toward the goal which is important.”

This to me, is heroine-style empowerment.

In my eyes, what this quote means is this:

Welcome to the world. Make it your own. Society will offer you lots of pre-dictated options, make sure you set a goal that puts your heart first and comes from your self. That way, while you’re living your life in the way that you want to, that goal is something to help drive you in the right direction, instead of living your life the way that you feel that you HAVE TO, in order to reach a goal that might not be what you hoped in the first place. That way, you won’t wake up realising that you spent your best years living a boring life to get to a place that doesn’t exist. You’ll live your best years in the way that resonates with you, and if you reach that ephemeral goal, and it fades away from your grasp, you’ll realise the experience of living a great life is what matters, and the impetus is simply that: the fuel that drives you.

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