Object Dar't

May 21, 2012

An Ass With Stripes

Ok..I know that society looks at us and makes assumptions about who we are based on the decisions we make. And the plot in the story that is my life has always been the struggle to "conform." There is a part of me that has always wanted to just blend in and yet, the reality of who I am ALWAYS makes that impossible. Over the years, I've come to liken it to being a zebra in a herd of giraffe. While the giraffe's have always been a gracious group about letting me hang out with them, they spend a whole lot of time noting my stripes, short neck and and the funny way I run on these stumpy legs. :D

And it's always been a challenge mentally. When I was younger, I spent a whole lot of time wishing (and trying) to be a giraffe. At a certain age, I gave up. Then I moved into acceptance. I'm a zebra..so be it. And the last few years have been about embracing being a zebra and seeing the perks. Then just two weeks ago, I received a test. God/Life/the Universe has a really messed up way of doing that. It was like I was being tested to see if I REALLY want to be a zebra or not because I was presented with a situation where I could almost look like a giraffe. And guess what? I fell for it. :/

Because art doesn't pay the bills on a consistent basis, I decided that the "responsible, adult thing to do" would be to send out my resume and get a job. I did that on Wednesday night. On Thursday morning, I got a call for an interview on Friday in Cambridge. I went. I got the job and was asked to start on Monday. It was the kind of job that for all intents and purposes, would be any giraffe's wet dream. So I skipped off to Cambridge! By day 3, I was surveying myself and the landscape. Here I am - a zebra - successfully doing the giraffe thing. I know myself well enough to know that I could have gone on like that indefinitely. And yet something was horribly wrong about it. Little red flags started appearing for me. Some red flags were logistical (like child care and transportation) but they didn't bother me as much as the little red flags that didn't have a name. I realize now what those red flags were: they're the ones that show up when you sell out and compromise yourself. Little signs written in chinese that say,
"You..are..an ass..with stripes!" *sigh*

I lasted all of 6 days and I guess depending upon your perspective, you could say that was 6 days too many or 6 quick days. As for me, I'm not concerned with the amount of time - I'm concerned with the meaning of it all. Whether it was 6 days or 60 days doesn't matter. I still threw my own "ass" under the bus because on some level I must still want to blend in with the giraffe's. I'm a little sad that at 45, after all the success I've had in 2 short years of being an artist, that somewhere inside of me I must not have FULLY embraced the fact that I'm a zebra. But I guess I'm also a little bit proud because 10 years ago, I wouldn't have recognized the test or the flags. I just wouldn't have been able to look at those 6 days and extract much out of the experience other than to say that I'd somehow (yet again) failed at giraffehood. Boy, I hope I can really get the lesson of being a zebra. Trying to be a giraffe has really been pretty pointless and stupid.