A funny and real comic that will help women stop worrying about being perfect.

Ever feel like you have to be in control of every aspect of your life all day every day, and when you're not, it's like the world's crumbling around you?

Trying to live up to all the expectations placed on women is pretty much an impossible way to live, yet so many of us strive to achieve it. Why? It's a symptom of living in an unequal world where men have a leg up in their careers simply because of their gender.

Along with (and perhaps partially as a result of) this pressure to be so many things at once, women are twice as likely to experience an anxiety disorder between puberty and age 50.


Illustrator Julia Scheele is all too familiar with the uphill battle of trying to do it all. So she turned the experience into a comic as a way of coping and to help other women realize they're not alone.

It's her own personal story, so the struggle is real — filled with lots of ups and downs — and ends with a lesson for anyone who's ever been up against the racing thoughts that accompany anxiety.

All comics by Julia Scheele/Tumblr, used with permission.

We all feel the pressure to be perfect sometimes, but actually being perfect is impossible. Perhaps it's time to take that off our proverbial to-do lists.

The first step to being comfortable with ourselves, flaws and all, at any given moment, is opening up about our fears and anxieties and letting each other know that we're not alone. Of course, it's not always easy, but as is evident from Scheele's journey, it can make a huge difference.

There's no one way to cope with anxiety, but connecting with people and trying to make sense of it is a great way to start.

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Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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One little girl took pictures of her school lunches. The Internet responded — and so did the school.

If you listened to traditional news media (and sometimes social media), you'd begin to think the Internet and technology are bad for kids. Or kids are bad for technology. Here's a fascinating alternative idea.

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This article originally appeared on 03.31.15

Kids can innovate, create, and imagine in ways that are fresh and inspiring — when we "allow" them to do so, anyway. Despite the tendency for parents to freak out because their kids are spending more and more time with technology in schools, and the tendency for schools themselves to set extremely restrictive limits on the usage of such technology, there's a solid argument for letting them be free to imagine and then make it happen.

It's not a stretch to say the kids in this video are on the cutting edge. Some of the results he talks about in the video at the bottom are quite impressive.

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