The Tragic Optimist

couple more thoughts on lenses

I had trouble settling on only 4 lenses when I wrote that 6 word memoir.  I ended up leaving off the ones that seem so intrinsic to who I am, that I’m always viewing the world through them, and I don’t even notice it: woman, christian, daughter, sister, wife.  I assume that parent will get added to that list soon enough, but for now, it’s still a new enough thing for me that I still notice when I’m seeing things as a parent.

More interesting to me are the things that I feel like should be lenses that color my world view, but aren’t, or at least, they don’t color things as often or strongly as I might have expected.  In my first class in library school (intro to library science), our professor told us that her goal was to have us so steeped in librarianship that we couldn’t help but view everything around us with libraries in mind.  While I absolutely love being a librarian, that never quite occurred to me.  Similarly, I was an exchange student in high school (to Germany in ’92-’93), and one of the goals of the program was to give us a new outlook on the world.  I’m extremely grateful to that program, and so happy that I had the opportunity to live abroad, and I learned so much about the German reunification, and how it’s not so easy to just bring together two groups of people who had been separated for so long – no matter how much they yearned to be back together.  But I don’t think I view the world through those lenses so much.  I consider myself a feminist, but I don’t feel like I see things through those lenses either.  The list could go on.

And to give credit where it’s due (I totally meant to do this on the previous post, and feel horrible for not doing so) – I started thinking about the different lenses that I view the world through after reading this post on Stirrup Queens last month.  I kept meaning to write about it, but hadn’t quite found a way to do so, when the 6 word memoir meme hit me.

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1 Comment

  1. On the parenting lenses becoming so ingrained that you don’t notice they’re there anymore – I don’t think that’s ever possible, at least not for me. The kids are constantly growing and hitting new milestones and experiences, and as they do those lenses change and grow right along with them. There is always an awareness of those parent lenses. The parents who lose that I think are the ones who lose emotional touch with their kids.

    I would like to hear more about your year as an exchange student in Germany (WOW!). What year did you graduate high school? Frank graduated in ’93 and I graduated in ’95.

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