9 Things You Don’t Need to be Happy

Being a woman in the 21st century is not a piece of cake. It wasn’t easy in 1950 or at any other time in history, either. But in 2011, in today’s universe that keeps getting bigger and faster and richer, it takes serious cojones to be a girl.

Today more than ever, women are bombarded with expectations – be beautiful, bear a baby, become a millionaire, be educated, be a good wife and please do it all while being good to the planet. So, anything else?

Never mind, don’t answer that.

Yes, there are obstacles, but I celebrate the women who break the mold and laugh at conformity. They are brave, outspoken and rather revolutionary. What is it that we girls tolerate least of all? Being told what we need to be happy.

So, I’m here to smash a few of these assumptions. I’ll do so without bearing a grudge or turning against men because I love being a woman. And in my opinion (humble as it may be), getting angry never got us anywhere other than backlash and behind where we started.

Here’s our list of things women don’t need in order to be happy:

1. A child. It’s true, our eggs get older and less viable as we age. There comes a point when we just can not have a baby, whether we have a hankerin’ for it or not. There’s no denying biology or the clock. But a childless woman is not necessarily an unhappy or devastated one. In fact it’s possible to feel quite free and fancy, sexy and spontaneous. And I can personally attest to the fact that there is absolutely no greater pleasure in my life than being an aunt to Rose and Jack. My heart explodes with love for them, but you know the catch…um, returnable.

2. A wedding. If I learned anything by watching friends and colleagues get matched, married and divorced over the past 20 years, it’s this – weddings are a great party, but mostly they just cost a mountain of money, a monstrous amount of stress and aren’t always worth their weight in white cake. Nothing costs as much, has the potential to rip families apart rather than bring them together, and is over faster than wedding night foreplay. Just elope – it’s easy, cheap and just think of all the extra time you’ll have for foreplay.

3. A diamond ring. By no means does a diamond a girl make. And anyway, a diamond is far from the best choice when it comes to sustainable stones. There are plenty of other far superior options if that’s what you need to signify your relationship status. But why wait for someone else to shower you with the shiny? I revel in my single-hood and independence and joy in shopping for a precious piece of jewelry for myself. You should, too. Especially if he can’t (or won’t) buy it for you.

4. A perfect body. Well, actually…this one would be nice. Admit it. But “perfect” is such an ugly word. We’d much rather be happy than perfect, right? Right? Actually, I don’t know many women who are completely satisfied with their physique. There’s usually a little here or there that we’d prefer to improve, but skinny is not a requirement for happy. My friends come in all shapes and sizes, and their happiness depends on deeper issues. Thinking that once we get to this place of perfect, we will have joy? We all know the answer to that one.

5. A thousand friends and followers. As in Facebook and Twitter, of course. In the beginning (when was that anyway?), I spent way too much time worrying about my worthiness in the world in relation to my number of social media connections. Come to realize, I may not be a maven but I’m worth my weight in effort and outspokenness. I do not need to meet a certain number to feel like I’ve made it. Who can be effective with that many followers, anyway? (Follow me though, really, if you aren’t already. Follow me! @kimderby77)

6. A man. Who needs one when there are plenty of gorgeous women to hang out with? Seriously, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. I dated a woman for two years, and it’s fun and different (and entirely personal of course). But just sayin’. Never say never, because I did and I’m still eating my words.

7. A pair of perky breasts. Again, this would be nice and definitely more probable if we abide by number 1 above, but not necessary or impossible if not. A gorgeous, lacy and luxuriously padded bra will do the trick.

8. A soul-mate. Don’t believe in them. Never have and never will. One person who we are destined to be with forever? Silliness. Life is a random flow of crossing paths and we will probably connect with more than a few people on a deep, spiritual, other-worldly level. And if things don’t work out after truly trying, well, move on. Whoever said we should stay together for the kids, through pain and suffering, never set foot in my house growing up.

9. A partner with a low sex drive. Excuse me while I fall off my chair laughing. I hear all kinds of stories, especially from women with babies who lose interest and couldn’t be bothered. I’m terribly sorry. Seriously. But the average woman without hangups whose hormones are level and loaded should be totally driven in this department. End of story.

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