Monday, August 27, 2012

Newlyweds/housewife

I'm just not sure where to start. Everything has changed.

The last few months have been so important. Isaac and I spent a month honeymooning and living with parents, which both present their own newlywed things to deal with. Then we finally got into our place and enjoyed a month of peace, just he and I. We cooked a lot and decorated our house together on our skimpy budget (thank you IKEA and overstock.com). Here is our living room in all its glory:


I have been busy at my new studio, Amara Yoga, as well as developing myself independently as a yoga instructor (check out my FB HERE). I am getting a lot of teaching opportunities here, including a Yoga on the Quad event for the sorority girls of U of I this week. I am also headed to Utah this weekend to teach in The Great Salt Lake Yoga Festival

Isaac's first day of med school was today. We are in for a long journey. He is excited to be in school again and have some structure and guidance in the reading and learning time he already does. I am going to be teaching his class (M1) yoga once a week to help them de-stress and as a way to make sure Isaac gets to practice and to fulfill my secret mission to educate western doctors about the benefits of yoga.... :)

So while my time will largely be occupied with the above mentioned activities, I also have this huge amount of time devoted to... get ready for this... being a housewife. There is a HUGE amount of baggage attached to this word for me and I've spend most of the month mentally sorting through how I feel about this as well as reading some helpful things about it.

I'm not sure when it started, but sometime pre-teenage years I decided that getting married was stupid and having children was scary and also meant giving up on your own dreams. Where did I get this reactionary attitude you wonder? I wonder too. It's taken me years to sort out and will probably evolve for many more. Here is where I am right now:

Choice. It has to be a choice.

I am reading the legendary feminist text "The Feminine Mystique" right now and I sure am glad I read this at the beginning of my marriage and not a moment further into it or I might be in a serious identity crisis. Even as is it's a bit of a painful awakening and exploration into some things I've been worried about for some years now.

The "Feminine Mystique" is this idea that existed (and to some extend and in some places still exists) that a woman can only be defined in terms of her husband and/or children.--Now let me stop right there and say something because my first FB foray into this discussion was not clearly articulated and it was a really icky thread for me. I WANT to be a wife. Someday I even WANT to be a mother. I'm not down on either role-- the point is I'm making a conscious choice in both areas AND I can be those things plus myself. I didn't get married because I had nothing better to do. I didn't get married so that I could say I'm someone's wife.

I was reading my subscription of "Real Simple" magazine the other day and found myself evaluating if that was anti-feminist of me-reading a housekeeping/fashion/child care magazine. Then I saw a tip on how to clean a microwave and I thought "I WANT to know how to clean a microwave, and that doesn't make me any less of a person/feminist." And I should tell you I think being a person and a feminist are synonymous since being a feminist just means you are someone who believes women are people also. Then later when I told Isaac about my internal struggle he said "I want to know how to clean a microwave too". And there it was. The skills I am honing now as a "housewife" (it still scares me and feels like a dirty word to say it) are life skills, skills on how to be a person.

You might be thinking "the lady both protest too much". So here's the other realization I had while reading the feminine mystique, and this is the really important one:

Being a housewife doesn't excuse me from the painful process of growing up and figuring out who I am as a person. 

So I'm figuring it out. I am reading, I am writing, I am considering my options with school and volunteering in things that I find meaningful and I am still thinking. I am still evolving, I am still finding out who I am. Because being married isn't my identity, it is simply a different state of being. And I still need to clean the bathroom and I still need to figure out what the hell else is important.
22 is just too damn young to stop doing that.

Wish me luck?



1 comment:

  1. I have had the same problem for eons. I grew up a feminist, but it turns out the thing I'm best at and the thing I enjoy the most is taking care of somebody. What are you supposed to do when what you're good at isn't what you set out to become? But then I'm not much of a feminist if I decide I can't do something because modern society says I can't, that it's not keeping with progress and women's freedom. But freedom is just that- choice.

    Good luck reconciling yours. It is a delicate balance between choosing who we want to be and rebelling against ideas we were taught about who we should be.

    ReplyDelete

What do you think of what I think?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...