When you think of a bathroom, rather public or private, many different things or “events” may come to mind. It is a place which was designed and is more frequently used for relieving oneself, showering or bathing, and beautifying oneself. More recently, the bathroom has become known as a place for checking missed calls, perusing through emails, or checking text messages. But for most women, the bathroom has become more than just a place in which to relieve or beautify oneself. For most women, the bathroom has now become a personal sanctuary.
If you have children, then you probably have a good understanding of what it is that I speak of. While “using the bathroom”, it's very common to hear the pitter patter of tiny feet approaching the bathroom door. After that, you'll probably hear a soft (or loud) voice of someone asking you what seems to be one trillion questions!!! If you pay close enough attention, you may even see a turn of the knob in an attempt to open the door or some small toy or object sliding underneath requiring your full, undivided attention.
I know that you have probably heard almost every woman with a child say “I can’t even use the bathroom in peace!”. Or, maybe you have no children at all and have yet to experience the level of invasion and lack of privacy that comes along with motherhood. Those moments when you struggle to remember what it was like to not feel tired. Yes, those moments.
Whether or not you have children, you have been subject to “using the bathroom”; but it has not been for the reasons that you may think.
Truth is, every day isn't a great day. For every day that we live, it is not our heart's desire to be the strong woman that everyone thinks that we should be. And regardless of how we feel (spiritually, emotionally, or physically), there is still an unspoken expectation and assumption that we have everything under control; especially during those times when we might feel as though you're about to lose it. We are great multi-taskers, but it is because of this innate ability that we have in being female that we often times make things look "easy". There are consequences for that which usually consists of little to no concern for asking one simple question: "Are you okay"? And so the only place that we can sometimes retreat to that seems to understand us and allows us to be human is the bathroom.
Have you often wondered (as I often have), how you can give so much of yourself to all of those who are connected to you and unfortunately find yourself subject to releasing and relieving yourself in a small, tiny bathroom? Or, how you can spend your entire day meeting the demands of people or smiling when you feel like crying and still being subject to such a small, tiny space?
You may be wondering where it is that I am going with all of this- If so, I’ll explain.
There are so many things that are being released when we “go to the bathroom”. For most women, the bathroom is a place where we release tears so that no one can see us cry. The bathroom is a place where we release fears and anxieties about what tomorrow will bring in addition to what we’ve already prayed for today. The bathroom has become a place where we make ourselves up (literally) to hide the face of the girl who has so many insecurities; insecurity about her weight (either too thick or too skinny), hair which is too kinky, curly, or straight, the bumps on her face or the too wide nose. Or the girl who is perfectly gorgeous on the outside, but on the inside struggles daily with never feeling as though she was good enough.
“Going to the bathroom” is a time where we finally have the moment to be human; feeling no pressure to save the world along with everyone and everything in it. “Going to the bathroom” allows us those few moments of the day where we can be unapologetically Woman! We can be feminine, vulnerable, and say to ourselves in the mirror that we’re tired and weak. The bathroom is a place where we can be emotionally honest without being subject to the judgment and ridicule of others who would see our truth and call it weakness.
So, until the world (including those who we love) can understand that being a woman does not mean that we are made of steel and that we hurt, cry, and feel pain just as others do, then we’ll keep “going to the bathroom”. Until this world, including those who we love, can recognize that our weaknesses and ability to show our weaknesses is in fact what makes us strong, then we’ll keep “going to the bathroom”. So now I ask, when is the last time that you used the bathroom?
To every woman:
Although it may seem as though we are miles apart and we may never have the chance to meet in person, just know that I am in the bathroom stall right next to you!