It has been a tumultuous year for me in so many very personal ways that I am not able divulge in a blog post because that process would require telling some stories that aren't mine to tell. (and it would also be way too complicated)
But, to sum it up, 2015 was a year that life as I know it changed forever. Life has a way of doing that, though... changing, that is. It's not the first time it has happened and I'm positive it will not be the last. I don't do so well with change. I know not many people do well with change, but it is especially hard for me and it takes me a very long time to adjust.
I pretty much found myself in a midlife crisis of sorts in the midst of all the chaos that surrounded me. I found the safety and security I thought I had finally found after so many years, disappearing. This brought about a lot of tears along with increasing depression and anxiety. This went on for almost the entire year.
If you were one of those people... Thank you <3 You mean the world to me.
During 2015 I've also have done a great deal of introspection, along with recognizing where a lot of my issues come from.
For example :
I did not ever want to connect a lot of my issues with misogyny. In my mind that was implying that I was influenced by outside forces, that I was not a competent, free thinking individual and most importantly it would mean I was a victim. I don't like being the victim.
However, once I started to learn what feminism and the patriarchy was, the more I understood. I had deliberately stayed away from the term "Feminist", because it is considered a bad word to so many people. Besides, the only time I had ever really heard it before meeting so many wonderful Feminists was through sources that used words like "femi-nazi". To be frankly honest, the word "Feminist" scared me. But, once I figured out that feminism stood for everything in my life that I had ever said or spoke out on that other people told me I was sooo wrong about, I thought maybe there was so much more than I thought I knew... and there was.
The day that my daughter was told to call home from school for a dress code violation along with about 50 other girls in her school, I knew I could never not identify as a Feminist ever again. That was the day she was told by the asst. principal they were trying to protect her from the boys and that her body was a distraction. That was the day she stomped her foot and raised her voice and said very proudly "It's not the girls' FAULT, Teach boys to respect us". I never want her voice to be silenced like my own was and I want far more for her than what society is offering her right now. One of my greatest fears is my daughter being abused in some way and believing that it was her fault. So, with that said...She needs me to be a Feminist and my boys need me to be a Feminist, too.
text reads: "And the day came when the risk to
remain tight in a bud was more painful
than the risk it took to blossom.-Anais Nin"
Text is on green textured
background with image
of a lotus bud.
(Image courtesy of Autism Women's Network)
I've learned so much this year and
This year I've learned how to become even more comfortable with being uncomfortable when it comes to my own privilege. This means knowing my place and understanding when it's time to talk and when it's time to listen.
And most importantly... I've learned that my heart always has room to love more people, even when it feels like it doesn't. In fact, I learned that my heart has infinite space.
I am ready for the New Year. My heart and my mind are wide open, ready to learn and love even more than the year before.