Be You

June 17, 2017 at 1:15 am | Posted in 2017, Depression, disability, employment, female, feminist, human, illustration, job, Kristin Bell, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Schizophrenia | Leave a comment

ethanmagnet-01
When I was a teenager I remember cringing when people would say I was so nice. I mean, I appreciated the compliment somewhat, but at the same time I always wanted someone to say I was smart and beautiful. Not nice. Nice was banal. Nice was stupid. One classmate even said once “oh, I didn’t know you were smart. You are so nice.” What was I supposed to say to something like that? I remember one year my best friend got me a shirt that said “heart of gold brain of spam.” Hahahaha. So funny. I laughed. I never understood why being nice meant that you had to be stupid and ugly.

When I went to college the first year I was also under the impression that being smart meant you were nerdy looking. You couldn’t be “femme” as the kids say these days. Girls couldn’t be both smart and girly. Basically, in order to be considered smart we all know you need to be as much of a man as possible. But then I went to a women’s college full of smart women who were also stylish, beautiful, and girly. They changed my mind. Women could look however they wanted to look and be smart. They didn’t have to fit into a box of computer-nerd chic in order to be smart—they could if they wanted to, but they didn’t have to.

Why am I telling you this? Because I got fired today. And because I’ve been fired from so many jobs I lost count. Because it sends me into a spiral of hating myself for being who I am and what I do. I think of all the times I’m not good enough. How I didn’t do the thing right, whatever the “thing” might be. How I’m superfluous and not valuable to society. How I’ll never be what I think I should have been. How I’m incapable of the simplest things sometimes.

But I had to stop myself from that spiral and remember the wise words from my teacher this term. He said you have to be you. You can’t pretend to be something you aren’t, because you will always end up being you anyway. That made sense to me. So, I looked at the image I drew of my teacher and reminded myself that in good times and bad I have to be me. I know that I made some mistakes with my job, but I also realized that part of the problem was that they didn’t want me, they wanted someone else. They wanted the girl who used to do the job, not me. They wanted me to come in and be her, and I couldn’t, because I’m not her. They wanted me to write like her and have the same story ideas and do the same things, but I couldn’t, so I didn’t, and it got me fired. I knew that they wanted her and not me the first week.

Sometimes the consequences of being ourselves, well, the consequences are less than desirable. When you are someone who exists on the margins of society consequences happen more often than not. Sometimes who we are is in such conflict with what society deems appropriate and valuable that we have to hide the best we can in order to survive, so I don’t begrudge anyone who can’t let their freak flag really fly.

I am the type of person who is pretty much incapable of hiding in order to survive. I try sometimes, but it never works out. So, the bit about being nice? Well, a number of years ago I realized that it wasn’t such a bad thing being nice. I’ve tried purposely being pushy in my life. That never worked. It just doesn’t pan out for me. I thought about it a lot and the people who I like and admire ARE nice, so why should I ever think that was a bad thing? I’m not always nice mind you (obviously), but if I tend to be a nice person in general, I guess it is okay. I like being nice to people. I like it when people are nice to me. People talk about how women shouldn’t have to be nice, and I agree. But what if that is who some of us are at times? I gave up trying to be forceful, pushy, and mean and decided I would work on being the nicest person I could be, because that is a quality I like about others. I don’t want to be fake nice. I just want to be nice in the amount that goes with who I am.

I also gave up trying to be a tomboy—something I never was. I embraced my inner femme and now dress pretty much how I want to. I don’t care if people think I’m a frivolous stupid woman for wearing a bow in my hair all the time. I really don’t care if they think I look ridiculous and dumb and uncool.

Still, the consequences for being me continue to exist and exert their power. Today after I lost my job I was reminded of that. It was me they fired. It hurts, and I struggle to think I still have value in a world that counts your value by the amount of money in your bank account and your ability to hold a job. I think about how I should have just done it differently, but the truth is, I couldn’t. There are reasons why I didn’t do the job like the other woman did it. Those reasons aren’t really important now, but I had them. If my boss had bothered to ask I’m sure I would have shared them.

The truth is sometimes people don’t ask, and reasons don’t matter. We have to live with the consequences of being ourselves. Does it do any good to wonder why I can’t be someone other than who I am? No. We can learn from mistakes, but we can’t un-become ourselves even when we really want to. Those are the hardest days. Those are the days I need to look at the picture I drew of my teacher saying “BE YOU” and remember that being me is the best part of the journey, not the worst. I’m typing this, so I can remember the enthusiasm my teacher spoke with about how “being you” is like an amazing gift to the universe and that we all have a place and purpose. It makes sense. Sometimes I feel it and understand it. On days when I get fired I just have to remind myself enough until I feel better.

Advertisements

Shadow On A Tightrope 30 Year Celebration!

November 9, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Posted in 1980's, 1990's, 2013, Activism, Anorexia, Aunt Lute Books, Bailey Coy Books, blog carnival, Blogging, Body, Body Image, Body Narrative, book, Books, Bulimia, Bullying, Discrimination, discussion, Equality, Fat, Fat Acceptance, Fat Hatred, feminist, Gastric Bypass, Grrls/Women, Hate, Health, identity, Kristin Bell, library, Magic, Plus Size, Psychology, Reading, Scales, self-care, Self-Harm, Self-Injury, Shadow on a Tightrope, Shame, Supersize, Support System, Weight, Weightloss, Weightloss Industry, weightloss surgery | Leave a comment
shadow

Kaweria (mom) and Nayeli (daughter) reading “Shadow on a Tightrope”

This year is the 30th anniversary of the publishing of Shadow on a Tightrope by Aunt Lute Books, and there is a blog carnival this week for the book! I am so happy to be participating. I can’t think of a lot of books that have changed my life, but I would say that this one has. I was about 19 years old when I first picked up SOAT. I was bulimic and fat, and had always been told that being fat was the worst thing in the world to be. In high school I had starved myself down to a “normal” weight, but I gained back some of the weight by the time I was 19 when I was trying to starve myself again. I remember being in Seattle at Bailey Coy Books (now out of business) where I found the book, and later reading the book during my lunch break at the University Bookstore where I worked for a short time. I could not believe what I was reading! For one thing, there were these other fat people out there! Who knew?!? And some of them had endured horrendous surgeries that I didn’t know existed back then (which are all too common now). AND then they were saying that fatness wasn’t the horrid devil wrapped in bacon strips that I had always been told it was! WHAT?!? Did I read that correctly? I didn’t know it at the time, but the book forever changed my outlook on fat and fat activism. Maybe not all at once, but it all stayed with me. It found a little space in my brain, and when everyone else and all of society screamed at me to be thin I remembered the words in SOAT. I remembered (for once) that this experience of being fat was not something I had to do alone, and even though I didn’t stop the bulimia for years, and hated myself for being fat a lot, the messages from SOAT were there working their magic. And, I really think it was like magic that these words in a book could so profoundly alter my view of the world. Years later I stopped the bulimia, and I now consider myself to be a fat activist of sorts, and SOAT is still helping me to figure out how to live with my body and how to live with a world that hates my body. I am forever indebted to Aunt Lute and all of the people who put the book together. I hope that this book can get in the hands of more fat people just so they know that it doesn’t have to be like this, they don’t have to hate themselves, and they aren’t alone.

Some New Pillows!

November 24, 2012 at 2:34 am | Posted in 2012, Angelica Kauffman, Art, art history, artist, arts & crafts, body parts, Cat Break, Cats, craft, creative, cuddle, Cute, Decorating, design, design your own fabric, drawings, fabric, fabric design, feline, female, feminist, for sale, Fun, funny, gender, Goofy, Grrls/Women, Handmade, Happy, Humor, In Other Words, Kristin Bell, Magic, Mary Moser, pillow, Pillows, plushies, Portland, sewing, sewn | Leave a comment

Here are some new pillows I’ve been working on. I’m going to be selling on consignment at In Other Words in Portland, Oregon. I’m pretty excited about it! The first one is Henry Miller Magic cat with red stripes. The second one is Judy the Utie(rus) with minis on the back. The third one is a pillow of Angelica Kauffman and Mary Moser having tea.

Henry Miller Magic Cat Pillow

Henry Miller Magic Cat side view

Judy the Utie(rus) pillow

Judy the Utie(rus) backside

Angelica Kauffman and Mary Moser Having Tea pillow

Back of Angelica and Mary pillow

 

 

 

A Fun Video For All The “Sluts” Out There!

March 16, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Posted in birth control, female, feminist, Kristin Bell, sluts | Leave a comment

Hilarious! Click the link “SLUTS UNITE!” to watch the video. :) P.S. Also good for “snobs” and “elitists.”

SLUTS UNITE!

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: