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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Empowering Girls: Roles We Play - A New Earth Community


by Tracee Sioux

Oh the roles we play. . . Is this news to anyone? I've always known that I play roles and even been aware of them when I'm doing it. Some of my most common roles:

When I was a teenager and young adult I played "cute flirty blond girl with a little attitude." It worked for me. Got me attention from the opposite sex. Allowed me to blend in the newsroom. Allowed me to get away with what I wanted to do. I recall having gained quite a bit of weight and being next to the next generation of "cute flirty blond girl with a little attitude" and seeing quite clearly that this role was not going to work for me anymore. Oddly, I was okay with seeing her go.

Other roles I play are Mean Mommy and Fun Mommy. I vacillate between these two depending on the result I want from my children. I put on Mean Mommy so that I can punish poor behavior even though I really don't want to. I put her on like a costume because inside I'm usually laughing my head off and thinking, Who hasn't done that? Fun Mommy comes more naturally to me, it's closer to who I inherently am. But, I still see that I'm motivated by a future "My mom was the coolest mom" scenario.

There is also the many roles of wife. I've been a pissed-off wife, a put-upon and fed-up wife. I've been a loving wife, a sacrificial wife, an affectionate wife. A wife like my mother. A wife like my friend. A wife like the Christian stereotype says I should be. I'm trying to learn to be a happy wife. A conscious wife.

I play a different role in church than I do other places. I feel it's safer to go with the flow and the cultural norm. Maybe I come off as fake?

Black sheep who left the fold. I obviously play this role. It's more circumstantial than anything. They love me, I love them, but they are deeply invested in a very specific religious ideology that comes with a whole culture and collective conscience that I have opted out of. Sometimes I feel it's more a role they put me in than one I play.

I frequently play the role of feminist. I write a lot about feminism, so obviously I'm identifying with the group ego of "women who aren't treated equally." I think it's a role I will continue to play. But, with consciousness, hopefully I'll be able to do it more effectively.

Writer is a role I deeply identify with. And I realize this is only what I "do." But it feels so integral to who I AM that when I have experimented with "doing" other things I become unhappy and disconnected from myself. I think I will also strive to do it consciously and reap the benefits of increased awareness and passion.

What roles do you see in yourself?

Are you aware of them when you're playing them?


Again, tune into Lisa.fm today at 1 pm central to hear more about roles and consciousness.

7 comments:

mrs. blogoway said...

I do the "mean mommy" too. I feel like I have to show her how much I dissaprove of her behavior and "fun mommy" just doesn't work.

Tracee said...

I know laughing hysterically is a bad way to stop behavior. So you have to resist the natural inclination and be stern with hands on hips.

Anonymous said...

playful wife~ she arrived with 30's (it's true what they say about a woman hitting her 30's meeeeyow!)

empathetic friend~I really want to be more of a listener, and giver in the friend dept.

fun mommy- she endures story time at the library, let's them trow water balloons off the balcony, and eat cereal for dinner...I like her style

creative Jen~ she comes out sometimes after a few glasses of wine then we make art...she's been missing for several months

worry wort~ blahhh

positive thinker Jen~ she's got it goin' on, and is around more and more often lately

Anonymous said...

Tracee, this really hit home with me..I went back to my hometown for a wedding this weekend and encountered 'young Ashley' after a long, long absence..

'Young Ashley' knows everyone, talks to everyone, is really funny and free and sometimes ditzy, sometime ferocious..she's pretty and flirty and girly and has good friends and good memories around her. She's spontaneous and crazy and sometiems coy.

I was really really sad driving back that night..I really miss her, well, some parts of her..

To cheer myself up, I had to be honest,.. 'Young Ashley' doesn't accomplish anything, she doesn't get anything done, she's very self conscious..she wants to look just like her friends..she's spitefully aimless in every endeavour..she doesn't appreciate her friends or family very much, values the wrong things, picks the bad guys,..

So, in the hour and a half drive home I decided the only way to bury 'young Ashley' and make peace with 'grown up' Ashley was to embrace her and be proud of her. I also decided to try to revive the good parts of 'young Ashley.' Maybe this will keep me from feeling like I'm a 45 year old in a 27 year old body..

(Also, Jen, I'm trying on playful wife too here lately - she's fun..)

Tracee said...

Well don't push Young Ashley far - she probably has great insights into your core because you weren't responsible or drive and were focused on fun.

I think experiences like yours - going back where people knew us as younger or playing different roles is valuable. I know I have a friend I've had for around 17 years and her insight into the places I've been is really valuable to me as I shift, change and try on new roles. She reminds me of things I'd forgotten about myself.

Anonymous said...

I have friends like that too and it seems like here lately I can't wait to see them, but when I leave their presence I'm so SAD! I guess I just stumbled on WHY the other day. Like you said, they remind me of the old me - and I guess she's really who I'm missing or even (to be ridiculously dramatic) mourning for - her..not my old life,(I love my life now, it's what I've always longed for) not my old friends, (they're still around), not the experiences and fun I used to have: I miss HER..

I'm giving it some deep contemplation - I have to figure out which parts of her I need to keep or revive or whatever.. It's really an inner conflict I didn't see coming - is this universal?

Tracee said...

I don't know if it's universal.

It may be a very positive sign of your awakening.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Empowering Girls: Roles We Play - A New Earth Community


by Tracee Sioux

Oh the roles we play. . . Is this news to anyone? I've always known that I play roles and even been aware of them when I'm doing it. Some of my most common roles:

When I was a teenager and young adult I played "cute flirty blond girl with a little attitude." It worked for me. Got me attention from the opposite sex. Allowed me to blend in the newsroom. Allowed me to get away with what I wanted to do. I recall having gained quite a bit of weight and being next to the next generation of "cute flirty blond girl with a little attitude" and seeing quite clearly that this role was not going to work for me anymore. Oddly, I was okay with seeing her go.

Other roles I play are Mean Mommy and Fun Mommy. I vacillate between these two depending on the result I want from my children. I put on Mean Mommy so that I can punish poor behavior even though I really don't want to. I put her on like a costume because inside I'm usually laughing my head off and thinking, Who hasn't done that? Fun Mommy comes more naturally to me, it's closer to who I inherently am. But, I still see that I'm motivated by a future "My mom was the coolest mom" scenario.

There is also the many roles of wife. I've been a pissed-off wife, a put-upon and fed-up wife. I've been a loving wife, a sacrificial wife, an affectionate wife. A wife like my mother. A wife like my friend. A wife like the Christian stereotype says I should be. I'm trying to learn to be a happy wife. A conscious wife.

I play a different role in church than I do other places. I feel it's safer to go with the flow and the cultural norm. Maybe I come off as fake?

Black sheep who left the fold. I obviously play this role. It's more circumstantial than anything. They love me, I love them, but they are deeply invested in a very specific religious ideology that comes with a whole culture and collective conscience that I have opted out of. Sometimes I feel it's more a role they put me in than one I play.

I frequently play the role of feminist. I write a lot about feminism, so obviously I'm identifying with the group ego of "women who aren't treated equally." I think it's a role I will continue to play. But, with consciousness, hopefully I'll be able to do it more effectively.

Writer is a role I deeply identify with. And I realize this is only what I "do." But it feels so integral to who I AM that when I have experimented with "doing" other things I become unhappy and disconnected from myself. I think I will also strive to do it consciously and reap the benefits of increased awareness and passion.

What roles do you see in yourself?

Are you aware of them when you're playing them?


Again, tune into Lisa.fm today at 1 pm central to hear more about roles and consciousness.

7 comments:

mrs. blogoway said...

I do the "mean mommy" too. I feel like I have to show her how much I dissaprove of her behavior and "fun mommy" just doesn't work.

Tracee said...

I know laughing hysterically is a bad way to stop behavior. So you have to resist the natural inclination and be stern with hands on hips.

Anonymous said...

playful wife~ she arrived with 30's (it's true what they say about a woman hitting her 30's meeeeyow!)

empathetic friend~I really want to be more of a listener, and giver in the friend dept.

fun mommy- she endures story time at the library, let's them trow water balloons off the balcony, and eat cereal for dinner...I like her style

creative Jen~ she comes out sometimes after a few glasses of wine then we make art...she's been missing for several months

worry wort~ blahhh

positive thinker Jen~ she's got it goin' on, and is around more and more often lately

Anonymous said...

Tracee, this really hit home with me..I went back to my hometown for a wedding this weekend and encountered 'young Ashley' after a long, long absence..

'Young Ashley' knows everyone, talks to everyone, is really funny and free and sometimes ditzy, sometime ferocious..she's pretty and flirty and girly and has good friends and good memories around her. She's spontaneous and crazy and sometiems coy.

I was really really sad driving back that night..I really miss her, well, some parts of her..

To cheer myself up, I had to be honest,.. 'Young Ashley' doesn't accomplish anything, she doesn't get anything done, she's very self conscious..she wants to look just like her friends..she's spitefully aimless in every endeavour..she doesn't appreciate her friends or family very much, values the wrong things, picks the bad guys,..

So, in the hour and a half drive home I decided the only way to bury 'young Ashley' and make peace with 'grown up' Ashley was to embrace her and be proud of her. I also decided to try to revive the good parts of 'young Ashley.' Maybe this will keep me from feeling like I'm a 45 year old in a 27 year old body..

(Also, Jen, I'm trying on playful wife too here lately - she's fun..)

Tracee said...

Well don't push Young Ashley far - she probably has great insights into your core because you weren't responsible or drive and were focused on fun.

I think experiences like yours - going back where people knew us as younger or playing different roles is valuable. I know I have a friend I've had for around 17 years and her insight into the places I've been is really valuable to me as I shift, change and try on new roles. She reminds me of things I'd forgotten about myself.

Anonymous said...

I have friends like that too and it seems like here lately I can't wait to see them, but when I leave their presence I'm so SAD! I guess I just stumbled on WHY the other day. Like you said, they remind me of the old me - and I guess she's really who I'm missing or even (to be ridiculously dramatic) mourning for - her..not my old life,(I love my life now, it's what I've always longed for) not my old friends, (they're still around), not the experiences and fun I used to have: I miss HER..

I'm giving it some deep contemplation - I have to figure out which parts of her I need to keep or revive or whatever.. It's really an inner conflict I didn't see coming - is this universal?

Tracee said...

I don't know if it's universal.

It may be a very positive sign of your awakening.