Don’t call me Sweetie
This morning I’m feeling backlash. Not from out there, but from inside. A reminder that I’ve moved into a new chapter of my life. It’s time to state yet again, for myself, who I am and who I am not.
Here’s my older version, written in response to my father’s insistence that I was less than this:
I am a mature, responsible adult woman.
Here’s my updated version, written last night. Longer, and in your face because that’s where I am right now. Strong, not all sweet and charming.
I am a mature, responsible, intelligent,
wise and sensitive adult woman of a certain age.
My name is Warrior or Elouise —
not Sweetie, not Cutie, not Little Old Anything,
not Over the Hill and
not Out of Order.
Finally, here’s my well-loved, frequently used mantra that’s good for all seasons:
I am God’s beloved daughter-child.
You can mess with me, but don’t be surprised if I mess right back at you. Not that I’m an expert on everything. I’m not. I am, however, a Fast Learner with nothing but time to lose. This is, after all, the Last Chapter of my life, and time is running out.
I’ve watched this past year as young women and young men of all colors and ethnicities have stepped up and spoken out on behalf of justice, mercy and sanity.
My generation cut its teeth on issues such as feminism, segregation and Viet Nam. Today’s young adults are dealing with their own laundry list of horrors, some passed on by my generation. For example,
- random acts of violence against people of color, immigrants and targeted religious believers
- mass murders in schools, towns and cities across the USA
- the breakdown in local and national legislatures over how to protect the most vulnerable among us
- sexual abuse run rampant for generations regardless of ethnic, national, economic or leadership status
- bathroom wars and fears about who can use which facilities, especially but not only in schools
- the power, abuses and addictive lure of social media and pain killers
- steady rise in suicides among young people
I want to do what I can to support these young adults. And perhaps learn a thing or two. How? I don’t know. That’s part of the fun. I’m just going to keep writing and listening. And see what happens next.
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 24 February 2018
Photo found at startribune.com, Baltimore