it's been a while since i first mentioned idea of nourishment which, it was quite a long time ago*.
*and whoa. okay, first i noticed i'd mentioned melissa gilbert in that post (she's damn near pivotal to this one). then i noticed i'd said something about not being able to call myself depressed because i've never been formally diagnosed and holy crap if i hadn't just written about that very thing, in detail last week (finally), and oh! this was DAYS before we found the house i'm currently in. the house that i lovvvvve. the house that my husband learned to love. and guess what? omg, this is SO weird. our old house is officially on the market today. twenty-five months later. in so many ways, it doesn't seem like it's been that long.
which brings us back to the topic of learning to nourish oneself. evidently, if you're me, it takes a really long time.
in the past week, as i journey through kelly rae's flying lessons (the e-course i'm obviously going to keep referring to) i've watched just about all the brene brown videos that i could and between wednesday and thursday i was able to watch this video of elizabeth gilbert.
it's funny how much i enjoyed eat pray love
and how hesitant i'd been to read it once it had become this big huge thing. i bought committed: a love story
as soon as i saw it but didn't start reading it until a couple of weeks ago. i go slow with books. i've perfected some zen art of reading as a limitation of having kids and other priorities. the introduction alone took a few days to process but i felt a greater sense of connection to elizabeth gilbert since reading it. i love how candidly she admits in the video and in the introduction of committed that the success of eat pray loved basically shocked no one more than her. there's a grace and humility in how she accepts just how grand it turned out to be and how awesome for her. i am truly honored to feel a connection to her, even if that sounds totally weird creepy fangirl of me.
now, i am learning to celebrate others' accomplishments and that has also come up, today, actually, in the e-course. serendipity is kicking my ass in the best possible way lately. that said, celebrating other's successes hasn't always been easy for me. there was a time when instead of feeling sheer joy at the thought of someone else's accomplishments i might have made excuses for why they could achieve them and i couldn't: she doesn't have kids. how wonderful and freeing that might be.
but the truth is, i don't see my children as limitations to what i can or can't do.
in some ways, yes, there are very clear limitations i have because i chose to be a parent but being a parent does not and, in fact, should not stop me from following my dreams.
one of the most damaging beliefs is that you can either be autonomous, wealthy, famous,and/or successful...or you can be a mother.
i now know it wasn't just my grandmother handing those ideals down to me, it was generations before her, and it was all women. but i don't feel that way. my children, if anything, are showing me that i absolutely have to spread my wings for them so i can show them how to fly instead of fall.
this is just one more area in which i no longer want to carry the baggage that was never mine to begin with.
the universe will not stop sending me the message that i have to shine.
we all have to shine, that's what we're here to do.
that said...art galleries are such a part of my earliest memories that they feel instilled in me, like home. they were already familiar by the time i was three or four years old. my great grandmother supported herself by cleaning the homes and offices of wealthy people as well as art galleries in santa fe. i remember one, in particular, the jamison gallery, now closed. i was not yet tall enough to see all of the oil paintings on the walls unless i stood on one end to take them all in. i could hardly see above the bottoms of the frames if i was too close. i remember the feel of the dark wood banister and velvet cordons in brass stands. i also remember the dark stairwell and creeping upstairs (or perhaps it was downstairs...this was 30 years ago and memory is a funny thing) to spy canvases in various stages of repair or process. i remember my grandmother unlocking the door on saturday morning, the bright sun reflecting off of the giant storefront windows and a feeling as magical as the one i get when sebastian walks into that bookstore for the first time in a neverending story.
i could go on and on about this. the vacuum. the never being bored. the starting at myself in the mirrored walls. i don't know how much of it would be accurate or a juxtaposition of the collective childhood memory bank but i do know this...in 2003 or 2004 a friend and i were sitting on my couch and i was like, "i should start a 'zine or open an actual gallery and call it screaming from the gallery" after having a spent a pretty heavy considerable amount of time listening to the beatles. it wasn't until this year (dudes, i'm really slow) that i was like, der, start a facebook page for your art and even though i was just going to use my name, i went for valeri, screaming from the gallery. why not? the other night i wrote it down, more seriously. like: this is one of those things i want to happen, one of those things i see doing for myself. i don't yet know how or when but i want to open a gallery someday and i will.
it's a weird leap to make, cleaning lady to gallery owner in four generations. it doesn't sound weird or as impossible now that i've said it. it sounds necessary and as elizabeth gilbert said in that video - it's really only been one generation in the sense that it hasn't been that long in the history of western civilization that women have been afforded the luxury of choice.
that choice has created some very real internal and external expectations about our roles as women and mothers and in my life it catches me off-guard. just when i feel i'm finding my groove and things are going well, well out goes the rug from under me. what i'm learning, though, is that such is life and it's okay...even if it seems like there's a price to pay for taking what i need, i can't stop taking it, and the price is really just meeting the same fears and old patterns, head on, until they melt away and i can move within the space that it's safe to meet my needs. it's okay.
so here is to nourishing my inner mystic (to borrow from gilbert's video again).
yes! that's what i'm doing here. it's messy, it's imperfect. it's necessary.
as i was writing this blog post a photo came to mind. a photo that i would have much preferred to hide forever and never thought i'd want to share because it was taken around the time i started to hate my smile, when my hair was already dumb, and omfg, that dress. this was also about the time i started to really dislike my name. this was third grade. i used to cringe when kids at school would find out my middle name was blossom.
if i could go be back, i'd be like, "yeah, it's blossom. it rhymes with awesome!"
anyway, it's also something i now treasure - four generations of strong, if not sometimes misguided, women <3