I was a teacher and school administrator for 20 years in addition to being a mom. When I turned 40, I started feeling trapped — it was a really negative feeling. I know I am educated and privileged, but I was feeling very sorry for myself and I didn’t know how to get out. 

During the last election, women’s rights issues grabbed me by the throatI live in this little town in the Hudson Valley right on the river that is very idyllic. All of the women gathered on the lawn of one of the churches. We dressed in white and talked about suffragist movements and there was this real palpable feeling.

After the election, the whole town felt like it was in mourning. I would see these women I didn’t know very well in the grocery store and we would just hug each other — there was this real commonality between us.

I started learning about these women. We knew each other from our kids, from school, from the grocery store, from the PTA… But it was always about our kids. Now we finally started talking to each other about each other.

I have an MFA in writing and I’ve been trying to find something to do with it. The idea of telling women’s stories and celebrating them feels like the only thing that is going to get me through this time. Somebody has to ask the questions, record and write the stories. It’s really amazing when you’re in a room and you’re asked pointed questions what can come through.

Photo courtesy of Mary Ann D’Urso.