lyrics from REM [driver 8]
So here I am, on the first day of my journey with the I plant the seeds Artist’s Way cluster as we work our way through the book… and I’m already creating objections for myself. Not on the more rote tasks like the Morning Pages, oh no… it’s about the tasks we’re assigned for the week.
I’m trying really hard to keep a positive spin on everything, but Julia Cameron’s got a point: one must acknowledge the hurt that antagonists – or as she calls them, monsters – in order to heal and move past the hurt. I’m just finding it difficult to address these people from the past, at least in here.
Do I bring up the anonymous person [child] in second grade who, upon overhearing praise for my painting of a swan on a wood plank, snuck back into the room suring recess and scribbled all over it with an indelible pen? Whoever it was dug deep enough to gouge the wood severely… at that tender age, I’d already encountered jealousy over my talents. To me, as a hopelessly socially backwards and precocious child, it was unfathomable to be the center of such ire.
This was the first attack on my worth that I can remember.
A second entry to the “Gallery of Monsters” will be my foil in the Theater department at Essex Community College, the head of the department. I was rejected from ever getting a real part in any production there as long as I didn’t toe the line with my appearance, keeping my hair and looks from being too extremely punk or outlandish – an excuse of control, to keep me in line. I was told that, looking as I did, I had no chance of getting a lead role. I replied that not only did I prefer character roles to leads, but wasn’t the point of theater to take on the characteristics of one’s role… and there were things like WIGS to help that? It was no matter, because it wasn’t my appearance that was the real issue, but my creative freedom that was under scrutiny.
I gave up a dream because of this man, and sometimes I’m still really bitter about it. I should have punched him in the eye, so he could see what real rebellion looked like.
And then there’s the Angry One.
That’s the fodder for so many journal entries, years upon years given to him and his control issues and preying on my insecurities. I was never going to be a writer, never pretty enough, too fat, too wild looking then too boring, too ready to endanger myself and all around me with my letter writing and ‘zines and music reviews and desire to perform in a band. Nothing was ever right about me, although gods forbid that I might want to get away from him and leave him open for the right one to come along. If I didn’t stifle my fiery individuality, I would be insulted, possibly hit. I stayed there because I fell into thinking that this is what I deserved, no one else wanted someone so broken as me, I was trapped… maybe I’d never escape. Maybe he’d hunt me down and kill me if I left. [he did threaten me and my friends and boyfriends after the fact, for a while.]
This is a gloss about that time – perhaps I’ll share more that I’ve written about it later, but I don’t want to get the point of this buried.
My art WAS worth something. Obviously it was worth someone’s envy. It doesn’t take anything away from what I created to know that someone destroyed it, because I still have that art safe in my memory. If I could touch my peers that strongly, even as children, I know I’m capable of amazing things now, as an adult!
What I look like on the outside means NOTHING. What I have inside, what I create, what I can see and do and envision – that’s what counts. I will power through the naysayers and demonstrate how amazing and creative I truly am!
I know now that nothing can hold me back. I am strong, I’ve been through many trials and come through them even stronger and more secure in myself. I know how to navigate away from destructive relationships and embrace the ones that nurture and delight me. I am learning more, every single day, how to be the best Xiane that I can be.