I have been a lot of things this week.
I have been quiet, and I have been angry, and I have been hopeful, and I have been disappointed, and I have been numb. But it wasn’t until this evening, when I read Alexandra Petri’s piece from last week, that I broke, sitting at my desk, staring at the screen, crying into my hands. Because I too am so, so tired.
I am tired of being quiet. I am tired of feeling like I need to be calm and collected, of having to sit silently while men act as though they are baffled by the idea that women might be upset. Of waterproof mascara and cheerful phone voices and smiling understandingly and saying “not too bad, how are you?” Of sharing my thoughts in whispers and behind closed doors because heaven forbid that I be a person who has feelings and opinions that are not about baked goods or puppies or shoes.
I am tired of being mad. I am tired of the idea that I have to be mad, of the idea that I might need to be mad in order to make anyone listen. The knowledge that no amount of calm, collected argumentation has kept abusers and assaulters from being elected and appointed and promoted and defended. That a woman can sit and calmly describe the things that men have done to her and the damage they have caused and it doesn’t make a difference.
I am tired of being hopeful because I cannot run on hope. I cannot survive by crossing my fingers that things will get better, that the pendulum of justice will swing in the right direction, when every outrage seems only to lead to another.
I am tired of being disappointed. I am tired of being numb.
And I am tired of explaining to people what is wrong. My supportive, well-meaning boyfriend told me earlier that he was there if I want to talk about it, but I’m not sure I want to. I’m tired of talking about it, because women have been talking about the same goddamn things for time immemorial and it doesn’t make a difference. And I am so, so, so fucking tired of it.
“Someday I want to not be tired,” Petri writes. “Someday I want us not to apologize.”
I do too.