How I found adventure

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How I Found Adventure

By Beatrice Grimshaw (1871 – 1953)

I am a Victorian.

I was born in the ‘Seventies, in a big lonely country house five miles–a whole hour’s journey–from Belfast.

I was governessed and schooled and colleged. I was taught to ride and play games. I was taught to behave. To write notes for Mamma. To do the flowers. To be polite but not too polite, to Young Gentlemen. To accept flowers, sweets and books from them, but no more. To rise swiftly with the rest of the six daughters and sons when Papa came into the breakfast-room, to kiss him ceremoniously, and rush to wait upon him. He liked it, and we liked it.

I went to dances, and waltzed to “The Blue Danube,” “Sweethearts,” and “Estudiantina.” I went to afternoon parties. I was chaperoned. My three sisters were good girls, and content.

But I was the Revolting Daughter–as they called them then. I bought a bicycle, with difficulty. I rode it unchaperoned, mile and miles beyond the limits possible to the soberly trotting horses. The world opened before me. And as soon as my twenty-first birthday dawned, I went away from home, to see what the world might to give to daughters who revolted. What it gave me first was the offer of a journalistic post.

There were maps of far-away places, maps with tantalizing blanks in them; maps of the huge Pacific, colored an entrancing blue. I swore that I would go there.

I made a London newspaper commission me; I went. Long ago, when travel was travel, and the South Sea unknown to tourists; when the charm of the island world was still unbroken. I went to all the chief island groups, and lived in most; I saw the inner New Hebrides, Solomons and New Guinea, at their rawest and fiercest; I roamed all over the East beyond the East, before anyone had begun to think of Java, or the Bali kings had prophetically committed suicide on their coral reefs.

I had so many adventures that they cease to seem adventures. In the New Hebrides, I was caught in a forest fire, and barely escaped into a valley where bones of a recent cannibal feast lay blackening in the smoke. I stood on the shores of Tanna, and watched a recruiting schooner creep cautiously in, afraid to land her boats, while the men of the mountains, fighters and cannibals all, waited with loaded guns beside me, ready to attack the blackbirding crew who had taken away their best. I was present at a dance of murderers and man-eaters, up in the Tanna hills, where no man went. There and elsewhere, I managed to make friends with the wild men of the woods.

In the Solomons, of recent years, I cam in contact with the amazing native magic of the sorcerer, and lived in a house that was haunted by ghostly birds.

I saw–still in the Solomons–men who declared they had solved the secret of a happy life; they said they knew how to project themselves into another man’s personality, provided he were agreed, and that such mutual changes often took place–wives, houses, names, habits, even faces, being transferred from one to another. They said they did this through their magic. Certainly the practice was fairly common, however it was brought about, and it seemed to please everybody.

I was given, by a chief, a charm as a safe-pass for a day and night among the wildest tribes. It was carved from a beautiful orange shell, and represented the circle of the sun caught in the curve of the crescent moon, I don’t know how much or little it had to do with the fact that I never got into any trouble, although I was told by the men of one tribe (Malaita, of course) that they might killed me or any white any day, just for fun, if they happened to feel like it.

I went to New Caledonia, famous, infamous French penal island, slept in one of a row of former convict cells, and saw the church where the celebrated mass marriages took place, a couple of hundred male convicts being married all at once to as many female convicts specially imported.

I was received by the natives of Dutch New Guinea with a curious ceremony, staged as well as Hollywood could have done it–knives and spears threateningly held up by some of the younger men, while older men raised high above them a burning brand and a branch of palms, signifying homes and hearths and peace. They did not allow women to see the interior of men’s temples; but I had bought my way in– with a gift of bread and butter!–and the ceremony that was afterward stages outside the men’s sacred house was meant to be interpreted as follows: “You have deserved death for entering the sacred house. But you have been forgiven. You may enter our homes, and it is peace between us.”

I was friends with the old Queen of the Cook Islands, the late Makea Takau, a real monarch, six feet three in height, who ruled her islands with an iron scepter. He Prince Consort, Ngamaru, was less civilized than she; it was his way to threaten people who offended him, by making the “cannibal sign” at them–rapidly drawing his clenched fist across his teeth; the significance being: “I will tear you with my teeth!” As for Makea Takau, she used most courteously to tell an enemy, “I do not expect to see you after Wednesday;” and she enemy walked away, and obediently died on Wednesday, of nothing at all.

The beautiful Princess Tuera (of whom I afterward wrote many stories entitled “Queen Vaiti”) was a friend of mine in the old days. She was Raratongan, extremely lovely, and fiery as a female dragon. She had captained her father’s recruiting schooner, often, and ran it like a bucko mate of whaling days. I never knew her to be beaten by anything or anybody, male or female, alive or dead. Thirty years later, I found that she had defeated even Time, and was beautiful still. She lives in Raratonga, today. Read more : http://www.grimshaworigin.org/WebPages/BeatGrim1.htm#VaitiOfTheIslands

What does it say about our society that when a man is “friend zoned” – it is somehow equated with him being less of a man?

Guilt

Superwoman complex

Articles cite the reasons for women’s guilt as: “not fulfilling their roles and expectations to put others first”

In my own life, this is not what I found… You see, I am not a timid woman. I have no problem asking for what I need… on an emotional level. I always prided myself that I would speak up no matter what – but it becomes a problem when action does not follow. Through learning to set boundaries I respond proactively to my needs before I get resentful or upset. This has helped me A LOT. I also don’t spend as much time explaining the REASON for my needs or wants. A lot of times, because we don’t have a good enough reason to say ‘No’, we say yes. Women are quick to give where there is a need.

More than guilt, what I have found is that:

When I have to ASK for what I want/need in materials I feel that I am actually causing my partner pain – emotional and possibly even physical. My goal is to become a woman and learn energy mastery on ALL levels.

Studies claim that women feel guilty over more immediate “smaller” issues in their lives because they feel in control of those areas and we feel guilty nearly 6 times more often than men because we take personal responsibility
But I think this issue of responsibility and “locus of  control” can be explored further.

It has been noted that it’s healthy for us to feel guilt sometimes. Guilt can show us where we have done wrong and can correct our behavior. Guilt indicates us where we are taking responsibility. When we have done wrong it’s appropriate to make an amend and “right a wrong.” But sometimes we take responsibility for how others feel when we have done nothing wrong.

This seems to be the missing piece of this discussion, it’s not just that women feel guilty when we fall short of our roles and expectations – but really because we feel RESPONSIBLE and that we, at the very least, have influence over how other people feel.

I felt guilty when I went to a Christmas festival with a date and his siblings and the festival was boring and crowded. Ineedlessly took responsibility for how they felt and experienced the event – I felt myself shrink as somehow their experience of the event meant something about me.

How to Cope:

1. Identify Guilt (Affirm feelings)

2. Ask what I can do (learn from it)

3. Watch “I should have’ language. Watch conditioned responses/goals

Sometimes I feel that nothing I do can make up for it.

Schedule ‘Me Time’ – literally put it on your calendar is non-negotiable time. Susan Carrell give “Escape Tactics for Moms”

 

Here are more resources if you find yourself in a similar predicament.

 

http://www.genconnect.com/relationships/moms-need-to-take-care-of-themselves-without-guilt/

http://more-than-a-mum.com/04/why-women-feel-guilty-all-the-time-or-at-least-once-a-day/

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/high-octane-women/201201/6-reasons-you-should-spend-more-time-alone

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/high-octane-women/201202/why-you-shouldnt-feel-guilty-about-stealing-little-time-yourself

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1342075/The-guilty-time-generation-How-96-women-feel-ashamed-day.html