The past week or so I’ve sensed a certain je ne sais quoi. On a personal note, I have been feeling life, identity, belonging in a way that seems natural, nothing forced, no pretending. You could say I’ve been getting a new groove on.
It occurred to me that I’ve been so immersed in my cause (Editor’s Note: for those of you unfamiliar that cause would be raising awareness about the trauma of failed fertility treatment and the stigma of being infertile in a pro-natal society) that I somehow lost sight of where I fit in, where I was in life. I couldn’t see the forest for the trees.
The cause is one I feel deeply about and always will because I don’t ever want anyone to feel as awful as I did a few years ago. Yet, while there remains Pamela the Infertility Awareness Advocate, there’s also a softer side, the Pam or Pammie (depending on how well you know me) who likes to chill, laugh, discover, poke some fun, and live in the moment.
In Silent Sorority I wrote about how I was in search of a new tribe, one made up of those whose identity wasn’t dominated by parenthood, where a “normal” life didn’t involve being tethered by school calendars and regular mealtimes, where small talk didn’t always seem to come back to parenting-related issues. I’ve definitely found my tribe online (go on, give yourselves a hand), and I’ve been lucky to meet a few of you in person. I’ve got a hunch that we’re going to start finding each other more and more in real life, too. We’re not fashionable at the moment, but I think our feisty tribe is standing up and saying, “hey, we’re here!” more often with each passing day.
Lisa raised an interesting opportunity in a blog post called Magazine for Non-Moms, which identified a hole in the market that could be filled very easily. Publishers are you playing attention? I suggested as a title for the magazine: Philia, (φιλία philía), which means friendship in modern Greek. It is a virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle. It includes loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality and familiarity. A goddess, Philia apparently had a temple to her in Athens.
I’m also seeing some new cracks in the veneer on the whole helicopter parenting trend. Sure, a vocal group of mommies and daddies did a great job marketing their lives as the thing, but a FB post from Stephanie led me to this piece, Prof Links Professionals’ Helicopter Parenting to Failed Marriages, Forgone Friendships. Who didn’t see that coming? Sobering stuff there, but I’m not the least surprised. Old Ben Franklin had it right with “everything in moderation.”
I’m also discovering, as I do a little digging, a certain new hipness among our peeps. Have you been paying attention to Elena Kagan? Now there’s someone I wouldn’t mind sharing a beer (or an eggroll) with. I’m also reading a biography of Molly Ivins, a columnist, author, humorist who always signed her books and her letters with, “Raise more hell.”
Now there’s a slogan I can get behind any day! Who are your favorite women within our tribe? What characteristics do you embrace most about our new lives?