I went on a motorcycle run with my father today. There were about 400-500 bikes there, all in support of the USO. I always love not only being able to ride, but also being able to support good causes.
However, I ran into the wall that I run into everywhere: Why are you doing something that is a man’s thing?
I got told how sweet it was to ride on the back of the bike with my father…and then uncertain glances when I pointed out my bike. now, really, I should be used to this. It is something I have encountered my whole life. Yet, it is still unsettling to me.
When I was a kid I was always directed towards Barbies. I eventually just learned to take them with out question and run them over with my Tonka trucks. When I was a little older, my friends were confused as to why I liked messing around with computers and mechanics rather than make-up and gossip. As a teen, while I had girlfriends, my main interest lie in firefighting and emergency preparedness or motorcycles.
More recently, my interest in competitive gaming has raised brows in my family and other such circles. Not my parents. They are fine with it. In fact, they encourage me to sit there and beat the crap out of little CG characters. It is a good stress outlet. But I never feel like I live up to the expectations on what everyone else thinks I should be.
And it was not very apparent until today, really. I was asked about my religion, my wedding, my video game playing habit, looked at weirdly for wearing a Otakon Shirt featuring motorcycles rather than a past run or one of my firefighter shirts. Then of course, there was my bike. I walked over to it comfortably as we got ready to leave and just felt the eyes on me. Despite there being another female rider ten feet in front of me. I wondered then if I had done something wrong with life. Or if she had the same feeling I did.
By the end of the run I had wrestled with these feelings. The open road, sea air, and cool breeze will help you do that. Just as I was before, I am perfectly happy, if not ecstatic, at who I have become. I realize, though, that if there is one female trait I have, it is a sense of self doubt. One that I know will cycle again and again. As long as I arrive at the same conclusion, though, I think I will be good.