“A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.” ~ Gertrude Stein
“I rise is I rise is I rise is I rise.” ~ Alice Isak
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My name is Alice Isak, and I feel like a woman reborn.
Risen like a—no, wait.
First you’re gonna need some backstory.
Like many others, I started blog-writing under an assumed name. For all the usual reasons: privacy, discretion, a desire to say whatever I felt without provoking uncomfortable impasses with family or angry outbursts from a recently-ex’ed ex-spouse. And one other thing:
I hated the person I’d become so much, it hurt to see her name in writing.
Call it my midlife crisis, if that helps.
The stereotype of the “midlife crisis” centers on the experiences of our culture’s classic Everyman: a white man climbing the corporate ladder, solidly middle-class, able-bodied and able-minded, definitely straight. Midlife-Everyman is wealthy enough to trade in his car for something fancier, more prestigious—a red convertible, perhaps, straight from the production line. He may trade in his wife for a newer model as well, equally shiny and topless.
According to the cliché, when our Everyman realizes his life is half-over, he says to himself: “I am not the person I thought I would be.” And he despairs.
For many women I know, midlife is the time when we say to ourselves: “I am still the person I thought I had to deny.” And though we may break for a time—suddenly feeling the weight of burdens long denied and longer carried—in the end, we do not despair.
We get angry.
We get loud.
We start to holler—often for the first time—our own damn truths, in our own damn voices. Continue reading “The Autobiography of E. Alice Isak”