Being single, godless, and a feminist in Texas: a thank you note

I wouldn’t be the first person in a room to espouse the positive aspects of being in a relationship. A lot of my friends would actually tell me that I’m the person who would first bring up why relationships are time-wasters (who can write papers, attend school, work, and have a social life while trying to love somebody? Kudos to all of you who can! But not me.) and generally not as important as society gives them credit for. But lately I’ve had some conversations with friends about how awesome it is to have someone there for you – someone who challenges you, advocates for you, and is devoted to loving you.

I’ve realized a bit how having a loving relationship with someone can be a huge help when life seems a little too wild or you feel like everyone’s ganging up on you. This is a terrifying (but I think, healthy) admission.

In the same way I’m becoming more jealous of people who are in positive relationships, I have always been jealous of people of faith. A friend once asked me why I didn’t believe in much and I told her that it was because to do otherwise would be to lie to myself about how I feel. I went on to try to explain to her, though, how profoundly jealous of her faith I am and how she should embrace and nourish her faith because it is quite an amazing thing. An amazing thing that I’m simply not good at. I have a lot of trouble with trust and faith to me is such a beautiful kind of trust that people can have.

I also have come to see how in times of hardship and trial, it could be so wonderful if I could have that kind of faith in something to help get me through the thick of it all.

As a vehement feminist in Texas, I have come across difficulties in communicating with my family and my friends on things that matter to me (ending sexual violence, spreading sex positivism, or discussing pervasive sexism in everyday lives to attempt to change it). To not share these things with my family and friends would prevent me from having real relationships with them as they are such an elemental part of who I am. And I refuse to develop fake relationships with people simply out of fear of speaking my truth. In so sharing I have found Texas a less than hospitable atmosphere to “be myself” and speak my truth. There are days when I feel that very few people want to talk with me about things that I feel matter and days when I wonder whether it’s even worth it to bring things up because I know what sort of difficulty will result from conversations.

This could be a thank you to the internet, which I suppose it is (in a way). But mostly it’s a thank you to you who are reading it. All of you out there on Feministing, Jezebel, Ms. Magazine, Crunk Feminists, Bitch Flicks, Women’s Media Center (basically, anyone and everyone I follow on Twitter). And to anyone who is speaking their truth by posting about it online or talking about it on TV.

Sometimes I feel like I live my life teetering on the edge of hopelessness because I don’t have these wonderful things that others have that support them when they are feeling a little worn out or ragged around the edges. And you don’t know how amazing it is to know I can go online and find people who care about the same things I do enough to talk about it. A lot. So thank you, and keep doing what you’re doing because if you’re inspiring me, you’re definitely inspiring others.

Y’all are amazing.

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One Comment

  1. Posted January 22, 2012 at 2:56 am | Permalink

    I am a person of faith going to a secular university. I have not one friend at this university who shares my beliefs; so, when you state “I wonder whether it’s even worth it to bring things up because I know what sort of difficulty will result from conversations” I think I can sympathize. I think that that is probably true for just about everyone, though. Anyone who has a passion is bound to be surrounded by people who range from “not as interested” to “outright opposition”. While it may seem like it makes it more difficult for us to be ourselves, I think in a way our singularity is exactly what makes us ourselves. You are correct about being in a relationship, it is nice to have that support; on the other hand, be thankful for the “inhospitable atmosphere” and use those around you to further define yourself.

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