I am remembering the joy I felt one occasion this week as I drove to my lunch break.
I am always so excited and happy when it is time for my break. One hour for myself, sweet moments to spend my best waking hours doing something worthy or fun. I thought of how my daily joys are real, how I live and breathe in these moments of feeling so grateful to be alive, and able to do the things I dream of doing, of sewing, creating or writing stories, telling stories to the world. When I was a child I never dreamed of such a thing as the Internet. I cannot believe I live in a time where it is possible for me to do the things I do.
It is a strange time, now. A squirrel just scurried across the porch to press his small hands against the window and stare in at me. I still believe, as I did and as many children do, that he was trying to tell me something or otherwise guide me. I believe that animals are sensitive and intelligent in ways humans can never dream of being. Our sense of superiority to other creatures is a piece of ballast that keeps us from learning from nature.
I am angry . Yes, angry . If you were here you would know, because I have been smiling determinedly for the past two hours, and with the idiocy I have confronted - you would have seen it if you had been by me, and would ascertain that the smile is in fact quite fake.
I want to remember the squirrel. I am trying to think of the squirrel, and I am trying to turn my rage into something intelligible, and be gentle. Watch me work.
No one owns my moments or my days except for me. Anyone who believes he does is ignorant - or I am doing the wrong of allowing someone to control or abuse me, which is a sin against myself. These moments, these small discoveries, these triumphs - that fact that I still remember, still remember - still feel the dancing happiness for a sunlit hour to escape, that I still have joys to go to, even if only in my mind. Listen to me. I am not like you - those who forgot love and joy.
In this life, you have to fight against other people. You will know you are beautiful when other women act like you are shit stuck to the bottom of their shoes - yes, you will know. And don't feel the pain, feel the fleeting joy, because in this life - in this life - you are a woman, and you are beautiful - it may not last forever, even in this life, so feel the reality, feel happy. You won. It is a shame they could not find their own beauty.
You will know you are intelligent and noteworthy when others constantly under-credit and undercut you, put the blame on you, desperately throw the heavy palls upon your head to give you one more thing to struggle against. It is a shame they are insecure.
But I will tell you one thing you will not take from me. When beauty is lost to ravages of stress and intelligence is washed down a drain of confusion and self-torment you will not, will not, take my special dreams and my special joys away from me. They are permanently fixed to my heart and my soul. You will not take away the love I feel for others or my attempts to express that love, no matter how the dinner really does turn out - you will not embarrass me away from my tender cherishing of dolls and beautiful dresses and great women who lived long ago. These are my special loves.
My own time is my own time. When you require me to work extra time - that would be The Man I am now addressing - you are stealing from me. You are doing wrong. I will tolerate it for a little while, but I will not relax my guard. I will not forget what the special sunlit hours for me feel like. I will still have my own self. And if you continue to abuse me, I will find a different place to work, because allowing myself to be abused is a sin.