Friday, May 23, 2008


The truth is, I guess I'm not entirely comfortable with who I am. I have five posts saved in my draft folder that I haven't had the courage to publish- things I have written from my heart and about which I feel very passionate. I promised myself I would publish this post, unedited and raw. Here goes:

I like people to like me. I have strong opinions, very strong about some things, but I don't like to share them, certainly not in their most potent form, because I don't like making people uncomfortable. I feel this division in myself- one side of me is full of dreams and convictions and the other is just trying to fit in. Whatever that means. And I don't know why I try SO HARD to fit in, when it doesn't really make me happy. I know I'm different that a lot of people, but why does that have to bother me so much? This is my blog, for heaven sakes, and the people that read it are my friends and family. So why do I limit myself to posting about parenting (and occasionally food) when what I really want to talk about is how I want to start my own natural living community, and a women's-health non-profit group and teach my kids Arabic? Sometimes I feel myself trying to cram the "real-me" into a box that doesn't really fit. Because the fact of the matter is, that, yes, I am a wife, a mother, a latter-day Saint and an American. And I love all those roles, but they do not define me. The truth about me is that I am also a lot of other things: a breastfeeding activist, a liberal, a vegan cook and a writer. Sometimes I get up in the middle of the night to type out my thoughts, just to get them out of my head. I read everything I can get my hands on, sometimes several books a week. I use cloth diapers because I like the way they look and I care about the earth. I worry about my kids being exposed to plastic and pesticides and too many commercials. I try to be kind and to teach my children kindness. I try to eat spinach at least once a day. I love God, and I love that I don't always have to have the answers. I plan to wean Norah when she is ready, whenever that is. I believe that moms should be allowed to give birth without doctors poking and prodding and pestering them. I believe this so strongly I plan to devote my career to making this happen for as many women as I can. If I had my way, and I hope I do, I want to live in Morocco once Mohamed is out of the military. I want to build a large house and fill it with a million family members and have my kids grow-up knowing the love of their family and knowing their culture. I want to have a women's health clinic near the house and train Moroccans to be midwives in their villages- and work to protect their birth traditions while still making birth more safe for at-risk women.

I have never vaccinated Norah. It's true. I took her to Morocco and back sans vaccination and am at peace with my decision. I may give her some vaccines, someday, and I may not. I have spent at least four hours per vaccine researching each one and although I think some vaccines are a good idea for some children, I do not believe all vaccines are for all children. There, I said it. Whew. I will post about that, later, don't worry.

Sometimes I get tired, as you, no doubt are from reading this blog and its preponderance of commas. I wish, sometimes, that I weren't so passionate. Or so hopeful. Or so. . . something. I don't know. Maybe I just wish I weren't lonely. More than anything I wish for a house full to the brim with people. All kinds of people from all kinds of places. I love seeing the different ways people live their lives, what is important to them, what makes them angry or happy.

And maybe this post made you angry or happy. Maybe you just skimmed at rolled your eyes. That's okay, because I feel better now. I feel like I've come out-of-the closet (are there hyphens in that?) in a sense, and I feel stronger for it. If you find yourself particularly drawn to my way of thinking, you know where I live. My doors are open, and we have a guest room.


Allison said...

Jami- Your post just made me extremely happy! I'm not really sure why? I already knew all those things about you. Maybe it's the fact that for the last several days I've been wanting to write a very similar post on my blog and you have just giving me the courage to do so.

Every since moving here I have felt this strong sense pulling me towards teh natural birthing community here. I feel drawn to get involved and make others aware and to change society.

Anyways I won't ramble on in your comments. But I just wanted remind you that My door is always open too AND I have TWO guests room and a big house that feels so empty I want to cry somedays!!! IT would be nice if it were fulled with sound of our kids playing again!

amy said...

i hope it feels great to stand up and proclaim the integrity of what you think. i, frankly, think you would do us all a great service to share all of your well-thought (and possible even better-researched) ideas. some of us might be searching for all the same stuff!

i like cloth diapers, too. i think weaning BEFORE age two is almost as weird as eating ground chemical-laden muscle tissue of large ruminant animals who were raised on a cereal grain. and there are lots and lots and lots of people like me! so come on out of whatever closet you think you have been hiding in because, i hate to break it to you, you fit in PERFECTLY!

Caroline said...

What a great post, Jame! I've always admired you for your passion and how you're willing to cut against the grain. I certainly appreciate your honesty and I hope to hear more about your ideas.

Admittedly, there are a few posts on my blogger that have never made it out of the draft phase because I felt like they exposed me and left my vulnerabilities in the open. (These posts are about my struggles with religion and my increasingly agnostic tendencies.) But maybe I should re-visit them again?

Hope to hear more about your passions, dreams, and the books you have read!

PS I think it's WONDERFUL that you want to train midwives in the third world. I watched a documentary last week about the prevalence of fistulas in Ethiopia and how these can be prevented if women had more access to midwives, nurses, or doctors. It broke my heart to hear stories from women who lived with fistulas for ten years and who were shunned by their villages.

Soap Nuts said...

Have you ever tried soap nuts for cleaning cloth diapers? I find them to be the best for getting the smells out.

The Petersons said...

I read your post and I thought-oh no, not another advocate for something natural or green :) As I was reading, I couldn't stop thinking how we are more different. I love red meat and dairy; Noah is exclusively eating formula; when in labor, I made sure the nurse knew to bring me the drugs; and I think it is important, if not necessary, to vaccinate your children.

But as I have thought about our differences and how I couldn't imagine living as you do, I suddenly had an impression that it was okay and that this was the way God intended things to be.

We should rejoice in our differences because that is the very reason we have agency-to make the best decisions for ourselves and our family. If we were all the same, Satan would have won...he would have forced us to do His agenda. Instead we are free to choose what we want out of life. And as long as you feel you are in accordance with God, who's to tell you you're wrong.

So, although we do not see eye to eye on a lot of things, I take comfort in knowing that you care about your family and that doing what is best for them is your number one priority. And if that means you think that they should wear cloth diapers and eat organic food, then so be it.

Good luck on your quest to change the world one pregnant woman at a time. :)

Lisa (Espanish for "Lisa") said...

I love that you share all this. You have a lot of great ideas and goals and passion and information that I'm sure would become frustrating if you never felt free to express it.

I must too confess not posting various drafts. I am passionate about various things I sometimes feel a little too uneducated to voice my thoughts too loudly. I also keeping feeling this desire to share my deeper feelings about all that has gone on with my girls and thought and emotions I have felt about that and their future, but I worry about how that stuff would be received. I don't want a pity party. In fact sometimes, I think we feel like we're supposed to seem okay with more things than we really feel. And I think we moms feel pressure from other moms who often are only responding to pressure they feel from other moms (sounds redundant, but does it make sense?).

Anyway, I ramble at this point, but thank you for sharing you and not feeling like you have to hide the person you are. I think we all need to feel that way, and not care so much about how different or how similar we think or are. Hearing others' thoughts, especially if they vary from my own, help me to see things from a different perspective, understand others better, and hopefully make me a better person who can choose based on seeing all sides of an issue.

Sallyseashell said...

This is Sally-your old downstairs roomie from Provo! I ran across your blog from Meliisa's.
I think it's so funny that as we become mother's we find we have more in common with people that we maybe previously didn't, and less in common with our bestest of friends. i loved reading your blog. We share many strong opinions together, my friend.

I am a passionate lactavist, cloth-diaperer, homebirther, whole foods eater,non-vaccinator (is that a word?) etc, etc...
Good to see you have a beautiful family. Besides my blog, Here is us:
you have some beautiful dreams!