It is very nice being 78 years old and able to rest after a life of very hard work and great interest in people. Mountains, rivers and valleys interest me, too, and I wonder why they exist, what elements make them, and how long it took to build up or tear down. I like being able to say no to requests or tell others what I need. It gives me great pride to know the challenges I have met and overcome and that nothing has pulled me down. It feels good to have a good mind that works, that is trustworthy, dependable with capabilities that serve me well. Changes take place in my body, now, things like difficulty seeing or hearing. There is enough I can see and hear that I have great pleasures to enjoy.
Being born female presented particular challenges. "Can't", "don't", "be silent", all present opportunities for me to find my own limits, not those imposed on me by others. I like being a woman, of being able to care for people, or not. Of being weak, or not. Of being dependent, or not, Of being passive, or not.
Being a strong woman feels right for me, interdependent with family, friends, and co-workers, and being able to think critically and take decisive action when needed. I can remember a history of struggle and turmoil of women and of hearing their cries for safety. I can imagine a preferred future of women and men being able to live without harming each other and then creating that memory of the future in the here and now.
There are women content with being dependent, passive and subordinate. That never fit me. Being traditionally female felt like a tight pair of shoes that hurt with every step. The wonder of it all is that being a strong woman hurts no one and helps to bring about the kind of a paradigm shift so badly needed ... for both men and women.