Monday, August 21, 2006

Lives

If it's said that most men lead lives of quiet desperation, than most women lead lives of quiet deprivation. Sometimes, it's a game: what can I live without today? Money? Time? My friends? Books? Food? Love? Sex? Sleep? How about all of it?

It's a game I'm getting quite good at. The more I want something, the more likely it is I'll sadistically withhold it from myself. And I'm not even sure why, exactly. Part of it belongs in the dustbin of history: the notion that we're the more delicate sex, fluttery-eyed little birdies who don't have actual needs.

Part of it centers around the perceived nobility of suffering coupled with the notion of never doing anything halfway. Jump in with both feet - if your life is not your own, why not make every aspect of it not your own? Sounds nutty, but there really is nobility in putting yourself last.

The other piece of it is simply being a female. We're hardwired and then, often times raised, to value connection, to nurture people we love, to think of ourselves last if we think of ourselves at all. And as much as I believe it's all bunk on some levels, frankly, I still do it, at various times picturing myself as Joan of Arc dressed in the warrior armor of Artemis.

Ironically, while doing that, I'm raising two females to deliberately put themselves first, in all things. They're strong, free-thinking, independent and come with highly tuned BS meters. Which is the way I think things should be.

Yet you cannot fight how you were raised, yourself.

So, I am woman....hear me do everything at once! Who cares if it's mostly only half-done and badly...this Citadel must stand, and stand alone.

But really, what am I and countless other mothers doing, running around like lunatics, trying to do everything for everyone every single day? Just what do we have to prove? That we're worth the same concern, the same care we put into our loved ones? That we are the exceptions to the rule? That we're somehow better equipped to do the impossible? That we don't need anything, or anyone - like some sort of female uber Terminator prototype?

Because no matter how hard we try, we're not going to prove any of that, or find someone willing to jump through all these hoops and hurdles we try to scale. It's not realistic. Hell, it's not even desired. If someone did for me all of that crap, I'd tell him/her to get off the street speed and sit still for a minute!

Really, I have no idea why some of us fall into this trap. Just know that, partly due to necessity, it is what it is. And that the myths driving the acts need to stop, with the next generation of females.
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