Diana

Image courtesy of Sideshow Collectibles.

I’m a mom now, so I could start this letter by saying how I have three little girls and how it’s so important for girls to see powerful female characters and all that. But even though that’s important, that’s not what I want to say. This letter is from me. 

Growing up I knew about Wonder Woman. I just didn’t really care about Wonder Woman. She was beautiful and awesome, but constantly overshadowed by characters like Batman and Superman. She didn’t really seem to have her own thing going on–if I ever saw her, it was as a member of the Justice League, a pretty chauffeur in an invisible jet. She never saved the day. She wasn’t a crunch player. She wasn’t an MVP. She was a token female and I figured she had to be dating someone or they wouldn’t have let her in. The original live action Wonder Woman from the 1974 film, Lynda Carter, was pretty awesome, but she still didn’t inspire me. She was so dainty. Lynda Carter was unbelievably refined and beautiful, and I had skinned knees and oversized Pokémon t-shirts. Unfortunately, she just seemed like another standard of femaleness that I wouldn’t hit. 

A couple nights ago I went to see the new Wonder Woman film with my husband, and I remember thinking on the way to the theatre that I could have waited to see it on demand. I wasn’t into the idea of a Wonder Woman movie because I didn’t need to see any more watered down sex symbols on the big screen. I had seen the posters and the ads, and Gal Gadot was freaking hot. That wasn’t a good sign. Sure, she looked the part for the Princess of Themyscira, but what hot woman in Hollywood ever gets to play a meaningful role, especially in a superhero movie?

I was blown away. 

Wonder Woman was amazing. Amazing. Amazing. Diana was tough, hard headed, spoiled, compassionate, loving, sarcastic, and completely unimpressed with herself and her own beauty. DC casted a gorgeous woman and left it at that. They let her breathe on the screen and become three-dimensional. The phenomenal (and female) director of this movie, Patty Jenkins, allowed Diana a real experience. She made no apologies (a lesson I need to learn), struggled with her belief in men but never her belief in herself, cooed over babies, had sex on the first date, and set clear boundaries with the men and women around her. Diana was a woman. Honestly, her fighting style was straight up badass, but that wasn’t what made me get all excited and teary-eyed during this film. I loved the fact that Wonder Woman was humble without being self-deprecating, that she apologized when it was appropriate but not constantly, and she did whatever she needed or wanted to do without waiting for permission. 

Thank you, Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot, for being beautiful, humble, and for doing what you needed to do without waiting for permission. Thank you DC, for allowing Wonder Woman to be the best you’ve ever made, for allowing her to be better than Batman and Superman and the entire Justice League (because this was the best DC superhero movie I’ve ever seen). Thank you to all the Wonder Womans that ran at the glass ceiling before to set the tone for this film to exist. And thank you for allowing her to just be Diana. You have given millions of women permission to just be themselves, too. 

Happy Freakin’ Mother’s Day

Sunday was Mother’s Day, and I had no expectations. My husband and I have been arguing, money has been tight, and the schedule has been packed. I felt that there was no point in getting my hopes up that “it would be my day.” Being that my kid isn’t even two, I doubted I’d even get so much recognition as a macaroni necklace.

Mother’s Day is hard for all moms. It sucks to have people tell you that it’s all about you, when really, as soon as they say “Happy Mother’s Day” and throw their last-minute, everything-else-was-sold-out gift at you, they’re off the hook and it’s back to the same grind that you do every freaking day. It’s especially hard when your own mom isn’t around anymore. For the last nine years, Mother’s Day has been more about what I didn’t have than what I did.

We now have half a kitchen (renovations are mostly complete but we ran out of money for appliances) so we decided to invite a couple of friends over to celebrate the day with us, and that was hands down the best thing that we could have done. Ladies, your mom tribe is everything. We spent the day laughing and drinking sangria, and ate a fabulous homemade brunch. It was the first time I felt like I had anything to celebrate.

momsday

I’m writing this to say: if your Mother’s Day sucked, that’s okay. It’s not fair, and I wish it wasn’t the case, but it’s okay. Most of this whole motherhood thing sucks, and even on Mother’s Day, we’ve still gotta be on call. But try to find a moment of celebration anywhere, where you are happy to be alive and trudging through this amazing, exhausting journey with amazing, exhausted women who get it. And be thankful it’s on a Sunday and day-drinking is totally okay.

I love you and you’re doing great.

((The spa deals are still going until the end of May)).

The Truth About Self-Care

Babydroppings
“And this teeny slice of the pie is Mommy’s free time.”

It’s been quite some time since I posted. Valerie and I optimistically took on this self-care challenge at the beginning of this year, hoping to lead by example and help parents (especially moms) everywhere learn how to prioritize their own health and well-being. I was so excited. I’ve been burning myself out trying to juggle school, the (multiple) sites I write for, my full-time job, my part-time job, planning an overseas trip, my kitchen renovation, and of course, my toddler.

In one organization that I’m affiliated with, they say that when you make a new commitment to something, what will inevitably start to happen in your life is that you will see all the things that no longer fit with who you want to be. It’s not that things are so wrong, it’s just that you’re seeing them in the light of the new determination that you’ve made. Continue reading

You Can’t Afford NOT To Go

Go on and take that bubble bath, already! Self care challenge #babydroppings
Go on and take that bubble bath, already!

Okay, folks. We’re almost one month into this self-care thing. How’s it going?

Yeah. I thought so. Me too.

It’s HARD to take care of yourself. It’s hard to prioritize your own care in a world that is constantly pulling on you in every direction. How can you afford to take the time to take care of yourself when you can barely hold it together at work? Continue reading

Breastfeeding Almost Made Me Quit My Job

Allaya pumps on her break at work.
I love my job. I’ve been teaching adult education classes for the last three years, and I feel that helping people establish their new careers while simultaneously teaching them about finance is rewarding and important work. However, since I came back from maternity leave, I’ve thought about quitting before every. single. class. Continue reading

The Black Abyss: Being Not-Black-Enough In Angry America

Not black enough, but definitely not white, either.
I am African-American, Dominican, and Cherokee.  I grew up in a home where there was a lot of love, and my family brought in enough money to pay the bills, but we were paycheck-to-paycheck anyway.  When I went to public school, my class was predominantly black.  To them, the Dominican boy was Dominican.  The Polish boy was Polish.  Both of them were lighter than me, but to my class, I was white.

At eleven years old, I received a scholarship for minority students and was accepted into a prestigious private school.  I was surrounded by white people and I was definitely not one of them.  I thought the two Chinese, one Puerto Rican and two other black students that were accepted at the same time as I was would have my back, but they drifted into their cliques and I was alone.  And light-skinned. Continue reading