• Alyse

As a Woman

It's hard to decide how to start my blog posts.

I want to start today with: Happy International Women's Day! I also want to start with: I had a complete f&$%ing breakdown yesterday! And somehow both are completely related.

For the first time ever, I am celebrating this day because, if I'm being honest, I've had mixed emotions about it for years. This morning my daughter asked me "Why do we even celebrate this?" and I got to explain that women around the globe have not had the rights they have today, and if women didn't fight for other women, she and I wouldn't have the rights we have right now "So I couldn't be a chemist?" she asked me, it's her biggest dream. "No, and if you contributed anything to science, a man would get all the credit." Her eyes widened.

Luckily for both of us, we've been able to grow up in what is now two generations of strong women with passionate drive to change the world around us. With the ability to put our names out there and be recognized. Thanks to the women who came before us, I am empowered to write what I write, and take all the credit for it without feeling shy or ashamed and my daughter can dream real dreams of being a chemist one day, with both of her parents encouraging and supporting her. With her grandparents supporting her. With the world supporting her. It's incredible, truly, and yesterday I had a breakdown. A big enough one that I made my husband actually worry all day long about my well being.

I've already ranted about how hard it is to be a woman right now, and try to have it all. To be a mom, a wife, and have dreams of your own. And that's the core of it really. I grew up in a home full of women. It was a joke in our household that we didn't need men to help us! How many times I heard my mother say it. How many times I felt empowered and the pride I carried for years in being who I was. A strong woman, surrounded by strong women, who could accomplish anything if we just put our minds to it, and we did! But now that I'm 32, and I sit here alone, those three women buried in the ground, my hopes and dreams for what I really wanted to be (it wasn't a writer, at least not like this) buried in the darkness along side them... I hurt all over. I let it happen to me. My family was broken. Women or not. My only way out, and I was told this by my family in various ways, was to get married. To marry a man and be taken care of. I ran out of options, and so I did. And I struggled, still struggle, for over a decade of my life (that's huge guys) to feel any pride in who I am still. Was I ever worth anything? I have become a slave to my home.

Did I let this happen? I am so isolated.

I've pushed against feminism because in a very real way men saved my life. My big brother was and is my hero. My husband saved me from a terrible situation, and years later a little boy came into my world and saved my life again. And this doesn't encapsulate the other men in my life right now. I don't personally think that gender has anything to do with it! If I had wanted to marry a woman, I could have. Well, maybe not marry her, laws are weird and I still don't know if same-sex marriage is allowed in UT, in fact I don't believe that it is. #stupidutah What you don't know about me is that I had a girlfriend (some of you know). Right before I met my husband actually. She opened my eyes to something I struggled with myself about, and I broke her heart because I didn't know what I wanted or needed in my life. I needed an out, and she wasn't it. She already had a child to support, and I didn't see myself fitting into her life, and I said to her "I think I want a family of my own".

I have pushed against everything I am for YEARS because I needed to escape the very broken circumstances I came from. And now that I'm 32, I don't recognize myself anymore.

I'm not saying I'm suppressing my sexuality. Maybe a little, but I'm also deeply in love with the man I married. I love the life we have together, truly. And don't think that this comes as a shock to him, he knew about her before we got married. She even lived by us for a minute and I tried to be her friend again, but my feelings were massively complicated. None of this is in my book, because that's not what my book is about. I could, and have considered, writing a second book about sexuality. Let's keep that in mind...

What I'm saying is that I've never known my own worth, and more to the point, I've never known that worth as a woman. I let myself put myself in my "place" because of societal pressures. I have let others put me in my place, and I've let my dreams escape me because it's not "right" to have them at this stage of my life. Now this "stage" of my life is: Bored House-Wife...

And I hate it. I've been complaining for days to the people close to me. UUUUUuuuuggghhhhhhHHh.... I can't believe I let myself become this!

See how it's all connected?

Today I want to be inspired by the strong women in the media and the ones around me. I want to take the passion I have into the world and create something meaningful, and bring not only women together, but humans. All people. I hate the segregation of it all. I feel so determined to create a community of PEOPLE around this subject that killed my family.

I will use the powers I have as a woman to rise up! To help others rise up! I will not be prideful and push the men in my life away from me, because the men in my life want to see me succeed. They are holding me up right now. Women have done such amazing things, and all I really want is to be one of the women in history that people can point to and say to their daughters "She made a difference, and so can you."

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