I don’t know about you guys, but I am having a time lately. I’m feeling calm right now but earlier today was a gamut of emotions.
Lately, I’ve been feeling angry/jealous or depressed/anxious.
I think the only thing that’s obvious is that I’m unhappy with my current situation. Been this way for years now. I’m just not sure how to to change. This is the depressing part. I have ideas. I have things I think I should do but doing them is another story.
Change is something that I struggle with. It’s not that I don’t want or like change, but it’s scary and unfamiliar. It takes me a while to come around. I don’t like to change something just for the sake of changing. I’m of the mentality, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Because I’m such a mule and can soldier through a lot that others wouldn’t put up with, I often times don’t see a need to change. Sometimes progress seems self indulgent to me.
I also grew up feeling undeserving of everything. My Mom and Dad’s method of parenting was heavy on the guilt. They were always making me feel like I didn’t deserve what they gave me. Any time I disagreed or was argumentative, they would tell me how they “came from nothing” and that there are children in the world that die from want and then I felt terrible for having feelings about things that was anything other than happiness. The thing is, I didn’t ask for much, but they gave me a lot. They would do things like, for christmas, I wanted a book on how to draw comics, and then they instead bought me a 6 hour video series on drawing. Way nicer than what I asked for and very generous. But it was super expensive and then the next time I did something that angered my father he would throw that expensive video set in my face and I learned that gifts they gave me would later be used against me. By the time I was a teenager, Christmas and my birthday used to fill me with such dread. I used to pray that I didn’t get anything expensive.
I remember one time when I was in high school, I had this huge shouting match with my mother. I don’t know what she wanted me to do, but as always she came at me from a position of moral superiority, which as any teenager will tell you, is enraging. I remember my father barging into my room and he yelled at me until I cried and then he said I had to obey my mother and said, “if your mother asked you to lie down in the middle of the street, you do it.”
I’ll never forget that as long as I live. I remember feeling so angry and frustrated and I remember realizing that he didn’t think my life was worth anything, that I was just another one of his possessions, the implication being that I should be so unquestioningly obedient to them that I should lie in the road and get hit by a car if my mother asked me to.
This might seem out of left field but my point is that I learned to endure lots of unpleasant, unreasonable things.
When I am faced with change, a lot of times, deep down, I don’t see why it’s necessary. I can always find a way to endure the unpleasant thing, even if it makes me miserable and on top of that, I do not feel that I deserve anything better.
That’s the truth of it. Deep down, I don’t think I deserve anything good.
I’m just full of venom today. So the art show. The fucking awful piece I had to do. I got the worst song, a song so awful that I do not consider it a song.
I loathed every second of working on it and it shows. The piece is awful. But there was no backing out. The second I submitted a song it was already too late.
But I carried on like a trooper. I did not complain to my friend who is the curator. I did not tell her that the “song” I got was a fucking insult, I did not share my struggle with completing the piece. I got it done and on time. And I certainly didn’t share my outrage at a 50-50 gallery split for a show that’s only going to be up for 4 HOURS.
I wrapped it all up and delivered it 2 days early.
The one thing I did do was price my art “NFS” Which means I’m not selling it. Fuck if I let this piece of shit out in the world with my name on it, if I tell my fellow artists that I think that piece of shit is worth more than the frame it’s fucking in, which with the gallery split, if have to double it, then I should be ashamed of myself as an artist.
So I get this text from my friend saying she noticed I didn’t price my art and wanted to know why. I told her I didn’t want to sell it. I told her I’d buy prints at the art show to support her but then she goes into overhead costs and fees and says they need to make money.
So I say fine. Sell it. $150. That way if it sells they’ll make money. But at that price it probably won’t.
And then she starts back pedaling and say no, no, it’s fine. But it’s not fine. I have a feeling she’s going to cut me off from future shows.
And now I’m just so angry.
It’s been a tough day. Just lots of little things that add up. That make you feel generally “meh”.
I was in the bathroom this morning, getting ready for the day and I saw myself in the mirror and thought about body image. I was thinking about how growing up I was so ashamed of my body and how it looked. I had more fat than was acceptable, I had acne and hair growing in places that women aren’t supposed to have, or so I thought.
I was so ashamed by how gross I was, that I thought something was wrong with me. I remember feeling so much shame when my mother made me go to a dermatologist. I thought only people with serious problems went there and I was mortified. I had no idea that people go to the dermatologist all the time for hundreds of reasons. I thought it meant I was a freak.
Of course, it didn’t help that my mother read an article about some kind of hormone imbalance and then thought that I had this genetic disease. This really scared me and because my mother approached everything from a place of fear, I was terrified of finding out.
My mother used to think I was prudish because I wouldn’t let her see me naked, or even in a bra and underwear. It wasn’t the nakedness so much that she’d be looking at my fat, disgusting body and I was ashamed of it. I still am. I’m about 30 pounds lighter than I was in high school, but I’m still overweight for my BMI.
I never thought that media and the “female ideal” had much affect on me, but now I realize it really did. I mean, I never thought that I was supposed to look like a blonde Barbie or that I could only be a princess or fashion designer or something equally deemed as “girly”, but I did think that all desirable women were a certain type, a skinny, in shape woman with perfect skin. I just thought that most women were born a certain way and I happened to be born with bad genes. I never ever heard about any of the other grooming that it took to get these looks. I knew women shaved their legs, but I had no idea about eyebrows or other places. I didn’t know that other women had the same problems I had. I figured only a freaky few were like me. I was so mortified and ashamed of myself.
The thing is, even though I’m way better than I was, I will never be rid of that completely. I still think the most embarrassing thing in the world is if my shirt rides up and any part of my torso is exposed. I rarely leave the house without wearing a cami underneath my shirts, even my t-shirts, just in case my fat peeks out. I know I’ll never be able to wear a bikini, even if I ever got down to a size 4.
Today I was thinking about how the “silence” around women’s issues has affected me. When I needed it, it wasn’t socially acceptable to talk about periods or shaving your legs or anything like that so I didn’t know that it was normal. My mother never really talked to me about stuff like that and I never dared bring it up with anyone, certainly not my mother or best friend. (To be fair, my mother gets a pass on this. Her mom died when she was 13 and I’m sure no one told her anything either and she just assumed that I would figure it out like she did. The problem was I don’t have a fraction of her confidence. She grew up thinking she was wonderful and I grew up thinking I was inadequate and defective.) Any problem I had, I kept to myself out of shame of being such a freak. Now of course I see stuff like this in magazine and on tumblr and I’m glad for teenagers growing up now, but I’m sad for the teenager I was, that she grew up being ashamed of perfectly normal things.
This was not a good head space to start the day with and it just kind of went down from there. Not great news at my various jobs today and I’m freaking out about sudden pain in my drawing hand.
Thankfully, I have tomorrow off and even though I was going to do work, I really think I’m going to lay in bed and watch movies and ice my stupid hand. Just rest the whole day and then double time it on Friday. We’ll see. I have a lot to do and I’m not going to want to sit around.
Today’s been stressful and it’s not even noon yet. Lots of little things are building up and while I’m trying not let it get to me, it seems impossible.
Lately, I’ve been feeling upset with my friend who I will call Shark. She’s a go-getter if ever there was one, she thrives under pressure, and loves confrontation— it’s amazing that we’re friends despite being so different.
But more and more often, I feel our differences chaffing me. We used to hang out a lot and talk a lot and now we hardly ever do either of those things. Shark and I used to do art together, draw and chat and drink coffee.
Since she came back from her 4 month sojourn around the world, I’ve noticed a change in her. Obviously, that would change anyone, but I’ve noticed that her new life requires less of me.
Shark has a kick ass job at the largest social media company in the world— a position which she made for herself and somehow managed to convince them was needed— she’s just moved into a loft with her boyfriend and she’s formed her own company that curates art shows. So, she’s pretty busy.
My life hasn’t changed at all, except for the noticeable absence of my friend. I tried to be happy for her. I mean, I certainly don’t want bad things to happen to my friends. It’s just really hard for me sometimes to be gracious when I feel abandoned.
This is where I really hate social media because she posts pictures of all the things she’s doing and I get to see who she’s hanging out with now, who she’s having coffee and art days with instead of inviting me. I tried to think about what I could have done that maybe turned her off and unfortunately I came up with my personality is obviously what’s doing it.
I mean, I don’t mean to say that I’m so important that I’m affecting her— it’s the opposite, I think. I’m so boring and so much work to be with, that naturally she doesn’t seek out my company. It’s hard to be around someone like me, someone who is not happy, someone who has not “drunk the kool-aid”.
She told me that after she started living with her boyfriend she got mad at him for how ungrateful he is about his life. She called him out on it, which, okay, fair enough— but then she told me that she made him list five things he’s grateful for every night for a week, and that was really appalling to me— I thought to myself, “Where do you get the nerve to demand that from him?” I didn’t say this to her, but it stuck out in my mind because it really outlined our different views on the world.
I believe that people need to want to change in order for change to happen, you can’t force it on them, even if you’re well intentioned, even if you’re right. I think that she could have encouraged him to join her in her nightly declaration, so that he could choose for himself and then not feel forced or bad or pressured.
Maybe I’m just a stubborn Taurus, but it’s really important for me to choose things for myself instead of being forced to do them. It makes all the difference in the world.
So back to today, where I see all her friends and art and things she’s doing without me and try really hard not to feel bad, try not to internalize the fact that she doesn’t want to spend what free time she does have with me.