November is ladies month.

In my post-bike tour pre-re-entry into my routine work/volunteer/house/a million responsibilities life I wrote about the NEW LAUREN that was going to live my life into the future.  Well in general I think I’ve done pretty well with progress on said focuses, somewhat unintentionally as pertains to feminist culture.  Basically, my life is full of ladies.

My community house (now named The Moon Box) is now entirely composed of women.

Today biking into work I was passed by two other bicyclists on my route.  Both of them were women.  Ladies, we are taking the cycling world by storm!  Don’t stop now!  Winter isn’t that bad, I promise!

Aaaaaaand…I’m going on a date tonight.  Which is exciting and horrible, because I’m always a tiny bit worried it will go like this:

 

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Hyperbole and a Half has answers for everything.

But change!  Is!  Good!  And the worst that can happen will at least make a good story, right?

AnooYou

I am an organizer by nature, by nurture, and by necessity.  Whether it is my internal community of Selves, my community living situation, my neighborhood, or a wider network of affiliates, I see connections and create change.

Currently my organizing impulses and energies are flowing into re-prioritizing my life, post bike tour, post reawakening of my Self.  I’ve never had any trouble keeping myself busy, rather my problem has always been choosing between the marvelous array of causes and communities of which one can be a part.  Hence, organizing.

As the NEW LAUREN I will channel my energies and focus on…

Books – joining book groups, volunteering at the library again and/or Boneshaker Books

Community – finding new housemates, beginning a research project on urban intention communities/cohousing, potentially finding a spiritual community?

Food – themed dinner parties, attending the Sustainable Farming Association conferences, maintaining and building on the edible/medicinal garden at the house

Feminist Culture – biweekly lady salon group, creating a wall collage of inspiring women

Queer Culture – all of the things! (this is literally what I wrote in my journal); dance nights, book group, burlesque shows, spoken word, etc; I have been eagerly lapping up all the queer lady blogs/websites as of late, especially Effing Dykes and Autostraddle, and it’s making me hella excited to get back to the gay haven that is the Twin Cities

Physical Embodiment and Wellbeing – join the YWCA again, go dancing more frequently, yoga, solitude walks

With these things, so am I, and so I shall become.

Waiting for clarity is the wrong intention after all.

Listening: Tom Waits – Bad as Me

Reading: Girls With SlingshotsLady of AvalonCurve.

Wondering: How long it will take to convince my ex to move out.  Why I can’t figure out what’s next in my life.  Why I fit so stupidly well into Things Millennial Girls Love.  If I will ever be capable of letting go of my need for control enough to write a book, try dance/burlesque, join a spiritual community, etc.

We’re deep in the throes of summer, which means I am coated in sweat, preoccupied by how many tomatoes are forming in the garden, and simultaneously wishing for and dreading rain.  Oh and feeling bad for the cats.  Poor furry babies.

On Being a Modern Woman.

The United States is by far not the worst place to be a woman in the modern era.  We can do things like vote, marry and divorce who we want (even another woman in some states now – good job Minnesota!), and work any number of jobs.  However, it’s not the best place to be a woman either.  We still face constant mixed messaging about our bodies and our minds from companies like Dove.  We still risk victim blaming when we are harassed, molested, and raped.  And we are still not taken seriously in the realm of ‘real art’ by many critics.

But there is hope.  As a young-ish woman in the United States I am inspired by publications like Rookie, a website and now yearbook created solely by teenage women.  I am encouraged by the fact that one of my favorite neighborhood bookstores posted their 2012 bestseller list and 13 out of 20 of the books listed were written by women.  And I am delighted by the fact that the neighborhood I work for is continuing to draw women entrepreneurs to set up shop.

I am sure that the rest of my 20s (and likely my entire life) will be filled with rants and critical conversations about being a modern woman, particularly in a world where many declare that feminism is unnecessary.  We will form salon and book groups, make meals and drink wine together, and question everything.  And then write about it.  Or paint.  Or sing.  Because if being a modern woman means anything, it is expressing your own individual experience of woman-ness as generations of kick-ass feminists, from the suffragists to the riotgrrls, have done before us.