My Feminist Teacher

Today is my daddy’s birthday. Happy birthday Daddy!

1379249_10202131954080891_271735163_n

I’m so very thankful for him. Throughout this semester, I have been working on a research project on Biblical Feminism. Do you know who taught me about feminism?

My daddy.

Gender roles were never really a thing in my house. My parents split up responsibilities on whoever was better equipped for the job or who had more time that day. That usually meant my dad cooked (because he makes the best food I have ever eaten), they would both clean, both garden, my dad would do the bills, etc. When my mom went back to school, my dad assumed most of the household responsibilities. When my dad left ministry and had to commute 1-2 hours to work everyday, my mom would take over the chores a little more.

What I learned was equal partnership, respect for life phases, and an understanding of appropriation of gifts and time.

Sometimes when I was younger, I would think about if Dad wished he had a son so he could teach him all the “man” things. Looking back, he didn’t hold back any lessons because I was his daughter. I learned how to use a drill before I enrolled in kindergarten. I helped fix the boat in middle school. I played sports from a young age. I helped him cook every once in a while–especially when we were making spaghetti and meatballs.

When dreaming about all the career paths I could follow, he spoke of medical and engineering school. He would dream about me–an independent, fierce woman–working and thriving in a male dominated world.

But he never forgot that I was a girl either. He would do my hair before pre-school (or attempt to.) He let me paint his nails once or twice–which he promptly removed. He coached my girls-only field hockey team.

Gender was never an issue.

This is why I fight for equality and empowerment. Gender doesn’t mean we should cater to a stereotype. Gender is just one facet of a person. Let’s empower people. Let people be people. Let a person figure out who they are and what that means in their context in their own time.

Thanks for never throwing me in a barbie-shaped, pink box because I’m a girl.

Thanks for letting me be Emily and letting me figure that out in my own time.

I love you!

 

 

A Grand Thing

A few weeks ago I got to be a part of one of the most important events that has happened at Gordon (…in my humble opinion.) I was on the planning committee for a focus week titled: Beyond Disabilities. It was all about educating the Gordon community about the realities of living with disabilities in order to have informed dialogues about disabilities as well as how to positive contribute to the disabled community.

We had 19 different events, over 24 speakers, and an overwhelming amount of student involvement. My favorite parts were after events were over and people stayed to extend the discussion and talk with the speakers. When you turn off the mic, that’s when you really get to know a speaker–who they are behind the public speaking mask.

Except Temple Grandin. What you saw on stage was exactly what she was like off stage. Her energy was so youthful and pure despite her age. She is living proof that it doesn’t matter what your life circumstances are in order to achieve greatness. Below is her talk from convocation. Please watch it to learn more about the people around you. To learn how to build an efficient, functioning society. To learn how to live together.

 

In Case You Didn’t Already Know…

…I have anxiety problems.

 

Breathe.

I don’t know how to manage stress well, so I take it out in unhealthy ways.

  • I worry constantly even though it yields no positive outcome
  • I cracked a tooth last semester from clenching my jaw too much (I now wear a night guard when I sleep)
  • I go through phases of insomnia or some sort of disturbed sleep pattern
  • I lash out on the people I love
  • I either stress-eat or don’t eat at all, causing weight fluxuations
  • I worry about if people think I’m crazy for worrying so much

For those of you who know me, I’m a verbal processors. Things aren’t real unless I talk about them. When I talk about an issue with someone, it’s more of a chance for me to hear out my own thoughts and options rather than my final word on anything. Because of this, I probably come off as a bit of a complainer. As much of the self-pitier as I appear to be, I promise I don’t look at my life and think, “this is terrible.” I’m actually loving my life, but there are parts–like any person’s life–that I don’t know how to navigate, so you’re probably going to hear about it if you sit with me long enough.

Breathe.

I don’t have a formal diagnosis for an anxiety disorder, but I’m finally getting help. It’s not fair to the people around me that are subjected to a person with such high highs and such low lows–a person who could smile at you one second and fight tears the next. On a good day, I’m even-keeled and think before I speak, but I have more bad days than good.

It’s also not fair to myself to have these expectations of myself that I’m perfect. No one is, so why do I think I have to be? That’s what Jesus is for. And sitting around hoping for it to be over does nothing. It’s time to take tangible steps.

That’s where I am now.

Breathe.

Ways to help me along the way & things that encourage me in ways more than words could describe:

  • Write me a note–some of my most cherished letters are scribbled on index cards
  • Smile at me when you walk by me
  • A good ol’ hug is almost never a bad way to go
  • Always love getting a piece of fruit or some gluten free snack
  • Ask me how I’m really doing–don’t settle for “good.”
  • Share with me your story
  • Small, thoughtful gestures reminding me you care

Show me your love.

Breathe.