Monday, August 17, 2009

Dear Chiang Mai, I Do

Next month an old friend is getting married. She is in the dwindling class of mature single women friends I have. However excited I am for her, it seems strange to hear her talk of wedding dress fittings and invitation sending stress.

She holds her hands differently now, my soon to be married friend. I guess I would too if I had a diamond hanging off my engagement finger.

I remember years ago having a conversation with MEM about having it all - the call, the spouse, the children. I was confident in my answer to her, "Yes, you can have it all. Go for it." I don't think I would answer her differently now. However, my all, her all, your all can be totally different. And I'm ok with that. In fact, I'm thankful.

Currently, the only ring on my finger is the beaded one I bought at the night market in Chiang Mai. And as I watch the growing belly of my friend BNMNR I do think about how wonderful it would be to experience in person what I do so much writing about . . . maternal health. At this time, my all is not her all. 70 to 90 years just doesn't seem like enough to me. There is so much yet to do.


Blogger Mandy Mc said...

I love you, Suzanah. Thanks for all of your advice through the years. We should have a conversation at some point about this new theory of "having it all" being different for everyone. I bet that could take lots of stress off of folks to know that their all isn't necessarily the same as someone else's. I'm just sayin' ;-)

11:42 AM  
Anonymous mm said...

Thanks for this. Your words sing.

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Laura C. said...

Thank you for your words. They speak to my own heart. Much love

1:03 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

Mandy - I appreciate your words...their all isnt necessarily the same as someone else's.


6:55 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth Lott said...

Reading this post reminded me of something I wrote last year. Re-reading my own made me cringe in a couple of spots because I would word things a bit differently, but such is the nature of such public reflections, right?

I wonder sometimes if the "have it all" myth actually works against women and is anti-feminist. Women are set up by our culture to compete with each other anyway, and the goal of having it all just magnifies that competition.

Some of my favorite women are these fantastic friends in their 50s who have settled down into themselves and just let the foolishness slide away. I want to get to that part earlier than 50. I want to just settle down into who I really am and really savor my life and my relationships. That goes against some of the have-it-all, too, because it values a way of being over myriad ways of doing.

5:23 AM  

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