I sit down at my desk wearing a smart casual blouse. I open my laptop and get ready for the test. I try my best to hype myself up but the anxiety proves to be too much. I answer the questions as best I can with the time I’m given. Overwhelmed, I finish feeling a sense of defeat. I know I’ve failed.
I go on my lunch break to a nearby bakery. Once I buy my pastries I head back out and explore the affluent, predominantly white neighbourhood. I find a bench, sit and eat my scones and danish. My tummy starting to show but I realise maybe I could just pass as fat. The sun is beaming on my face and it’s so hot outside I feel like my skin is the surface of a frying pan. I admire the couple walking into their latest Porsche car. One hand on my stomach, the other with a scone, I take a bite and savour the raspberry lemon-flavoured delight. I can write you an essay about the systematic economic and social differences experienced by white people and people of colour but it would be pointless. There’s no point in writing about something you’ll one day have lived experience in.
For awhile I’d been feeling fatigued, like the energy had drained out of my body and into the Earth. Everyone else around me looked vibrant but I felt like I was perpetually experiencing jetlag. I put it down to my poor iron levels which in the past had been a reoccurring source of my unexplained bouts of fatigue which led me to the irrational thought I may have developed narcolepsy. I peed on a stick just to eliminate the possibility that I might be pregnant and that’s when everything changed
My new OBGYN asks me where the father is and I’m stunned. I’m thankful I’m wearing a mask so she can’t see my jaw drop. I struggle to mutter the words. I tell her he isn’t involved and it’s just me. The conversation continues on awkwardly until I’ve read through my long list of questions. I travel back home catching two different buses. The kids on the bus are rowdy and I realise this is what I’ve got to look forward to.
I feel nauseous at work and my feet ache. I try to push through since I know it’s not feasible to leave. I need the money but I’m bleeding which makes it even harder to push through the day. I pick up phone calls and climb ladders, by the time my shift finishes I feel burnt out. The sweat makes my black clothes cling to my body and my stomach. I buy myself a bubble tea then catch the bus back home.
I hop on the train with my blue puma bag filled with clothes. I love catching the train and enjoy passing the vast landscapes. It takes over an hour to arrive but I love this place. I enjoy walking by the beach and the peace and quiet it offers compared to the busyness of the city. In a place where nobody knows who I am, I walk without hesitation or fear. No need to hide or run, just somewhere I can exist.
I fear kids these days are more inspired by Andrew Tate then the work of the second-, third- & fourth-wave feminist movements. I loved University as it gave me the tools and resources I needed to educate myself. It was in University that I understood how women are positioned in society and it was the place where I realised the patriarchy controls almost every aspect of our lives. The patriarchy determines everything, from the moment we are conceived, to the type of job we get, the income we earn, the healthcare we receive, or even how we die. I am a feminist. The question remains, how do you raise a feminist in the 21st century?
The sex is cold and verging on mechanical, this is only reinforced by the lack of tenderness or love we show one another once we’ve finished. It’s only on days your mind isn’t preoccupied with work that I can feel the warmth of you. It’s on the mornings we spend talking about our desires, dreams and goals that I feel close to you.
I listen to my friends and their stories. All unique, all tragic or beautiful in their own different ways. Stories about dogs or past relationships, stories of loss, grief, love and depression. On days I don’t feel like smiling, surrounding myself with them makes it all just a little bit easier.