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When My Worlds Collide

Do you have different personas?

I do. I’m a book editor, have a career as an author, and raise and show English Show Labradors as a hobby. And I do have somewhat different personas online and for marketing the editing side and author side.

But of course I’m the same person underneath it all J

And while there is some overlap as per editor and author (although not as much as you would think!), most of the time these are three different entities.

Sometimes, however, my separate worlds merge. And this just happened in the most delightful way.

I blogged a few weeks ago about letting go of worry, which was about my last baby boy puppy. And that out of the blue, the most perfect home came for him when I let go of the outcome.

Sometimes I post about political things, such as why we march.

Now and then, I post about a woman’s right to choose. It is an issue close to my heart.

It’s funny too—whenever the discussion comes up, pro-life folks go into detail about why they’re personally opposed to abortion. Why they wouldn’t have one. And I can understand and respect their thoughts and feelings. It is, in essence, a very personal decision.

But that’s the absolute rub here—it’s a personal decision. One based on beliefs, religion, health, and a host of other factors. It’s as personal a decision as any woman can ever make.

Where the decision must be left is with each woman and her doctor.

And that is the essence of choice.

If we as women don’t have sovereignty over our own bodies, we have no Civil Rights.

That I believe in a woman’s right to choose doesn’t make me pro-abortion. It means that at its core your decision whether to have one is yours to make—not mine.

I grew up in an era before Roe v. Wade. I know what it’s like to have limited options if an unplanned pregnancy occurred. I watched the girls who did get pregnant shamed to the hilt, or ferreted away as if they disappeared in the night, only to reappear all those months later as if nothing happened . . .

And then came R v. Wade, which was decided in 1973 by the US Supreme Court on the basis of privacy.

The Court ruled in a 7-2 decision written by Justice Harry Blackmun that the Texas statute violated Jane Roe’s constitutional right to privacy. The Court went on to say that the Constitution’s 1st, 4th, 9th, and 14th amendments protect a person’s “zone of privacy” against state laws, and cited precedent cases ruling that marriage, contraception, and child rearing are all covered in this “zone of privacy.”

Again, a woman has the right to choose what happens with her own body.

Of course, Texas wasn’t done. We live in the buckle of the bible belt, which wouldn’t be an issue if evangelicals didn’t hold fast to the idea that if you don’t believe the way they do, you’re going to hell.

In 2013, Texas HB 2 would have shut down dozens of clinics across the state. It mandated that abortions take place in ambulatory surgical centers, or min-hospitals, instead of regular clinics. Under the guise that this would protect women’s health.

It went all the way to the Supreme Court. In a 5-3 decision in June of 2016, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote a concurring majority opinion in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, issuing a scathing criticism of the anti-abortion activists’ arguments, which stated that these sort of provisions are necessary to keep women safe:

“[I]t is beyond rational belief that H.B. 2 could genuinely protect the health of women, and certain that the law ‘would simply make it more difficult for them to obtain abortions,’” Ginsburg wrote. “When a State severely limits access to safe and legal procedures, women in desperate circumstances may resort to unlicensed rogue practitioners ... at great risk to their health and safety.”

What does this have to do with puppies and my worlds coming together?

I’m getting there 🙂

On June 25, 2013, then Texas State Senator Wendy Davis stood on the floor of the Texas Senate to protest the legislation. She filibustered for 11 hours. In her now-famous pink sneakers, she successfully helped Democrats delay passage of the bill.

In another session, the Senate of course passed it. And that’s what when to the Supreme Court, to be ruled unconstitutional in 2016.

It takes enormous courage to stand up for other women, for women’s rights and women’s health, especially in Texas, especially in recent decades.

We’re the poster state for the good ol’ boy network. Just take a jaunt down to Austin and the Texas Leg . . .

We all sat and watched in awe as Senator Davis did just that. She gained national attention, for all the right reasons. She gave us hope, when that was a scarce commodity indeed.

She planted the seeds that have become the modern women’s movement.

And she became one of my all-time heroes.

So imagine my incredible delight and joy when the perfect home comes for Mr. Olive. And her name is Wendy Davis.

She and Alan were delightful when they came to visit. My only focus at that point is making sure my puppy has the best home, and going through all of the specs about health and training and feeding. Ziggy is a lucky boy indeed!

But we did have a touch of time to talk politics. I mean, I am your basic polywonk!

And of course I mentioned how gorgeous he would be as First Dog—whether in the Governor’s mansion or the White House.

Wouldn’t that be cool? It would make me over-the-stars happy on so many levels!

So I thank the Universe for this special gift—both the absolute perfect home for Ziggy, and that he’s now with someone I admire so greatly.

Ah, when my worlds collide it is delicious indeed.

Now all I ask is: run, Wendy, run!

This Post Has 46 Comments

  1. Divya

    Ahhhh what an incredible lady. Living in a rural town myself, I know how difficult it can be to stand up for something when the crowds of people are running in the other direction. You sure did find a good home for him!

    1. Susan Malone

      Standing up can be really difficult, can’t it, Divya. Especially when you feel as though you’re standing alone. But we’re never truly alone, are we. And yep, I just love that Ziggy is with her!

  2. Jaime

    That is SUCH a cool story! Ziggy definitely has a good family. I work at my alma mater, blog on the side, and used to work for a newspaper. My worlds collide OFTEN and sometimes it’s not so comfortable. 😉

    1. Susan Malone

      I know that feeling, Jaime! Sometimes those worlds colliding can be hard. But sometimes, just delicious 🙂

  3. Donna Verret

    Wouldn’t that be just THE BEST!?!?! What a lovely thought to have Wendy and your sweet pup in the White House 🙂 Ahhhhhh. Thank you for a much needed mental break.

    1. Susan Malone

      Doesn’t that just rev your engines, Donna! I can see it clearly!

  4. Joyce Hansen

    How wonderful Ziggy has found his perfect home with a super mom. All moms want the best for their children. Yet, there are those who want to limit choice yet not raise taxes for schools, not provide meal support, limit access to education for children with disabilities and promote private over public schools. The latest research indicates the average, current cost to raise a child is $233,000. It’s time we have a realistic conversation about what it means not to have a choice.

    1. Susan Malone

      What a great point, Joyce–it IS time for us to have a realistic conversation about child raising, costs, and what it means not to have choice. Rational, realistic conversations is what this world needs most of all.

  5. Hi Susan! How cool that you have put such positive energy into your puppy and now that energy will be shared with someone with influence that you admire so much. Sometimes it is the little things that we do along the path that have the greatest meaning and purpose. I so agree that the power of choice is fundamental to our wellbeing–be that as women with our bodies and our right to choose happiness no matter what. While I don’t agree with some of the choices some people make–I will fight to ensure their right to make those choices. In turn, I hope to maintain that right for myself. Thanks for this post and the reminder that our thoughts and energy have powerful influence! ~Kathy

    1. Susan Malone

      That’s the crux of it, isn’t it, Kathy–while we may not agree with the choices some folks make, I’ll fight to ensure they have the right to make those choices as well!

  6. robin rue

    I am from a small town, but live about 20 minutes away. It’s funny how my life now keeps connecting back to the town I was born and raised in.

  7. Colleen M. Story

    Wow, what an amazing story! Incredible where our passions can lead us. I’ll be watching for Ziggy on TV! :O)

    1. Susan Malone

      I’ll be watching for that Ziggy on TV too, Colleen!

  8. Beverley Golden

    This was wonderful to ready, Susan! So happy Mr. Olive, Ziggy, found such a perfect home and that his new parent is Senator Wendy Davis, someone you admire so much. I also hope she runs, as I received an email from Planned Parenthood yesterday stating that Texas ranks 48th in the U.S. for women’s health care outcomes and they are trying to export that to the rest of the country! You never know what prompts someone to change their mind about running, so fingers crossed, as women can definitely use a champion like her, especially coming from a state that is so oppressive to women’s rights!

    1. Susan Malone

      Texas is a piece of work, isn’t it, Beverley. And I absolutely shudder to think how this may become the model for the rest of the US. Women’s health has been on the back burner for a very long time. Run, Wendy, run!

  9. Tamuria

    I’m so happy for you and Ziggy that he has found such a wonderful home, Susan. It was fascinating reading about how Senator Davis stood up for women and their rights. The world needs more just like her.

  10. Christy

    I am delighted you found a home for the puppy. It’s amazing what happens when we let go of the outcome.

    1. Susan Malone

      Letting go of the outcome always works, doesn’t it, Christy!

  11. Neely Moldovan

    Its so interesting when two very different parts of your life intertwine that you usually keep separate!

  12. Brandy

    What a wonderful story. I am 100% with you on that what we do with our bodies and in our family life is our business. I am a huge advocate for each of us having that right to be who we are, believe in what we believe in – even if I don’t believe in what the other person believes in or would do things the way they do. I am not some almighty person doing EVERYthing right, I do what I do based on what I know, what my experiences have guided me towards and *gasp* I make mistakes and learn again .. haha! What a special story and I am so glad that Ziggy will have a great home. That would be pretty cool to be the First Dog some day 😉

    1. Susan Malone

      Isn’t that just the point of this life, Brandy–that we make our own choices, make our own mistakes, and learn from them. The idea of legislating one’s personal choices just makes me shudder.

  13. Heather

    Abortion is murder, period. I don’t agree with it and I never will. It’s amazing to see how everything good is bad and everything bad is perceived as being good, just or right. Guess we will have to agree to disagree on this one.

    1. Susan Malone

      I respect your choice, Heather. That’s exactly what this post is about!

  14. Elena

    It is so nice that Ziggy has found a new home so you have at least one thing less to worry now. I love the way you talk about standing up to your own believes and how hard that can be especially in small towns where the majority thinks the other way.

    1. Susan Malone

      We have to stand up for our beliefs, don’t we, Elena! Otherwise, who will?

  15. Vatsala Shukla

    This could be a story from my life with a few changes, Susan. Years ago when I was still working in Poland, our courier boy who was working part-time to fund his law education brought a black puppy into the office whom he had rescued from some naughty boys.

    I offered to keep the puppy whom I named Pookie in my apartment but was desperately looking for a nice family for her because I was leaving Poland in 3 weeks.

    A friend of mine did find her a home – the Mayor of small town near Warsaw where Pookie, rechristened Nora by the forever family, apparently ruled the roost!

    Puppies with good karma always land on their 4 paws. Looking forward to more stories of Ziggy ‘Stardust’. 🙂

    PS. I’m a pro-choice person and firmly believe that women are in charge of their bodies, identities and life.

    1. Susan Malone

      Oh, I love that, Vatsala! “Puppies with good karma always land on their 4 paws.” Just love that!
      And yes, women must be in charge of their bodies and lives. We just must be.

  16. Reba Linker

    This is beyond belief wonderful – I always say that a perfect manifestation is always much better than you could even have imagined and somehow so perfectly custom-tailored just for you – this is clearly one of those. And, yes, run, Wendy, run, for all the political reasons and for the reflected glory I would share of having a friend whose dog is in the white house! Glorious!

    1. Susan Malone

      So true, Reba! The perfect manifestation is always much better than you could have ever imagined! And can’t you just see Mr. Ziggy in the White House!

  17. Tandy Elisala

    You are an amazing woman, Susan. I love your writing and I love it when your worlds collide! Ziggy is a lucky boy. I wish I lived near you so I could visit your puppies. I’m still amazed at how you manage everything and do all you do. I’m a big believer in standing in my power in CHOICE… always in choice. Thanks for an empowering article!

    1. Susan Malone

      I so appreciate that, Tandy! And I wish you lived closer too. These babies have been so much fun!
      And I just love that: Standing in your power in Choice. That’s just fabulous!

  18. How wonderful! Isn’t it a small world! And I love the idea of your puppy going all the way to first dog! Wouldn’t that be something? Wendy is such an amazing woman.

    1. Susan Malone

      She is an amazing woman, isn’t she, Jennifer. I’m just in awe of what she’s done, and continues to do. And yep–Ziggy would make a great First Dog!

  19. Candess M Campbell

    Susan, I am with you on both! After a few months of visiting the shelter I finally found my love in a Maltipoo named Gummidge to which I added Angelo and call him Angel. We are a good match!

    As far as Roe v. Wade – I spent my early career helping women who were not able to help themselves and I know the dirty details of living poor, having no support, abusive men and so forth. Women having the right to choose is critical. This decision is in the hands of those who have no clue what is really happening. Having been on the front line of the women’s movement in the 1970s, the rate of change and equality is disturbing. Not much has changed at a governmental level. On a personal level, women now do the work of CEO of the home and their job too! As the Dalai Lama said during the Vancouver Peace Summit 2009, which opened on the morning of Sunday, September 27th. “The world will be saved by the western woman.” Amen!

    1. Susan Malone

      Wow, Candess, you really have been in the trenches and know what it’s like for women in the darkest places. And isn’t that just it–the decision is in the hands of those who have no clue! I’m always startled to see the photos of legislators signing anti-choice bills. All white-haired men . . .
      “The world will be saved by the western woman.” Indeed it will!

  20. Lori English

    I really enjoyed this article and love the picture of you and your dog, but the story that was very important was about women’s rights and how this is effecting all of us. It is a good feeling to see these type of things happen everywhere Am glad it turned out well for you. Thank You Lori English

    1. Susan Malone

      That is the story, isn’t it, Lori–women’s rights and how that affects our world.
      And that pic is of Wendy and Ziggy!

  21. rachel lavern

    I do always say that we all have choices, and we are exercising them every day, every minute, and every second.

  22. Apolline Adiju

    Same with me. I have 2 personalities. The first one is the typical introverted me who loves small circles. The other part of me is the entrepreneur who has to learn to mix with people to grow my business online.

    1. Susan Malone

      We all have some different personalities, don’t we, Apolline!

  23. Richard McMaster

    I would never wade into the debate about abortion with a woman who so strongly believes in pro-choice, or wade into a discussion with a woman who is pro-life either. There are women on both sides of the issue. I want to respect both points of view and saddened when either side is intolerant of the right to have different views. Sometimes there are two rights that collide. Perhaps this is one of the issues.

    1. Susan Malone

      I agree, Rick. And that was the point of this blog!

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