Take Up Space

My sister just shared this video on Facebook and I immediately was sucked in. It reminded me of fast poetry and the likes of something I would watch and be interested in – in college, especially during my feminist stage. Regardless it is the message that is so important. “Take Up Space.” Yes, do it. I finally did.

After so many years (and something I have often blogged about) where my dad was so keen on reminding us that children were to be seen and not heard, it took me to my junior and senior years of college to realize I was NOT taking up any space. Being seen and not heard was so ingrained in who I was, that I did not know what it was like to say what I thought. I was on the quieter side. Eventually through my women’s study classes, and learning more about “voice” I realized how much I really had to say.

In order to truly speak up and talk I needed to take up space. A novel idea to someone who for so many years was basically told to be invisible. I know I was/am like so many women that struggle with taking up space. Instead of hiding or being quiet — instead say what you need to say. Say it again. Take up some space.

x

Thank you for sharing, sis.

Graffiti Badasses

Sometimes you see something in life that just inspires and makes you think “I want to be able to do that.” I grew up in a small Midwest town, and well let’s just say nothing much happened in my small town. Sure there was crime and the usual everyday life, but for the most part it was just boring. I went off to a boarding high school, then to college, then to Boston. Somewhere along the way I grew interested in graffiti. I definitely did not find that interest from my small town. If there was tagging of any kind, it was with a non-artistic kid that went rogue with a spray can either because they were bored or because maybe someone had pissed them off and they decided to get back with a paint can.

I find it interesting that graffiti originates back to Ancient times, and today it can have a positive or negative connotation. In some neighborhoods, graffiti is welcomed as it means kids are off the streets and putting their energies into an art form. In other areas, it is looked at as controversial because of what the art might depict to other community members. Either way, I always gravitate towards graffiti that is done well, even if sometimes I find I do not understand what I am looking at – isn’t that the case with many types of art? You see what you see, or you see what you want to see.

Take a moment to watch this five-minute video of a graffiti installation (or part of it). The amount of time that must have taken, and the creativity and talent of these Australian graffiti artists.

Strategic, relentless, and thrifty

Where do we learn the behaviors that make up who we are? For some reason I was retrospective today. Thinking about my childhood, my teens, college, and my early professional career. At each stage I was a different person and I am still growing into who that is today.

As a kid I was definitely strategic (even if I did not know it at the time). I would find a way to con candy out of the old ladies at church (maybe I would not have resorted to it if it was given a little more freely at home). I learned early on that my sister would get sick on rides at the county fair, so if I asked to go on the spinning ones first I could potentially get the rest of her ride tickets. I was often quiet in the presence of my father when I knew he was in a bad mood, I did not dare piss him off. And I was fun and playful. I liked to be silly.

Somehow as I grew into being a teenager, I grew quieter and more introverted. I had seen too much in my life. Death, anger, poverty, sickness, desertion. As I look back at my senior year of high school, I feel a sadness. I barely made it through to graduation. I was lost and sad, but did not really know it at the time. On the outside I probably looked fairly normal. I was social, had friends, was a cheerleader, but my sadness came from not really having a home or parents to ground my day-to-day life. My last three years of high school were spent at a boarding school, so living away from home (that did not exist) sans parents was strange and so different from my classmates and friends. There was no one I could really relate to.

In college, I eventually found my way and I found my voice. That voice evolved into my professional life and experiences. I began to speak up for what I believed in without fear and decided that I had something to say and did not care what others thought of me.

Throughout it all I have been strategic, relentless, and thrifty. When I decide I want something I figure out how I am going to get it. I had to be that way. No one was taking care of me through high school or college so I learned early on to depend on no one but myself. While I now have people I depend on in my life, there is still always a thread that floats in the back of my mind. Will they drop the ball and I will have to pick it up? Will they follow through with what they said they will do? Each stage of my life has evolved into who I am today. Strategic, sometimes introverted, sometimes extroverted, intuitive, blunt, thrifty, and relentless. I have to trust you, and when I do the rest is history.