This is part of my work in the Julia Cameron Artist’s Way series. The work this time is from the book the Artist’s Way at Work: Riding the Dragon. The responses are self-examinations and assessments based on work through a daily series of exercises. While I do keep some material offline as it can be very personal and jarring, I often opt to be fairly open about my experiences, both positive and negative.
Didn’t even come close to managing the media fast. Here’s why:
1. I actually have a really strict schedule I’m trying to adhere to, and not doing well. Adding the stress of a media fast to another fundamental life change, getting up very early, did NOT work. It was too much pressure, and I have decided that after the constant pressure that described my childhood through my twenties, I am taking an approach of being as easy on myself as possible in all things. This morally offends people who it does nothing to harm, which tells me this is exactly the approach I need to be taking. When I am easy on myself, I am easy on other people. This doesn’t mean I’m going all doormat – as will be evidenced within this post.
2. The deprivation created a massive sense of poverty for me. It did not motivate me to “produce.”
3. This is also because I am already producing, and producing quite well.
I do seem to be having a phase of outer rebel. My parents were so ready to pounce on any sign of rebellion in me that even showing signs of anger got punished and stifled severely; at one point they actively admitted that they were laying in wait for the day I “acted out.” That they never questioned that they had created an environment where acting out was the sane and reasonable option is a good sign in the “they probably should not have had children, but here I fucking am,” column. When they admitted that they came down harder on me than they did my sister – and my sister in fact did things that put the entire family at risk – I realized I did not have a home with them, I had a prison. A really creepy prison where the jailers actually knew pretty well what they were doing was wrong.
Somewhere in my ancestral memory dwells Holocaust survivors, and some that did not survive. I suspect on a tribal level they helped me out, because honestly, I don’t know where my strength comes from, either.
As an adult, I often defaulted to the position of saying nothing when people did nasty things. I can name names, potentially; there was a pattern of friendships where I allowed myself to be exploited because it was better to have a friend that treated you like dirt than it was to have no friends.
I’ve changed my mind about that. Just as no sex is better than bad sex, no friends is better than bad friends. The position has allowed good friends, good people, to find me.
So I’ve been finding myself getting feisty lately – moreso than I normally expect of myself. A buyer tried pushing me around on Ebay; I checked his feedback and found he has a habit of bullying sellers, so I reported him on every single thing he pulled and I responded with “check feedback – pattern behavior.” Pinterest, while a lot of fun when used correctly, has become a depository of female social violence. Someone decided to pick on me. I called it out, and when she tried to dismiss me, I kept calling it out. When she enlisted friends to assist her – in a classic female social violence pattern – I kept calling them out, too. The entire time I wondered why in the hell I was doing it.
I probably am making up for some crap I was subjected to in high school and college. I also accept that I have a lifelong issue with female social violence. I fuck up at times, and hurt people’s feelings, but I swear I am NEVER doing it from a place of proving I have more power – and someone who is picking people out to belittle and snark without any provocation at all is getting off on making other people feel bad. I am a critic as part of my living, I know the difference between valid criticism and just being a jerk.