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Having grown up in a very conservative, small town in rural Michigan, my ideas and character have pretty much been set from the time I was born.  I don’t remember a time when I ever though it was OK to take something that wasn’t mine.  I don’t remember not believing in God.  He always has been for me and always will be.  I always knew that hard work would get me to where I wanted, but life certainly is not “fair”.  This is the way the world works, I know these things to be facts in my life.  I went to college and have done some travelling and I have met a lot of interesting people through my work.  Sure there have been times when I have reexamined my beliefs, I think to not do so would evident of stagnation in one’s life.  However, I have always ended up with the same conclusions.

Lately, however I have been taking a closer look at what I know as a woman.  I have quite a few positive female role models in my life.  In fact, my family is very matriarchal and consequently I chose a husband whose family also happens to be such.  I grew up thinking that I could be good.  Definition of good in my head: husband, 2.1 kids, steady job that pays at least $50,000 so that I could help my husband out, decent home in a charming subdivision, 2 vacations a year to exotic (but not too exotic) locales and maybe even an SUV to top it off.  I have essentially kept my mind in a box.  Telling myself what I was and was not capable of and generally giving others more credit than myself to judge this.  I remember in school a guidance counselor telling me that if I took over 15 credits with my major there was “no way” I would ever make it and I certainly couldn’t get a part time job if I ever wanted to spend time with my family.  Fast forward a month into the program and I was bored with the lack of activity, sitting at my computer playing games for hours upon hours.  They also told me I shouldn’t get a job before passing my “big” occupational therapy qualifying exam, that it would take me 40+ hours a week to study.  Yeah right.  I passed with flying colors working my first big job on a temporary license and studying maybe 2-3 hours a week.  No one knows what I am capable of but myself and I should stop looking up at a ceiling that has been made by others, that frankly is just too short.

I think my view on femininity may be somewhat skewed.  I always thought that I was supposed to “do it all”.  Have the career, the husband, the children, make a 3 course meal from scratch every night, do the laundry, the dishes, be the PTO President (thanks mom) and the list could go on and on.  But I was also taught (having been raised in a Baptist church) that my husband was supposed to be the head of the household.  But that’s not the way it works, and it probably won’t ever work that way.  It has nothing to do with my wonderful husband and everything to do with me.  I have been cultured and raised into an oxymoron.  I am strong, independent, a leader and can more than take care of myself but I was also taught to be self-doubting, to follow my husband and to “not ask why” (the last one has always been a hard one, for those of you who know me you might get a chuckle out of that). Why then, if I am the one conducting this train and shoveling coal into the fire simultaneously to keep it running shouldn’t I bask in my own wondrous abilities?

The view of femininity in my mind is changing as I observe the world around me.  More women, than men are graduating from college. Young, single professional women are the highest growing sector of first time home buyers.  Single mom’s who are raising their kids on their own are prevalent everywhere you look.  There are now more women in the workforce than men.  In some ways, I think a good portion of males have kind of “checked out” in my generation. While they were (and are) sitting on their mom’s couch playing video games, we are out there making things happen for ourselves and our families.

On an ending note, I am only now beginning to scratch the surface of what my capabilities are and I am trying to keep an open mind about where life might take me.  And don’t get me wrong, I love being able to do everything.  I like cooking, cleaning and organizing and I also like being a great occupational therapist, budget keeper and family leader.  I can’t wait to one day be a mother.  But I also want to earn my doctorate degree.  I just want to look at being a woman more clearly, without all the false modesty and revel in the potential of what is to come.  I don’t want to define my life as “good”, I want it to be amazing.  I will leave you here are a few things to check out.

Chelsea

http://news.discovery.com/human/women-men-workplace-110920.html


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