The other day I went on a date with my beautiful mum (the fact that this can happen is one of my favorite things about being in this winter-ravaged land… that and baby cuddles.) We ate spicy food and shopped for the quilting hobby I’m attempting to pick up (as a result of the winter-ravaged thing) and watched Suffragette, a movie about the struggle for equal voting rights for women in early 20th century Britain.

It was an intense film depicting an intense period of history – one that is rarely remembered or spoken of.

Parts of it made me angry, and other parts made me incredibly sad. Parts of it made me proud of my gender, while the violence of some of their actions left me wondering, couldn’t there have been another way? But mostly, it made me think… and appreciate.

 As always when confronted with such a reminder of that tremendous fight for the most basic rights of equality, I wonder… If they – the women who gave up everything in their lifetime because of the strength of their hope for the future lifetimes of other women – could step into a day or a week of our lives today, what would they think? Would they be pleased? Surprised? Disappointed? Satisfied? Would they be convinced it is enough to justify their struggle and sacrifice?

I don’t know. But, it’s a reminder to me to not to take for granted the rights that are, when contrasted to the entirety of human history, still in their fledgling days of infancy.

It has made me think about what the results of their fight for freedom look like in my life.

I am grateful…

To roam the world – alone – as much as I please. To have opinions (and vehement objections) and to be able to voice them; to have the freedom to express a full, colorful spectrum of emotions and responses, including some that anyone stuck in that past way of things may consider to be downright bitchy. To be able to love fiercely and freely, whomever I choose… but only if and when I choose. To live life on my terms. To have my own business… in three different states in as many years. To be able to choose to be single, and have that be – rather than a curse or a death sentence, so to speak – an incredible adventure limited only by the boundaries of my dreams and the strength of my persistence.

To be able to say no. And also, to be able to say yes. To feel as though I have the right and the power to affect some sort of change, even if only on a tiny scale. To dream, and know that at least some of those dreams I’ll be able to transform into reality.

 

I am grateful that we have the freedom to create our own life paths, whether we’re drawn to the path of a wanderer or a career woman or a stay-at-home warrior (aka mother.) What we do with that freedom is up to us. Let’s not waste it, or ever take it for granted.