I think a writer’s job is to provoke questions. I like to think that if someone’s read a book of mine, they’ve had—I don’t know what—the literary equivalent of a shower. Something that would start them thinking in a slightly different way perhaps. That’s what I think writers are for. This is what our function is. We spend all our time thinking about how things work, why things happen, which means that we are more sensitive to what’s going on.
Day 1: A Friend You Are Thankful For
As cheesy as it sounds, I’m thankful for my lifelong friend Christin. We have been friends for 17 years and counting. Although we seem vastly different personality-wise, we tend to perceive the world through similar perspectives. We’ve seen each other through good times and bad times. I don’t know what I would do without her in my life. My world would not be the same without her in it.
Day 2: A Family Member You Are Thankful For
There are so many people in this category I’m thankful for! My parents, my husband, my grandparents, my in-laws, my siblings, my siblings-in-law, my nieces and nephew… All are such blessings in their own special ways. (More on this in Day 4)
Day 3: An Experience You Are Thankful For
It sounds strange, but I am thankful for the 3 hour chat I had with my ex’s grandfather when he was in the hospital in the fall of 2011. I confessed that I didn’t know what else to do in the relationship with his only grandson, my first love/high school sweetheart of almost 8 years. “Mr. P.E.” looked me dead in the eyes and warned, “Don’t let anyone, and I mean ANYONE, treat you the way you are being treated right now. YOU DESERVE SO MUCH BETTER. You are a smart, kind, educated young woman with great potential who’s going places. DON’T LET ANY ONE. EVER. Tell you or convince you otherwise that you are not these things. You deserve someone SO MUCH BETTER.” His warning/statement was eye-opening and revelatory. It gave me the courage to end the relationship. It had reminded me of my self-worth. I had sacrificed everything that made up who I am for this guy who didn’t give a flying fart in space about me. “Mr. P.E.’s” words reminded me of who I was and the words taught me an important truth: Don’t sacrifice who you are in your innermost person for anyone. The people who will be in your life will love you for you unconditionally; and not for being someone you are not in order to receive love conditionally.
Day 4: A Challenge You Have Faced That You Are Thankful For
I have had a setback in my career path. I was issued an ultimatum in my graduate studies mid way through my student teaching internship just as questioned and doubted my current career path: you withdraw from the course or you will fail this course [for not making adequate progress in the internship]. So, I withdrew from the course. That course was the last one I needed for my M.A. in Secondary Education English Language Arts. On top of all of that, I have not been in the best place mentally nor emotionally. From this “challenge,” I have discovered just how many people I have supporting me, encouraging me, and praying for me. Among those have been my wonderful husband J. who has said, “Do whatever you need to do. I support you and I am behind you 110%.” Another has been my grandmother, who has sent me handwritten notes almost every week since the incident. Others have been my parents, in-laws, siblings, siblings-in-law, & my nieces and nephew, friends who have dropped whatever they’re doing to help me, day or night, no matter what. I am eternally grateful for these people.
Labeling women as “crazy” is a way of controlling them. It may not be something planned or pre-meditated, but the ease with which men call women “crazy” says a lot about them. Calling a woman “crazy” is a quick and easy shut-down to any discussion. Once the “crazy” card has been pulled out, women are now put on the defensive: the onus is no longer on the man to address her concerns or her issue, it’s on her to justify her behavior, to prove that she is not, in fact, crazy or irrational. Men don’t even have to provide any sort of argument back – it’s a classic catch-22; “the fact that you don’t even see that you’re acting crazy is just proof that it’s crazy.
This is what Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” addresses.
Great scene, and based on an actual historical incident in medieval Germany:
When King Conrad III defeated the Duke of Welf (in the year 1140) and placed Weinsberg under siege, the wives of the besieged castle negotiated a surrender which granted them the right to leave with whatever they could carry on their shoulders. The king allowed them that much. Leaving everything else aside, each woman took her own husband on her shoulders and carried him out. When the king’s people saw what was happening, many of them said that that was not what had been meant and wanted to put a stop to it. But the king laughed and accepted the women’s clever trick. “A king” he said, “should always stand by his word.”
Medieval women were BAMFs.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
This is so relevant and true for my life right now.
"And I want them to know that they have no limits." - Unshelved
You tell ‘em, Dewey.
I love this!
The Little Scholar (1865). Johann Georg Meyer von Bremen (German 1813-1886). Oil on canvas.
Genre painter, pupil of Düsseldorf Academy under Karl Ferdinand Sohn and Friedrich Wilheim Schadow, von Bremen started painting biblical subjects, then traveled in the Hessian, Bavarian, and Swiss mountain districts, studying the people for his genre scenes, which have since become wildly known.
Why did I not take a picture like this when I was younger? It would have explained my personality perfectly!
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