Several years ago, a dear friend of mine held an intimate dinner for her 50th birthday party. She didn’t invite me. The exclusion hurt a great deal. We’d spoken daily for the past two if not three years, we’d guided each other through major personal crises, and enjoyed a cup of tea or a meal together at least once a week. We were close friends, I thought; it never occurred to me I wouldn’t be included. When I asked her why, she bumbled through several excuses and then finally said, “Well, you know. You have that big personality.”
Growing up in my part of the world, a woman activist was seriously frowned upon, because challenging the status quo was frowned upon, as was questioning authority (which was mostly male) or speaking your mind. Women were expected to defer to men — whom we apparently needed to take care of us — and discouraged from causing trouble or drawing attention to ourselves. At the time, I dutifully obeyed. Now, at middle age, I wonder if on some unconscious level I’m still obeying, particularly around women’s issues.
I went to T.J. Maxx the other day, the store that offers designer clothing for substantial savings. I’m not wild about T.J. Maxx, because it’s big and chaotic, filled with abandoned carts and endless racks of clothing sliding halfway off their hangers. Plus, there’s no one to help me decide what I should buy. I’m forced to trust my instincts. But I had a gift card and was feeling sturdy, so off I went. [Read more…] about Trust Your Instincts
Like many women, I was raised that I should be a good girl (I may have mentioned this before). This does not always work for me. I prefer the thinking, “Well-behaved women rarely make history” and I get real excited when I meet members of that mischievous tribe. [Read more…] about How to Make History