I read somewhere on a list of rules for bloggers never to start a post by apologizing for not posting to your blog if it's been a while. So, while I won't apologize, I did want to mention it because thinking about it is what brought me to open this blank page and start typing.
As many of you may have noticed, my blog took on a life of it's own as I started writing about body image. I attribute it to my own evolving life and I have to thank my coach, Annamaria Poluha, because over the many months I was coached by her, I was able to pull out my own passions and live them authentically. It's still a work in progress, but coaching sort of thrust me to live for what I was meant to be. Pretty cool, huh?
At any rate, today marks my daughters8th week of life and as I type this she sleeps peacefully against my chest in the baby Bjorn carrier. I've been feeling guilty about not writing, and many times have forced myself to sit with my laptop and start a post. I have 3 or 4 started that went nowhere. So I started thinking maybe I lost the gusto. Maybe I was just meant to serve cut up hotdogs to my toddler and wipe spit up off my t-shirts and that's it. That I'll just go back to work at a gym training clients that don't really want to work out in the first place for not much more than minimum wage.
Wait a minute. Is that who I really am?
I started thinking about how I got to be so fiercely passionate about empowering women. It suddenly dawned on me that it didn't just happen over night. I didn't wake up one morning and think, “You know, it would be cool to encourage women to kick ass and stand up for themselves and to live their best life.” No, I truly believe I was born to do this.
I was a shy child. Believe it or not, I was that kid that clung to my moms thigh and hid from new people. But once the teenage years started I had an awakening. There was something about men disrespecting women that really got under my skin. My friends can attest to the fact that I would flip the bird to any man that would whistle or cat call at us when we were 14. It would embarrass my friends, but I didn't care. I thought it was so rude (and gross) that a grown man would be that way towards young girls. Eventually I would yell back at them to leave us alone. One sophomore year during a spring break trip to Palm Springs a man probably in his mid to late 30's grabbed my butt while walking by with a group of his friends. I promptly turned around, ran after him, hit him in the face and told him not to touch me. His friends laughed at him.
The behavior on my part was obviously immature, but at that age, I didn't know how to channel my feelings. As I got older I learned to censor myself somewhat but I never lost the drive to want to put a stop to what I felt was wrong. When I was 20, I moved out on my own for the first time and had 2 roommates. One of my roommates came home crying and told me some construction workers paving the parking lot asked her where she was going. When she told them she was going to work they said, “Where do you work, Hooters?” She did have large breasts, but that was unacceptable. I called the leasing office and had those men fired. I hope their mothers were proud of them.
Years ago when Howard Stern began filming his radio show to be on the E! channel I saw an episode where women allowed men to throw bologna at their butts. It was a game. I shouted at the TV, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? ARE YOU STUPID?” I didn't get it- why would you think it was funny to be totally degraded? And no, you're not in control. You're letting people throw lunch meat at your butt. It burned me to see women act this way.
I remember learning that 1984 was the first year women were allowed to participate in the marathon race in the Olympic games. I was 9 years old in 1984. I was astounded that in my generation I was seeing historical things like this. I thought sex discrimination was a thing of the past- something my grandmother had to face. But I was wrong.
No woman deserves to be disrespected or discriminated against because of her gender. And as equally as important, every woman deserves to feel beautiful and to live her life the way she wants. To find what lights her up inside and go for it.
Perhaps I was a born feminist. Or just a mouthy girl from the suburbs. Call it what you want but I hope my granddaughters remember me as the crazy lady that crusaded for all women to love their lives and embrace what makes them happy.