I’ve railed against the side effects of militant feminism several times, but today I’m really feeling it. I’m tired and the truth of the core of my being is fervent, bright, and boiling. I’m just not relevant, and that’s perfectly fine. I have no desire to be. I’m sorry, girlfriends-who-expect-more-of-someone-with-my-personality. I am not special or dynamic, and it’s totally, utterly fine!

So many women are more brave than me. They go into battle daily with trolls, asshats, morons, and other thoughtless grumpy types. They get beat up and give back as good as they get (except with actual rational thought behind it). Me, I’m the diplomat. I try to bring everyone to the table and ask them to sit as long as they’ll be civil. If you’re not civil, you can go to your room.

Which makes me, of course, the mom.

I don’t have kids. I helped raise my sister and to some degree, my brother. As he has Down syndrome, even our little sister helped raise him a bit, too. She is instrumental, I believe, in his behavioural turn around after I left for college. She’s a great kid, and has become an amazing young woman with a bright future in playwriting. I am proud of her.

But I’m…nobody.

It’s ok. I’ve come to terms with this, & in my own brave way, I am perfectly fine with nobodyism. Not everyone needs be a Queen Boudiccea or even a Queen Mum. We should all aspire to be the best that we can be, and what I’ve found is that I am good at making people feel wanted, comfortable, and listened to on occasion. That makes me either a therapist or a wife. We all know what happened to my therapy career (thank God), so that leaves…

‘Cept I’m not married. Meh, minor issue. The fact of the matter is, radical feminism has somehow made women ashamed to be “just a wife” or “just a mom”. We simply have to have it all, or we ain’t nuthin’. Well, as much as I enjoy amusing other people with my writing and tweeting, I find that it’s not necessarily what I want to do as a career. The more people push me to be more relevant, the less fun it becomes, & the less real it feels. It’s not my goal to be relevant (and you’re probably sitting there thinking “Mission accomplished, sister”). It’s my goal to make you happy. That’s it. Just happy.

After a long struggle with the concept of relevance, I now realize I am brave enough to say I don’t care for it. I will support you in your relevance. I will revel in your accomplishments, your accolades, and your influence. I, however, need none of this, and I am not going to be afraid to say it any more. I am not letting down other women by wishing for a quiet life where I support the relevant. There have always been wives, mothers, & friends; the super woman is an artificial construct that some have taken on with magnificence. I’m just, kind of, like, everybody’s wife I ‘spose.

My dear friend once said to me that I seemed to belong to everybody else. I was truly not spending enough time with her, & I didn’t realize it. I also felt I had no time to myself, because it’s important to me to make sure everybody is doing ok. It gets to the point where I get everyone confused, as I’ve taken on quite a few folks in varying levels of psychological need. A person who was honestly very close to me thought I had forgotten about her because I spent so much time making sure everybody got a little piece of me. I’ve since learned that’s an INFJ trait, but it doesn’t excuse the fact that the people close to me deserve my attention as much as complete strangers with seemingly more immediate needs.

Yes, when I’m at work and you are paying me for your undivided attention, the personal life needs to go on hold. But when I’m home, I shouldn’t still be ‘working’ on saving humanity, one lonely, striving soul at a time. However, I’m compelled. So I’ve tried to set aside quality time. Try is the operative word.

This busy silliness is simply a manifestation of my non-wife-itude, I guess. It also generates nothing, earns nothing, except to find out that sometimes, I made someone’s day. That is golden. How much more glorious to be able to start a family’s every day with glowing happiness? How is that silly or irrelevant?

Why is it “less than” to bring peace, comfort, and laughter into people’s lives?

It IS someone’s job to fight the power, and I love the people who take that on. But I’m a caregiver. Bring me your wounds after the fight; I will patch them up. Taking me into battle is like taking a grenade with no pin, though. Who knows where I’ll go off? I’m used to spreading unconditional love; stoke my anger and it’s a hot mess.

I should have slept last night, but physical misery makes us honest. Me, I’m just a girl. Being just a girl isn’t bad. It never was, not even in the 1960s, but you weren’t progressive, smart, or useful if you admitted it. You know what? It’s 2010. I’m a conservative woman, and I’m therefore free to say what I like about my role in the world. I’m not bound by a pseudo-intellectual agenda. It’s ok for me to say I’m just a care givery type, and it’s ok for you to be the total opposite of that. You are awesome. You are awesome in a way people recognize and award. I am awesome, just…smaller.

You don’t have to recognize that, because it doesn’t fit into your definition of “awesome”. It’s ok. Just know that I am proud of you, & I always will be.


7 thoughts on “Relevance

  1. ChrisIsRIGHT says:

    Like you, I dislike the necessity to “be somebody,” whether that’s via feminism or any other fake social construct.

    BUT… you are a good person and, though I only know you through the Internet, a kind person. Dare I say it, a friend?

    How much more relevant could ANYONE be than to be caring and cared for?

    Which you are, by the way.

    And, you are in no way, smaller. I can’t remember who said it, or what the exact quote was, but it’s along these lines: No one lies on their deathbed wishing for another trophy or work accolade. They wish for more time with their family and friends.

    You don’t have to be an intellectual, or even a pseudo one. You’re obviously brilliant, so let’s not even go there.

    You don’t have to be a CEO, or a rock star or the voice of a generation.

    Some day, very special people of all levels of social accomplishment are going to review their lives in those brief, final moments. And they’re going to wish they’d had more time with you.

    I hope to get to know you better over time. But I don’t need to know you any better than I do now to know how extraordinary you are.

    • kelliejane says:

      Chris, it’s entirely possible you just made this hard ass bitch cry. Just a little. Ok, maybe a lot.

      *My rep is SO ruined!*


  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kellie Jane Adan and Kurt Schlichter, james smith. james smith said: RT @thekelliejane: New BLOG post, on my lack of Relevance: I'm sorry it's not funny or mean 😉 […]

  3. I really couldn’t put it better than Chris.

    I refute your statement that you’re nobody.
    “You’re nobody til somebody loves you,” Dean Martin once sang, and seeing comments daily from those in your feed shows me that you have a lot of people who love you. To each of those people you are not just ‘somebody’ but somebody special – I count myself as one of those people.

    To paraphrase Chris, you don’t have to be an intellectual, you are brilliant. It’s not about how much you know, but what you know, and you seem to be very savvy where it matters.
    I’m usually though of as the intellectual, just because I know a ton of crap that has no real relevance. You articulate your knowledge into a funny, thoughtful and relevant blog and your bit for The Black Sphere – both of which people talk about after reading them.

    It’s your goal to make people happy. I get that. If I can make those around me happy then I’m happy – it’s like happiness by osmosis, and that’s cool.

    Before I start rambling on (to late!) – I’ll end with a HUG because your awesome does count – just ask anyone who knows you 🙂

  4. Polly Hoar says:

    there must be something in the air (full moon, maybe the cause) but after our mutual friend’s twitter stream last night, i was ready to blog on this topic (slightly different conclusion) but same thrust.
    I am so done living with other people’s labels, but i want to be “relevant.” I just think being a wife and mom is that route. (didn’t use to)
    I think relevant (and important) are relative words; you are both relevant (your observations are insightful and timely) and important (i don’t think you truly know how many people rely on you or just value you).
    thank you for your eloquent writing. I’m a little jealous. 🙂

  5. Beth says:

    I’ve been struggling with feeling like “nobody” for a while now. I’m not a career woman, and I don’t have any talents or characteristics that make me stand out. I’m very good at being a friend/girlfriend/wife. Like you said, society makes us feel like that’s not good enough, but I know I’m never going to be Superwoman.

    “You are awesome in a way people recognize and award. I am awesome, just…smaller.”

    I can definitely relate to this blog. I need to remember that I’m awesome too, even if I’m only awesome under the radar of most people.

  6. Morsellaux says:

    During the 1940, people in a place called Lubyanka were thinking feverishly about ways of stratagem. A Trojan Horse, predating the cyberspace subculture by decades. And some young lad found it. It was mindbogglingly simple. A switcheroo. Make people think that what is more important than who. All the other stuff, the “all truths are relative”, “we are now soo liberated”, “if we were not victims, we wouldn’t know who our enemy is”, and all sorts of other post-somethisms, were just embellishments and expansions of the basic idea.

    The virus has been released through different noise outlets, and set on autopilot. The originators had no idea how truly successful the program would be. Long after their ideological scaffold is gone (2 decades now), the poison is still working and drilling through with reckless abandon, rotting out our society from within. The irony is that the current inheritors of the former Lyublanka people have a hard time to defend against the virus spreading to their own culture.

    It is okay to be nobodies (what), it has no bearing on our individual existential prerogatives (who). The roles we chose should be emerging from our individual needs (whos), rather that from status related existential distractions (whats). We may then again return to pursuit of happiness, rather than chasing unhappiness chimeras we were told are important, the thing in, the vain fashions and wants that do not do anything for us when the bill comes due–when you look back and see that the glitter did nothing for you and all you are left with is a big fucking hangover.

    Though we may never meet, I am your friend. I am a man, but I have seen better times (56 yo) and still remember how things were in the antediluvian times (before the the poison hit the target shores). I don’t indulge in painting the times past with a “golden era” brush. There were problems, but there were also organic (e.g. natural, stemming from wisdom of ages) ways to deal with them. People were learning how to be successful in these roles, though that knowledge is nearly lost, replaced by the whats strategies of human interaction. And there was this “I’ve got your back”. A mutual understanding withing a nuclear family that at present is on an extinction level.

    Being friend/girlfriend/wife or friend/boyfriend/husband is far from an obsolescence, from anachronism, from irrelevancy. In the coming age, it will be more important than anything else.

    It will return to being mighty.

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