The “F” Word

Hey girls, let’s talk.

Let’s discuss how it may be time for us to stop saying, “finally”.

Like, I finally started _____-ing, or I finally stopped __-ing.

When we say finally, we may be unknowingly referring to the time we *did/didn’t do the thing* as pathetic and pitiful. And we may be looking back with regret and disappointment when really the time we actually began was the time we were destined to begin. What if we could consider that we held the capability to change all along, but that it took just the right moment for us to exercise it?

Gosh, girls, I just don’t think we give ourselves enough credit! We do so many tough things, we face so many unfortunate circumstances alone, and we are continually overcoming things. So why can’t we just decide that we did it. We didn’t finally do it. We just did it!

Recently I was writing about my experiences leaving an abusive relationship, many years ago. I wrote – “I finally found the courage to leave.” It looked heroic on paper. Then, I spoke the words aloud and a picture formed in my head. It was a picture of the me before I finally found the courage. And it was woeful. In my mind, I was haggard and sorry, because I hadn’t found it yet.

This made me very angry. I scolded myself: Hold on! Don’t you dare judge yourself, Melinda! You were doing the best you could. What if it wasn’t your time yet? What if there was more to know before you acted? You were courageous in many other things going on in your life at that time – give yourself some respect!

So I took out the word “finally” and I left the sentence as is and read it aloud:

“I found the courage to leave.”

When I spoke , something within me shifted. There was a sense of pride and bravery. I pictured myself as strong and determined, not frail and weak. Then I realized that is exactly who I was back then – I was strong and determined.

Now, I hear it all the time. “I finally lost the weight”, “I finally gave up bread”, or “I finally took control of my life”. And I just want to get all up in your face, (because I think you are so, so incredible and so very wise, and so damn resilient) and say – STOP! You did it! You just did it. It took a lot of effort and you made it happen! Congratulations! F*ck “finally” – your timing was perfect. 

Maybe if we would agree to make small changes like this, in carefully choosing the words we use to describe ourselves and describe our experiences, we would find that we are empowering ourselves. A woman empowered leads to more women empowered. And a community of empowered women is what this world needs.




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Communications major. Journalist. Willing: to have the tough conversations. Living out the belief that communication strengthens connection.

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