Saying No

October 28, 2009 § 3 Comments

You may have noticed that blog updates have been infrequent of late. I can’t speak for other contributors, but for me this lack of writing has much to do with my stress level. I’m applying to college, and I’m taking a lot of interesting and damn challenging classes.

There’s a lot I’ve had to be proud of recently: I’m finished with a couple applications; my modern dance classes have made my body feel awesome, limber and strong; I’m happy with my grades thus far; I’ve amped up my work with NARAL Pro-Choice NY; this week is my one-year anniversary of dating my boyfriend.

But I’ve noticed that it’s hard for me to take a break. There’s so much I want to do — not only do, but do perfectly — that it’s hard to carve myself any time for just nothing. It’s hard to keep my mental and emotional health strong.

Stress is just as much a feminist issue as its partner-in-crime, choice. As Courtney Martin suggests in her book, women feeling like we have to do everything may be an unintended consequence of the feminist movement, which has taught us that we can do anything. For (privileged) women, the array of opportunities we’re presented with — much broader than even a few decades ago — can be a double-edged sword.

Other bloggers deal with this, too. I have deep respect for Melissa’s and RMJ’s decisions to take some time off, decisions that, unfortunately, may have induced feelings of guilt. And I admired Kate’s post about refusing to feel guilty for being a busy person with many passions.

Sometimes I think of my feminism as two intertwined struggles: feminism for women, which I fight for through my pro-choice volunteering, blog writing and reading, and club-running, among other acts; and feminism for me, which may need some prioritizing. This kind of feminism is me encouraging myself to take a break, to relax with my family and friends, to cook for myself, to nap, to read, to say NO when I’m overwhelmed, to stop doing everything, to stop trying to be perfect by setting more compassionate and realistic goals.

Just some things to think about.

§ 3 Responses to Saying No

  • Kyla Raskin says:

    Yeah, my lousy blogging has spawned from such a bizarre and busy palette from a bunch of different spheres of my life, (I am doing almost everything, it seems, EXCEPT applying to colleges!)
    Which isn’t to say I haven’t been THINKING feminism, or women’s glib. My guilt manifests in how much I’ve been thinking about feminism: from a kick-ass radical feminist class called ‘American Women,’ to this LGTBQ/Overall empowerment club that another student and I are orchestrating at school to reading miles of third wave Anarcha-Feminism texts and zines. There is so much to say! And not enough time…if this were an audio-updated site we could all just trail tape recorders around with us…

  • ruthelizabeth says:

    WORD girl.

  • [...] my life’s been pretty awesome and fulfilling in the meantime, so I won’t regret briefly saying no to blogging. I’m easing back in with this roundup of bits and [...]

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