Who is Raising Nashville?
I am a mom. A mama. Without giving away my actual age I will share that I was considered of “advanced maternal age” when I got pregnant with Littlest. The birth of my child and my journey into motherhood has undoubtedly shaped my values, my vision for the future and my passions. Littlest was due on my birthday but didn’t start their journey Earthside until the Women’s March began on Saturday January 21, 2017. I believe that the energy of the millions of women who united and raised their voices loudly in protest of the 2016 election sustained my labor and the birth of this tiny new human into the world. I remembered this when I finally emerged out of the haze and heavy weight of the fourth trimester and the knowledge that I wasn’t alone has driven me day in and day out to build a better tomorrow for my child and their peers.
I am a wife. My husband is my partner in raising our child, managing our home and shaping the future of our family. He chooses not to be active on social media, however, so out of respect for his privacy I’ll refer to him as J when he has a presence in any of my stories, adventures and/or activities.
I was a third-culture kid. I was born in France and grew up in the Philippines and Hong Kong. I spent 13 of my first 18 years living outside the United States so the TCK aspect is a core part of my identity. Hong Kong was the place I called home, though I felt more and more distant from it with every passing year, until my child was born.
Now that I’m playing a role in raising the next generation here in Nashville, TN I finally feel comfortable calling it home. We live in a blue neighborhood in a blue city in a very red state. As a family we are not currently members of a church community. I know the southeast is more varied than country music and barbecue but I still struggle to feel like I truly belong here. Though I can often feel sheltered and safe in my blue bubble I know that there is so much work to be done in Nashville and particularly in Middle Tennessee to better the lives of women, our immigrant neighbors and LGBTQIA folx in particular.
I am a feminist and an activist. I come from white privilege and I try to keep aware of that in all that I write and do. I’m learning, though, and know that I’m not perfect. I welcome gentle correction, input and suggestions to help better center the voices of those often pushed to the margins and the outskirts of conversations. When I know better, I will work to do better.
I do get political on here. I don’t believe we can advocate for change or that I can work to raise Nashville without getting political. I cannot raise my child and not have an answer for them when they look back at this time in their history and ask me “what did you do to change things? what did you fight for?”. I won’t let myself sit back and be silent. I am a registered independent but since the 2016 election I’ve identified with progressive politicians and their policies. I voted for Hillary Clinton and I will be voting for Elizabeth Warren.
I commit most of my free time to two local organizations – Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and Northern Mississippi (PPTNM) and MOMS Demand Action. You’ll probably see a lot of their work promoted on my social media outlets.
I am a proponent of public education. I’m a former teacher and believe that it is our responsibility to commit our time and energies to our neighborhood schools.
I am an advocate for common sense gun control.
I believe that women’s reproductive rights are in danger and support a woman’s right to choose.
Climate change is real and its impacts are imminent – to be seen and felt in the next lifetimes. I am making small and sustainable changes in our family’s habits and lifestyle to lessen our negative impact on the environment.
I try to practice mindfulness and body kindness and recognize that society currently values only one body type as beautiful or healthy. I am raising my child to listen to their body and love their body for all of the amazing things it allows them to do and be. I am working to know these things for myself as I try to break free from decades growing up surrounded by diet culture.
I am a 2w1, ISFJ. I am a Highwoman and an Avett sister. I’d rather go to the mountains in the fall over the beach in the summer. I’d rather watch a documentary movie or read a historical fiction novel than go shopping or see a show at the movie theatre. Feed me anything and I’ll be a happy woman. (Seriously – I just learned to love beets recently, one of the last foods on my “do not like” list. Still there? Fennel.) If I could go back and do it all again I’d like to be a doula or a school librarian.
I’d love to know more about you! Leave a comment below with a recommendation for a great book you’ve recently read or a tv show or movie you’ve recently streamed and immediately watched again.