I am not the Woman I Thought I Would Be...

I returned to Facebook this week, which, now that I think of it, could account for my blue mood today. I used to think I left Facebook because I had so many negative friends, but retrospection this week caused me to realize that I am the nexus of negativity, that perhaps, it is me that puts out, thus receives back negativity. It was a good realization, but also a smack to my sense of self.

I am not the woman I thought I would be.

Interacting with old middle school and high school friends gives me the opportunity to reflect on how far I've come since those school days. Indeed, I have come far. Yet, ever since I left the University in 2007, I find myself less and less satisfied with who I am. Why did I give up my career so easily? What happened to my desire for educational equity here in Minnesota and it's largest University? What happened to my passion and fire and fight for the good? What am I doing taking pictures of tulips and fussing over recipes for dinner?

I am not the woman I thought I would be.

A former student commented on my wall, citing me as an inspirational woman in her life. And now I find myself seeking inspiration from her. She's a beautiful young woman who is pursuing a worthwhile career while at the same time raising a daughter. Me, I left my career, granted for good reasons, but now I am a stay-at-home-mom.

I am not the woman I thought I would be.

And, yet, I am happy to have the opportunity to stay at home with my daughter. Raising her is probably the most important job I'll ever have. Not being the woman I thought I would be isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's just that...

I am not the woman I thought I would be.

Leaving the University has finally opened the way into new opportunities. I am genuinely thrilled by the work I am doing with the Co-op. I like the thought of being a community organizer, it makes me feel like I am part of the Obama generation. I have also had the opportunity to try my hand at digitizing meetings for the internet, so I feel very multi-media.

And fussing over recipes is bettering my family. Learning to eat locally is healthy and economical and if those aren't two major goals for this country in this decade then I don't know what is. So, why do I feel like...

I am not the woman I thought I would be?

The other day, I talked with an old friend of mine. He and I used to teach together. We did so for six years and sometimes, I think back on those days as my revolutionary days. Last summer, we parted ways in a not so good manner. I used the excuse of the pregnancy to avoid him but I never did resolve the bad feelings I had towards him and his stated perceptions of me. He called and we had a pleasant chat until he remarked on my ability to be unemployed at this time while being snide about my work with the Co-op. Words such as privilege and wealth tumbled down on me and I felt defensive and full of shame. These words don't describe me! Nonetheless, it made me feel like...

I am not the woman I thought I would be.

Then I remembered the woman that I was. Resourceful and clever. A woman that has made wise financial decisions for my family that has allowed me to stay at home. The woman who had found a partner in life and stuck with him for over seventeen years. A woman who worked her way through graduate school and completed a Ph.D in a place that graduates very few Ph.Ds who are women of color. A woman that has taught herself to cook and found new ways to cook in ways that allows one to be thrifty and well-fed. A second-hand store girl. A re-use and recylcing girl. Indeed, a woman that has the privilege of a second home out in the woods, but also a woman that has no running water, therefore no bathroom except a porta-potty in her second home out in the woods, therefore a woman who pees out in the woods. So, yes...

I am not the woman I thought I would be.

But, I am more that I could have imagined I could be. And, being a mother is one of those things I never, ever would have imagined. I'm doing it anyway.



I am not the woman that I thought I would be. I just have to give myself pep talks every once and awhile and come to terms with the woman that I am.

Comments

  1. You may not be the woman you thought you'd be...but I think you are wonderful as you are...and I'm glad you realize your worth.

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  2. I love this post. I have similar feelings about myself. I find it so easy to find negativity - especially through something like Facebook when memories of middle and high school come rushing back. My life has taken a turn that I never thought it would take. So, I can totally relate to this post - it hit close to home.

    While we've never met, I thoroughly enjoy your wonderful writing and your beautiful pictures and have been very inspired by your blog.

    Have a wonderful Mother's Day!

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  3. Thanks wunderkindred! You are alway so full of love. I so appreciate all the support you show me!

    Hi Lani, your friendship and your comment means a lot to me. It doesn't matter that we've never met in person. I think of you as a good friend!

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  4. Lotus, you may not be the woman you thought you would be but, you are a wonderful woman! I too am inspired by you. I'm not the woman I thought I would be but you always make me feel so very proud of the woman that I am. You are so smart, resourceful, giving, and loving!

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  5. Hey Lotus -- As we all move forward toward a more authentic life, I think sometimes we're NOT the women we thought we would be. I never imagined I would be an academic, a scholar, or a researcher. I thought I'd be involved in some sort of purely creative pursuit, like writing, or performance, for example. . . but I've found that a more authentic expression of my creativity is in scholarly activity. . . similarly, you're finding yourself (those same parts of you) in different ways and different guises than you expected. But it's still you, shining through. Much love, Gita

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  6. manisha, i loved this post. sums up so much about how i am feeling right now, how motherhood changes you in ways you never imagined, and how it is hard to fully understand who you were, who you thought you would be, and who you are now.

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