I was a cool kid. During my teenage years, I was a thrift – shopping vegetarian feminist with a vengeance. I used to hang out at bookstores all the time, and buy Bitch magazine (as well as Punk Planet). My mother and my aunt were proud of my liberal perspective. All I really cared about was my music, my fringe group of friends, and my passion for equality.
I never stopped being a feminist, though as an agenda, it did move to the back burner. Or maybe it even went back in the fridge- I didn’t return it to the store or anything; I just wrapped it up and stuffed it in the crisper. I went through a “Dark Age” in my life. I started eating meat again. I went through a few loser boyfriends. I dropped out of junior college and worked at a few crap jobs in a warehouse and cleaning houses. I didn’t openly advertise my feminism as I had before. I’m not entirely sure the reason for my ‘regression’. Maybe I was too worried about making rent and paying my other bills. Maybe I was struck by an apathetic episode. Maybe I was human.
After realizing I didn’t want to scrub toilets as a career (and to dissuade my parent’s constant pestering me to go back to college), I returned to school. I could only take a few classes at a time because I was working full time at back-breaking jobs. I finally finished my Associate’s of Science in May of last year.
At the beginning of my first semester at NIU, I scoured the “NIU Events” emails for stuff to do- I didn’t know anyone in the area, and was bored out of my mind. I saw something about volunteer orientation at the Women’s Resource Center. I had no idea what the center was, or even where. I somehow found my way there, and immediately felt welcomed and comfortable there. I enthusiastically began volunteering for the WRC- promoting the various events, “wo-manning” the front desk, working on different projects. I loved it. And I was elated when I was offered a job this January.
The NIU Women’s Resource Center has become central to my experience at NIU. It’s the best job I have ever had. My co-workers are amazing, and I am proud to be a part of this place. This environment fosters personal growth, and I am back to my vegetarian, overtly feminist ways. My mom and aunt are still proud of me. This is the SaReniassance- the “Dark Ages” are over.
two weddings and some feminism
7 years ago