Life turns on a dime.
And often people have to go on as if nothing has changed.
If you are a woman, that usually means remaining graceful, ladylike, putting everyone else at ease even if you are incredibly sad, angry or uncomfortable. Laugh, but not too loud. Assert yourself, but not too much. Be smart, but not too smart. Minimize, apologize for, or outright deny the pain you feel, cover the wounds you've accumulated. Cover the thought and smile lines that have been etched into your skin from your own life experiences, the gray hair you've earned, the stretch marks that signal bringing life into the world and the strength you've acquired with a beautiful wrapping of someone else's making so nobody sees the real you. Balance everything you have to do: work, family, home, care giving, cleaning, cooking, free chauffeuring of children to school, games and social events, and being the unofficial referee and therapist with everything you are subjected to either incidentally or directly such as cat calls, inappropriate comments, verbal, physical and/or sexual abuse, mockery, being paid less for the same work, not being paid at all for work done in and around the house, being ignored, listening to people with no experience being a woman pronounce judgements over how to live and conduct your life, people doubting your expertise, witnessing people without a woman's body denigrate it and legislate it into oblivion, and keep it all balanced while being nice, quiet and gentle or else you are a failure.
It feels impossible because it is impossible.
It feels cruel because it is cruel.
It feels like a lie we've been told is the truth because it is a lie we've been told is the truth and to never question the wisdom and authority of people outside of ourselves.
Women and men have finally started to truly question. And the facade is cracking.
Life turns on a dime. I always associated that saying with negative things happening.
But life can turn on a dime for positive things, too.
The illustration for this blog, "On a Dime" represents how I feel lately as I watch history unfold, and how I believe a lot of women feel right now. Although the stress of today feels almost unbearable, and watching the vitriol of certain members of congress makes it seem like nothing has changed since 1991, I remain hopeful.
We must keep moving forward.
Thank you for taking the time to read the blog! If you enjoyed reading it, say hi in the comments!
Have a great day!
Illustration: "On A Dime" by Michelle Bocklage