• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 07

One Tiny (R)evolution

I was a dreamer as a child, in large part due to my mother - not because she was one too, but precisely because she couldn’t be.

I saw her toil after the 3 of us, my siblings and I her entire world, I saw her build a life contained within four walls. She often told us we were her blessings - the absolute best ones amidst her chaos, that we were the reason she kept going, every day.

I saw this, and sorrowed, vowing to never live life “so small.” Writing in journals that I would one day change the world. Seeing her agency so narrowed by the role of wife, mother, daughter-in-law, made me allergic to the constriction of definition. My days would be absent of needy in-laws, full of inspiration, I vowed: my impact would be felt beyond the home.

Mothers, to me, had to choose - between a full life, and invisibility. Required to dull their realms of what could be possible. They had to sacrifice their own dreams, so the children could have them instead. A life sucked dry, but packaged as legacy.

"The jig is up," I concluded, "I will never become a mother." I would never surrender to an unborn stranger.

“Besides, what if they turn out terrible?” I’d ask Ma, pushing, “What if we end up estranged anyway, what’s the point?”

She'd look at me, round-eyed, a smirk sneaking against her lips, and ask bluntly, “So you’re scared, is that it?”

“Are you scared?”
The question clangs in my chest, an inconvenient rebuttal to my identity.


One Tiny (R)evolution

“Are you scared?”
It mocks, as I envision my dreams derailed - a tiny tyrant, a new dictator of my days.

“Are you scared?”
Yes, I am. Terrified, in fact.

Until I hear another part of me get louder.

It is the young version of me, the one who insists she is a dreamer. The one who sees herself as brave, beyond anything.

She asks me, too, “Are you scared?,” and as I nod, she nods alongside me. Mothering me through her sense of grounded empathy.

She tells me, “Change can happen, in ways we can and cannot dream. Change the world, or perhaps, build a new one.”

I consider what she says, with guarded comfort and slight suspicion. Wondering whether to trust what is invisible.

She pulls in close, gives me a hug, and stares at me, round-eyed, too. A dimpled smirk painted across her brown skin.

She chimes in again, her instinct strong, immediately sensing my hesitation.

She commands:

One tiny (r)evolution at a time.