Monday, August 13, 2007

Mental Landscapes

I've started reading "The New Feminine Brain" by Mona Lisa Schulz, M.D., Ph.D. It is subtitled "Developing Your Intuitive Genius". Somehow, planning for a physical move has stirred up a desire to make changes in the rooms of my mind. Time to take down the cobwebs, toss out useless and tattered thought patterns, and renovate the whole structure.

I also started reading "Woman An Intimate Geography", by Natalie Angier. So now I'm reading them in tandem. The first book is a scientific analysis of the female brain and how it works. The second book is a poetic, detailed description of the female body and how it functions.

Together, they make a symphony of appreciation for what it means to be a woman. It is healing for me to acknowledge the joy of being female. When I was a child, it seemed to me that boys had all the fun - I got a doll, and my brother got a set of airplanes and pilot wings. I decided I would rather be a boy. At the age of thirteen, I was traumatized when my body informed me, quite rudely I thought, that I was definitely a girl. To say I was in despair would not be an exaggeration.

I grew up in a family where girls were supposed to become teachers or nurses. And boys? Well they could be anything they wanted -- from firemen to doctors to engineers (as long as they didn't want to be girls). Although many of my peers overcame similar restrictive upbringings, and went on to become whatever they wanted to be, I did not. Eventually I met a man that I couldn't live without, and we had children. I enjoyed motherhood. Now that my children are adults, I'm enjoying having the time to study and pursue my interests, one of which is to discover and understand what it means to be a woman, to be me.

My mental landscape is getting a makeover. I don't know exactly what it will look like when I'm done, but I think I'll like it.

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