Being Smart is Sexy – Resist & Persist

Being Smart is Sexy, Resist & Persist | Sedruola Maruska

Being smart IS sexy.

In college I met all types of men & women. We were just embarking on this ride called life. There were classes to take, activities to join, places to go and people to love. Looking back I see how my years in college were vital to shaping the years to follow.

Relationships were always tricky. Navigating different personalities and philosophies could end up in a lifetime union or in disaster. But relationships were always part of college life and they were a distraction from school work and the great beyond.

I remember several times thinking to myself “I wish he didn’t talk.” Ladies, let’s be real, you know exactly what I’m talking about. He’s cute, ladies love him, and you’re wondering why he had to open his mouth and show you the hollow of his mind. . . .

Being Smart is Sexy, Resist & Persist | Sedruola Maruska

Don’t be hollow

Ladies, don’t be the “I wish she didn’t talk” girl. I’m not worried about the men, they say what they want, when they want. They don’t have the same censors we do. I’m worried about us. We spend the better part of our time diminishing ourselves and pretending to be small when we’re not. We’re surprised when a fellow sister does open her mouth to say what she feels or thinks. Sadly, we’re also so conditioned that we turn on her for being who she is without apology.

We dress our silence or smallness up as being humble, failing to realize that smart is sexy. Being able to speak full sentences strung together to mean something, is sexy! That’s why we wonder about those “hollow” guys. It’s because we don’t understand why we need to pretend we’re on their intellectual level, when clearly we’re not.

I’m not exempt. I’ve made myself small many times. I’ve kept my mouth shut for fear of sounding too smart, too dumb, saying the wrong thing, not having the facts and a host of other reasons. Thing is, men don’t censor themselves that way. That’s why when they go on about things that make no sense we feel uncomfortable. Our self-censorship puts us in situations where we’re not challenging our intellectual capacity.

We think we need to be small to fit into someone’s idea of who we “should” be. When what we should be doing is showing them who we “are”. We’re varied humans with thoughts, ideas, opinions and feelings. Learning to express them in a way that speaks to our truth without diminishing another is sexy. Smart is Sexy!

The result

Have you noticed how when we do put ourselves out there and find someone who can keep up, it turns us on! Can you imagine, that’s how he feels too? Contrary to popular belief, men (let’s not generalize, many men) find smart incredibly sexy in women. We don’t give them enough credit sometimes. They know that a smart woman will be a help to them along the way. They know that you being smart doesn’t diminish their intellect.

Smart is sexy! I don’t say that thinking it’s to find a man, I say that so you can feel your strength. There’s a new breed of people who are doing their best to make smart seem “stupid”, I’m not here for that. Resist the temptation to fit in with that culture. Persist in your pursuit of more knowledge. Smart whether it’s book, street, emotional or social is important to keep ideas flowing and innovation happening.

Feeling, looking and being sexy because of your smarts is just a lovely by-product. Step into yourself. Love yourself. Enjoy those things that push your intellectual growth and challenge your ideas. Be smart! Not just because smart is sexy, but because your survival depends on it.

Now, more than ever, women are at the forefront of major innovations and change. We need to keep pushing forward so we keep going in our becoming.

Becoming stronger.

Becoming bigger.

Becoming more respected.

Becoming more confident.

Becoming smarter.

We are always becoming when we are constantly learning and allowing that learning to be challenged.

Used to be women weren’t allowed into places where men were talking policy, strategy, or other such “smart” things that we would never understand. Now, we’re showing that we not only understand, but we have innovative ideas about how things can be done in all areas from our homes to our communities.

So be smart, stay smart and keep becoming smarter because this new idea that smart is “stupid” is stupid. Let’s not be afraid to share the ideas we have and to push through when we’re being cut off. Let’s do as men do and remove our censors so we can put the ideas forth that may make a difference. Smart is sexy. Yes, we’ll still have to prove ourselves over and over again, but luck for us it simply makes us better.


Beach Body Madness, Do you have it?

Beach Body Madness | Sedruola Maruska

This post was moved from my other blog to this one because it’s more appropriate here. Beach Body Madness is something we all go through.

It may mean something different to you, but it represents the same thing: feeling that we’re not good enough for the things we want because of someone else’s idea of what that should be.

Where beach body madness begins:

Me: I’m gonna get into a bikini next year
Hubby: Okay
Me: I need to lose this belly first
Hubby: Okay
Me: Ugh, that means I need to workout hard, I hate working out.
Hubby: Okay

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had this conversation with my husband. I’m going on and on about how I need to whip my body into shape so I can fit into my desired bathing suit and he’s going along for the ride.

He knows better than to jump in with commentary because there is never a right thing to say. He’s a smart guy.

My hubby thinks I’m beautiful. He told me so. He’s not worried about my baby pouch, he had a part in putting it there.

He wants me to be happy and comfortable in whatever I put on so he’s going along for the ride.

I’m pretty sure he also thinks I’m a maniac . . . he hasn’t told me that, I’m guessing (smart guy).

But the other day I was getting dressed for work and I stood in front of my full length mirror, again, thinking how I wanted to get into a bikini and what needed to happen first.

Then I stopped.

Really? Something needs to happen before I can be happy to wear what I want to wear? Why?

Why do I think anything needs to happen before I do something that is clearly going to make me happy?

I’m a beautiful, strong & intelligent woman and yet, someone else’s idea of what my body ‘should’ look like in a bikini is holding me back from putting one on.

It’s beach body madness!

Beach Body Madness, Do you have it? | Sedruola Maruska

 

If you have a body, and you’re on the beach, wearing what makes you happy. . . hot dog, you have a beach body!

Sometimes I feel resentment toward those who constantly lament their bodies, and yet, here I am, in the comfort of my walk-in closet, my safe place, lamenting the few inches on my belly that mean absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of life.

And yet, how many times have we not “worn the bikini”, whatever that means to you, because of a story we’re constantly telling ourselves?

Did you miss the party because your makeup wasn’t “just right”? Did you opt out of date night, again, because you were too afraid to spend time alone with your love because that would lead to nakedness? Did you leave that awesome dress at the store because it wasn’t “made for your body?”

Ugh, I’m tired of not walking my path, but sidestepping it to please someone else.

I’m not there yet, but I’m on a journey to wearing that bikini this summer. No, I’m not working out like a fiend or starving myself. I’m shopping for a bikini that I will love and that will love me back!

I’m looking at my body in the mirror every day and saying “look how beautiful you are!” Because I can’t expect it to come from anyone else but me. My husband loves me, but if he told me every day that he thought I was beautiful, I’d have him committed, or I’d commit myself since it would drive me nuts!

Bottom line is, I need to love myself enough to accept or gently change what doesn’t make me happy. But . . . BIG BUT . . . that doesn’t mean I’m mean to myself and chastising myself at every turn hoping for change or to suddenly fall in love.

Perspective

I’ve got a designer body! I’ve had two babies. One at 38, the other at 42. I’m pushing 50, and I look HOT!

I can and will always take care of myself so I can be here for my babies and grandbabies, but I’m not going to beat myself into submission because someone else says I need to look a certain way to have what I want.

I’m going to love myself enough to love my body and be proud that I’ve had the privilege of having babies. That I have a baby pouch that was created in love.

I’m going to love my body, and not judge myself so harshly that I can’t wear what makes me happy.

Beach body madness be damned! I’m getting and wearing that bikini this summer. . . We all have many “bikini” issues, this just happens to be one of my many. Thankfully, that mirror was kind and I was ready to listen.

Beach Body Madness, Do you have it? | Sedruola Maruska
Me in my new bikini Feb ’17

Please ponder the thought: What’s your “Bikini” issue? How will you work to move through it? What lesson do you think it will teach you?

Beach Bodies are figments of our imagination . . . let’s start living in the worlds we actually inhabit.

UPDATE:I bought and wore my new bikini when we went on vacation this past February. . . I LOVE it and it felt so incredibly great!


Old White Men in Wheelchairs Scare Me

Old White Men in Wheelchairs Scare Me | Sedruola Maruska

I’ve never told anyone that old white men in wheelchairs scare me . . . until now.

We moved back to New York City, after living in Salt Lake City for two years, when I was ten going on eleven. It was culturally shocking. . . but that’s another post.

I was in the sixth grade and everything was new. Instead of riding a school bus I rode the city bus. I needed a bus pass and I walked to and from the bus stop every day on my own. I was a big girl.

We lived with my grandfather while we were looking for our own home, so everyday on my walk I passed this beautiful house with a lovely manicured yard. I used to imagine what it would look like on the inside or what the people were like.

This was the first time I was living in a neighborhood with houses so I was really in awe. Some days I would see people around, but most days I would walk the quiet streets home and meet my grandfather waiting at home.

It wasn’t long before I started seeing an old white man in a wheelchair passing by in the streets. At first he rode by silently. Then he began to say hello. We’d moved from a predominantly white city so white men in wheelchairs were just like every other white man I’d ever met. It never crossed my mind that this man’s presence was odd or that I needed to be concerned.

One day on my walk home this man rolled up to me:

Man: Can you help me with something?
Me: Yes.
Man: I need to get to the door of that house (pointing to my dream house) but I can’t reach the doorbell, can you help me?
Me: Sure (excited to finally meet the people who lived in that beautiful house)

We went over to the house where I started to go to the front door

Man: No, we need to go to the back door, it’s easier for me

So we moved to the back door (which was really a side door) and I rang the doorbell. I stood waiting for an answer with this man right behind me.

Man: Wow, you have a lot of dirt on the back of your skirt (as he proceeds to wipe it off)
Me: Really? (trying to look back)
Man: Ring again I don’t think they heard

I turn to ring again. A hand goes on my skirt again, but this time to lift it

Man: How did you get this dirt on you, it’s on your panties too
Me: I don’t have any dirt on me
Man: Yes, you do (preparing to pull down my panties)
Me: No I don’t! I don’t think anyone’s home (moving to go)
Man: Oh, I’m sorry, I guess they aren’t here, thank you

As I walked quickly back to the sidewalk he followed. When I got to the sidewalk and began walking home, my grandfather came out of the house looking for me. I was a few minutes late and he wanted to make sure I was okay. He saw me with this man on my heels.

Grandpa: Hello Sedie, are you okay (looking at the man behind me)
Me: Yes, I’m fine
Grandpa: Who is that man, are you okay?
Me: He needed help, I’m fine

That was the last time I saw that pedophile. That was the last time I ever spoke about that pedophile. That wasn’t the last time an old white man in a wheelchair made me nervous.

From a very young age I learned to take responsibility for my actions. Doing that meant I took responsibility for what happened. I could have walked away and ignored the old white man in the wheelchair. . . As a good and respectful girl, that wasn’t an option.

Good and respectful girls don’t walk away when someone who is clearly your elder and needs your help asks you to help. You help.

I’m realizing how we as women are programmed to do the right thing and “boys will be boys”. Because of that many women repress feelings. We walk around with wounds and scars thinking we deserve them instead of seeing that they were inflicted without our consent. I wasn’t responsible for that pedophile’s actions, and yet I felt responsible.

Never seeing that man again doesn’t change the fact that for a long time I had a reaction to any old white man in a wheelchair that came in my vicinity, never a young man, never a man of any other race.

So when people take lightly assaults that happen and are brought to light I cringe. If what happened to me took years to reconcile, and I never uttered a word of it, how much bravery does it take to come forth after a sexual assault, harassment or rape happens? How devastating must it be to get shrugged off or to watch your assailant get a lenient sentence, no sentence at all or a pat on the back because “boys will be boys”?

We need to give our girls permission to be strong warrior women. We need to let them be loud, rambunctious, unruly and obnoxious just as we allow our boys. Using the phrase “boys will be boys” while restraining our girls does them a disservice. Girls need be assertive in their purpose.

Listening when they speak and acting on what they say gives them the power they need to be strong. Not shrugging them off as “too emotional” or “girls”. Don’t overfeed the caretaker within ignoring the warrior. Let’s appropriately feed both the caretaker and the warrior. They are not mutually exclusive. They co-exist within her, society kills the warrior.

“Let girls be girls” should be said often and mean the same as it does for boys. Let girls own their bodies so they can choose to experience pleasure and report pain. Don’t push them into uncomfortable situations so they look “polite”, respect their feelings. Believe them when they say they’ve been hurt, don’t shrug off tears. Stop fearing the power within but allow that power to grow.

Throw out the double standard used in raising girls and empower them to know their feelings are valid. A woman’s natural instincts will always come into play but to be whole she needs to listen to the inner voice that says “yes” and the one that says “no”. We need to understand that those instincts are for her protection and should always be honored.

In my marriage, what makes me powerful is what makes my husband powerful. Mutual love, respect and the belief that the other is capable.

We need to let our girls know, too, that we love, respect and believe in their capabilities instead of molding them to play out parts imposed by society. Only then will there be true strength in society. Only then will the scales be balanced when it comes to our views about assault. Only then will we freely voice our opinions, show our feelings and build something remarkable together.

I’ve grown since I was ten. I’ve allowed myself the opportunity to be who I am and so have those who truly love me. Old white men in wheelchairs no longer scare me. . .