Strip Down and Free Your Crazy.
Every once in a while, she rears her head.
She calls attention to herself.
She cries out, “I’m here!”
I hear her, but I ignore her. I know she’s there, but I walk past her without a second glance.
“Hey!” she says. “Pay attention!” she says.
But I’m scared. I’m scared to look at her. To see her. I’m scared she’s a Medusa who will turn me into stone. I’m scared I’ll fall in love with her. I’m scared she’ll carry me away forever.
What if, though?
What if I gave her a second glance? What if I gave her a minute of my time? If I let her voice make its way to my ears?
I did once. No one let me forget it.
“You’re crazy,” they said. “You’re too emotional,” they said. “You’re PMS-ing.”
“Take a pill,” he tells me. “Calm down and control yourself,” she urges me.
Well, you know what?
She is there. I hear her voice, I see her face.
She is here.
Strip away what I have learned from society, what I have studied at school, what I have picked up from my parents. Cut away the obedience and the fear. Etch away at the habits and customs. Carve out the scars of time and the wounds of experience.
Tear away my daughter identity, my sister identity. Rip off my wife façade and slash away my mother role, hack off my good girl cloak and free me of my Superwoman cape.
Beneath it all, you will find her there. The wild woman inside me.
The essence of me.
My Crazy Woman. She is a wild woman with bushy eyebrows and feet bare, unwaxed body and untamed hair. She is my deepest longing and my most burning desire.
My crazy woman shuns the itch of clothing and the civility of cities; she rebels against the harmony of language and the aching weight of culture and heritage.
She tears through the night like the howl of wolves, she loves with the generosity of rain and the abandon of wildflowers. She digs her toes into the salty surge and flings her naked body into the ocean; she swims out to infinity only to wash back up onto the shore — cleansed and spent.
She feeds on sunshine and bathes in color; she drinks the tears of lovers and feasts on scorched dreams. She creates wildly, passionately, violently, freely.
She creates and creates and creates.
My crazy woman is rude and sweet and smart and delicate and unbreakable and totally fragile. She screams and cries and laughs and howls with abandon. She is powerful and soft, courageous and shy.
My crazy woman asks for no permission and waits for no one. She feels, she acts, she loves, she fights, she senses without reason or logic but with the cells of her body and the clamor of her soul. And she creates. Noisily, madly, uncontrollably.
She creates and creates and creates.
My crazy woman fights against the shackles of the proper, and breaks through the cages of expectation. She snaps at job descriptions and desks, she spits at salaries and brands and snarls at body weight and fat percentage.
She flings possessions and duties into burning fires, and casts the dust of responsibility into the sea.
And she creates. Deeply. Wordlessly. Frantically.
My crazy woman rests her head on the grave of hopes and blows memories like dandelions into the wind; she spreads the ashes of dreams along the flowers of now. She dances to the wails of the lonely, and cries to the whimpers of the weak.
She rides the unicorns of don’t and tames the tigers of impossible.
And she creates. Now. And now. And now.
My crazy woman lives inside me and aches to get out. She shakes her head at my willingness to be docile and obedient. She sputters indignance at my conformity and cringes at my self-doubt. She recoils in horror at my self-judgment and my fear.
“That is not who I am!” she cries.
She is right.
“This is not who I am,” I whisper.
Today I will set her free, and I will create, mindlessly, fiercely, freely.
Today, my crazy woman is me.
Kathy Shalhoub is a writer and a personal development coach who helps entrepreneurs, creatives and outliers design lives that bring them meaning, money and happiness. In a past life, Kathy was an engineer and scientist with a PhD in Oceanography. Being true to herself, she made the leap from working with underwater robots and writing software to working with people and writing creatively. Kathy is an award-winning author, a mom of three, and a university lecturer in Engineering Entrepreneurship. An incurable optimist and experimenter, Kathy has at one time been a waitress, sandwich-maker, security guard, secretary, corporate trainer, cashier, editor, tutor, journalist, consultant, and babysitter. Check out her TEDx talk on the ‘Power of Distraction’ and how it contributes to answering some of the questions that do not seem to go away in life.