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Feminism or equality

I guess this is my bit on feminism. I’ve been reading a fair bit of late.. And I have some comments to make..

I think I myself do now identify as a feminist. But I am probably happy to identify as such given a particular definition. To me, a woman and should be as equally valued as any role a man might take in the workforce. To me, feminism is a removal of sexism from work, from life, from relationships, from family models etc. Sexism exists as discriminatory behaviours toward the opposite sex. (Well, *technically* speaking! This is the definition) however I think sexism can be displayed from women toward other women as well. To me sexism is really discriminating against someone because of their sex and therefore engendering them with particular afflictions purely based on their genitals. For example, telling a woman that she will want to have children some day even if she doesn’t want them now simply because she possesses ovaries. What other authority do people have but the possession of ovaries to tell others this I don’t know. In fact I’m fairly certain if I announced some time that I don’t want children that a) this would be met with some surprise given my career choice! and b) I’d have some smart-arse telling me I will change my mind one day.. When I’m not so young and immature.

Blah! To you I say! Blah! The truth is I’m somewhat undecided on children. But that’s a decision for me and me alone to make! Maybe I’ll involve the father of the baby too! Hehehehe! ;) these days, lord knows I wouldn’t be the first who didn’t!!

Anyhow, I guess this all came about for me cos I made a somewhat off-handed comment a few months ago on twitter. Something along the lines of: “why are all the feminists so angry?” It was poorly researched and was perpetuating a stereotype that is frankly unhelpful. I was quickly corrected and had some of the other feminists come out of the woodwork and admit to me that they too didn’t see that hostility generally improves ANY cause.. Let alone this one. So I quickly resigned to do some research on the topic. I needed to be informed. I’ve done some brilliant reading since then! I’ve stolen a good friends copy of “the bitch in the house” which is a compilation of short essays and had a whole lot of fantastic points, all without too much hostility. All things I could relate to! I don’t appreciate hostility and for me it just makes me shut down.

I don’t appreciate sexism either! I don’t appreciate being told that I am a woman and therefore I will be more nurturing to my child than it’s father. I don’t like being told that I can’t do something because I am a woman. Of course aside from peeing standing up… And let’s face it! If I want to clean up the mess then I can damn well pee standing up if I want to!

I am a midwife and as a student I found the whole gender thing a difficult thought to ponder. I think that in my experience, children are assigned a gender based on their genitals, so not only does their parent dream up for them to be happy and healthy and successful, their parents often have a whole bunch of other dreams for them too! They’re dressed in pink or blue based on their genitals, and then their parents make comments in reference to their sexual preferences. They’re assuming that while this baby is still an infant that they’ll grow up to be a straight heterosexual, marry a man/woman (whichever applies!) have their picket fence and their 2.4 kids and live happily ever after! Until they get their first divorce and meet their second husband/wife of course!

And you might think I think too much on this stuff. But people who are friends and who are pregnant at the same time will make comments of their children to mates with each other if they have the same genitals and they’re going to marry each other if they’re opposite sex.

And don’t get me wrong! I think it’s a natural part of human thinking. We have dreams for our offspring and these dreams extend to their happiness and their success in life! But what of the children who feel an attraction to the opposite sex once they *do* think of things along those lines?

I mean I for one have always been brought up to be a compliant, thoughtful, respectful young lady. I need to look a certain way and behave a certain way if anyone will want to spend their life with me. What about if I don’t want to spend my life with them? Does it come into it? I am conditioned both by society and my upbringing that if I am not in a relationship that there must be something wrong with me. And I am made to feel that if I am not in a relationship that there is something wrong with me. Fact is there’s not! I am perfectly nice, respectful and reasonably pretty. I am also opinionated, clumsy and argumentative. I like a good debate and I like a good children’s movie. I love a drink and I love riding my bike. I am a lovable curmudgeon and Liz lemon describes herself in 30 rock. I am sometimes messy and I am sometimes clean and tidy. I always care and I am always emphatic, but I don’t always communicate that well. I am a little deaf, a little blind and not particularly the sharpest tool in the shed. But what I do and what I say it comes from a place of love.

I don’t always expect that my boyfriend/partner male counterpart will do the gardening just because he has a penis. But I’m not very good at it, so if he doesn’t want to do it I’m happy to pay someone to do it or better still, buy a place without too much of a garden. I don’t expect I always need to cook, but I do enjoy my food and enjoy cooking so chances are I will probably spend some time doing it.

I don’t feel the need to put down my male housemates cos they don’t do the dishes the way I do.. Telling them they’ve had a “boy look” when they can’t find something in the pantry only further segregates the sexes. The boys in my house are actually cleaner than me, and often tidier than me. We are considerate of each other and they learn different skills from me as I learn from them..

I think what I’m getting at here is that I am keen for equality to be a thing. Equality means equality. So support of gay marriage, is part of that. Who am I to tell people that they can’t commit their life to someone? I don’t know that I will ever get married either.. I have a lot more thinking to do on it, and what it would mean to me. But I am keen to remove segregation between sexes. I am keen to work together with people and make our world better for all.

I understand none of these thoughts are particularly new. They’re just mine and I had to put them down somewhere.

Gaining perspective…

I’ve got a confession to make. I’m rather ashamed to admit it. It’s really kind of awful. And I need some help… 

 
As some of you know I started the journey of weight loss in 2009. I topped the scales at around 110kg, and I am only around 165cm tall. I have always been large, and I have always really enjoyed my food. I am clumsy, I drop things and I trip over. I’m not at all co-ordinated, but most of my life I just fumble my way through. I’ve been driving a car for 10 years and I’m a terrible driver. I have improved over time, but I’m still shitful at it. I have accepted that. 
 
I also for a long time accepted being fat. I accepted that I was always going to be larger than other girls, so I did nothing about it. 
 
Over time I have grown in my confidence and whilst I have accepted being clumsy, I haven’t let that hold me back. I’m still not good at running or riding. I fell off my bike last week, but I’m better than I used to be. And I compare myself only to myself. It’s not fair to compare myself to others cos I am not them. And they are not me. 
 
Anyhow, back to the confession. I came this close to failing Uni last year. I let my depression and anxiety control me, I let it invade my every thought and every moment. I let it define who I was. I didn’t accept help cos I was blind to the fact that I needed it. I thought I could manage it on my own. In trying to manage the mental illness on my own, I almost ran myself into the ground. I almost failed a subject at Uni. My mental state had me in a place where I was not only trying to juggle that, but I was trying to handle everything else on my own too! And I was only doing a mediocre job of handling those things too. 
 
The truth of the matter is that depression and anxiety should not define me. I should be the one to define it. I am the one who is in control. Depression and anxiety is for me something that will probably follow me for much of my life. I have also accepted that now. But I think the bigger problem here would be if I allowed it to hold me back. 
 
Basically when I admitted I needed some help, I started seeing a psychologist, a GP, and I went easy on myself. I feel much better mentally now, but I have slipped back into my old ways. And as a result, I haven’t been going to the gym, I haven’t been running or lifting weights, and I haven’t been focussing on healthy eating. I’ve put on 7kg. Sounds like a lot, but truly… It’s not that hard for me. I like my food. And once you slip back into old ways it just sort of goes on. The first 5 went on during the last semester of Uni and the last 2kg in the last 2 weeks of end of year festivities. 
 
I’m not for making New Years resolutions really. I think I made some on twitter that included going to Disneyworld in 2013, doing more bike riding and going skiing for the first time ever. 
 
I don’t mind a new Monday resolution. But even that. I just need to get back to my new old habits of eating well, not smoking, and drinking only on weekends. There is something about a new year, a clean slate that gives you high hopes. We’re humans, we like the idea of opportunity, the idea of possibility, the idea that things can be better. And I think that’s ok. 
 
One New Years resolution I am ok with making is this. I’d like to find some way where my self esteem is not tied in with how much I weigh. I’d like to find peace with being who I am and what I look like. I know it’s not important in the scheme of things. But I also know how much it drives me. I’m more than ok with the fact that it might take me more than a year to happen. At the end of the day, I think I’ll always be ok with who I am if I am trying to improve. I’ll never be perfect, but I don’t need to be. I only need to be me. The best version of me! ^_____^ ImageImage

Gaining perspective…

I’ve got a confession to make. I’m rather ashamed to admit it. It’s really kind of awful. And I need some help… 

 
As some of you know I started the journey of weight loss in 2009. I topped the scales at around 110kg, and I am only around 165cm tall. I have always been large, and I have always really enjoyed my food. I am clumsy, I drop things and I trip over. I’m not at all co-ordinated, but most of my life I just fumble my way through. I’ve been driving a car for 10 years and I’m a terrible driver. I have improved over time, but I’m still shitful at it. I have accepted that. 
 
I also for a long time accepted being fat. I accepted that I was always going to be larger than other girls, so I did nothing about it. 
 
Over time I have grown in my confidence and whilst I have accepted being clumsy, I haven’t let that hold me back. I’m still not good at running or riding. I fell off my bike last week, but I’m better than I used to be. And I compare myself only to myself. It’s not fair to compare myself to others cos I am not them. And they are not me. 
 
Anyhow, back to the confession. I came this close to failing Uni last year. I let my depression and anxiety control me, I let it invade my every thought and every moment. I let it define who I was. I didn’t accept help cos I was blind to the fact that I needed it. I thought I could manage it on my own. In trying to manage the mental illness on my own, I almost ran myself into the ground. I almost failed a subject at Uni. My mental state had me in a place where I was not only trying to juggle that, but I was trying to handle everything else on my own too! And I was only doing a mediocre job of handling those things too. 
 
The truth of the matter is that depression and anxiety should not define me. I should be the one to define it. I am the one who is in control. Depression and anxiety is for me something that will probably follow me for much of my life. I have also accepted that now. But I think the bigger problem here would be if I allowed it to hold me back. 
 
Basically when I admitted I needed some help, I started seeing a psychologist, a GP, and I went easy on myself. I feel much better mentally now, but I have slipped back into my old ways. And as a result, I haven’t been going to the gym, I haven’t been running or lifting weights, and I haven’t been focussing on healthy eating. I’ve put on 7kg. Sounds like a lot, but truly… It’s not that hard for me. I like my food. And once you slip back into old ways it just sort of goes on. The first 5 went on during the last semester of Uni and the last 2kg in the last 2 weeks of end of year festivities. 
 
I’m not for making New Years resolutions really. I think I made some on twitter that included going to Disneyworld in 2013, doing more bike riding and going skiing for the first time ever. 
 
I don’t mind a new Monday resolution. But even that. I just need to get back to my new old habits of eating well, not smoking, and drinking only on weekends. There is something about a new year, a clean slate that gives you high hopes. We’re humans, we like the idea of opportunity, the idea of possibility, the idea that things can be better. And I think that’s ok. 
 
One New Years resolution I am ok with making is this. I’d like to find some way where my self esteem is not tied in with how much I weigh. I’d like to find peace with being who I am and what I look like. I know it’s not important in the scheme of things. But I also know how much it drives me. I’m more than ok with the fact that it might take me more than a year to happen. At the end of the day, I think I’ll always be ok with who I am if I am trying to improve. I’ll never be perfect, but I don’t need to be. I only need to be me. The best version of me! ^_____^ 

care and caring

Today I started placement again. Allow me to refresh your memory. I am now into my 4th year nursing/midwifery degree at a local uni. I am *this* close to realising a life-long dream. And yet, I am *this* far too. I am tired. 

But, lets get back on track. Today I went back to a hospital I went to for placement in 2nd year. The day was good. I walked on shift at 7am, and I caught a baby before morning tea. Everything was normal, baby was healthy, mother did amazing. And she did it all herself. Though she did scream at me in the half hour before baby was born that I was lying to her each time I told baby was close… ;) hehe! 

I had a good shift, I didn’t know where they kept things, how to use the taps, or what their policies and procedures are there. There’s something comforting in knowing what is supposed to happen and when. Something comforting in knowing how many times I need to take blood pressure, where the gloves are and what to do with the placenta. These are all small matters to patients. But a lot of them are about patient safety. I can do my job better when I know these things. :D Imagine if you walked into your office every day and you didn’t know where the bins were, where to find a pen, how to print something up. Where the toilets are, where to put your bag for the day. They’re all about providing good care… 

But the most important part today is that I walked in there and I felt confident. I didn’t worry too much about those things. I just asked when I needed something, and I confirmed what I was thinking with my supervising midwife, which was really cool. 

I walked in there and there was something familiar about the place, but yet so different. Took me awhile to realise what it was. It’s me. I am what is different. Labour and birth care is the same. It’s every bit as amazing as it always has been. And don’t get me wrong, there are bad days.. But we won’t go into them… ;) Let’s just suffice to say, when you’re working with people that you may not always agree with or like everything they do…. ;) People are people. But more than that, people are vulnerable people when they’re in labour, in pain, or fearful. 

I think that now, I am ready to be a midwife. I am ready to be a nurse. I am kinda ready to get out there and change the world a little bit. Which is the thought I have been struggling with for some time now. I am not so idealistic to believe that I can change the whole world. But I like to think I might have a shot at changing my little corner of the world. It’s the little things. 

As long as I can leave my little fingerprint on the world, and someone knows I was there, that makes it all worth it. 

 

 

an honest post

I don’t like R U OK day. I don’t like it a single bit. I like the premise behind it, in that you’re asking people around you if they’re ok and checking in, that you’re not waiting for someone to ask for help before. I know I suffer with depression, and 2 of the symptoms of my worsening depression are that I don’t sleep, I have no motivation, and I have anxiety attacks. I am an extremely stubborn person, and I know that when I ask for help I am at the end. I am at the point where I can’t do it. I’m at breaking point.

What upsets me about R U OK day, is the simple fact that people walk around on this one day of the year bandying about to anyone they meet asking “R U OK?” It’s not the sentiment that annoys me. It’s the inconsistency. It’s like we only buy flowers or chocolates for the one we love on valentine’s day. Anyone who’s been in a real relationship that has lasted the distance knows that love needs to be expressed more than once a year. Love, just like concern for a person’s well-being is something that needs to be continually expressed. It’s something you need to live and breathe for it to be genuine and felt.

This year I have had an even tougher time with uni and studies than I ever have before. I have struggled through and I didn’t ask for help. I didn’t ask for help from anyone because I was too stubborn to think anyone cared. I was too set on doing it by myself. The consequences of this has been traumatic and lasting. The people in my life have been effected by it, and I have not been living up to my true potential. I think in this life I can only try to be the best I can. Anything more is a plus. But if I am not trying and getting out of bed each day is too hard then I need help. I need treatment for my depression and subsequent anxiety attacks. I need to do this so I can reach my potential. I need to do it without drowning.

I think that part of the reason I don’t want help is that it makes me feel weak. I don’t want people to know I have depression cos I am scared it makes me weak. I am scared it makes me defective as a person. I am scared that friends or family will view me as fragile and somehow try to shield me from things. That they’ll treat me with kid-gloves. That is something I can’t stand most of all. The thought that I might get special treatment that I don’t feel I deserve. I guess that’s the main thing. It’s not that I think poorly of myself that I don’t deserve it, it’s that there are others in this world who need support more. It scares me to think that a friend may try to sugar-coat reality for me cos they’re scared I might not be able to handle it. That said, this whole thing has taught me that it is ok to cry. It is ok to express that something is upsetting me. The whole experience with depression has yet again taught me that it’s ok to ask for help.

I sometimes think that just because I’ve dealt with this depression for a number of years that I know all about it and I know how to handle it. That’s not the case. I don’t. I do know however that I will do all I can to lead a normal life. To be happy and healthy and to be the best version of me that is possible. That’s all I can be, and I am the only person who can be me. Which isn’t so bad. There’s no yard-stick, so I win at it. 

Ok, bare with me… (Bear with me…? I always get that mucked up…. meh!)

I have always been a fat person. I in some ways still feel like a fat person, even though I’ve lost 37kg and counting. I was born being an enjoyer of food. I was born as someone who doesn’t seem to have an off switch. And with 2 younger sisters who seem to have natural athleticism and metabolism’s to boot it doesn’t seem fair. I can come up with all the explanations in the world as to why I simply look at a cheesecake and feel the fat stack onto my thighs, in fact I have some plausible explanations surrounding this, but they all fall down to  an excuse. And it doesn’t change the simple fact that walking past the bakery will have me walking away 2kg heavier than others. 

Being fat is a disability to me. It’s something I will have to live with. I will forever live with the fat girl inside screaming out to be fed. It all just depends on how I often I give in to her as to how fat I am. I call what I do with my life fat maintenance. I get up each day, I count my calories, and I regulate what goes in. I go to the gym everyday and I place limits on myself as to how much alcohol I consume. 

When I was fatter I couldn’t shop in normal ppl clothing shops, I couldn’t buy clothes of the latest fashions.  I couldn’t wear shorts, cos they’d ride up, and I hated summer cos summer meant chafing of my legs. 

Being fat means people stare at you. They stare at you when you have seconds. They don’t care that you skipped lunch cos you were too busy in your 12 hour work day to find something. It means that this week when Mum made dessert brownies for my sister’s birthday, she didn’t make one for me. She meant well, when I asked her why she didn’t make one her response was “I thought it’d be easier for you if you didn’t have an option to have one, I didn’t want to tempt you”. People don’t worry about tempting skinny people. They don’t worry even though skinny people might live on french fries and cheeseburgers. Skinny does not necessarily mean healthy. 

People say things to fat people they wouldn’t say to skinny people. “Are you sure you need that bread roll?” or the best one last night when I described to someone I used to be fat, and she looked at me and said “fatter than that?” That still bites. Being fat is pretty awful when all you want to do is be invisible, but in actual fact you’re ever more visible than you hope. In first year at uni I started riding my bike to get around in the hopes I would lose some weight, I had to get the wheel replaced because it buckled, which is something that happens over time. It’s when the wheel bends out of shape. But at the time my mum asked me “do you think the wheel buckled because you’re too heavy for the bike?” :/ 

So long story short I have worked my ass off quite literally, I go to the gym between 5-6 days a week and I cut my calorie intake to 900-1000 calories a day. I do this because not only do I want to be healthy, but I have to starve the fat girl on the inside. I am happy, but it will be something I do for everyday for the rest of my life. Some people wear hearing aids, some people wear glasses, some people take insulin shots and other people use asthma preventers and inhalers. I watch what I eat and I exercise. It’s just my make up. It’s the body I have to deal with. I can’t be unhappy with that. I have to work with what I have. Sucky metabolism and all. I’ve lost 37kg so far, and many many cm’s off my waistline. I’ve dropped from size 18-20 and now down to a size 12. I will be a size 10 by the end of this year if it’s the last thing I do. 

I won’t be the most athletic person in the gym ever. But I will be the person who does the best I can do. And that’s all I can ask for. I look to where I’ve come from as someone who couldn’t walk up the corridor without being out of breath. Someone who at the age of 24 had high blood pressure and high heart rate to now at the age of 27, having low blood pressure and clinically low heart rate. Those are things that do not lie. I threw out 3/4 of my wardrobe at summer, cos it doesn’t fit. And the dress I had made for my year 12 formal is now too big. I am proud of these accomplishments. I am not proud of becoming the size I did before I did something about it. 

But I do believe, being a fat person is something I will deal with forever. Cos the fat person is still inside, she’s just a little hungrier…. 

Breaking

You get to the point in your day when you cry. You left home at 6am and packed a bag for the next 2 days and you feel like you’ve lost control only 10 hours into the day..

I feel like I can’t handle the pressure today. I’ve managed to lock myself out of the house and managed to get a speeding fine. I’ve managed to forget my lunch and feel as though I’ve lost complete control. I’ve made mistake after mistake.

I received some negative feedback from a facilitator that said I look as though I don’t want to be on placement and I don’t want to learn. The truth is I’m just trying to stay awake! I feel as though I’m at the end of my tether and I feel like I need to admit I can’t do it. I feel as though life is just too hard to juggle work, study, Uni contact hours, placement, my second job, my third job, my sister wants me to do some stuff for her and my house is a mess. I have my game face on 20 hours of the day, always putting my best foot forward and always giving my best impression. Trouble is I think my best foot is beginning to show a little wear and tear..

I could take a week off and delay my finish, but it’d all still be there for me when I come back so it wouldn’t make a difference.. The work piles up, the readings pile up and the assignments are 1 week closer to due date..

I just want to relax and take a breath but I can’t. So I put my game face on and put in the only effort I have left. A mediocre one. Until I break.

Even though I cant be happy with that, the only thing worse than mediocre is losing momentum…

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