Eleanore Vs. International Women’s Day

Disclaimer: This was written yesterday but I didn’t have the chance to post it. Oops! 

Dear wonderful rainbow of readers,

Today is one of my favorite holidays; it is International Women’s Day. Personally, I say the day is extremely needed as most other days ,especially lately, seem more like, “women should crawl into a cave and sit there until we want to fuck them and/or impregnate them…day.” It makes me furious. In fact, how women are treated in general drives me absolutely insane. As an unknown person said a while back, “you will never in the history of the world see a room full of women deciding what a man can do with his body.” Yet we see the opposite nearly every. single. fucking. day.

Over a hundred years later we as women are still fighting to prove that we should be treated as human beings. It’s exasperating to say the least. Not to mention, how the fuck is it that men think they’re superior to us when we LITERALLY made them?  *pauses writing to throw the couch out the window* anyway. I could go on and on and on, but this is not the main point of my post today. Instead, this post comes to you in two parts:

Part One – Kicking Ass On Women’s Day

As my followers know, due to my health I have struggled to find steady work. I work ten hours a week for two psychiatrists as their office manager, I dog sit when summoned to, and I just recently started freelance transcribing, which pays not nearly enough, but I do because I need all the money I can earn.

A while ago, another doctor in the clinic I work in expressed interest in hiring me. Today, he thankfully made it official, and I was quite proud of myself for making this happen. However, I realized that since I would have to take taxes out as a contractor, I would not be making as much as we had agreed upon. So, in a moment of  kick-ass bravery, I asked for a higher pay, and to my complete joy, my new employer agreed (after a bit reluctancy, but still). For someone who is chronically ill and chronically depressed with anxiety disorder, as well as being a human has been told her whole life by both the majority of her family and others that she is worthless, this is a tremendous accomplishment.

I have never been able to work “normal” jobs. By normal I mean with steady hours and steady pay. Instead I have mostly freelanced, whether it was being a maid, a dog-sitter, a babysitter, or an office manager. I have always had to instate my own pay yet it was never anywhere near where I wanted, because I was always afraid that if I went too high I would not be hired at all. At nearly 27 years old, I finally had the courage to ask for what I thought my work was worth. And to be completely transparent, it was the greatest feeling in the whole entire world to finally stand up for myself and make someone else see my worth.

So, today has been a pretty awesome day. The last few weeks my depression and anxiety have enjoyed munching on my poor brain, and several times they’ve caused me to break down entirely. All of this as well as my physical sicknesses have weighed me down the past few weeks, causing me to feel hopeless and incapable. Today, I find myself filled with hope, beaming over my tiny victories. I’m okay with it.

Part Two – Persistent Women

A few months ago Elizabeth Warren gave a fabulous fuck you when she was silenced on the senate floor and then continued her speech via live streaming. The phrase, “nevertheless, she persisted,” was spoken by Mr. McConnell, the one who lead the decision to cut her off. Spoiler alert: it backfired majorly. Instead of an ignorant lesson, it became a feminist battle cry. This phras empowered us. As someone who is not only a persistent woman but has grown up around them, I would like to acknowledge the women I am inspired by, who despite being shut down, shut up, beaten and relentlessly abused, persist.

My grandmother Maria

For anyone that knows me even a little, it should be no surprise that my grandmother tops the list. After living through the horror of WWII in Austria, surviving typhus while watching several family members (including her mother) pass away from it and immigrating twice, she then devoted her life to raising my siblings and I. She still gushes nothing but love and kindness.

So many people attribute their anger to misfortune and suffering in their lives. My grandmother suffered more than most would in three lifetimes, yet still she carried on, loving and being completely selfless for the benefit of three children she did not have to care for. Everything that she is contributes to who I am today. To say I am thankful to have had her light in my dark life is more than an understatement. There are hardly enough words known to mankind that would allow me to properly articulate how much this woman means to me. She is my heroine, my everything, my savior. I love her more than my heart can tolerate.

Sissy

My older sister is one of the most resilient women I have ever known. She has overcome horrible abuse, yet every day fights to not allow it to define her.  Every single day she fights multiple forms of oppression, past and present. She is the very embodiment of power and persistence.

Furthermore, throughout our lives she constantly had to overcompensate for my mother and at a very young age had adult responsibilities thrown at her feet. She had little help, yet she never abused me or caused me to feel unwanted. She put as much effort as she could into my care, and still often does. She was the one that came when I screamed in agony. She was the one that prayed over me while I wanted nothing more than to die just so that the pain terrorizing my body would stop. She was the one that made me food and brought it to my bed when I was too sick to walk. She, like my grandmother, saved me from the suffering I had no choice but to survive.

My Adoptive Mothers

My unofficial adoptive mothers took me in last year when  I had absolutely nowhere else to go. I can’t even bring myself to think about where I would be without them opening their homes to me. They both have been through their own struggles and yet, much like my grandmother and sister, still find it in them to care for others and to love me as one of their own children. Though they have three children and several grandchildren of their own, they still put effort into making me feel less like a lost orphan.

Momma Rose especially makes a point to remind me that I am intelligent and beautiful and everything I was always told I wasn’t. After a lifetime of guilt and self hatred, my adoptive mothers are two of the people that are helping me pave my way to a better future.

My Sister from Another Mister (and Misses…but Whatever) 

Lastly, Cassy is another impossibly strong woman that I am constantly thankful for. Some days I am convinced she is entirely super human. She has had to fight for every single thing in her life, and even when she loses, she refuses to give up. I have never seen someone so determined in my life; for every obstacle Cassy encounters, she obliterates it.

Just as the women above, despite her own suffering, she has never used it as a justification for cruelty; she has helped me in more ways than most ever have, and has been at my side through several of the worst parts of my life. She is intelligent and thoughtful and everything that I believe a person should be. I admire her greatly for her courage and persistence. She is often understated, but  calling such a spectacular person on of my best friends is a privilege that I hope I never seem ungrateful for.

To all the courageous, beautiful, and persistent women in my life and in the world, you give me hope.

The women whom I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because shit worked out. They got that way because shit went wrong, and they handled it. They handled it in a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it. Those women are my superheroes.

~Elizabeth Gilbert 

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