Monday, February 10, 2014
Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Atria Books
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
Janet Mock spent much of her life hiding who she truly was. A girl trapped within a boy's body, she tried to free her spirit on several occasions but was shoved back into the box society placed her at birth. The moment she realized her authentic self was the moment when she dared to live her life her way.
Through the obstacles and hard choices, Janet forged a path of her own according to her vision of her true self. She presented her life for all to see, good or bad, in the hopes that her words might inspire another person to see their own true value and live their own authentic life.
I was always a lover of personal stories, especially when those stories vary from my own path. When I saw this particular book available upon request from NetGalley, I wanted to read it so that I could better understand Janet's journey. I don't think I was really prepared for the level of truth or how deeply Janet had come to terms with herself.
What I found in the pages was a mixture of courage, honesty and a true love for one's self that many aren't able to achieve in their lifetimes. No matter what path a person takes in life, many hide the differences that make them unique, lovable and human because they're outside the box society wants to place everyone. In truth, I had done that a number of times myself because I was uncomfortable about my illness or other things I felt set me apart. Instead of letting society demand obedience, Janet placed herself at the forefront of change, alongside a handful of others who advocate people accepting themselves as they are instead of contorting to fight society's image.
Janet put forth her story from her beginning to her present day. She gave voice to the struggles she faced within herself as she grew up, a girl born into the body of a boy and the social expectations that came with it. Add to that being a child of mixed race in poor living conditions, and she had the perfect storm for bad, desperate decision-making. Yet, she didn't shy away from the parts of her story which she admitted were unwise decisions. In order to give a true story, she wrote them anyway and I was thankful she did.
Knowing her reasons behind some of the paths she chose helped me to understand her better. It also helped to shine a light on the fact that we as a society still have a long way to go in talking the talk and walking the walk. When people who aren't the "norm" are left with little or no alternative to a dangerous path, we need to step up and say enough. People should be allowed to be themselves in this day and age. Overall, this book was truly enlightening for me. I'm very glad to have read it and would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about Janet's path to womanhood.
Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock is currently available in hardback and Kindle forms. It can be bought at Amazon by clicking the link below.
Redefining Realness: My Path to Womahood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock