Billie Greenwood, A.K.A. Border Explorer is an earthy, honest, sweet, sweet soul. Our paths crossed in the blogosphere about six-months ago and we bonded pretty hard. BE, or BG, if I’m going to acronym one, I might as well acronym both; blogs, Border Explorer, a great read chronicling the ills and injustices of the world spun as captivatingly as she is. I am crazy about this bird and I am so proud to introduce her to the 3D-WAC femmunity.
Please welcome, Dame Billie Greenwood!
Your name, pseudonym, where you’re from and what your read is about?
I’m Billie Greenwood. Since I was born on the occasion of my grandfather’s funeral, my parents found a liberal Catholic priest to baptize me “Billie Ann” (getting both my grandfather and my grandmother into my name). Then I grew up in that same very small Iowa town that my grandparents, great grandparents and great-great grandparents called home, surrounded by the North American land mass and well-insulated from the Great Big World. I’ve spent the rest of my life on a little quest to discover that world.
Thus, I became “Border Explorer.” My pseudonym is also where I’m from today: I divide my time between the Midwest and the US-Mexico border. But I think you can find something edgy no matter where you live if you look to the margins of society.
Exploration has taken me “out of mainstream.” The world that I encounter disturbs me. My blog is, so to speak, my letter home: sharing my experiences and describing how it looks on the “fringe,” both the good and the evil. I’d really like to be a voice for people who for so many reasons don’t have a voice in this world.
I’m not a writer as much as I’m an activist who writes about what I see and do. My content is stronger than my writing style. I’m always humbled by interest in my blog.
What does being a woman mean to you?
I interface with the world through my femininity; being a woman is essential to who I am. Sometimes that makes me vulnerable. Sometimes it gives me power. I can identify with the marginalized because as a woman I’ve been pushed aside in a sexist world. I believe I’m more approachable—and less threatening–because I’m a woman.
Have you, are you, or will you reinvent yourself and, of course, what does reinventing yourself mean to you?
I’ve had several reinventions. You already know that I moved from being a small town Midwestern Catholic school girl to someone who doesn’t quite fit into mainstream USA anymore. Add to that: at age 45 I married for the first time and from there evolved into a becoming a grandmother without ever having given birth. [Miracles do happen!] Then, when my husband retired, I quit my job as a lifelong educator and we hit the road. Now we follow our bliss working as volunteers, helping the homeless in the Midwest and the Spanish-speaking population on the border. We have a blast and want to keep doing this until we can’t anymore.
Life is change, so reinventing myself is both critical and vital. To me it means living dynamically and adapting. My pioneer stock helps me to undertake risks and keep exploring those borders. By putting myself into new places that are out of my comfort zone I believe that life will continuously reinvent me. I have only to remain open to the process.