Putting the "Me" in Memoir ( (stressing about too many…
Putting the "Me" in Memoir
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set a table tastefully
sense of home in michigan (wildflowers)--coping with extreme business and being stuck with Jane so much
I can be self-reliant. I can live sustainably. I can make do, even in a world that makes it feel like I need new stuff.
continue in the same vein: my generation doesn't show up at the door without texting first.
I can say things that matter. I can improve as I go. My thoughts are valid. I can collaborate with my husband without giving up my voice. Being a poet is quieter than I thought.
observe WoW, make a vegetarian menu
I can learn. I can cook differently than my parents did. My values can be different. I can care about the Earth and animals and workers in a way that they don't.
it takes a village--i'm not ALWAYS responsible for Jane, I have a friend now--we're both in mom mode, but that doesn't mean we're dead.
the past wasn't better or purer. just different. people use the shortcuts that they can.
I can have fun. I can lead a group in something weird. Some things never change.
i can execute a project. i can find resources. i can travel by myself. i am independent.
paint from nature
there are benefits to making art that have nothing to do with the quality of the art. this is how i join the long tradition of women creating beautiful, happy spaces. i don't need money to make a happy space and i don't need to be fashionable to spark joy.
make a dress
women's work is skilled work. women throughout history have turned necessities into art, bringing beauty without creating waste.
it's fun to look more closely at what is around you. it's fun to feel curious and playful. it's fun to be doing something that no one is making you do. it's fun to bring a friend along to be curious together.
varieties of apples
choosing a career is a lot to deal with when you are very young. it's beautiful to get to choose, but competition is so fierce and college is so disconnected from many of the skills you need to get work. it's scary to be unemployed.
also, i was encouraged to seek education, but it never quite clicked for me that i could strive to be able to support myself and anyone else i chose to bring into the world. i thought about jobs and about life's work, but nothing between the two because i didn't have any models in my life of moms with on-purpose jobs.
knowing where they came from makes your grandparents make more sense. it makes your parents make more sense. it makes you make more sense. it makes the differences between you make more sense. how was the church different when they were raised? how was the land different? how were the mores different? it's no wonder you came to different conclusions. you can come to different conclusions without loving them or respecting them any less--you had different formative experiences.
montage at the end--garden, knitting, SafeHouse, professorship??, friends, finishing hymns, vegetarians, maternal line, seeing Jane with other kids
don’t worry about pretending the last years don’t exist
write out the progression, connect it to the cells
don’t come back into memoir without welcoming the reader back
more millennial angst. it’s okay. bg helped me through them.
millennial angsts and other vulnerabilities:
school is expensive
parenting is expensive
school doesn’t guarantee you a job
learning about racism, sexism, homophobia, poverty, climate change, imperialism, domestic violence--there’s just a lot
living on a trashed planet without a lot of extra time or money to spare to make it better--materialism
stressing about too many unsolvable problems at once
doing things differently from parents while loving and respecting them so much
living far away from parents “for no reason” while loving and respecting them so much
having no family around to help with kids
having found family that knows you more intimately than your actual family
worker alienation--the work you want to do won’t pay for a roof over your head
no security, no sense of home or purpose
married young, babies young in a world where that’s weird
disability with no real treatment ideas
lack of good access to healthcare
no skills are off-limits to me. the gendered expectations i was taught do not have to guide my life. skills are skills. meanwhile, i don't need to feel ashamed about sometimes getting stuck and needing outside/professional help (or advice).
possible anecdotes to tie things together
buying ikea chairs when we had no income and longing for other cute things: connect to the menagerie paintings, the dumpster rug, the ward member who sent us with a nice crib for Jane
connect to apple varieties: Shelby coming to pick up me and Jane and take us to the apple orchard.
nate working at a restaurant to make ends meet--tie into the career/job search stuff
make myself more valuable to my employer: going to that biology teacher conference in Michigan
breaking my leg, visiting teacher bringing strawberries
nycole watching Jane so we could go on a date after that first hard month in A2--the sense of Mormon community should be palpable in this book...but also non-Mormon community. Autumn and Isaac, Emily, Kate--suddenly non-Mormon women in my life who are joyful and driven and all so different.
6 local women
wow, i didn't know about women in church history who did anything other than listen to JS and cross the plains. i love these women. i love learning what was hard for them and what they brought to the table. there's also just a whole world of history scholarship that i didn't know existed.
i wanted to find a latina woman, since "the future of the church is latina," but i had a hard time finding any stories that had already been told. i had to find someone myself. these stories need to be told and told louder and told by the people whose stories they are. i'm sure there are marvelous stories all over the world, but how do they make their way to the people who need them? i have so much family history written down, and i still didn't know the stories until i went looking for them.