Over the past little while I have spent a bit of time reflecting of what has gone into the cauldron that has shaped me. Specifically, the women who are not necessarily close to me, who don’t know me, but who have shaped my views*. Last week Saturday I went to an evening function and needed to choose an outfit. One of the outfit’s that I tried on, was a form fitting beaded black dress, and while I was looking at my reflection and tucking in my tummy, the thought crossed my mind: “Venus de Milo, didn’t tuck in her tummy, and I don’t’ have to”. This thought allowed me to shift my mindset and acknowledge that the dress was very pretty. (I chose to wear slacks and a different pretty blouse, but I did not feel ugly or fat when I was wearing the beaded dress). I credit my shift in mindset of becoming a kinder, more gentle person to myself to a number of woman who I don’t have a reciprocal relationship* with but who have collectively broken through a societal narrative that beauty falls within a very narrow ambit.
The women and the messages that I have specifically, been thinking of are (in no particular order):
- Amanda Palmer, from whom I have taken the message to live authentically as myself, knowing that not everyone is going to like you but that you will still be safe in your tribe. (I think the words of the Ukulele Anthem are words to live by)
- Marian Call, on embracing my geekiness, and whose song “I’ll Still Be A Geek After Nobody Thinks It’s Chic” often pull me back to myself
- Kim Boekbinder, who has in little ways reminded me to believe in myself. She is not a hugely famous rockstar, (yet), but a fiercely independent soul whose art (both music and words) has helped me heal myself in ways that I cannot quite describe, nor know that I needed to be healed.
- Samantha Smith, on embracing my “inner bitch”, and not being afraid to be assertive when I need to be. This was the most recent piece of the puzzle for me, and I have become a much happier person, for not believing that I need to be nice the whole time. (I was lucky enough to meet her when I went to a Supernatural Convention in San Francisco last December and she was an amazing person).
- Karen Walrond, who inspired me to look for the light when I was experiencing a major depressive episode and whose insights I collect and they pop out of my head at the most opportune moments.
- Jennifer Lawson, the Bloggess, who lives openly with an autoimmune disease and some mental health issues, and probably helped me handle last year’s brush with Hashimoto’s better than I would otherwise have, and who gifted the world and me with the mantra #depressionlies.
These are some of the woman who have helped me become who I am, and who I am incredibly grateful to.
Love and reflections,
*There is an entirely different collection of people who do know me and who have also put a lot of ingredients into the cauldron of who I am, but this post is not about them…it is about the people who I don’t have a two-sided relationship with.