Why Gender is important to me

What really has started bothering me is this growing trend of throwing out gender categories. I am all for progress and evolving as a society but I strongly disagree with the sentiment that this should come at the cost of gender.

The first time I heard about this trend was ahead of the MTV movie awards. The categories best actor and best actress were molded into one category called “best actor”. To me it was so offensive. I do not understand how this is supposed to be progress. I do not think that men and women are the same, and in the best way possible. Women are beautiful, smart and fierce individuals, but in no way can the experience of a women can be equalled with that of a man or a gender fluid person. Killing off the “best actress” category to me is a statement that being a female actress is no longer worth being celebrated or rewarded.

My favorite show this year has been Big Little Lies, highlighting the female experience as a whole. It is awesome being a woman! Nobody should be afraid to own their gender and the experience that comes with it. I am pretty tired of being told otherwise. Individuality is beautiful, so why are there so many people out there trying to tell me I should no longer be viewed as a woman, but as a “person”? It is baffling to me.

Just today an article showed up on my Newsfeed, that the retailer John Lewis got rid of seperate boys and girls section. It was painted as some kind of win for all of society. This just made me sad. I am all for girls wearing pink dinosaur dresses and boys being allowed to own a doll without being stigmatized. Still, at a young age children are so impressionable. Which message is this sending to young children? It is no longer important whether a child is a boy or a girl? Don’t be proud of who you are as a young women or young boy? Boys and girls have different needs that should be met also in the clothing department and it just seems blatantly ignorant to me.

How did we start off teaching young women to be ashamed of themselves to think they are less because of their gender, then finally made some progress and taught women to be proud and strong and own their femininity and now take a huge step backwards where we are teaching our children that it does not matter anymore?

I hope when I have a daughter or son one day that he or she will grow up in a society that once again will celebrate their gender.

Advertisements

The In-Laws have arrived

My boyfriend’s father is staying with us for five weeks and after one week I am so over this new dynamic. I actually like my in laws a lot but now they are planning to move to the same city and I don’t like this new dynamic. My boyfriend’s father is from a different generation and a different country. 

He is a very nice guy but very demanding as of now. What bothers me is this new dynamic, suddenly I am getting snide comments for American dishes, all the music he wants to listen to is German polka music and he snores like a wild animal. I don’t know if I am being overly sensitive, but no thank you. I can’t last five weeks without being able to watch my cable shows like the Daily Show, eat the food I like or just generally enjoy the conforts of my home whenever I like. I got so frustrated this morning when he used up the last clean towel and I wanted to take a shower. He is extremely rude to our Pakistani neighbor, constantly complaining, I don’t really get why he wants to move here if he is complaining. The city is not the countryside and people do have mixed internationalities and backgrounds here. 

The problem I have is that if I say something I am the nagging woman. My boyfriend of course wants to make his father feel welcome and comfortable, but at the cost of our daily routine and the life we feel comfortable in ? 

I feel if I don’t look out for myself now I will just be left behind, especially if they are gonna move near us. 

Helping…

The thing that is expected the most of one, when you have cancer in your family is to HELP. It is such a little word that entails so much. When my mother told me that she had cancer I wanted to do everything for her, I wanted to cook, shop, drive her everywhere, despite her being in good condition.

The situation we are in is, my mother is divorced, her father is dead, her mother is 79 and I am her only child. I do not live with her, I have my own little place and pay my own bills. My problem is her expectations of me versus what I can give her. I have bills for my car to pay, for my apartment and there are living costs I need to cover. Meanwhile I am a full time student. So, all in all I am working, studying and try to help my mother as much as possible.

So what is my problem with helping? When other people, nurses, friends of my mothers, or whoever thinks they can dictate how much I should or can be there for my mother. I spend every minute that is possible supporting her, running errands for her, taking her to a doctor. It riles me up when I have work coming up that pay my most existential bills and then there is a nurse that tells me to cancel a work appointment for one of hundreds of doctor’s appointments. Yes, every appointment is important! Yes, I am very sad for my mother that we don’t have a big family where everybody pitches in to support!

It might seem selfish, but I need to survive this cancer too. I can’t cancel work appointments and not be able to pay for my food or my car that also serves as a transportation for my mom. I cannot give up my entire life and devote 24 hours to the care of my sick mother, because sadly that is not a luxury I can afford. Only few people understand my dilemma. Most people argue that my mother is dying and I am ungrateful, I am not ungrateful. It hurts every time when people tell me I am not doing enough. Over the Christmas break I did too much, and  a lot of people might say that you cannot help your sick mother too much, especially when she is dying, but it was too much. I did not eat properly anymore nor sleep. I devoted so much time and energy that I had a terrible case of the flu which turned out to make things worse, because if you have the flu you cannot under any circumstance be around cancer patients. To cancer patients this is very dangerous. That was the point when I realized. Giving care also means that I need to look after myself properly in order to be able to help my mother. This is something I neglected for the first two months, because of a lot of bad advice, but I am getting better at this, day by day!

 

 

Goodbye 2016! Hello Cancer!

I don’t even really know how to look back onto the year I have had. Two grandparents died and my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I am 24 years old as of yesterday. I don’t feel old enough to say good-bye to my mother. I am still in college, I have not figured my life out yet. There are so many things I want to do together with my mom. I need her to help me pick out  a wedding dress one day. She deserves the chance to meet her grandchildren and be the doting grand mother she wished all her life to be. She deserves so much and stage IV cancer is not one of them. At this point I won’t even say which type it is, because honestly it is so wide spread and in so many places I don’t know which part is the worst. The last two and a half months have been very hard for me since I came to know what my mother had.

What was really hard for me, was that my mother did not even tell me because she wanted to tell me. She told me because she told one of her best friends, who herself survived breast cancer and urged her to share this news with me. For the past year my mother and I had the worst strained and estranged relationship imaginable, so much happened in that year and somehow the news of her having cancer brought us back together again. It all felt, and still feels like a whirlwind rollercoaster!

So much has happened and only now I am beginning to feel like I have my feet on the ground again. It is a unique and painful experience. I still do believe God has a plan, I do not quite know what it is, but I do still believe in God.

This Christmas break was very hard for me, my mother had an emergency surgery that she barely survived and I spent Christmas and New Year’s Eve without family, because I feared I might say something wrong. Nobody in the family knows what is going on per my mother’s wishes and I feel like I am lying to everybody that loves her by saying nothing.

The only thing that has helped me, was the realization that no matter what was going to happen, I knew I would be okay. I felt the opposite at first, I do not know why this feeling has changed, but ever since I feel like I need to trust in God a little bit that he will take care of me, I feel better. It helps.

I never imagined sharing all of this, but it is bottling all up inside of me. I really hope that sharing my story and journey will help me. Maybe somebody who is in a similar situation is reading this and might be able to give me some advice. I would really appreciate it.

Thank you for reading!