Tag choices

3 posts

Survivor's Guilt

Maybe it’s because I’m on that high from just finishing a comic after not drawing in way too long because set backs and busy-ness and certain-life-things just completely zapping any creative drive out of me, or because I’ve been rocking out to music in my headphones (which I’m sure looks entertaining), but, I’m really happy right now.
Dude, I make comics.
And I make videos about gaming.
The first of season 3 is yet to be out because reasons (not limited to, but including computer failure). I do have it planned though…And all but one piece of the puzzle has come in, so yay! Computer thing is being fixed tomorrow *crossfingers*
I had an epiphany in the shower a couple days ago…about how I don’t have to feel guilty for, I guess just the whole circumstance I am in where I am actually in a place where I can create and not have to worry about stuff. I realize I’m fucking lucky and that it’s so fucking rare for that to be a thing, and more often than not I have some weird kind of survivors guilt and feel like I should shelf it and join everyone else, you know? Because I almost feel like there’s something wrong that I have the ability to do these things and lots of people don’t.
But then I realized, that’s not actually helping anyone. It’s not helping me, if I’m sitting at home, paralyzed by guilt and anxiety because I can choose the work that I do, and I’m not desperate. It’s not helping me if I force myself to go spend my time doing something that isn’t helping me actually grow when I don’t absolutely have to.
What does help people, and what does help me, is if I actually use the crazy lucky situation I’m in and create, and keep creating, and doing those things and bringing stuff into the world that makes it better, or bringing in the stuff I want to see. I don’t know how long anything is going to last, no one does, so who am I to not make things while I can?
I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone else. I just realized…I don’t know, I shouldn’t feel guilty or like something is wrong because my life and journey looks different. I shouldn’t be paralyzed by survivor’s guilt because I can choose where to dedicate my time.
Because I really do feel bad about it a lot. Which I realize is idiotic. *shrug*
And now I’m remembering this poem, which I first discovered years ago when I watched Akeela and the Bee:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.
We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.
– “Our Deepest Fear” Marianne Williamson

And the more I’m trying to figure out who the fuck I think I am and what the hell I’m doing here and what makes me so qualified, the more apt it is, because….
If I’m quiet
and if I’m honest
and if I look deep within myself
In the corner I don’t want to admit exists
I’m terrified of my own power.
And that’s holding me back in the light of sudden…success
I’m really not that scary of a person
(you hear that psyche? I’m really nice!)
But for some reason, something dwelling in the cavern
says
who the fuck do you think you are?
and I just have to remember
who the fuck am I not to be?

The Crossroads

you’re at a crossroads
between everything you are and everything you could be
you know what you want
and what you’re capable of
but what you’re doing on that road is falling short
you’re making progress but not enough
you’re running through your arsenal of tools
but change is slow and painstaking
What you want so desperately
feels so out of reach
beyond the horizon, who knows how far
and at some point
as you look back on the colored pages of your past
you wonder if it’s enough
if it’s worth pouring your soul into ink and colors
if painting your spirit is enough to get you into the horizon
if your heart will carry you when you run out of drive
or if your drive will carry you when your heart is tired
you’re standing at the crossroads between your life beyond the horizon
and the life everyone expects
one is dangerous and the definition of the unknown
full of adventure and failure and heartache
the other
is the death of the heart and soul
the giving up of dreams and aspirations
but safe and predictable
you’re at a crossroads
between what is and what could be
do you move forward into the unknown horizon?
or choose a safe but inevitable death?

Women are less

Growing up in a religious conservative circle taught me this ever so explicitly. They would try to water it down and say “no you’re equal, but different” the place of women is in the home, in the kitchen, pregnant or raising children. Not in the “world”, not working, not doing anything that would in any way put her in equal standing with men.
This article makes me sad – no, angry because it’s true.
People very close to me believe, truly, that women are in some way stupid and need men for guidance. I was taught that women are “easily mislead” and thus need men to teach them and “lead” them the right way. Like we are animals to be trained, or horses to be broken. It follows that women, once they reach adulthood, should not be listened to – that it’s okay to completely write them off as “emotional”, “misguided”, or “hormonal” – it’s all too easy to take anything anyone with a vagina has to say and instead of taking them seriously, say they’re just whining, not happy, or one of those evil feminists not worth listening to.
It’s taken me years to come to terms with my womanhood, with the fact that I have the horrible ability to reproduce within my body. It’s taken longer to accept the fact that I am human, and that as a human I have value – that isn’t reliant on whether or not I have a penis on my body.
Unfortunately, I still find myself in circles, exposed to the lies of my youth – who believe that women are for reproducing, teaching, cooking, cleaning, and if you’re lucky, making things and maybe having an in-home business selling house-wifely things like sewn goods, jewelry, or food.
I take issue with the god I grew up with. The god who decided that as part of “the curse” women will be in horrible pain during their reproductive cycle, while men just have the “curse” of pulling weeds or  “hard labor”, and the snake lost its legs. I can’t separate the misogyny of the religion of my youth, with what may or may not be true about christianity. I can not see god as loving when he inflicts half the population with a lower status, half a life of pain, and sets them up for being written off and told they’re stupid until the end of the earth.  People say Jesus raised the status of women, which, in the culture of his day may be true, but people who are supposed to be “like Jesus” massively fail and take the easy way of misogyny as written in the apostles over the example of the deity they claim to love and serve with all their heart and soul.
Women are “equal” in the sense that they are “people”, complete the largest chunk of reproduction, and in christianity have “equal access to god”. But in practice? Women are less, women are challenged and put down when they say things or step outside of the box, they’re labeled and personally attacked when they “make a crack in the glass ceiling”. Because  women being assertive is not allowed, still. Women having a voice, or control over their own body is still frowned upon.
Things I thought were resolved with the suffrage movement and the right to vote are resurfacing in this election and it hurts. It makes me feel ashamed to be a woman (scared, even), having been born with boobs and without a penis makes me feel trapped. I feel like everywhere I turn I hear old men, and some women trying to fit me into a box – the box I worked so hard, and wrestled with and tore myself apart over to escape. The box I’m still trying to completely escape – because completely leaving a gender box is more than just one process – it’s many, over a lifetime.
I don’t talk about feminism, womanhood, or anything like that very much, because a large part of myself has rejected the idea of gender. Because gender does. not. matter. At the very least, it should not matter. We are all human. We are all entitled to the same rights and opinions and control over our own bodies. We all have the right to say no – we do not deserve to be stepped on and half of the population does not deserve to be stripped of their rights just because their genitalia is different. Women are not more prone to misguidance or stupidity than men, nor vice versa. People are prone to flaws. People ARE flawed and we all have traits that are unique to our personalities, not our gender.
I’m tired of being subtly told I’m less, of being subtly hinted to that I should live in a box. I’m tired of watching men in power debate over whether or not I am smart enough to decide what happens to my body and when. I’m tired of people protecting the embryos that my body painfully destroys on a monthly basis, to the extent that it lessens my value and my rights as a fully existing person. I’m tired of people telling me that I’ll “get over it” and want to reproduce, I’m tired of people frowning at and judging me because I’m different and do not fit in the box I was supposed to belong to. I’m tired of people treating me as though I am the same clone, as though I’ll come around and find my rightful place in the stifling box of conservative womanhood. I’m tired of people thinking that they can speak, act and think for me because I cannot think for myself.
I’m tired of people lessening my value as a human being because I have decided not to have children – or trying to justify it because I’m young and I’ll “change my mind”.
All these messages, all the subtext just continue to beat me down, to tell me that my past was right, I am less because I am woman, I am even more less because I reject that being female dictates the way I live my life. It doesn’t matter how much you verbally affirm “women are equal (but different)” when you say, believe, and act in a way that demonstrates otherwise. Women are equal when they live in a box, but that is not equality at all, and I thought we were past that.