I was having breakfast with my mother a week ago when inspiration finally hit. I’ve been waiting to start a blog until I found a name that felt right. Lo and behold, all it took was a visit from mom, containing a conversation about growing up in small-town Iowa with a brain chock full of ideas and a mouth set on sharing them.
From the beginning, I was determined to learn how to talk. My mom tells stories of reading books to me, but instead of staring at the pictures on the pages, like most children, I fixated on the way her mouth moved as it formed words. As soon as I learned how to string a coherent sentence together, I was dead set on running the show.
My report cards often came back reading, She is her own person. I mentioned that even as a child, I never knew whether that was meant as a compliment or an insult. “Mmm… Bit of both, I think,” my mother revealed.
Quoting old report cards, she said, “Your child is a complex thinker. She has big ideas and is eager to share them. However, she needs to work on letting others share, too.”
My first thought?
Well, I wouldn’t have been so overeager if the other kids weren’t so slow to share. I knew how to get it done in the quickest, most efficient way. Of course I’m going to be the first to speak up.
My inner Kindergartener swiftly smirked, nudging me in the ribs, reminding me I’d said something similar to my mom after parent-teacher conferences prompted a parental lecture on my “bossy” behavior.
In the twenty-plus years since, some things have, surprisingly, changed. My approach to sharing is vastly different from when I was a child, due to what I’ve dubbed the “small-town social disease,” and the irritating desire to be well-liked by my peers. Unfortunately, all that really means is that it takes longer to reach a group consensus than it should – a result I had figured out at six that most twenty-four-year-olds still haven’t grasped.
Earlier in the week, a video of Emma Watson’s speech to the UN went viral. Courtesy of UpWorthy, I watched her speak about He For She, an organization in favor of gender equality. While the speech is full of far more important issues than what I found relevant to me, I identified with the part at 3:17, when Watson says, “When I was eight, I was confused at being called ‘bossy’ because I wanted to direct the plays that we would put on for our parents, but the boys were not.”
Upon hearing this, I remembered, with vivid clarity, how often I felt confused, angry, and frustrated for being called bossy, while the outspoken boys in my grade were deemed leaders. Somehow, one had a negative connotation, and the other did not, though they were describing the same tactics.
Before this segues into a huge political/intellectual/opinionated argument, hold your horses, eager beavers. Getting into heated gender role debates, slinging accusatory statements, or discussing feminism and whether I identify myself as such is of zero interest to me. I don’t see the point in arguing over topics most people never change their stance on. I may be “bossy,” but I’ve got enough logic to realize those conversations only result in frustration and ill feelings.
So instead, I’m going to focus on me (hear that bossy tone? *smirk*), because that’s what and who I know best. Most days.
So what am I going to write about?
Lots of things that probably have the word fuck in them.