Category Archives: Feminism

Care Instructions

I’ve started yoga this year with my daughter, and have found some great fat yoga teachers online, specifically Amber at Body Positive Yoga and Anna at Curvy Yoga.  I subscribed to Anna’s email list, and I so enjoyed her post about her own care instructions that I was inspired to create my own.

April’s Care Instructions

Make sure to read, write, and walk at least every other day.  Doing all three every day is optimal.  Eat meals regularly, and don’t forget the broccoli and kale, because you will crave them if it’s been too long since you’ve had any.  Don’t forget to have hot or iced tea every morning, because you need the caffeine.  You can have another caffeinated drink with lunch if you really need it, but don’t overdo it because too much caffeine feeds the chattering extrovert.

If you’ve had a lot of meetings during the day, make time to do some yoga, take a walk, or relax alone before making dinner.  You really do need to get to the gym to lift weights twice a week.  You need to create those endorphins for your mental health–don’t persuade yourself that you don’t. If you’re going to schedule being out in the evening, try not to be out more than two evenings in a row, or you are likely to melt down and ignore everything in favor of an introvert hibernation / pajama day as soon as you can.  Take the time to have an orgasm at least once a week (falling asleep on yourself before you’re done doesn’t count!), and get to bed by 10 pm most nights.

Be sure to create often–write, crochet, or cook something new.  Limit the time on your phone scrolling through the news and your feed.  Try not to look at Facebook unless you’re standing up, otherwise you may hyperfocus and be stuck scrolling and reading for an hour or longer, and there are better things to do with your time, like writing or reading an actual book.  If your daughter persuades you to watch TV with her, don’t watch more than 2 shows in a row without getting up off of the couch.

If you feel scattered or restless, it’s OK–it won’t hurt you to feel those things.  But take a walk or sit down with a pen and open up your journal.  Even if you just write down the random thoughts going through your head, there is value in getting them out of there and onto paper.

Be gentle with yourself, and as kind as you would be with your best friends.  You’re doing the best that you can, and that’s good enough.

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Book Review: Dietland

I’ve been looking for Dietland by Sarai Walker since I discovered fat acceptance twenty-five years ago!

It’s the story of Plum Kettle, twentysomething fat girl writer who has limited her life to her apartment, the coffee shop where she answers work emails for the fictional teen magazine Daisy Chain, and “Waist Watchers” meetings.   At the beginning of the novel, Plum thinks that her “life isn’t real yet” because she is planning weight loss surgery and “the real me, the woman I was supposed to be, was within my reach.”

How many of us have done the same thing–limited ourselves because we perceived that we couldn’t do something we really wanted to until we lost weight?  Go to the beach? Travel to Europe? Have a child? Get that degree we wanted? Or something as simple as wearing shorts or a sleeveless top outside the house?

Plum realizes she’s being followed by a woman wearing brightly-colored tights and combat boots, and the confrontation with her follower sets in motion a series of events that cause Plum to question everything that she’s assumed about her life as a fat woman.

She meets a woman who wrote a book about the diet industry from the inside, and who runs Calliope House, a kind of feminist collective. Though she is reluctant, Plum meets women who haven’t let anyone else define their lives, despite horrific facial scarring, or being fired from their job because “Women don’t want to be you, and men don’t want to fuck you.”

While Plum is transforming herself, the world is abuzz with attacks on rapists and douchey men by an unknown “Jennifer.”  Is “Jennifer” a person?  A group?  No one knows.

I don’t want to give too much away, because you really need to read Dietland.  But Plum doesn’t lose weight OR find a man.  Hallelujah!  I love men, but it was so refreshing to read a book with a fat character who lives life on her own terms without losing weight and where the romantic “happily ever after” doesn’t happen.

On her website, Walker has included some fun extras, including a mockup of the very important Fuckability Theory and a fictional quiz from Daisy Chain that will tell you which Dietland character you are.  Of course, I’m Plum.

Katie Heaney’s Memoir and My (Still Unfinished) Memoir

Katie Heaney wrote and published a memoir, Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date, before she turned thirty. Some people find that tedious, but I found it inspiring. See, Katie’s story is interesting because she has been single for her entire life. Yet she is heterosexual, and for most of her twenty-five years “there has been at least one boy [she] was thinking about and hoping to date, in the abstract….[and] there has been a specific theoretical boyfriend in mind more often than there hasn’t been.”

I wish someone my age had written this kind of memoir when I was in college, and that I had found it then.  I have twenty years on Katie, but I get her completely.  The writing that I’ve been doing is similar in scope and theme to her memoir.  She wrote about every crush from grade school forward, describing her experiences with boys and lack thereof.  I’m writing about every relationship, however ill-advised or doomed, to try to figure out why I’ve felt the need to do what Katie has done–have a specific theoretical boyfriend in mind most of the time–or go even further– have an actual boyfriend or husband a good portion of the time.

It’s funny how the image we have of ourselves when we are teenagers never seems to go away completely, or is really hard to change.  I was the boy-crazy one, the fat girl who was always chasing someone but never catching anyone.  Like Katie, I didn’t date anyone in high school, but in my case, it wasn’t for the lack of trying.  Many things came together so that it never happened for me.  And when it did happen, I wasn’t very picky about who was interested, how I really felt about him, and how he treated me.  That came much later.

Katie got to an “end to the era in my life when I might have felt the need to do something for the first time to get it over with” and ended up writing the book as a twenty-five year old who hasn’t had sex.  She refers to Tina Fey saying that she was twenty-four when she had sex for the first time because she “couldn’t give it away.”  I may not have had the exact same experiences, but I know the feelings.

Why am I writing and thinking about this now, more than twenty years later?  I’ve been deliberately single for more than three years.  This is the longest period of time since college that I haven’t been in a relationship or trying to get into a relationship.  I still think about men often, both specific men I might like to date and in general when I see them out and about.  But at the same time, being with someone after three years of not being with anyone makes it all seem theoretical, like it happened in another life to another person.  And I have a hard time imagining how a man would fit into my life with everything I have going on such as work, raising my daughter, my family and friends, and the things I want to do, like reading and writing.

But I’ve also realized that I’m writing about my sordid past relationships because I’m trying to change the story I tell myself about myself.  I’m not that fat girl who couldn’t get a date any more.  I have dated and married and divorced and broken up and been broken up with.  I’ve got almost two hundred pages with all of the gory details.  Katie’s memoir spoke to me because she has realized a lot of the same things I’m trying to, without the twenty-five-year detour.  That’s why I wish her book had been available to me when I was in college.

The status of a relationship, whether I am in one or not, or dating or not, does not define me.  Katie writes, about dating: “Why would I want to go out to dinner and a movie with someone I’m not completely crazy about when I already know how much I like eating dinner and watching a movie by myself?”  When a friend finally recovers from a bad breakup, she does so partly by realizing that “she could do whatever she wanted, work wherever she wanted, and live wherever she wanted…she didn’t have to think about anyone else’s goals or desires and then try to make them work with her own…It’s not that she wouldn’t do those things.  It’s just that she didn’t HAVE to. She could live for herself and herself alone.”  Katie realizes that her friend never felt this freedom before, but that it was “the same freedom I’ve always had, for my whole entire life.”

Last night, Friday night, there were two other possible things I could have done instead of what I did.  A female friend had an extra ticket to a gala that would have been so much fun, to get dressed up and go downtown to a fancy ballroom and people-watch.  And an online friend was in town with her husband and wanted to try to meet for dinner.  Either would have been enjoyable.  But my daughter isn’t old enough to stay home in the evening by herself, babysitting is expensive, and I am using a lot of my childcare “credits” with friends right now because of a two-week fall break.  So I didn’t do either thing.  Instead, after work, I changed into my sweatpants, made pizza from scratch, and then my daughter and I watched The Voice episodes we had DVR’d from the week, while I knitted a scarf I owe for a charity auction.  Then she went to bed and I read for a blissful hour of peace and quiet.  I don’t know how dating would fit into all this, and that’s all right.  Like Katie, I am “sure of who I am and what I want (and don’t want) in other people.”  I can take wisdom from anywhere, even from a tall, awkward girl twenty years younger than me.  Thanks, Katie.

 

Shadow on a Tightrope

I came of age in the 1980s. When Shadow on a Tightrope: Writings by Women on Fat Oppression was published in 1983, I was fifteen years old. I was a smart, bookish, self-conscious young fat woman who had spent nine years in Catholic school, and whose biggest desire was to be swept off of her feet by a boy and live happily ever after.

My size acceptance journey started a few years later, with Big Beautiful Woman Magazine. I have spent most of the ensuing years struggling with relationships, with what I wanted to do with my life, and with circumstances beyond my control. I’m giving up the struggle, and am learning how to just be and to do things that make me happy.

I didn’t read Shadow on a Tightrope until Marilyn Wann (author of Fat? So!) suggested on Facebook a month or two ago a blog carnival for its thirtieth anniversary. Who knows why I didn’t read it before – maybe I was just finally ready.

I record each book I read in a book journal, so post-it note flags are a necessary companion to most books. I mark beautiful sentences or quotes that I want to remember as relevant to my life.

This is what Shadow on a Tightrope looked like when I was done:

photo (1)

I found something to relate to in just about every piece in Shadow on a Tightrope. Thirty years ago, the contributors expressed ideas and told truths that have been rolling around in my brain, difficult to admit and express. Each quote could spawn its own post.

We believe that our bodies’ sizes are chosen and reflect personal control and we ignore or reject all evidence that contradicts this belief…If you are fat, you can choose to count calories or grams of carbohydrates….the range of choices hides the fact that you are compelled to choose. As for the choices themselves, no matter which you choose you are choosing pain through hunger. If therefore you choose to reject all reducing options, you are punished with ridicule and social rejection.”

The Fat Illusion, Vivian F. Mayer

Growing up in the 1970s, the social rejection was real but never acknowledged. My mother remembers how, on the cusp of womanhood, I came home from school crying every day one year.

Women are divided into those who fear getting fat and those who are ashamed of being fat….[Thin women] are rewarded with male approval and with permission to feel superior to fat women.”

The Fat Illusion, Vivian F. Mayer

We used to have only these options. Now, thanks in part to these brave writers, fat acceptance is a third option.

Like the pressures to marry and bear children, the universal, self-styled concen for fat women’s health is rooted in the axiom that every female’s first desire is to attract males.”

Some Thoughts on Fat, Joan Dickerson

It took reading The Feminine Mystique recently for me to realize how ingrained this cultural conditioning is. And the expectations to be partnered and to be thin are intertwined. Fat, single women who bear children outside of marriage rebel against all of these expectations.

Society punishes fat men and women by taking their sexuality away. Fat women are punished most severely. For, in a society where women are chiefly sex objects, a woman’s sexuality is really all that she has to bargain with in the first place.”

Fat Women and Women’s Fear of Fat, Lynn Mabel-Lois and Aldebaran

I realized a while ago that one of the reasons I became a lawyer is because people listen to lawyers. Despite all of the jokes about greedy, unethical lawyers, you still call a lawyer when you are in real trouble. If I couldn’t be desired as a woman, I would have respect from being at least a decent lawyer.

I want to be held but have no lover, and when I have no lover I don’t feel loved. Even though I know I’m loved by friends, I don’t feel loved . . . I tell myself it’s not true. My friends love me. I am lovable even if I’m alone in bed.”

A Day in My Life, Judy Freespirit

I have felt like Judy Freespirit often, but I have been trying to get past it, as I wrote here.

Dieting, not unlike foot-binding, is a male-created institution which obsesses, weakens, sickens, and kills womyn; enforces class oppression and the assimilation of ethnic peoples. It’s easy for us in this country to condemn cultures which practice clitorectomies—and not so easy for us to look at how we participate with our “own” patriarchy in defining a natural condition among womyn as a disgusting sickness.”

Traveling Fat, Elana Dykewomon

Fat oppression is still so ingrained, most people don’t even recognize it as a problem. There is still a lot of work to do.

Amid the sexual revolution sweeping my generation through the late sixties and early seventies, I remained on the sidelines – permitted to cheer the participants on but never to join in.”

Attraction and/or Intimidation: Fat Women’s Sexual Dilemmas, Karen W. Scott-Jones

Like Oscar Wao in the Junot Diaz novel, and this author, my adolescence was like being locked in the closet on Venus when the sun came out every fifty years. 

When I first began to translate my experiences into politics, I realized how my anger and frustration . . . was directly related to fat women’s status as sexual pariahs. This “status,” in turn, is, (directly or indirectly) responsible for our oppression. Certainly most, if not all, of the discrimination we face is based on our failure to measure up to the looksist standards of acceptability for women today. . . All this intensely negative conditioning toward fat female bodies programmed into just about everyone, fat or thin, male or female, is at the root of our feelings about ourselves as women as well as a basic cause for our mistreatment; dealing with our sexuality, then, is fundamental not only to becoming “sexually liberated” but to confronting the socially enforced taboos we encounter in other areas of our lives as well.”

Attraction and/or Intimidation: Fat Women’s Sexual Dilemmas, Karen W. Scott-Jones

The challenge is to be a fat, sexual woman who expresses her sexuality in a healthy way. It is almost impossible to do this without finding an emotionally-healthy and fat-accepting man.  

My naivete in underestimating the pressures on fat women, in social and/or sexual opportunities “offered” them, to attempt to satisfy not only their physical needs but their need to be validated as a woman by being chosen by a man – (as one woman in NAAFA told me, “I don’t feel self-conscious about my weight if I’m with a man because I’m advertising to the world that somebody finds me desirable”) – has, I think been corrected through firsthand experience since then. . . . I have become increasingly aware of the double bind facing any sexually active fat woman: the more options we create and/or take advantage of, the more we realize what the conditions attached to these options are – what we must, in effect, give up to get laid (or have a relationship, or get married, or whatever) this time.

Attraction and/or Intimidation: Fat Women’s Sexual Dilemmas, Karen W. Scott-Jones

I realized the ideas in this quote independently not too long ago, and wrote about it here.

These quotes are just a sampling of what the contributors to Shadow on a Tightrope wrote that I wish I had been able to learn and assimilate thirty years ago.

Maybe it’s taken me so long to get here because I came to feminism, like so many other ideas I now find critical to my worldview, in a roundabout way. As the first generation in my family to attend college, my female role models worked outside the home but didn’t discuss feminist theory. I knew generally about feminism through the news of the Equal Rights Amendment, but in my family, feminism wasn’t really discussed. There was too much work to be done. They taught me that I could and should work, and that I should be prepared to take care of myself. As the oldest child, I was expected to help both my Mom in the house and my Dad outside and with the car. Women were supposed to do it all: work to support the family, take care of the house, and raise the family as well. Three out of my four grandparents had been turn-of-the-twentieth-century immigrants or the children of immigrants, and women had to work. But I’ve also realized that, even though the women worked, the only unmarried female role models I had were the nuns who were my teachers.

The dominant paradigm and expectation that I grew up with was that I would go to college, get a good job, meet a man, and have a family. As far as relationships, I was always told there was someone for everyone.

I remember being told stories of aunts who had been fat as kids, but lost weight when they got to high school. Both were beautiful 1950s brides, slender, with handsome husbands, married before they turned 21. It was expected that I would meet someone and get married, too.

But here’s where the expectation collided with the reality of life as a fat woman. I never got thin. After I discovered BBW magazine, I decided not to diet, and so, I have never weighed under 200 pounds for as long as I can remember. There has never been a time that I could have passed for thin. (Although I know that I have experienced thin privilege when compared to many other fat women. I can buy clothes at a mass-merchandise store, and my body fits in chairs and standard seat belts.)

I never dated in high school, and had few, mostly casual sexual opportunities later.  By the time I was in my early twenties, I was so hungry for a real relationship that I made a terrible choice and let a man I met move in the day after I met him.

I’m a different person now, thankfully. Finally reading Shadow on a Tightrope showed me that what I experienced is not atypical for a fat woman. It sucks and it needs to change, but knowing that others before me have felt the same way gives me companions on my journey.

And knowing others feel the same is the biggest change since 1983. The internet and the rise of social media have allowed an ease of communication that could not have been imagined at that time. Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and fat-positive Tumblr pages help by connecting us so that we know that we are not alone.

Vivian F. Meyer wrote in the Foreword that

“we have lacked a way to communicate with each other. Under the triple stresses of fat oppression, isolation, and the disinterest or even hostility with which our pleas for support were often met, fat activists have all too often taken the frustrations out on each other and destroyed our own organizations before they could take root.”

Together, we can make continue to make change, with Shadow on a Tightrope as our inspiration.  All we have to do is tell our stories and open and awaken one mind at a time.

Why I Became a Single Mother By Choice

This post is appearing simultaneously here, on OMG There’s Three, a blog written by Sarah, a single mother by choice of triplets.  For the entire month of September, she’s collecting stories of women who have decided to become a single mother by choice.  She says “the decision to become a single mother is often made for similar reasons, but the paths leading to the choice are as varied as the women who make it.  Here is a collection of stories answering the not so simple question “Why did you decide to become a single mom by choice?”

It is a wonder that I didn’t get pregnant when I was a teenager. Not because I slept around, because I didn’t date at all in high school. But I was obsessed with both boys and babies. I had crush after crush, almost as far back as I can remember. By tenth grade, I was full-on boy-crazy, so much so that one of my nicknames was derived from the way one of my crushes looked. (Don’t ask which animal people thought he looked like.) The notes that have survived from that time are cringe-worthy. But all of my obsession over the boy of the month was unrequited. I turned 16, 17, and then 18 without a single guy showing romantic interest in me. My aunt supplied my cousin to take me to my senior prom, and I wasn’t kissed for the first time until after I graduated from high school. Because I didn’t date, I had plenty of time to babysit. I babysat for neighbors and for my cousin—I loved babies and little kids.

College was slightly better. I was still boy-crazy, having graduated from passing notes with my girlfriends to putting up centerfold posters from Playgirl magazine in my dorm room. (My more modest roommate made me place a construction-paper heart like a fig leaf to cover up the goods.) I still chased boys, but this time my love life wasn’t a complete drought. I had one relationship that lasted six months, but otherwise went to dances with friends and continued to keep a man in the back of my head to crush on all of the time. I chose my major—Chemistry—because most science classes were filled with men.

All of this romantic obsession and deprivation led me to marry when I was twenty-four, in a whirlwind of feeling like I was swept off of my feet. I met him through a personals ad, when I was living a thousand miles away from most of my family, and had just moved cross-country three times within fifteen months. We talked on the phone for twelve or sixteen hours over four days before we met in person. After he came to see me the day after our first date, he never slept in his apartment again. We were engaged within a month and married within nine months. I wish I was kidding.

On the surface, I enjoyed the rest of my twenties, traveling around the country for my job and spending money with my husband, even though he was showing the troubling tendency of getting let go from job after job. He had already had two kids by two previous women, so my rational mind kept me on the Pill. I thought we would eventually have kids, maybe after I went to graduate school when I figured out what kind of graduate degree I wanted.

Then I turned twenty-nine. My husband didn’t remember my birthday. I drove to work that day in tears because I was beginning to realize that I would not ever be able to have the kind of life I wanted, while I was married to him. By then, I had decided that I wanted to go to law school. But my biological clock was ticking, and I was afraid to keep hitting the snooze button. I wanted a baby and a family. But I was overwhelmed living with my husband. He was dramatic, co-dependent, and disrespectful to me. I had to do everything. The house was a mess if I didn’t keep it clean; I paid the bills, scooped the cat litter, and walked the dogs. We had accumulated a lot of consumer debt, so we had trouble keeping up financially, especially since he kept spending money even when he wasn’t working. I could not imagine taking care of a baby, along with work, the pets, and the house, while he just sat on his ass looking at porn on the internet.

I started seeing a therapist because I thought I needed help making the decision of whether I should go to law school or have a baby. I decided to go to law school at night, while I worked my day job.

We divorced between my second and third years in law school.

I was beginning the process of listening to myself and to my instincts. It was slow going, because I had always been focused on doing things that would make someone else love me. I didn’t really know what I wanted.

When I graduated from law school, I was in another relationship. But this time I was thinking more clearly. He was a sweet man, but when it became obvious that he never wanted to become a father, the relationship ended quickly. Having kids was a deal-breaker for me.

Now I turned to my therapist for help making another choice—should I become a single mother, deliberately, while I wasn’t in a relationship? I had turned thirty-four in April, 2002, and after this birthday I had a plan. If I hadn’t met anyone with good prospect of turning into a serious relationship by the beginning of 2003, I would do anonymous donor insemination and try to get pregnant on my own.

Something inside was telling me that if I didn’t become a mother now, I might not have the chance. I didn’t want to miss out on motherhood as I had missed out on adolescence.

Wasn’t thirty-four still young? Why didn’t I continue to try to meet someone?

My track record with men wasn’t great. By that time, I had only had three or four relationships that had lasted longer than a month or two, and I hadn’t made the best choices. My thinking was that I would separate marriage from child-rearing. I was certain that I could be a good mother, but I wasn’t yet confident in my ability to choose a man who could be a good father.

I had heard of women who had decided to have a child on their own, so I think I always knew in the back of my mind that it was possible. Becoming a single mother made a whole lot of sense to me for several reasons: I feared that if I didn’t have a child soon, I might not have the chance; I had already delayed motherhood once to go to law school; and I could afford to have a baby on my own because I was working at a large law firm. Becoming a single mother by choice was not a very difficult choice for me. My family supported my decision, and I had a network of friends to help.

As far as having a man in my future child’s life—I thought that I could take care of that later. I could meet a man who I could have a relationship with anytime. But my fertility had an expiration date. I also thought that I would make better choices in men if I had someone else to consider when I was making my decision as to whether a man was “relationship material” or not. I might make a bad choice for myself, but, if I was thinking about whether this man would be good for my child, I would make a better choice.

I thought that bringing a child into a bad relationship, or exposing him or her to someone who was abusive and would cause emotional damage, was far less preferable than deciding to have a child on my own when I wanted and desired a child with my whole heart. No, I couldn’t be a perfect parent and bring a child into a perfect relationship. But I had the belief in myself that I could be a good-enough parent.

I went to the doctor’s office for insemination on December 30, 2002. I couldn’t wait until the beginning of 2003—I had just ovulated, had decided on an anonymous donor, and thought I might as well try it. The chances of getting pregnant with frozen sperm are very low—only about 13%, or a one in seven chance with each cycle. So I was prepared to try for several months.

I got pregnant on the first try.

My daughter turned ten last month. Her middle name is Aislinn because it means “dream” in Gaelic.

It has been quite a ride, so far, bumps and all. When she was twenty months old, and still nursing, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and did the whole shebang—surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and reconstruction. A couple of years later, I had to have my ovaries removed.

I was never so glad to have trusted my instincts.

This was just a few months after she was born.

This was just a few months after she was born.

The Road Not Traveled….Walking, Chemistry, and Writing

I’ve been trying to walk every day for thirty minutes during my lunch break.  I’m lucky to work in an office building that sits directly on Indianapolis’s downtown canal.

Looking at my office building from the canal.

Looking at my office building from the canal.

This week, it’s really hot, but I’m also lucky that the heat or cold doesn’t have to curb my walking.  I can walk for thirty minutes or so in a loop through tunnels and skywalks that take me from my office through Circle Center Mall and the Indiana Convention Center.  So I have no excuse.  I don’t really need one. Walking makes me feel good, so that’s why I do it.

A benefit of the indoor walk is being able to see the conventions that come through the Convention Center.  It amuses me to try to figure out what group is convening when I see people walking through the mall with convention badges.  (One of my favorites is the firefighters’ convention, in late April, but that’s beside the point.)

This week, the American Chemical Society is meeting at the Indiana Convention Center.  The ACS Banner I saw on my inside walk.

The ACS Banner from my inside walk.

As I realized what convention it was, I had mixed feelings.  If I had taken a slightly different life path, this could have been my professional convention.

For reasons I’m now a little embarrassed to admit, I was a Chemistry major in college.  From what I can figure out now, I became a Chemistry major because I thought it would be easier to meet a guy. The ratio of men to women in science classes was so much better than in other majors.  I went in “Undecided” but fairly quickly settled on Chemistry. But I realized that lab work wasn’t my forté when I broke piece after piece of equipment and racked up a major bill during my organic chemistry lab.  My professor told me if I got an A on the final, that I wouldn’t have to pay it, and by God, I did.  But Chemistry was never really my “thing.”  I did all right.  But I wasn’t passionate about it.  I learned enough to teach it in high school.  But teaching was never my “thing” either.

I realized much later that making choices about what to do with your life based on whether you think it will give you a better chance to meet men, or if that major will be more marketable than other choices, will only lead to hating what you are doing.  And if you hate what you’re doing with your life, you’ll never be emotionally healthy enough for a relationship.  At least I wasn’t.

I didn’t feel regret for becoming a Chemistry major when walking through the ACS convention. If I hadn’t majored in Chemistry, I might not have worked in the environmental field, and if I hadn’t worked in the environmental field I might not have become interested in law school, and if I hadn’t gone to law school, I might not have had the courage to admit that I’m really a writer.  That path led me to where I am now, which is a very good place to be.

I just felt wonder, at the secret writer-girl I was, who was so desperate to meet a guy that she majored in Chemistry!  Chemistry, of all things! I’m amused now, thinking about it. But I’m also glad that this writer-girl isn’t secret any more.