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Undefine Me

            In the essay “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid, she tells, through an unnamed but, assumed motherly or other female familial source, all the proper behaviors and actions of a lady. She is given this laundry list of tasks that she should perform and those she shouldn’t otherwise she, “will be considered a slut, which she is hell bent on becoming.” The world expects one thing and she wants another. She wants to freedom to be who she is going to be on her own terms, not someone else’s. A lot of women get stuck in the labels and roles but, just because the world wants it doesn’t mean that it is always the best choice for that particular woman.

            With womanhood, there are many traps and pitfalls. We are nurturers, caretakers, bakers, and candlestick makers. That is how we identify ourselves for so long that sometimes, when we really stop to think about it, we wonder how we even got here in the first place. Was it a conscious decision or did we just do because that is what was expected? When that light comes on, many of us realize that what we decided to do at first isn’t want we want to be anymore. That is sometimes the hardest, scariest decision that we will ever make in life, it reinvent ourselves.

            One thing that irks me to no end is when I have to expound on my decision not to have children. People get this pained and saddened look that washes over their faces and I just want to scream. Can they not look at me and see how hard it would be for me to even carry a child?  

The extra weight would throw me more off balance than I already am. Then, there is the c-section that I would have to have, recovering, and then, the actual care and energy for the baby. Babies are on a different level of energy that I can’t seem to muster. Walking is a chore. I don’t want to cheat a child out of a full life experience and I just can’t offer that.

            But, I have a uterus and I should want that. It’s my biology right. That is my role and purpose in this world. Forget if I want to travel, write the next novel, or make a difference in the world. Who is anyone to tell me what I want or need? At least I have enough self awareness to know that I am not going to be the best parent. I have gotten to the point where I just tell people that I care about my kids enough to not have any, at which point they look at me rather oddly but, it’s not about what is best for everyone else, it’s what’s best for me.

            People have the right to their choices. It is not fair to put your expectations onto other people. You more than likely will be very disappointed.  You don’t have to agree but, you have to understand that they will become whoever it is in them to become. People have to forge their own path in life and learn what works for them and what doesn’t.  Otherwise, you have to work twice as hard trying to become everything you really wanted to be in the first place.


February 25, 2009