I am a woman who has spent much of her professional energies in the world being a supporter and champion of women’s leadership. I’m also a woman who didn’t realize she was a woman until my early 30s and pregnant with my first child—a fact, which revealed me to myself in this man’s world. Those two things taken at face value seem at odds with each other, and they often are. But they have caused the creative tension that helped me give birth to myself, years after I was born.

Over the past four years I’ve thrashed about a bit as a white woman, alternatively indignant and resigned, awkward and tentative as I reckoned with my whiteness, and frequently outspoken and spewing righteous vitriol in response to our shit piles in this country. It’s not been pretty and it’s not been quiet. As the only woman in a houseful of white men during a pandemic, I felt alone and often resentful, because now it felt like I had two axes to grind—the fight for Black Lives Mattering and the fight for women to be valued as equal.

But then I had this moment in my closet when I was clearing out and organizing my closet (yes, I watched HomeEdit…), and I realized I was surrounded by color, like a rainbow I could wear on my body. I had forgotten the gifts of being a woman. I had lost sight of the things I’m granted just because I’m a woman, focussed as I was on the fight for the things we didn’t have. As I looked at husband’s side of the closet, and the muted tones of blues and browns in his shirts and pants and shoes that looked the same, kind of like a uniform that men are asked to wear, I was so very glad to have been born a woman—if nothing else than to be given the freedom to adorn my body with all the colors of the rainbow.

 

Want to know what these daily verses are all about? Read here to learn what inspired this practice on my birthday post, November 1st.