I've been having to independently run my household and all things in it for most of my son's life, so for 9 years. I don't mean that I've been single (Thor's been my loving LDR partner for over 6 years), just running the house alone. I'm seen as the "solid" one, the one to provide guidance to others, the one to take all the messes and make sense of them, the one to always be there to listen and not judge. So when you're in that situation, with it comes the expectation that you are reliable, responsible, serious, and operate tirelessly. You are expected to handle everything and everyone flawlessly. You aren't allowed to take breaks, you just have to deal. House, car, work, cook, maintain everything... you have to take care of it all, or you fail. It's like daily training to become the ultimate independent woman. I almost put that in caps and quotations marks, but it would have glorified it, as if it was some title to strive for. I'm a person who believes in equality of the sexes, so while I'm somewhat proud of the status I've achieved, I would give anything to have help here to help soak up half the battle. I feel like I can never ever ever let my guard down.
But, I actually have this fun, silly and even spicy side to me that I really wish I could just let out, believe it or not. I can't though, because then I'd be viewed as irresponsible or immature, and people would start to find flaw in how I run my life and my household. I wish I could routinely let myself be goofy. I wish I could just let go and not give a flip how people reacted. I used to be able to do that... but if I think back to when I last really let my silly behaviors come out, well... I was probably 31, so quite a while ago. Maybe it was parenthood that finally converted me to "the safe side"... no, I think it was becoming single after parenthood, combined with the fact that I was told I'd have to go it on my own. There was never an option for failure for me.
So while it's all me, just me, me me me here making everything and everyone operate smoothly, I guess I'll carry on suppressing that fun side of me, and just keep dreaming about it when I sleep. That's where it's safe to let go, in my dreams.