For a long time, I didn't know what kind of woman to be. What I mean is that, around age eighteen, when "society" told me I was a woman (or at least starting to become one), I did not know what that meant, nor did I feel it could ever be true of me. In retrospect this confusion is significantly less muddled and, coupled with my spiritual maturity, it becomes crystal-clear; I didn't then, and I don't now, want to be the kind of woman society at large entices me to be.
I assume most of you know what I mean but, for the sake of anyone to whom "society" does not relentlessly pummel with suggested self- images, let me elaborate a minute on what I don't want.
I do not want to be sexy all the time. Don't get me wrong, I love to feel pretty and enjoy going out of my way to look attractive to my fiancé. But there are plenty of times when I don't want to look or behave in a sexy way. It makes me feel as awkward as the word awkward. It makes me feel fake, like I'm acting.
There is so much more to my womanhood than my sex! If our being women was a simple matter of biology, anyone could have an operation and become one of us. But it doesn't work that way. There are feelings we have, impulses that our men don't understand, intuitions we can make, aches we can soothe that any Dustin, Mel or Wayan brother in pantyhose just doesn't get.
Also, we women don't (and shouldn't) rely on our being sexy as a means to accomplishment or strength in the world. I do not wish to be a woman who "flirts her way to the top." Let's forget for a moment where or what that "top" is. When I find myself successful (and we should all determine that subjectively for ourselves) it is not due to my physical appearance. For that I am thankful and, forgive me, maybe even a little proud.
On the topic of success, allow me to disqualify myself in another way: I do not want to be a power-hungry, independent career woman. I apologize if it sounds strange, but I like the interdependence of coworkers, family, friends and roommates! I like being dependent on other people and cooperating with them; it makes me feel human. I do not want to be (as much as the five-year-old version of me protests) a robot! I love asking for help and being able to help others. There is a big part of my womanhood wrapped up with that idea. I'm perfectly happy being a little vulnerable. In that way I'm more of a "risk taker" than a corporate career woman is!
So if I'm so opposed to the office, or at least to the office type career gal, where will you find me managing? I'll be home, but I do not want to micro-manage my children. I want them to explore, to get messy (see previous post on painting), to live their lives. Here's the catch: I will set the boundaries for that exploration. They will not go into harmful situations or into harmful peoples' hands. This section is almost dangerously underdeveloped, as I have no children. Please feel free to school me. Of this much I am clear: I do not want to be my children's friend, but their mother. What does that mean? I'm not going to wear the same clothes as them, let them drink as long as it's at home, or pretend that I want their experience of the world at a certain age to be the same as mine was. I know everyone says this, but I do not want my children to go through what I did as a teenager. I fear I am coming close to offending my mother and father (if they read this), but all I wanted as a teenager was someone to really, harshly even, parent me! I had enough friends; they were feeling their way through the dark world as much as I was. I needed some light. (Later, I got the ultimate light of my life and I have not been the same since, but that's about hundred blogs on its own!)
I have writer's block on this one... more to come as it unwinds in my mind...