Thursday, March 2, 2017

Women's History Month, Day 2

One of my favorite bloggers (and not just because she's my sister!) put together this 31 day list of topics for Women's History month. And, since I've been wanting to blog anyway for weeks and just haven't gotten around to it, I thought I'd do today's topic, even though I didn't do yesterdays. (Just an example of not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. Look at me, who knew?)

The question is this: How did you get to be the woman you are today. And, since I like the format of the 8 minute memoir, I'm going to stick to 8 minutes. Here we go!

How did I get to be the woman I am today? When I read this question, I didn't want to answer it. It's much safer to talk about my earliest memory (waking up from a nap, I have no idea how old I was, maybe 3?) but I'm not going to do safe.

Until recently, I don't think I thought of myself as a woman. A girl, definitely. Female absolutely. Maybe even a lady, but not in a Scarlett O'Hara way; not lady-like, more like ladies, size large. But I've just recently decided to start thinking of myself as a woman.

But how did I get to here. I think of the influential women in my life. Strong women, like my mom and my grandma Elsie, who are independent and not afraid to take on the world. Kind women, like my grandma Florence, who I mostly remember being frail and big-hearted and loving. Scary women like my beam coach Sherrie, who scared me but also made me feel a little bit safe, because even though she was tough and made me do roundoff dismounts, I knew she loved me, and had some affection for me. I think of happy women, like my coach Dawn who was not afraid to sing along with teeny bopper music or stand up to grumpy bar coaches. These women all rubbed off on me.

But I also was very influence by my friends. My friends were a diverse set, but we had a core group of us who clung to one another because of our shared upbringing in the LDS church, from which all of us had strayed from. We were all trying to be grown up, and navigating friendship along with growing up. I missed out on some of their adventures after I got married; they never quite understood my drifting away from them and their singlehood; I still wanted the friendships, but I no longer had the time to invest in what had been a oneness, since I was creating a new oneness with my husband. Now they they are in committed relationships and having babies, they might feel a little more forgiving of me. I sometimes ache that they have so many years of trips and adventures and memories together without me, but I wouldn't trade the time I've spent making my life work with my husband and sons.

I don't know that one thing has made me the woman I am. But, I feel empowered and grown up and like Becky, at 41.

(I cheated, and took 11 minutes. Thanks, Amy, for your thoughtful list. I hope to do more of them, and think more about the idea of womanhood.)


Amy Sorensen said...

Thanks for playing along with me! :) I like this thought path, women who helped me become who I am. I haven't written my answer yet today so it might veer this way!