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Monday, 29 August 2011

Remember me?


So, where did I leave off?  That’s right, talking about myself, wondering if I were vain and realising that, in itself, is a form of vanity.

I suppose that realisation might be partly responsible for the radio silence, since, gosh, March. I started to wonder what I was doing on here and what purpose it served, other than validating my own opinions. At the same time, lots of people kept talking to me about the blog, about feminism, even apologising for doing ‘non feminist’ things and I realised the blog seemed to be losing its way. I wanted to explore all those grey areas of feminism, to explore how my generation of women were negotiating their place in the world. The idea was not to regurgitate the old debates or spout a hard line about the way women should be, but that’s how some people took it. ‘Feminism’ is a judgement-laden term it seems.

 But I thought it might be time to try again. Which, unavoidably, means talking about myself some more.

So what’s been happening since March?

1.     I got seriously unhappy. I felt I was drifting and didn’t really know what I wanted and seriously didn’t know how to get what I wanted.
2.     I snapped out of that and got my self a nice new job. Exciting school; more responsibility. Gulp.
3.     I formed a new 5 year plan. It involves spending a lot of money on holidays, at the same time trying to save up for a proper house and maybe, at some point, making a baby. Gulp.
4.     I got happy and full of the joys of life again.
5.     I’ve vowed to be more creative and so am working my way through the Guardian’s poetry workshop. The results are mixed.  My mum likes them though. She’s not exactly my harshest critic.
I am woman, hear me roar. Sometimes. Maybe. 


Let’s see if I can spin some comment out of that little lot.

Anxiety lies at the heart of it. Anxiety about whether I’m doing the right thing, whether I’m making the right decisions, whether I’m heading in the right direction, whether I’m making the most of my life. I do worry I’m letting myself down. Have I settled for being a teacher? Could I have a brilliant play or novel in me, if I just tried a bit harder? What is it that actually makes me LOVE being married so much? Should I have rejected that urge like so many of my friends seem to be doing? Will having a baby push me further into being a conventional woman when that's the last thing that really feels right for me? How can I stop that from happening? Shouldn’t I just get over myself and realise I’m not actually anything special?

How much of that is just a human experience do you think? How much of it is particular to women? Do more women than men feel the tug of seemingly opposing desires and priorities? Has this changed over the generations? Were our mothers and grandmothers just as anxious?

That’s a lot of questions. Does anybody have any answers?

1 comment:

  1. Welcome back, Kate...I've been missing these!

    Here's my version of a young(ish) woman's life: We are complex beings with so many things we want to do in life. We want to do it all, have twelve different versions of an ideal life, but unfortunately have to pick just one. That usually ends up being a mish-mash of a few different ideals, so we don't have too much regret.

    You can be a teacher to pay the bills while working on writing whenever you get a chance. You can also be married and have a child (really? Lunch with me and Dhari didn't completely wipe that thought out of your mind? hehe!) without becoming a desperate housewife who talks endlessly about her child's first poo. It all just depends on your own style of approaching things and the support/encouragement you get from your partner.

    More specifically, for you, moving on and taking on more responsibility at a new school was probably the best thing you could do for you and the people closest to you. You are smart, and good at what you do. I hope your new employers and colleagues appreciate that and I hope you get personal satisfaction from this new experience. Your job should not bring you down (at least not much). Good luck and see you soon! xo

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