My Life Pursuit.

January 22, 2009

When you grow up in a small town, you’re often encouraged to dream. As many people from my graduating class haven’t even left the zip code, I look at myself as a small success story. Either way, we were all required to write a short “life goal” list that was included with our pictures in the senior yearbook. For me, I listed a bunch of stuff that I had hoped to accomplish. On that list I mentioned visiting Germany, graduating with my Masters, and continuing my journey to feel infinite. I still haven’t made it to Germany (India instead), I’m nearly finished with my undergrad and I have every intention of going on for my MFA and the journey still continues. Over the last few days, I’ve really been thinking about what I truly want in this life after being recommended to look at my life, figure out how I want to continue, and shoot for it. So, in no particular order:

  • solid foods: this is at the top because it’s short-term. I have been semi-restricted to liquids the last six days or so for some unknown reason. I do, however, enjoy being able to drink Icees and eat unlimited quantities of Jell-O without even feeling guilty.
  • visit Germany: this stays. I still really really really really really want to go.
  • be in love, get married, have kids, blah blah blah: I want the whole she-bang. While I’m in a relationship now, I know that I want to have my special day with pretty dress and flowers (which is, I’m pretty sure, the only real reason I want a wedding) and I want kids. Not one. At least two. With cool names and middle names that make other kids say “what were your parents’ thinking?”
  • get into a school for my MFA: I really feel that despite a lackluster portfolio, if I’m given the chance to go somewhere for my MFA (Chicago? Baltimore? Rutgers?) I could really excel. I have the desire, I have the drive–most days–and I know that it’s what I want. I’d love to teach at some point but more than anything I’d love to have the opportunity to learn more than I already know.
  • Tell every person I know exactly how I feel about them: This isn’t quite as much of a “thing I want to accomplish” as it’s me being honest with myself and the people that I love. I should get on this, pronto.
  • Get over my fear of spending money: I have a phobia that prohibits me from buying anything I don’t actually need. While most people (men, moreless) look at this as a good thing, it’s a bit out of hand when I’m standing in line at Wawa and I walk back, put every item away, and walk out empty handed because in my head, I knew I wouldn’t die without that bag of trail mix.

So, that’s it. Now I’m off to chat up my vag and down the rest of my 16 ounce blue Icee. Nothing says adult like that.

Hm.  After a meeting tonight, I feel compelled to write about something a bit deeper than what I typically address.  As a woman I have always felt somewhat ashamed of my sexuality.  Growing up in the Catholic school system, I was required to constantly wear a skirt, yet hide any sign of my female body.  Heaven forbid a knee was shown or a button left undone; I was convinced that God himself would damn me to hell.  Now as an adult, I have found myself sometimes struggling with the fact that I could see my sexuality in a positive light–sometimes denying it all together.  The last year have really helped me otherwise.  

I have allowed myself to take on a role that combines a strong, (and slowly gaining) confident self as a female.  I have learned that sex isn’t something to hide and be uncomfortable with, but instead, to celebrate, to enjoy, and to be proud of.  While my sex might subject me to a cultural hierarchy that still puts women in the second-class place from time to time, I have found myself in places of prestige and in an age where my mother and grandmother were viewed as subservient to a man, I have risen to a place where equality is almost entirely evident.  There’s still strides to take, but there’s something about here and now that makes me truly feel proud to be a woman.

It has to be something about gathering in a room, overflowing with estrogen, and talking about how we’re going to make sure people hear what we have to say.

Even if it’s just a story about our vaginas.

I have allowed myself to be surrounded by people who have healthy views of what women should be, I have overcome a huge obstacle and lived to tell of it, and I have tried to live my life to what I want it to be.  I’m a skirt-wearing, bicycle riding, Veggie lovin’, peace demanding feminist.  A year ago, I might not have used that last word, due to the stigma it often carries, but I’ve learned to embrace it.  Where many simply sigh and dismiss the questions, I have learned (through the lovely teachings of professors who beg us to all be feminists) that it’s not necessarily the dirty word it has evolved to be.

This is what happens when you get me thinking at 10:30 at night.