We have these preconceived ideas of what life should look like…What is successful, what is desirable, what will make others proud of us and make us liked by others. (Unfortunately, this seems to become more and more important to us as we get older…and then I suppose we go over a hump at some point and then care less and less….I’m still looking forward to this….) But these aren’t our own individual ideas…eventhough they often feel like they are…these are things we’ve learned, what we’ve observed, what we’ve been fed…does this make them wrong? Not necessarily but…how do we know if it’s us when these ideas are embedded within from all outside sources? And if we even consider other options, how can we be comfortable with anything other than what we’ve been told to be comfortable with?
The tricky thing is…these preconceived ideas may work for our closest friends…those people we confide in and that we are closest to…but to feel a contradiction to those people we love…well, that is a challenge. And in all honesty, how do we know if we really feel conflicted about these ideas or are just curious? Want the option to know for sure? To explore life like we all should…I mean, this is just the fricking point to living isn’t it? Live, explore, love, learn, understand…be.
We can’t do that till we’ve done all the other things first. Yeah sure, we can sit and just be. But is it honest? Is it true? Or is it just….following the rules?
I’m not opposed to following rules. But I think I would prefer to do it honestly. Truthfully.
You send your emojis and I feel my right shoulder move forward in a silly flirtatious pose. I know you can’t see me…but I react to you anyway. Like a child seeing its first falling star…. a light streaking across what should be a dark sky.
We’ve all regressed back to our childhoods within all of this…basic necessities we crave…to step out into the sunshine and enjoy the colours and warmth that embraces us. And yet also entraps us now. And then we are all aged a hundred years forward…. Our true selves hid away behind our masks and facial guards. There is a presence of fear, self doubt possibly even shame as we navigate our way through each day within our bubble…..
There’s too much to risk…too much to hold back, to…protect.
Like everyone else I find myself in hiding…in fear and if I should let myself open up…I feel ashamed…and out of line…
So here it is….I don’t want to hide. I WANT something special. Extraordinary even.
In this world of over sanitizing…I am looking for. ….a little bit of simplicity that will blow my mind.
I am looking for what is possible. For something that is not masked or faked or forged.
And somewhere within all those restrictions and hidden possibilities there is a you and there is a me. And when our two paths cross, and that sky is suddenly lit on fire, with all that pent up freedom and messiness, our exhale will solve all the problems of the world!
I don’t want your approval. I don’t care if you disapprove of my thoughts, my actions, my convictions… I’m not going to let your judgement touch me…because i don’t give a shit…I’m not here for anyone else but me…and my kids…and to find a bit of joy and fulfillment in this crazy assed world. So don’t ask me…because I won’t tell. I don’t need you to tell me what to do. I don’t need your advice. I don’t need you to teach me. You may know better than me…but I don’t care. I am here to learn for myself..do for myself…better myself…and to hopefully enjoy someone else’s company. If not? I can enjoy my own.
But if you are ok with that? If you can just be without judgement…without wanting to change who I am…? Well…isn’t that what we are all looking for? For some freedom. For the ability to be who we are and hopefully share that with someone that is present without any kind of judgement…without any need to change us.
How does Elsa know that she is listening to the right voice? How does she know that it’s not meant for someone else, or a sound her mind has created out of restlessness?
It’s just a children’s movie but, so many of them focus on this idea of fighting through turmoil. They feed our child minds with this concept that the only way to succeed fully is to persevere through the violent fog, to be willing to give up everything, to fight until we’ve got nothing left…and that by doing so, by basically sacrificing everything we will gain even more. It’s a lovely, idealistic, yet somewhat scary suggestion. But also pretty inspiring.
So, here’s my question…(even at 45 I’ve still got these life affirming, belly burning questions that haunt me more often than I’d like to admit)….
Once you get through that violent fog, how do you know you went the right way? What if during the blinding turmoil you go south instead of north? And you’ve given up everything and fought till you had nothing left to give and you find yourself….exactly where you don’t want to be.
What the hell do you do then?????
Is that part of the fight? To continue, to persevere even though you feel like you’re even more lost than you were before it all started?
I’m just saying…these lovely movies that we feed our children…inspiring and feel good and so misrepresenting what decision making and dream chasing is actually like. If I could for one day hear the beautiful voice of someone calling me to where I should be right now…oof, I would so run in that direction. So…good on ya Elsa. Bravo.
Could you have imagined where your life would go seven months ago? Could you have dreamed what the world would turn into? Were you able to see back then where you would be now? I mean, back in March it all felt surreal…like if we just closed our eyes and pretended to sleep…it would go away. In a couple weeks at most. But it didn’t. So…did you know you would be right here, right now, today?
For most of us the answer is probably no. But there you are. We all are…We are hanging on…moving to the other side of something we didn’t see or understand. The other side of an intangible wall with undefined limitations…The unknown brings out the worst in many of us…How to avoid the discomfort of the unknown. How to cope, to move forward aware that there is an insurmountable obstacle in our way…
So now, as we stand on the precipice of yet another stage of ‘unknown’…have we yet learned enough to just adapt and jump forward with faith? It is a natural human response to duck. It’s completely understandable. We all want to avoid danger, but is that the right choice? And how does one know what the right choice is? Is there even such thing?
Just maybe…if we close our eyes knowing that it WON’T go away if we pretend to sleep…then maybe, we will eventually just find ourselves on the other side…on the other side of what right now feels like an insurmountable obstacle. And then hopefully, we can see ourselves in that moment, right where we are in that future moment and know that we made it through without having an idea of what the right choice was…but we made one anyway.
My breathing has changed. I am aware of how it feels lighter and bigger, more intense and more at ease. Some days I can hear my lungs expand within my chest….some days go by so quickly I could swear I hadn’t breathed at all. But I am aware of the shift.
There is more relief as well. I experience relief in ways and times I hadn’t considered before. There is a sensation of relief in the small things, relief in the mornings, relief in the pleasures, relief in the heat of the sun on my skin and relief of the cool water that washes that heat away….There is relief in every conscious intake of breath…
And then there is my space. MY space. Where I am free to breathe and feel and be exactly who I am. It is beautiful and cluttered and cold and sticky…it smells of baking, and barbecue and puppies and chlorine.
And I am grateful. I am grateful for every breath that rushes into my body. I am grateful for the relief that continuously splashes up against me. I am grateful for my space that wraps around me in the darkness and snores blue as I cuddle it tighter.
My whole world has turned a cool, sapphire blue with golden reflections and effervescence. Not a pastel or baby blue but a vibrant sapphire….just saying that word out loud I feel everything that I’ve described here.
I want you to see me as perfect…eventhough I am not.i want to be unforgettable in your mind as well as others, but I’m exhausted and don’t have the energy. It doesn’t mean I won’t try. Infact I will try beyond my means. And when you discover a hole in my disguise…I will feel stupid and small…but I will try again. I want you to see me as perfect. Perfectly enough. And although I’m not always convinced of that I am fairly certain that I can convince you.
I’m participating in an international art ‘drive’ or display on Saturday. It’s not going to result to much or anything really at all but I’m excited. It has inspired me to draw…not as much as a solo show…but it conjures up a certain amount of accountability that motivates me to create. (Not sure why I require that but I will lean on that accountability if it brings such results)
There is a chance that no one will come. That I will foolishly spend hours displaying the work I’ve spent hours to create so that no one will witness it.
There is however, comfort in this idea…even if not one person stops by to see all my work…there are hundreds of other artists around North America who will be doing exactly the same thing at the same time. I have accomplished so much individually but I am also a small piece of a much bigger picture.
And that’s where I will stop to transfer this little art show experience, to something so much bigger….I am a small piece of something so much bigger than myself. As a mother, as an artist, a woman, an individual who believes in courage and creativity and individuality, and freedom for all…I believe I am one small stone in a building that could crumble over time if I was not there. If you were not there. The actions of one person does make a difference. Each time one individual affects another, it makes a difference.
I believe in magic, and hope and the future of my children…I believe that I make a difference to someone at some point…and I believe that my children are doing the same. As are you. We are all stones in this tower and each one of us matters.
Once upon a time there was a child with a story. This child’s story grew as she grew…there were joys and upsets…love and heartbreak….her story bloomed into a flower of many petals that she shared with the people around her as best as she could. She didn’t want to brag or condenscend, she didn’t want to gloat or take advantage…but her story grew as she grew and she felt that she had something to say…something to share if anyone was willing to listen. It felt like it was her right or duty to share and so she continued to share her story any way that she could….
…until one day….
One day…when her story stopped. She had spent years living and evolving her story…but she was now suddenly lost. No forward motion…no goals, no path, no continuation. She had some how let it…just….stop.
She sat down in this moment of utter helplessness and replayed images within her mind. She watched all of the moments of discovery and curiousity…She watched moments of play and frustration, of beauty and joy, freedom and ecstacy…fear and shame…then she watched herself in one pivotal decision making moment…it seemed so simple…an easily dismissed moment in time…one simple moment that changed the course of her path…one stupid decision that took her towards something that she had never wanted for herself…took her to this dead end…this stand still. This…place of feeling…lost.
It’s ok sweet child…we all make mistakes. And I promise you, you will make mistakes again…but please don’t fear that. Please do not fear who you are or what you are going to do…every flower finds a way to seek out the sunlight…eventhough you may find yourself in moments of dark…your petals will always find that light….it is a fact that you cannot fight against…
And so that child stood up onto her feet, within the silence and the unknown….and took her first real step into her untold story…