11 July 2014

3 Things I Like About Me...



Lately the news is jam packed with misogynistic statements...it seems that world is against women. The schools dress codes for girls becoming stricter while conversation with boys/men about how the problem doesn't lie with a mere outfit is almost no where to be found.  Hell, women are against women.  Judging looks.  Judging outfits.  Telling someone they've never met before to 'cover up so my husband won't look at you'.  Things like that.  Yes, I read that on a blog for real.  A very popular blog.  It's enough of a blow to someone who already struggles with our society's notions of ageism - I'm almost 40 and have lines around my eyes *GASP*.  And bodyism - I'm curvy and have cellulite on my knees.  I'm also a heavily tattooed (yes, I still get shit for that) and well-educated baker who isn't having kids.  There's not much to represent me in mainstream media right now.  There's not much representing women in general.  It can be frustrating and maddening and saddening...

But as I head into this weekend I want to remind myself that while I struggle with and against a number of things, both in the media and within myself, I've got a lot of good things going on with my mind, body and life.  A LOT of good things.  SO MANY GOOD THINGS!  You have to remind yourself all that good when you're fighting a whooooooooole lot of bad.

I'm willing to try anything once...within reason.   Whether it's fashion, food, books or tubing down a polluted river (yep, that was my 4th of July experience in Helen, GA), I'll give it a whirl once.  You've all heard the sayings about seizing the day and living in the moment but I really try to embody that concept on the daily.  Why not, eh?

I know myself and know when I'm not going to compromise.  Okay, I just wrote about trying new things as much as possible but I also try to draw limits.  Gah, that's a fine line.  For example, I've gone out to the bars for *insert thing here* but you know what?  I hate going to bars.  Hate it.  So, I don't do it unless it's a going away party or a special occasion (like Athfest).  It's liberating and fulfilling to say 'no' sometimes just as much as it is to say 'what the hell...why not?' because you know yourself because you've been willing to try new things and push the envelope.  And as a Southern woman this is a big deal for me because I was taught to constantly compromise.  Yay for changing a lifetime of ingrained habit!

I try to be happy as much as possible.  Happiness is work.  Hard work.  And I'm so proud of myself for choosing happiness over anger as I've become older.  Oh, I used to be a very angry lady at one point in my life.  One of exes was a very negative guy and really hurt me (verbally) and it took me a long time to realize that my anger towards everyone and everything had to be addressed.   Years where I partied hard, made even more horrible relationship choices (verbally and physically abusive ones) and did whatever I could to avoid self-reflection.  Now, I'm thankful every day for a wonderful partner, my dogs/kitties, my education, my friends and my life.  I'm happy.  Because I worked, and continue to work, for it.  I deserve it.  So do you.

I also like: my hands, my scarred up knees (I rode BMX as a kid), my defensive driving abilities, my affinity for clogs, the different voices I use for different animals, my cookie making skills, my ability to read a 250 page book in a hour, my ability to wash a sink full of dishes in under 5 minutes, my ability to quote feminist literature, the way I use a fork, how I can pick things up with my toes, my blue eyes and dark hair, the way I can wear florals with flair, the way I can give a look that kills a conversation and so much more. 

I'd also like to hear what you like about yourself.  What makes you the person you are?

9 comments:

  1. I love this post! I've been getting a lot of crap for moving away from the city and into more of a quiet life. But you know what? I don't like busy city living anymore, and I'm old enough to be okay with that even if my city friends think I'm nuts. I rode BMX as a kid too! And my hands are my fave feature about myself. You and I need a serious meet up sesh.
    Trish

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  2. I also love this post, love it!

    I have a lot in common with you, child of the 80s, married but no kids on the horizon, ex partier ;), educated and feeling v. disillusioned about the anti female sentiment in the media and online. The way I see it, men are promoted positively by both genders whereas women are often vilified by both genders - when did that happen?

    Anyway, it's taken me a long time to like myself after feeling like I never did anything right for a lot of 20 something years (too chubby as an Australian size 12 - really? Too opinionated, my previous occupation as a registered nurse not good enough - we only empty bed pans etc etc) but now I've decided I like myself because:

    My sense of humour - I can be silly and see the funny side of things most of the time.
    My education - nobody can take that away from me ever.
    I'm passionate about things, sometimes annoyingly so but still! Not jaded yet.
    My ability to enjoy being alone. I love to be around people, am a people person but being alone is great. I get to read, drink pots of tea, eat half a pack of Tim Tams without judgment, watch trashy TV and dance around the living room to 90s dance music.
    I'm kind. I have my bitchy school girl moments but mostly I'm pretty nice to people.
    My (Irish heritage) freckles!

    :D

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  3. This is wonderful!

    You're so awesome my dear Jennifer and I'm happy that you know that =D

    I like my crazy energy. Without it I don't know how I would be able to get through my days!
    I like that I smile about 85% of the time. The other 15% consists of when I'm sleeping, working on something at work, or am truly pissed at something (usually when people are nasty to the environment and women, or when it's dumb meanness that doesn't need to exist).
    I like that I can finally stand up for myself. It took many years, but I am can now stand up for what I believe in and have accepted and can rejoice about the things that I like (cats and Disney!)
    I also like that I have access to a different culture from being Mexican, from having a mom who still does farm work, and both parents making sure I always have an open mind.

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  4. This is so wonderfully said! I, too, have noticed this trend, but I am not sure it's really new to our generation (Gen X at least), sadly. I remember feeling the pressure of a double standard even as a teen/twenty something in the late 80's/early 90's. What makes me sad is that is seems to be *resurfacing* as the status quo once again! For as far as we seemed to have come, we still have so much more to do to stop some of our destructive behavior. This is such a great exercise!

    Here are a few things I like about myself: I, too, am not afraid to try (most things within reason) at least once. I am an adventurous and love experiencing new places and things. I am autodidactic and love the act of learning. I am natural researcher and a curious sort. I am kind, just and thoughtful. I am passionate for animals and trees and my community. I root for the underdogs and misfits. Actually, I am an underdog and a misfit and I love it!

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  5. Well said Jen! I share many of your frustrations, I'm close to 40 too and feel left out of so many demographics now. And the whole thing about not having children, don't get me started!

    What I like about myself is that I am self-aware enough to know what I want and what I like and not let those things get impacted by what society says. Other things I like - my lips (they're sexy!), my unapologetic love for cake, my eyes, my taste in music, my love for dogs, my mind for planning/organizing/budgeting, my big booty. :)

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  6. "And as a Southern woman this is a big deal for me because I was taught to constantly compromise." Holy cow I relate to this so much! I've been really confronted with this particular aspect of gender conditioning a lot lately and it's really starting to wear on me and i've been a little more negative about it than i'd like to be. Sometimes it's hard to remain positive when a lot of negative realizations just click into place.

    However this post was awesome and reminded me to keep things in perspective.

    I love: My writing ability and my growing ability to teach others how to write. I love the care I take when coming up with lessons and reflecting on how I treat my students. I love how much I love my dogs. I love how good I am at communication, it helps so much especially right now. I love my taste in stationary, I love my taste in decor. I love the fact that I can squat a lot of weight even when i'm out of shape. I love how I still feel strong even when the world attempts to make me feel weak.

    Thanks for this.
    -Meagan
    fictionincarnate.com

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  7. Wow. WOW! You ladies are something amazing. Something to behold. Thank you for sharing and for your comments. Ya'll inspire me! Truth!

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  8. What I like about you is that often, when I come here, I find the most wonderful, inspiring words.

    What I like about me: my eyelashes, I am polite, that I try to see the good in people, my ability to find my way around places, that I can cook & bake, my knowledge of and curiosity in food, my taste in music, my dress sense, the way I feel after a run or swim, that I speak English and German... Writing a list like this feels narcissistic, but at the same time I also really want to put it all on a big poster to read every morning when I wake up! It's funny how it feels weird to praise yourself.

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  9. I really appreciate you for being YOU. I consider you an inspiration really :)

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I'm always delighted to hear from folks! Every comment is much appreciated...