When I was about 5 years old, I had a best friend. One of those you never forget. We did everything together but one of the things we liked best was to travel to outer space courtesy of my best friend’s older sister, Kiki. By bedecking her room in blankets and scarves and with the assistance of a swirly office chair, Kiki would take us past comets…to planets untouched by girl-kind.
Many years and many lost and remade connections later, I was thrilled to visit with Kiki last summer at her home near Palma de Mallorca of the Balearic Islands in Spain; not far from where my own parents live.
It turns out that Kiki is still taking people on exciting and unlikely journeys….only now she does so with a camera crew in tow. As a journalist and correspondent for the UK’s Unreported World, she takes people from Northern Uganda and the side of a 15 year old deaf boy with no means to communicate, to the front lines of the Kurdish resistance in the battle with Isis and the families caught in the cross hairs.
Since my last visit with Kiki was on a perfect summer day with our sons in the pool, I had to ask her what drew her to leave idyllic Mallorca to pursue these stories. (more…)
Last month’s Atlantic Magazine featured a cover page story on the “Confidence Gap” between men and women. For a variety of reasons both biological and environmental, women drastically underestimate their own competence. This, the article tells us, is a big obstacle to women accomplishing the success they are due.
While it was interesting to me that womankind as a whole seems to value themselves more meanly than mankind, it was all the more interesting to know that I wasn’t alone in feeling anywhere from out of my depth to outright fraudulent in many situations. Apparently many other ladies in the room were likely feeling just the same.
But more than anything else, the article left me examining a gap within myself. The gap between where I feel my confidence ought to be and where is actually is. And where it is, quite frankly, is way….way behind. Let’s say…1994 behind. (more…)
Since my son turned two, I have been getting questions about when another baby might be on the way. But the fact is that I have already have a second baby….my start up. And I’m just barely kidding. My business demands only marginally less time than a baby and gets talked about only a little less than baby number 1 on my Facebook page.
However, I will say that this first business of mine is, as my second child, benefiting from my experience with baby number 1. What I knew about starting a business could have fit on a postage stamp when I began. But I had at least a modestly sized pamphlet’s worth on being a mother.
I have been expanding both knowledge bases as my two babies have grown and I’ve noticed a substantial amount of cross over. Here are my five rules about running a business….or raising a baby…whichever. (more…)
The customs officer handed us back our passports at Dulles International and said, “Welcome home.”
All my life I’ve been a global nomad, so home has always been a fluid concept. If you add up the years spent in any one country, the US now comes out on top, which I suppose wins it the title of “home” (congrats America). But given that we’d just left behind our comfortable house in Morocco for temporary lodging with family and the fearful prospect of finding something new with our now drastically diminished buying power, home seemed to be farther away than ever.
Starting on the drive back from the airport and throughout the rest of our first weekend home, I was confronted with many things I had missed and a few I hadn’t.
Rubber surfacing on the playground: missed!
Gridlock around the DC area: Could have gone my whole life without seeing again.
Trader Joe’s: Be still my heart!
Inflammatory Cable News: See DC gridlock above. (more…)
Recently, my boobs took a trip to Jordan. At least it seemed at the time that the rest of me was just along for the ride. Never had my cleavage gotten so much attention; never had it occupied my thoughts so completely.
Having lived in Morocco for almost a year, I thought I knew how to strike the proper balance….somewhere between my usual, US appropriate signature style and a more modest décolletage that I felt was an appropriate concession to my host country’s social norms.
This balance was clearly off-kilter for Jordan. My ensembles were getting more attention from the male Jordanian population than a Britney Spears get up. Given that I have been a little sensitive about my dwindling cup size since giving up nursing my son, I was momentarily flattered….before being sincerely uncomfortable and confused.
I knew in theory that one country in the Middle East or North Africa would not necessarily adhere to the same standards of dress for women as the next, just as various areas or social classes within Morocco dressed worlds apart. (more…)