Saturday, June 21, 2008

On my own; society, stigma and my generation

I am reading a great new book, courtesy of my new addiction to Bookswim, called On My Own: The Art of Being a Woman Alone by Florence Falk. It is fabulous on many levels, and even in the fact that so many of the mindsets the book teaches/ suggests are those that I have already realized and begun to embody on my own (pun not intended - but cute).

Discussed are the many issues women have with the stigma of being an intentionally single woman. Stigma - ha! The thought excites me, and it is actually the one thing that I always dreamed to be. I didn't dream of having the perfect house, the dream job or picturesque family. I always longed to be the single, independent woman in charge of her own life.

Another realization that I came to, and the one that had me jumping on the computer until 3AM the other night/ morning, was actually an observation in passing of sorts. I was reading about how we, as women alone can still distract ourselves with many things, especially in this age of technology. Firstly, I hadn't quite realized how much these things are a distraction to my alone time. I am home alone, I blog, I text, I watch TV or my Netflix movies. What is quality alone time? My beach walks are good quality alone time, as was the time I spent re-arranging my place last night and hanging pictures. Doing things for me, that benefit me and make me feel good. Reading could be viewed as a distraction, but with the books I am reading, I find it reflective quality Nicole time as well.

Within that realization, another was born. I am really happy I grew up in the time/ generation that I did. It was only the beginning of this huge tech boom, and where my parents can remember the days when very few households had color TV, let alone cable TV, I remember the days before nearly every household had a computer and internet. I complain a lot about kids these days, though I don't really feel old enough to. However, advances in technology have actually seemingly set our youth back. They don't have to know how to spell, that is what spell check is for! I used to compete in spelling bees - I bet the bar has been lowered in such competitions these days. Actually, I have found this true in many competitions and the arts, the talent pool is far more shallow, and of course it is. Everyone is distracted with all of this "stuff"! I would spend my spare time dancing, choreographing, nurturing my creativity. Now, kids waste away their time with video games, television and the internet. Hell, I will admit to having a severe and disturbing addiction to Facebook. I have to force myself to log off at times! Text speak has become so rampant that proper grammar and spelling both seem to have been forgotten, though not necessarily intentionally. So, in a nutshell, I am really glad that I was able to grow up in a time before all of these distractions came into the mainstream and changed our world and society as we know it so quickly and profoundly. Thankfully, since we are still quite behind the times here on St. Croix, we still manage to education and turn out some amazing young people. Sure, there are still talented, driven kids everywhere, but it is easier to become distracted and lethargic, especially in a culture obsessed with having "stuff" and in keeping up with the Joneses.

I really, really cherish my generation, I think we were the last "real" one. We were the "cuspers" teetering on the brink of the technology generations. It is a cool generation to be a part of.
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a diamond in the rough

a diamond in the rough
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