With Meaning, Purpose and Intention

Blog Challenge Day 7: What is your Dream Job?

This prompt, like so many of the others, ought to elicit a rapid response and yet I’m floundering for a solid answer. The Job of My Dreams has changed ten times over with the passage of time. When I was four, I wanted to be a nurse. When I was eight, I dreamed of designing one of the most popular clothing lines and hosting my own show at fashion week, when I was ten I decided to be a psychiatrist, when I was thirteen I returned to nursing; when I was sixteen, anthropology seemed like the perfect career choice. Nowadays, my focus falls on the realm of international development, but for most of my college career I couldn’t decide which field within development called to me the most. Lately, with my rediscovery of feminism , I feel called towards Women Empowerment.  I’m exceedingly disturbed by the gender discrimination globally, the fact that there are — at any given moment — 100 million missing women in the world, or the fact that in developing countries (like El Salvador) the court of law sees no distinction between Prohibited Abortion and Natural Miscarriage, etc. I want to be an advocate for marginalized populations, I want to help these women and girls gain respect and power within their own communities.

I want to enact a change in the world.

I crave a career path with meaning.

But that doesn’t really help me define my exact Dream Job.

I like to think that this is really just fine, I won’t know where, exactly, I should work or what I should do until I dive in and find out where, exactly, my natural gifts fit. But I suppose, for the sake of answering the prompt succinctly, I can give you a short list of qualities that I believe my ideal position would entail.

  1. An objective which contributes to the well-being, even an enhancement in the quality of life possessed by marginalized communities.
  2. Responsibilities which require me to step away from my desk rather than chaining myself to it.
  3. Assignments and tasks which will consistently challenge me to grow as an individual and expand my perspective.

Because it’s never enough to simply live: You have to live with regard for the rest of humanity. You must contribute to the betterment of this increasingly global society which we find ourselves affixed to. You must at least try to do something remarkable with the life you have freely been granted.

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Some People Think A Lady Should Be Quiet

Delicate, Vast, Brilliant, Motto,

 

The summer that I turned eleven, I went through this huge feminist phase. I had these two guy friends who heard an earful from me over the course of those three months about how boys have it so easy, boys are allowed to be loud and gross and dirty but girls? No, Little Girls are supposed to wear pristine dresses with perfect bows in their hair. Little Girls are supposed to become Young Women who perfectly balance that fine line between sexy and slutty and never burp in public. Little Girls grow into Fine Ladies who graduate college and accept $0.77 to every dollar earned by a man, before quitting to pop out babies and run a clean, organized household.

I’m not ashamed of how much time I spent thinking about the outrageous expectations for girls and women but, strangely enough, my mother was.

At some point that August, my mother made sure to have the conversation with me that I needed to “tone it down” on the impassioned feminists speeches because I was starting at a middle school where nobody knew me and if I carried on ranting the way that I was, then people (boys) were going to get the idea that I was a lesbian and nobody (boys) would want to date me.

I tell myself that if my mother had been a woman who had given up her dreams to settle down and raise a family then I wouldn’t have been so quick to acquiesce. But the thing was, my mother was a woman who went to college and pursued her goals and didn’t marry my dad until her late twenties and only stopped working because my older sister had really severe asthma that required near-constant attention. By the time I was eleven, my mom was a single parent, raising two girls and working as a middle school music teacher and I decided that if anyone knew what I was up against at my new school, it would be her. So I followed her advice, and I settled down and I bottled up my angry rants and you know what?

Boys still didn’t want to date me.

It took getting to college and having spirited debates with professors and classmates to realize that I could have been doing so all along. I had snuffed my own passion, held my tongue about those subjects that would make me seem less than ladylike and in doing so, I succumbed to the very pressure that I was so angry about.

Some people think that a lady should be quiet.

I spent a near decade believing that society would think that I was a man-hating lesbian just because I supported feminist causes like a woman’s right to reproductive health. To be fair, maybe Society would have thought that about me. Regardless, my own sense of feminism is not rooted in targeted hatred for men.

My sense of feminism springs from a severe dissatisfaction in the way that society views a woman’s role, an intolerance for the phrase “boys will be boys” and the fact that slut-shaming is something I was programmed for the minute kids (girls) at my school started having sex.

I don’t hate men in general, and I don’t blame them in general either. It’s society, our very culture that perpetuates oppression. It’s slut shaming, and victim blaming. It’s brushing aside female politicians as either a moron or a bitch. It’s my mother telling me to be delicate.

It took me nearly ten years, but I understand now. If I want to be respected in this world, I don’t have to be soft spoken and gentle. I can be charismatic and warm. I can be clever and outspoken. I can wear lipstick and a suit. Whatever I am, I will be vast and I will be brilliant.