Archive for the 'perseverance' Category

08
Jan
15

Let’s get busy!

let's get busyMake any New Year’s resolutions?  I did.  Actually, I’ve been thinking of it for quite some time and began it with my last post made in December.  “What was it?” you may ask.  It was to get busy!

The book and motion picture “Wild,” has been getting a lot of attention.   Society’s response to a strong female and her journey through grief to self-discovery has been encouraging.  It’s also been an awakening to the media for the need for more pivotal female roles on the page, stage and screen.  During a radio interview with Reese Witherspoon, the star and producer of the film adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s book, “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail,” Witherspoon referenced the lack of complex roles for women and responded by not only saying, but putting into action her comment:  “…nobody is doing this work.  I might as well get busy and do it myself.”

Obviously we don’t all have the resources like Witherspoon, but we do share the same perspective.  As a result, instead of expecting others to address the needs which have already been identified, I have decided to join Witherspoon and “get busy.”  What does this mean?  I believe that in each of our lives in our own way, we can make a difference to bring about change for gender equality.  From standing up for ourselves or others when confronted by sexism or working to make more opportunities for women available, we all contribute to society’s transformation.  No action is too small, so we must not minimize our efforts.  It’s changing our very way of thinking as a community; embracing our egalitarianism.

Awareness, education and recognition are vital.  However, without following that up with action in our daily lives, our society tends to find contentment with labeling gender discrimination as simply one of many issues which need addressing.  “Issues” tend not to have the same concern as crisis.  Why is it not a national crisis that women do not receive equal pay for equal work?  Why is it not a global crisis that women are surrounded and trapped by violence, rape and sex trafficking?  When perceived as an issue, it weakens the urgency of our condition.   This is nothing less than a crisis which demands action.

So let’s get busy!

Read interview with Reese Witherspoon

 

Support women artists by buying the book “Wild:  From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed and see the movie.

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17
Nov
14

the right to be you

the right to be youI have been on a hiatus of sorts.  It’s not because I haven’t had any thoughts, concerns or opinions about life.  I guess I just found myself coming up against the same roadblocks, questioning the source, perhaps a common one, of these consistent struggles.

Just the other night I was out with a beautiful artist.  I have seen her work many times and she is a kind-hearted, loving individual.  Yet I hear her say the very words which plague my own heart: can I do it?  Do I have any talent?  Am I beautiful?  I know the answer to all of these questions, but when we are alone with ourselves, we tend to create a comparison which always leaves us feeling less than.  Our society, especially American society, thrives on doing and results.  The expectations placed on us, especially women, make it almost impossible to find satisfaction and pride in oneself.

Society tells women that they must achieve an idyllic beauty which requires youth.  Obviously, this is impossible as we all age, but because so many others strive to reach this imposed rule, we do everything in our power to fulfill it.  Countless, beautiful, brilliant women of all ages with whom I’ve had the pleasure to know, have shared their fear of aging and remaining physically attractive.  The constant fear of gaining even a few pounds or showing signs of a wrinkle plagues their existence.

Then there’s the expectation that women should have it all; if they don’t have both a successful career and children, they disappoint someone.  Many women work hard to obtain an education and use it to compete in an unequal marketplace which not only expects them to give as much, but for less compensation.  Simultaneously, society also places pressure on women to have children whilst making it virtually impossible to maintain the same level of job performance.  Meanwhile, if they do give attention to their work, they may feel guilt or anxiety over their parental role.

As a result, society continues to place women in positions which inevitably cause them to seemingly fall short of its expectations in one area or another.  Personally, I’m tired of never feeling like enough.  No matter how much personal fulfillment I may find apart from society, as soon as I step off my island, I am reminded of my failures.

So how do we break this pattern?  How do we defy these expectations and create ones which build us up rather than tear each other down?  It is hard to walk this path against the grain alone and I don’t believe we are meant to go it alone.  Life is short.  Can we come together and simply claim the right to be ourselves?

26
Jun
14

What is the truth?

what is the truthDoes truth exist?

We think of truth as this unshakable, immovable force which carries us through life.  It is a never ending reference point to which we return so that we don’t get lost.  But what if that same truth shuts out all other voices, including your own?  What if that truth does not allow us to accept or love one another?

In an unsteady world where nothing is certain, truth can be a life saver.  For most of my life I thought I knew the truth.  I’ve been obsessed with understanding, analyzing, searching and securing the truth.  But when my world was turned upside down these past two years with my husband’s accident, the death of my dog and the cancer diagnosis for my best friend, my foundation of truth was rocked and crumbled to pieces.  Since then I’ve just tried to survive; no time to process anything.  Now that I have a little more time to breathe, I’ve discovered that I’ve given up looking for the truth and I am just trying to find some kind of peace while still giving myself the right to be angry.

This past week I met with two wise and beautiful women who have themselves been through many truth questioning events.  They shared their perspective on the truth and simply said, “It’s all relative.”  They bombarded me with questions:  How do we grow without change?  And how does change come about if our truth is unchangeable?  It is when we challenge our truth that we find growth and a new truth about ourselves and the world.  When we let go is when we truly uncover the truth.

There it was again, my arch nemesis:  letting go.  How can you let go when all you want is something to hold onto in the midst of drifting and being tossed around in a chaotic storm?  This is the question another friend of mine posed to me.  She too has gone and is going through life-changing struggles and just wants something solid in her life.  As I heard her speak the words of my heart, I found myself asking her if it is possible that something beautiful can come from a shattered truth?  A rebirth.  A discovery.  Perhaps even liberty.

Patience.  My other arch nemesis keeps rearing its ugly head in the form of these two beautifully wise women who encouraged me to see patience from another perspective; one that presents itself in the form of a gift instead of a curse.  To give to myself patience as I take this journey is priceless and the key to unlocking the truth.  Patience to simply be myself and in some sense, cut myself a break.  In this way, I am not clouded by my own agenda, but more open to what the universe is trying to tell me.  And in the still, quiet, patience, I may be able to let go and listen.  Listen to my heart, to others, to the world and hear the truth.  For now.

01
May
14

go ahead, just give up on humanity!

go ahead, give up on humanityGo ahead, just give up!  It’s not worth it!

Is that how you feel when you try to change things?  It’s so much easier to follow along with the status quo, but when we suffer the effects of our flawed society, we rethink our position.  Take for example our restricted binary gender roles and systems.  Why do we accept only two definitions of what it means to be a male and female/masculine and feminine?  Why do we even have to categorize it at all?

But instead of making the effort to expand our minds about humanity, we remain limited.  It’s too much work.  And why change it?  That’s the easy out attitude.  But what if you were transgender or someone who doesn’t fit into the either or system?  You’d feel rejected by society as even our language has nothing to communicate or identify oneself.  Even if your identity does happen to accommodate the current departmentalizing system, it still continues to force you to define yourself in a very confining way.

Will we ever redefine our society, our culture, our language to include everyone?  Many believe we’ve come so far but when I have friends who do not identify with the he or she pronoun, how can we say we’ve arrived?  We’re not even close.  People fear what they cannot classify.  But I believe that that only prevents us from growing and becoming so much more as human beings; not caught up in putting each other in a box but celebrating and exploring more and more of who we are and can become.

So is humanity worth it?  We must be the change.  Let’s keep fighting for it together.

27
Apr
14

keep moving

keep movingAll things come to an end.

It’s strange to think that I won’t be going back to school in the fall.  Several friends have asked me if I can’t wait to be done, but I feel more than ever that I’m fully in the present.  Perhaps that is because I have so much I want to do before I graduate, however, for the most part I just can’t see that far ahead.  And that’s okay.

I know one step in front of me, that’s all.  And tonight, two amazing women who have been there to guide me through some dark and difficult times over the past four years reminded me that it’s okay not to know.  Not to know the future.  Not to know what’s next.  What’s important is taking the step and to keep moving.  They reminded me that strength doesn’t come without valleys, but one needs to keep moving through them to reach the mountaintops.

Who knows if I’ll ever reach the mountaintop of life.  I don’t even know what that looks like for certain.  And that’s okay too.  I’d like to think that each day has the capability of holding in it a mountaintop for each of us if we let it.  Today was celebrating with a community of gifted artists who have touched my life.

All things come to an end, but I know that that celebration will continue as long as I keep moving.

17
Apr
14

blazing the trail

blazing the trail041614It’s exciting to meet women pioneers.  Today I met such a one.

This is a woman director who has blazed a trail.  When I asked her how difficult it has been for her, she very honestly admitted that it’s been hard.  That it has taken her much longer to get to this point in her career and it will take us longer as well.  She shared how she notices when theatres announce their seasons the lack of women directors and playwrights.  And she encourages us to make noise; to bring this to their attention.

How can they not see it?  The absence of those who make up 50% of the earth’s inhabitants?  Looking through a patriarchal lens most wouldn’t notice it.  That’s where it becomes our responsibility to “make noise” as she calls it.  Many women do not like that idea; making noise.  It’s contrary to how we’ve been trained as women and how patriarchal society has defined femininity.  But we are obviously not being heard, so how else does our voice receive attention if we do not raise it?

There also still exists a severe lack of colorblind casting as well which needs to be addressed.  This too was presented through the patriarchal lens as white speakers thought the theatre’s come a long way, but minorities clearly disagreed.  It’s sad when the theatre, which I believe is made to look at all perspectives and stories, chooses to only see it from one limited point of view.

Despite all of this, I am very encouraged.  This female director’s example is a beacon of light to me and the other people that I have met, mostly men, have shown their openness to collaborate with artists of any gender.  This experience is giving me hope for the future as current and upcoming artists are open to new works with new messages to help shape and change our society.  I can only hope that I too can play a small part in blazing this trail to equality.

11
Apr
14

some things never change

some things never changeSome things never change.  Is that really true?  Sometimes I feel that it is about me.

For a long time now I’ve been keenly aware of a struggle I have to let things go.  Part of this has to do with my nature of being a planner.  I like to look ahead and be “responsible.”  This also stems from a tendency to put the highest expectations on myself causing me to try and put 100% towards everything I do (another thing I haven’t learned isn’t possible).  I let little things, minor details overshadow everything.

I wish I had more of a carefree spirit.  Or perhaps I just need to trust that things will work out.  I don’t think I necessarily want to control everything, but I want to be prepared if I can be.  However, sometimes you just can’t be completely prepared.  You have to wait until you get there, wherever there is, usually the next new experience or uncharted territory.  And I guess that’s the key.  I’m afraid of the unknown.

So does this change with time?  Does more experience mean less unknown?  But I’ll never know everything; even if I end up living in the same place, doing the same thing with the same people for the rest of my life.  And I do not want to live my life that way, but I also don’t want to live in fear; that’s not living, I know first-hand.  I try to keep the big picture in perspective, but keeping an eye and a mind on that can while also worrying about the unknown can be exhausting.  It’s a battle every time; one which I continue to lose.

Is this something that is just part of who I am that I will never change?  Will acceptance of this bring me freedom?  Or will I be forever trapped in fear?  Some things never change, I hope this isn’t one of them.




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