I have asked myself why I have felt compelled to put my thoughts/feelings out into the world after years of hiding? Ego? Attention? Sharing? Community?
The question comes back, why have I been hiding? Unworthiness, fear, gaslighting from the tech/mgfx industry, threats, gossip, being a target, and pain are a few words that immediately come to mind. But hiding isn’t going to make any of this go away because I’ve internalized these experiences into my identity, choices and pursuits. It’s time to change my story.
For the last three years I’ve said yes to everything that terrifies me. Interviews, public speaking, speaking out about abuse in my industry…and the fact…one that I have been running from for a long time…being an artist. I didn’t want to admit this to myself because it wasn’t accepted by my upbringing, and people challenged me…I wasn’t talented, couldn’t do it, wasn’t perfect enough…or worse yet tried to convince me that what I had experience/accomplished wasn’t real…and would accuse me of lying. But I HAD been a dancer, I HAVE two degrees, I HAVE lived in multiple cities, I DID win the Adobe Award, and I AM deeply educated in fine art.
So I started reading…A LOT. Speaking with others who had similiar experiences, studying those who had gone before me…who didn’t have a mentor or roadmap. All of their lives were hard, really hard…did I have the strength? Can I endure the judgement of others? Can I learn to deal with my freakish sensitivity and uncanny ability to read a room like its running through my body seconds after walking through the door?
Each time I said yes, sat on a panel, or was interviewed or spoke with truth I gained more confidence and began to understand how deep my strength went…so deep there is no bottom. Which in itself is terrifying…because I now realize I can endure anything. This made all of my fears/excuses a flimsy barrier between myself and the truth. It’s time to stop running…it’s time to stand in the truth…it’s time to come back to where I started before the world told me who I was and designated my place in it.
At first, I spoke mostly about failure…I felt qualified to speak about the process/experience…as I did this I realized that this is an internalized judgement. “Failure” can only occur when an external goal is set and not met. The concept of failure confines goals to set parameters and rigid ideas surrounded by acceptance/approval. What if I let that go? What if I set a goal, dropped my expectations, and allowed each unique experience to shape the outcome? What if I learn to be fluid in the uncomfortable and unknown? Does that mean failure is obsolete?
Sharing my thoughts is not about being an expert in failure, or an expert in general….not about acceptance, but about a declaration. Declaring to myself publicly my intention to rewrite my story.