For years, I have been stuck behind a veil. I saw others, and then I saw myself. They were over there, I was over here. No one pushed me out, no one said anything mean. They just said nothing. That silence that could be interpreted as passive aggression. At least, that is how I interpreted it.
I didn't think I was good enough. I didn't think I belonged.
This resulted me in feeling like a fraud, a fake. I did not feel like my authentic self was valued, or even allowed, and the mask I presented to the world didn't seem good enough either.
For the past few years, using the arts and other tools, I have been questioning all my assumptions, about myself and others.
Assumptions! We think we know, we think we KNOW!
Art is a great way to play with these assumptions, flip them, really see them. I've been doing that in my independent study for my masters program. I started by looking for images that represented people who I think judge me, exclude me. And then...I made fun of them. I made caricatures. I made art that made fun of them. It was fun, and cathartic. I can't show it to you though! I'm not quite ready to do that. Maybe some day.
The process of seeking out images that represented Mean People helped me to identify how I perceived them as having power over me, those little nitty gritty ways of dressing, speaking, gesturing that I pick up on and see as signals that I don't belong or that there is something wrong with me.
And then, I re-imagined a social situation where instead of giving THOSE PEOPLE control over how I feel, I kept my power, my confidence, my self-worth. I drew it, this new way of seeing the situation. I can't show you that one either! Maybe some day!
Here's the take away. I felt empowered afterwards. It allowed me to see the situation in a different way. Instead of endlessly churning it in my mind, getting no where with it, no fresh perspective, the act of drawing it changed my perspective. The art making was essential. Art is transformational!
In a while, I will have time to take all of this and create a sketchbook activity for you to try. I think you will love it.