This is the third morning in a row that I’ve woken up at 4:30 a.m. I thought it was a fluke, but three times in a row isn’t a fluke, it’s a pattern. And within patterns, there is usually meaning.
What does it mean to wake up at 4:30 a.m. for three mornings in a row?
To figure it out, I need to write because something is swimming around at the edges of my subconscious, swirling in the purgatory between my unconscious and conscious mind.
Writing allows me to fish it out, to cast a line into those unknown waters and wait for the tug of recognition. And when it comes, if I finesse the rod just right, if I don’t pull too hard or too gently, that something will emerge, thrashing and alive from the depths.
I’m pretty sure it has something to do with an excerpt from a book I was reading, a clever line written in jest by the author about an issue she cared about but not quite enough to do anything about.
“Remind me to start a revolution about that next time,” she wrote.
I cast that out across the expanse of my subconscious and wait, senses alert. What do I care about but not quite enough to do anything about? What do I want to start a revolution about next time because right now, this time, is not a “good time”?
The cursor on my computer screen blinks. I am patient and quiet. Is anything there? Or better yet, is anything there that I can handle right now? Because I am not sure this is a good time to start a revolution, thank you very much.
I’m married with two kids and a dog. I work full time. My family is coming off four weeks of taking turns being sick with the flu because apparently “the vaccine didn’t quite match up this year.”
I’ve somehow managed to contract pink eye, most likely from all the visits to the pediatrician’s office. (Because, flu.) And last night, my nine year-old told me there’s a lice outbreak in her classroom and she thinks her head itches…
So no, it’s not really a good time for me to start a revolution, unless it’s to set fire to my house, my eyeballs, and my daughter’s hair.
Unless it’s to quit my job as a mother/wife/caretaker and tell somebody else, anybody else, that I’m all done now. In fact, even if I don’t start a revolution, if I’m really, really, really honest with myself, I AM ALL DONE BEING A WOMAN IN THIS WORLD.
Oh wait. That’s it. That’s the something that I want to start a revolution about next time, and it just landed at my feet, thrashing and alive from the depths of my subconscious. There was no waiting for the second and third tug, no finessing of my rod. It just burst out of the water like Jaws.
I am all done being a woman in this world.
Is that even possible?
How can I quit my job as a mother, wife, caretaker and overall keeper of my family’s universe, because I’m pretty sure it would all implode into a black hole without me?
How can I stop feeling the conflicting demands of work and motherhood where being in one place means I’m not somewhere else, so I’m always, always failing at both?
How can I acknowledge the pain of my stay-at-home-mom friends, women who didn’t understand how their “choice” would drastically limit so many of their future choices?
How can I tell my daughter that even though she’s smart and hard working, she’s at an incredible disadvantage compared to the boys in her class?
How can I?
How can I not.
I am all done being a woman in this world. That’s the honest-to-goodness truth, and not doing anything about it? That makes me a co-conspirator in everything that hurts me, my daughter, other women, and men for that matter.
Since I can’t really be all done with my identity as a woman, I guess that means I’m all done with this world. I’m all done with a world that makes it so incredibly hard to be a woman.
Does that make me a revolutionary? Perhaps. It all depends on how I move forward from here. And while I’m not sure what this will look like exactly, I do know this. My efforts will not be unrelated. They will not be flukes.
Like waking up at 4:30 a.m. three mornings in a row, there will be a pattern with meaning. And if anyone looks closely and cares to fish it out, they will find it for themselves.
I am all done being a woman in this world. And I’m starting a revolution about it this time.