This is a silly self-affirmation post.
I joked to my mother, “How do you like your manly daughter?”
The thing is, I come from two lines of women who take care of themselves and their own. My maternal great-grandmother was left to raise her children alone in the early 20th century. My paternal grandmother had an abusive/mentally-ill husband. These things I know because my mother told me. What I remember is my head-strong Grandma Locklear, who Mom always criticized as being too-controlling. And I remember my aunt Martha Sue, Mom’s older sister, who walked with her head thrown back as if she were the queen of the world. And I also remember her anger. It scared me away as a child, as as an adult, watching my mother, I think her anger came from a biologically embedded place as well as sociological. I feel it’s pull.
But this is mostly about physical strength. Most of my jobs (retail) have required some level of strength. BAM was the worst. I actually had an awesome body for a bit while working there (didn’t realize it, because as women, we are never satisfied). But now, after sitting on my ass for a bit, I was shocked to discover I am still physically strong. I have moved several heavy pieces of furniture in the past few days. stooped quite a bit to clean, and mowed well over an acre (maybe 2) on a riding lawn mower. Want to know what hurts? Mild twinge in my right shoulder, slight sun-burn (only half Lumbee) and. . . it doesn’t hurt, but bruise from lawnmower banging my leg.
Mom joked that I will be expected to repair the lawnmover next.
There’s something powerful about being able to do tasks easily. As much as I want to be the smartest person in the room, I think the back-breaking genes I come from have given me an edge in the species’ pool of mute-strength. Or maybe I just like that I can do something my brothers complain about, and do it better.
It’s been about a year since my grandma Locklear died. I never knew my other grandmother, so I’ve tended to try to find myself in the Locklear side. Mom says I look like my Aunt Bess, which I love, cause she’s mega glamorous.