Friday, September 13, 2013

As It Turns Out-- I Like Jess

The day after I posted my "Condescending Bitch" post about Jess and her campaign to raise monies to ride her Vespa halfway across the country to see Sedona, AZ... she emailed me.

stolen from Jesspa's blog... hopefully I figured out how to make it link back?
Actually, I got the email the next day, I think she actually emailed me the same day I posted.

Here's where I got impressed: Despite my rather harsh insight into who she might be, why she might be that person, and whether or not her entire generation is comprised of self-entitled slackers, she emailed me. Gave me answers to all the questions I posed in my post-- even the ones that don't really have any bearing on the issue, like what kind of car she had, and never once whined or bitched or cried "unfair" at my post.

I've spent a lot of time on the Internet. In addition to this little, personal corner of the cyberverse, I also maintain a website/blog for my business and I blog professionally for a major trade magazine serving my industry. I have dealt with my share of reactions from people on the Internet. MOST people would have written to me and said something along the lines of, "well, not that it's any of your business, but if you must know...." and, "I understand if you have questions, but why couldn't you just email me first before you went and blasted me all over the Internet?" or, "God, you are a hateful bitch. You're just jealous because you are old and fat and wasted your whole life working at some low-paying job rubbing rich peoples' feet instead of following your dreams and living your life on your terms. You should shut your fat mouth and get a LIFE instead of trashing other people for attempting to follow their heart!"

Yeah-- I actually get comments like that all the time. Which seems weird, since I spend most of my online time talking about how much I LOVE the life I'm living...but some people need to lash back at perceived persecutions.

So anyway-- Jess DID NOT say, or even intone, any of those things when she emailed me. She gave me nice, simple, real answers to all those questions that I really figured were just rhetorical. And she politely asked me why, in my opinion, her blog was presenting her poorly.

After a couple of emails, I have decided that I LIKE Jess.

she wants to go to Sedona,AZ

First off, she's got a job. Yup. Real work. She is supporting herself and her little dog in their own apartment. She's got a great boss that is letting her take off the time to make her dream trip, and then she will go back home to her dog and her apartment and her job. She has the means to make this trip happen without external support and is ready to go on her adventure, even if no one else helps out.

She has a mom and a dad and, apparently, a good relationship with them. They will be taking care of her dog while she travels.

They were also super smart parents who planned for their daughter's college education while she was still very young. Which I can't quite bring myself to think of as quite the same as "Daddy paid for college." They sound smart and responsible... and so does Jess.

FWIW: Her car was in need of serious mechanical repairs. She stood to make more money by selling it and buying the scooter than by fixing it. She loves her scooter-- I certainly am not going to fault her for owning her vehicle free and clear.

Now, I don't know if she really, truly, understands what she's in for here. I can't say whether she's fully prepared for what awaits on the road to Sedona-- and back. But welcome to Real Life, most of us aren't fully prepared for what awaits us, whether on the road to Sedona or on the road to cynical old codgerdom.

But she wants to go!

And she's 25. She's a GIRL. And she's going to ride a VESPA for 3500 MILES through places she's never been.

also stolen from Jess's blog: Her own Vespa-- "Ziggy"

And THAT I fully support.

Because women are fraidy cats. Not all-- but most. Believe me, I've been holding hands with fellow women for 21 years now. I know something about who we are and what we dream verses what we are willing to do... and what we regret later in life.

Too few of us are willing to take deep breaths and jump. Too few of us have ever made that epic road trip. Too few of us have ever dared to visit a different state alone, let alone a different country. Too few of us are comfortable even driving at night, or living alone.

So I say GO JESS GO!

In the long run, I don't really care if Jess is a spoiled princess or if she's wise beyond her years... I don't care if her trip goes off flawlessly or if it's fraught with mishaps.

I care that one more woman in this world takes the trip. I care that she is willing to go, into the world, all by herself. On a scooter, no less.

And if I can help her live her adventure, I help myself, I help my nieces, my clients, and all women who, deep inside, passionately want to not be afraid to do something just like this. Women who want to feel like it's possible for a woman to travel alone in this big, scary world. Women who want to see the desert, or the ocean, or Alaska, or India, but won't go. Because it's "scary," because it's "not safe," because their parents think it's a bad idea, because their boyfriends and husbands  think it's a bad idea, because their friends think it's a bad idea, because everything they see on the TV, in the news, on the Internet, fills their heads with visions of horror and danger and drives fear deeper into their psyches.

And all the women who are older now and looking back and thinking "I should have gone on that trip to India when I was younger, before I got married, before I had the kids, before my job wouldn't give me the time off...."

Also stolen from Jess's blog.

All those women who will never GO on their own journey. For all the excuses they make to not go.

So... ultimately, it's not about Jess or who she is today or why she wants to go see a desert or whether she's "earned" the "right" to ask for help funding her dream... it's about the fact that she's willing to go.

I can so totally get behind that. And I hope that I can convince a handful of other women (and men) to throw her a couple of bucks and advocate for her campaign in the name of the Big Picture for a future of stronger, braver, more self-confident women in this world.

And that's my rousing feminist propaganda soapbox post for the week. Go Jess Go!

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