I am angry, upset, and speechless. This past week, a historical error was made in the United States supreme court. It took me time before I could even prepare to write this. I had to let the information sit with me, and mull it over for a while. This is the first time in a long time that I needed to formulate my thoughts before I could even begin to put them down on "paper".
Those who know me, know that butterflies are my spirit animal. A butterfly on my shoulder blade was the first tattoo I designed, the first thing that was important enough to ink permanently on my body. Butterflies symbolize change and the metamorphosis that is possible when you give in to new experiences. The idea that a caterpillar goes to sleep and becomes a butterfly is nature's way of telling us change can be beautiful. And yet, it doesn’t make it any less scary.
We attach descriptives like glowing, radiant and healthy to pregnant bodies, and then turn around and call those same, postpartum bodies tired, flabby, and untoned. The moment mothers give birth, the race is on to erase the stretch marks, tighten the love handles, and tone the core. Celebrities who leave the hospital looking runway-ready, or grace the cover of magazines in bikinis a mere months after giving birth, do us no favours.
Prior to teaching, I worked for a non-profit foundation that ran programs for individuals with developmental disabilities. When I started, I knew very little about the community. Children with autism, developmental delays, and cognitive deficits were only something I read about when completing my psychology degree. I embraced the opportunity, as new as it was. [...]