At 9 years old I was happy . It was a great age. At that point in my life things were ok . not great but manageable. My role models were my dad and my grandfather.
I looked up to my day because he represented STRONG. He was an athlete, gymnast, weight lifter ,a logger, my coach and was always working hard. My grandfather because he was patient , kind, a teacher and a hard worker. I always wanted to prove to my dad that I was good enough, strong enough that I could be just like one of the boys. Body image was a big deal to him . I can remember my dad making comments to my mom about her weight and the way she looked. Funny thing was my mom was never big. She was never bigger than a size 10. She always carried herself with pride and looked beautiful. I felt loved by my mother, I can see that now as I look back. And I was definitely loved by my maternal grandparents but my dad was different. I knew he loved me but I was just never good enough. We were always conscious about being healthy because my dad had high blood pressure and my mom was always on a diet. She was always working out in the kitchen with her canned goods as weights. The Jane Fonda VHS tapes were always play. Celebrities at that time in my life at the time were Pippi long-stocking and Punky brewster. They were independent, always smiling . They seemed to never let anything get them down. Each one seemed to always be on a great adventure and we lived on 100 plus acres of land at the time and I loved to think of my life as an adventure too. Gender roles were definitely a strong influence in my life. My father thought women should be barefoot and pregnant. I just wanted to be one of the boys. Hell I dont think I could have gotten much more tom boy if I tried. If my father said no or that I could not do something or that it was meant for boys. I did it. I mastered it. I was better than any boy doing the sport at the time, from hunting to baseball.
Wow I did not realize how much this effected me until I wrote this today. I never wanted my kids to feel that way, not good enough. I wanted them to be loved for what was inside of their hearts, not what they could achieve or what their bodies looked like. Do you know that my daughter actually thought she should have been a boy because she was a tom boy. Because I taught her everything I know. It was horrible. She even thought I was gay because I do a lot of man stuff. Who decides what is man stuff and what is women stuff? How sad it that ? Because that is what society is making her think now a days. I told her no, it makes me a strong independent women who can take care of herself no matter the situation. LIFE OR DEATH. Now when her and I go to our mountain home she has a whole new outlook on things. I am so proud that my daughter can use a woodspliter, generator, chainsaw, Ax, lawnmower, and any other power tool. She is 14 and can already drive my car. She rides a dirtbike and fourwheeler. I love that she can shoot my riffle. I am proud of her.
At the end of this, I have no idea why my dad was my role model growing up it should have been my mom. She had the strength to over come and get out of all the horrible things my father put me and my 3 sisters through. All the abuses, physical and emotional. My mom and I may still have some issues but I am proud to be her Daughter
Your life is what you make it!