growing up

Dear Me.

Dear Nicole,

This probably sounds a little dumb- I'm sure you know a lot know than I do at this moment.

I just want to remind you that things are going to be okay. I hope you're gloriously happy and fulfilled, but just remember, even if you're not- you've been through a lot, and even I know that you'll come out alright.

Even though things have already been tough for me, they’ve probably been tougher for you. A mental disorder like yours just doesn’t go away. And that’s okay- you don’t have to be perfect. It’s okay if you’re not off all, or even some of the medication by now. Hell, it’s okay if you’re on more. I know you were hoping to be completely free of it, but even if you’re not, know that the 20 year old you thinks that will be okay.

Dads

My dad. The person who is against feminism. My father claims that all women are here to cook, clean, and, have kids. I beg to differ. We are not here just to cook, clean, and have children. He tells me that when I am older I will get married, have kids, and be a stay at home mom. Whats wrong with that picture? He thinks that women should not be allowed to
1. vote
2. work
3. drive
4. wear jeans
5. have a chance like men

Thats unfair, we are all the same. IT reminds me of some of the music on the radio. But thats a whole new topic.

AGA Roll Call: Dear Me

I had the absolute delight, during this year's Seattle International Film Festival, of seeing an amazing film, writer/director Lynn Shelton's "We Go Way Back."

In the film, the lead character Kate, a woman in her twenties, is confronted with her 13-year-old self via letters she had written back then to her older self, one for every upcoming birthday.

On the website for the film, Shelton says: "I once heard a writer refer to the 20’s as a woman’s “geisha years”. Feeling a little lost, she seeks direction from those around her and expends enormous amounts of energy fulfilling the needs of everyone but herself—particularly men. I certainly went through this phase in my own life and what breaks my heart about it is that it was not a lack self-direction and self-respect but rather a loss. At thirteen, I possessed a clarity of vision and a degree of self-confidence that I marvel at today. Somehow, the experience of adolescence stole it all away and it took me years—decades, really—to get it back again.

Mom.

If you ask about my favorite feminist, my female role model, my inspiration for my beliefs, one person comes to mind: my mother.

What can I say? I’m not only a feminist, but the daughter of a feminist. I’ll probably have little mini-feminists of my own some day (or maybe not). However, the situation in which my mom discovered her feminist views was very different then my own. I was lucky enough to grow up in an environment where the majority of people were feminists- whether they realized it or not. My mom wasn’t.

My mom was the valedictorian of her high school. Her guidance counselor sat across from her, looked at her grades, and replied that she’d have no trouble getting into a very nice two-year women’s college. After attending Trinity College in Connecticut, she was accepted into Yale graduate school- on scholarship.

Not all who wander...

I grew up comfortably in the suburbs, with parents who were well-paid computer scientists with pHds from Harvard and Yale. My years were pretty much laid out before me: I’d go to the preschool down the street, then the elementary school down the street from the preschool, then the middle school down the street from the elementary school, finishing with the high school, which was, of course, down the street from the middle school. Of course, after that I’d go to college, which would probably be the one where my dad taught.

Somewhere along the line, this plan started to fall apart. I went to the high school, but barely graduated. I went to the college, but dropped out. I even went to art school, but only completed one year.

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