I do things "just because"
My mantra this year has been "just because". I think for women especially, we're often expected to justify why we do anything. As a woman you're expected to justify every want, desire, thought, ambition, behavior, action, choice and so on. From the most trivial to the most significant choices, we are constantly expected to provide explanations. Whether its a choice of clothing or the right to have children, we are constantly expected to provide answers, as though our value or self-worth can only be taken seriously if we provide coherent (and often conforming) backstories. And, honestly, I can't be sicker of it.
As this year comes to an end I realise that my most prized accomplishment was doing whatever the hell I wanted to do without answering to anyone. It's interesting because rarely are women asked the justify the things that are deserving of justification. At work meetings, I am often interrupted in the middle of justifying an action plan - but god forbid I forget to justify why I travel solo.
I find it not only ridiculous but also ostensibly hilarious that men get away with life without justification. Men go all their lives not having to justify where they are going; not having to justify the way they dress or even life choices. A recent example comes to mind: a morning Arab talk show spent an entire hour on air discussing why and how Arab women wear make-up. Why a show would spend an hour dissecting the intentions and justifications for why women wear makeup sounds ridiculous to me. No self-respecting show would ever dedicate an entire hour of airtime discussing why Arab men choose to spend thousands of dollars on gym fees and valuable time getting buffed up. If anything, it seems more insane to me that men can be vain and have no one question it, but when women - many of whom are covered and have no intention of sharing that vanity with anyone - choose to wear make-up, its called into question. In my opinion, it's none of anyone's business what I choose to do and not do with my face, with my body, with my life or with my work.
This year, solo travel was my solace and my internal revolution. It has been the "just because", the thing I do specifically because I'm expected to justify it. And yet I answered to no one. At first, solo travel was a battle for me. Firstly, it was a battle with myself, fighting the fear of being alone and what would family think. Then it was a battle explaining where I am going and why. It makes me angry just to think that I once cared what others though. But now there's nothing more liberating than flying all the way to the other side of this earth (that's why I love traveling around South America) with my middle finger figuratively blazing. I get no better rush than the rush of getting on a flight and leave people on the ground wondering. Solo travel is, in my opinion, a revolutionary act in and of itself.
This year I've ditched the justification bullshit in all aspects of my life. I do things for me and me alone. I do things "just because" and because I want to. If there's anything I've accomplished this year its that I've come to peace with justification - and that the only person I need to prove anything to is myself. Everyone else can just second guess. And I don't really care because it has nothing to do with me.
I really encourage any woman reading this to track back in her life and notice all the moments society expected justifications. If there are any resolutions you should begin within 2018 its to do whatever you want "just because". No matter what you resolve to do in the new year, do it without having to justify it to anyone. Have a happy 2018 from me, and I hope you do all the things "just because".