Enough is Enough!

mindset personal
Artist Mindset Matters - at what point do you say enough!

Reminder: These are my thoughts/fears/and life as an artist and businesswoman.  As an FYI, these posts I’m not concerned about SEO, I’m not going to be concerned about getting neat graphics in…these are raw, a stream of consciousness letters from me to me – I often write to myself because I can hear the answers so much easier when I write (if that makes sense 🙂 ) .

As another side note:  when I talk to myself and write journals like this – the answers are as if someone else is talking to me – so I’m trying to make an effort to distinguish my voice from the answers I get from these quiet contemplative moments….

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I always imagined myself about 70 years old and just letting the crazy fly - you know say what you wanna say.... But I think I'm getting to that crossroads early than expected :).

Ever since I stopped drinking, almost 2 years ago now, I have been seeing more of what the world is and that's pretty much why I started drinking to begin with (yesterday I wanted a drink really bad, and that hadn't happened for a while), the fear of not being good enough.  And so I began breaking it down.

What is good enough? And I finally figured it out.  The truth is I've been battling a patriarchial society all my life to be good enough...I'm not a man and according to them, I'll never be good enough.  Men dominate the art world, men dominated the development world, man is head of the household - where do I fit?

At home, I feel it there too, I feel it is always my responsibility to put aside my work to take the kids to all the doctor's appointments, I drop meetings because he needs to do X.  I feel guilty when I don't cook, guilty when I don't want to go to a soccer game, guilty when I'd rather being painting (which is my job that I really love).

This week at home, I've gone on a silent strike - I haven't cooked a thing and I refuse to clean.  I stood in silence in the middle of the breakfast room and looked around (which has the viewpoint of the kitchen, livingroom, and breakfast room) - the silence and stillness caught the attention of the kids and Ben.  My son asked, 'what's wrong': I said "look around here - none of this mess is mine; I'm not cleaning it up" and I walked to the bedroom, closed the door and did nothing but breathe.  I could hear them clean up.  

I'm tired: not physically tired, or emotionally tired - I'm spiritually tired. 

I'm reading more and more information about how women have been subdued, dismissed, and made to play in a patriarchal society.  This is something I've felt for a long time, beginning back at UPS really, over 20 years ago.  UPS was very much a male-dominated environment where the fat man controlled the thermostat so the thin girls, like me and the 3 others in the XML Online Tools Team, would freeze their asses off.  I also was made to sit at a smaller than everyone else's desk next to a coffee-stained guy, right underneath a blower. I literally wore gloves and at times a hat - and the big-bellied, mustache-wearing manager would not adjust the thermostat to above 65.

I hated that desk and the coffee-smelling do-nothing next to me.

But I digress.

The other day, as I was writing about the painting  "The Bite That Echoes", I was writing the real story behind the painting.  The real story behind the painting is about how Eve bit the apple thousands of years ago (which according to theologists was actually a fig).  According to the Bible, which is a book that was compiled, voted on and written by man, because of this bite, women were made to suffer childbirth and monthly cycles as a punishment.  Eve was second created, to benefit Adam, and first to sin - and therefore, ever since has been dismissed as less than.  Some churches now allow women to hold leadership positions, others still make them wear dresses and not cut their hair, and worse some still even call women "unclean" because of their cycles.  Cycles to which are tied to the earth and moon, all of which God created, and yet according to the Bible was given to man to control.  It's no wonder I don't feel good enough - all the teachings I've had all my life made me second, I've been in a constant battle to prove myself....

I was never made to feel less than until I left home.  Mom always made sure that I was academically challenged (she wrote a letter to the Principal and I'm sure others, to ensure I didn't take Home Economics because it was gender-biased and she would teach me what I needed to know :), instead I took AP Chemistry, Physics, AP Trigonometry and so on :) ).  She always said I could be anything I wanted to be.  I can do anything I set my mind to.  The catchphrase I got from her is "Can't never could" - it takes a second to understand that phrase... - but I repeat it all the time to my daughter too.  I also tell my daughter to be fearless.  After all, what a terrible waste of time to be afraid to move forward: follow your heart and the quiet whispers in your mind - they are there for a reason.

Today I feel the oppression again, people don't even seem to know they are doing it and both of them were from women and I let it happen - I let myself be oppressed....  2 examples came up in the last 2 days:

  1. When I was explaining the story behind "the Bite that Echoes" to a friend and colleague I could feel the uncomfortable vibe and see the discomfort in her face via zoom and she applied the gentle pressure to make the story more neutral, and I did - I'm pissed with myself today.  She wasn't comfortable with my stance that I believe that essentially the Bible got it wrong, most religions have it wrong.  Eve ate the apple from the Tree of Knowledge, what woman does not want more knowledge?  What woman isn't the head of the household really?  What woman doesn't push her husband to be better than what he is, or tell him that X needs to be fixed - we are the natural leaders of this world.  Of course, Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, it would be stupid of her not to! What woman do you know who isn't driven to learn? AND she has creation abilities and is more in tune with the earth and moon than man - it just makes sense!
  2. The other oppression that I'm feeling is something I think everyone has to be feeling: these [email protected]#$ing masks.  I don't wear them because frankly, I'm not afraid.  I'm not afraid of dying.  If I were afraid of dying I wouldn't drive, I wouldn't enjoy the hamburger, I wouldn't fly, I wouldn't leave my house, or step into a bathtub.  Yesterday I was in a good mood up until a woman asked me to wear a mask.  It took me a minute to figure out why that made me so mad and it comes to this: someone was telling me what to do with my body because of their fear.At what point did your feelings and fear become my responsibility?

I am 45 years old, at what point am I going to stop kowtowing to others' viewpoints?  At what point do I take a stand?  I'm tired of watching what I say because I might offend you.     I spend more time writing and rewriting, filtering thoughts to words that I have silenced myself with the thought "nobody cares".  At what point will I step up, step out and be true to my thoughts? 

[caption id="attachment_11486" align="alignnone" width="149"]Stephanie-Weaver-Artist-Apple-Acrylic-Panel "The Bite That Echoes"[/caption]

"The Bite that Echoes" is about the echo of a single act that reverberates through generations.  At what point will the sound stop vibrating its lies to our children, to women?  "The bite that echos" is the feeling of being less than because I'm not a fat man controlling a thermostat.  That happened 20 years ago - when will it stop reverberating through my mind?  When will I stop letting others repress my feelings and thoughts?

 You just declared it!  Your truth, you are not good enough - you are better because you are what you are supposed to be!  Follow your heart, follow your strong mind, let the weak-fearful thoughts of others slip off of you like water on ducks back.  Your anger is your fear bubbling up that they have control over you.  You were not meant to be controlled, you were meant to live.

Let it go.


You'll be surprised at how many are waiting to say the same thing.  Fear not. 

NEVER STARVE.  YOU CAN THRIVE!

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