who does she think she is?

I just watched the documentary Who Does She Think She Is?  Hmmmm.  I don’t know if any of you have seen it, but here’s what I took away from it.

1.  Women are completely underrepresented in the art world.

2.  It is a hard row to hoe to try to buck the system.

3.  There are multiple factors at play here.

4.  Creating and carving your own path does not happen in a vacuum.  There are often devastating consequences in being true to yourself.  So it sometimes becomes a question of which demolition can one tolerate? – demolition to self, possible demolition to relationships, demolition to self-worth in the form of labels such as; selfish, uncaring, non-nurturing.

5.  Being a mother and emboldening upon a career are a tricky balance at best.

I often find that when I’m bouncing around the internet I see these messages that speak of following your passions, and I frequently read the Etsy Quit Your Day Job series.  I’ve certainly read many a post addressing passion and living wide open, fervently praying the message to myself.  And I believe them – I really do! BUT, I think it needs to be understood that it’s not as simple as an inspiring quote or e-course might make it seem.  It takes hard work, dedication, clarity about what it is you want and your desire in that deep place within yourself, and also the ability to communicate clearly and respectfully to those who may experience the ripple effects.  In addition one must assess the grey area of where their responsibility to others begins and ends.  Coat it all with a thick layer of finances and being realistic without squashing one’s dreams.  Complex.

I just felt a need to express how complicated this idea of following one’s heart can be.  I don’t often see that side of it.  (I am willing to acknowledge that my personality can take something simple and make it complicated…which is really a procrastination tool for not pursuing my heart’s desire.  But that may be a subject for a  future post.)

Here are a few places where the complexity is explored:

Louise Edrich’s poem – Advice to Self  I see it as acknowledging that some things have to be let go in order to accomplish other more important things.

Summer Pierre’s post – Desire, click through to read her Huffington Post article as well.

Brene Brown’s writing.  I like that she understands that being authentic means being vulnerable.

Hula Seventynine words.

Harriet Lerner’s book – The Dance of Anger

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Leslie says:

    I love your thoughts here…very honest and real.

  2. Eleaca Young says:

    You are always a good place to go for straight talking. great post.

  3. ellen says:

    You have sent me on a reading marathon.
    Yes, nothing happens in a vacuum, and I agree, women have hard row to hoe. I would say a damned hard row…and catastrophic things can happen with choices.
    For the life of me, you are not complicating a simple issue. You are raising honest questions; questions that should be asked and answers that should be challenged. We are all, all of us as women, worthy of those questions and we are more than worthy to ask them…and for way too many centuries we have born the brunt of the choices/non choices.
    I would like to also include questions that loving men, men with good intentions ask themselves.
    How do we take care of ourselves, nurture, support and encourage the seeds of our hopes, dreams and desires, while at the same time give support and emotional sustenance to our partners and children?
    Why is it so difficult? Do we really have to lose sight of passion?
    I have no clue, but I do think it is possible. Could it not be possible that with support of one another, the choices we make could not but contribute to us all as a family?
    And, of course, that is altogether another issue. I don’t have the answers..that is obvious..but I may be allowed the questions.
    Love to you.
    I

  4. Wow, Jackie, how timely! I was just involved in a lively discussion with my husband last night about each others shortcomings, and one that has been festering is the amount of time and energy that I have had to devote to my new business, how much I am not home, how when I am tired and cranky from stress and being tired that they have to “deal” with me. I knew these things would take it’s toll and they would get caught in the ‘ripples’ a bit. I need to watch that doc. Sincerely! I am thinking of looking for a coach who specializes in teaching women to balance the home/work thing. If I can get any free wisdom from anyone, I will SO take it!

    Thanks for posting, lovey! It was much appreciated here.

  5. Patricia says:

    Jackie, as usual, you have put out there in such a loving, thoughtful way what many of us are feeling. The links I followed gave me a lot to think about, and, boy, does Ellen’s comment resonate beautifully with your musings. I will have to send you a copy of an article about the greenest home in Ithaca. What struck me was the partnership between the husband-and-wife owners it took to make it happen. I think that’s what Ellen is getting at–that one woman alone doesn’t have to do it all, that she should have a supportive partner who believes in her and, just as importantly, a support network that helps make it happen. What I wonder–how do we go about strengthening our voices and raising our children and changing our institutions so that one day that might be achievable for more women, and men?

  6. Mousy Brown says:

    I find the whole concept of staying true to myself complex in itself…being told that as an artist I should be striving for some kind of recognition, I should want to sell more, been seen more…but I think I am just happy making for me and my family. Then I worry my lack of ambition is actually a lack of confidence and maybe I am kidding myself….I think I may see being a Mother as my career but how can I convince others of that if I always feel so much guilt, that I am letting women down with my lack of drive to succeed. I have had moments when I am fired up and want to be an “artist” but in truth I think I am the best artist I can be when I am putting my creativity into the simple creativity of the life I have…complex indeed! Thanks for making me think as always…good luck with simplifying it all for yourself 😀

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