Whether we like it or not, and whether it’s logical or not, it’s extremely common for women to want to please men. Somewhere, buried deep in the recesses of our brains lies this vestigial microchip that compels us to acquiesce, to go along with men’s desires and wishes, and to silence our own self-advocation, truth and voice. I’m not referring to circumstances of fear necessarily… rape, assault, coercion, etc.
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There are a whole lot of bumper stickery quotes out there pertaining to change, and none of them do a goddamn thing for me. I don’t do well with the phenomenon of change, and yet, from time to time I crave it like the most urgent and mandatory nutrient. It’s a funny conundrum that drives me a bit mad, but change is like Morse Code to my future, tapping unrelenting and deliberate at the window.
“Jaime, you might actually be getting smarter,” said my mom when I informed her that I’d declined a request to volunteer on a rather ambitious project. And by god, she’s right - I am. I’m getting smarter by being more selective and discerning about how I want to spend my precious life force. I used to say yes to damn near everything - down for whatever, a team player, your go-to gal and involved in more things than I could ever successfully manage.
It began as a poem by Walt Whitman, published in 1885, and then became the title of the 100th episode of The Twilight Zone, written by science fiction genius Ray Bradbury in 1962. He would later publish a superb collection of short stories in ‘69 under the same title - I Sing the Body Electric. I can still picture the jacket cover: a dark haired woman, reminiscent of Cher, nude, enshrined within the tomb of an Egyptian pharaoh and surrounded by swirling arcs of yellow and green.
If there’s one thing my dad’s good at in this world, it’s running a business. Poor guy tried in vain to encourage his only daughter to pursue the highly practical path of a business degree, but instead I chose the deliciously colorful buffet that is Cultural Anthropology. In standard father-daughter form, I resisted most of the wisdom he attempted to send my way, although a few gems managed to pass through the semi-permeable membrane of my stubborn dome.
Sometimes Life flows with extraordinary ease and momentum, slipping into place like the clutch of a new Porsche. Other moments slog on as though the atmosphere were some kind of ectoplasm, miring my efforts and endeavors in a sludge of ineffectual suspension. I genuinely despise such moments… there’s really no other way to say it, and I’d be lying if I claimed to be graceful and accepting of such roadblocks to my flow.