It's been a long and whirly month, with lots of insights and pleanty of pitfalls. But today is March 1st and it's the start of women's history month. I am reminded so hard by my dear friends that being a woman is a gift, and a contant process of unfolding.
I think so many of us (women and men) are conditioned to think that depression is bad, that our bodies defy us, that we have to always be ON, and that our looks need to be aces, too. Otherwise, who would want us? ...we say to ourselves. Who will love us? ...we wonder....
My lovely photographer friend, Brianna Shrader, wrote an article about the concept of doing something "like a girl" and how that's seen as a bad thing. Why does it have to mean weak, or less than, or floppy? I think today's society is changing that to mean strong, and capable, and loving, but I know that old programming is so ingrained into my own hard drive that I forget how I am holding myself back. And I hold myself back all the time!
Another friend, a kick ass tarot reader, Carrie Mallon, wrote a post about her personal road map to finding "home" where you feel strong, at peace, and connected to yourself. She explains how she must forge through "deserts of depression", swim in "seas of self doubt", tirelessly searching for home, and then finding that peace come for a minute, then she's lost again.
I love both of these woman because they have taught me both sides of the spectrum, and being strong means loving all parts of you.
Give Yourself and others Permission to BE WHERE YOU ARE.
Life is happening right now, and you can either enjoy it, or wish it was different. So enjoy it. Let it be what it is. Look for the flowers in that desert, and surf the seas of self doubt with a silly dance. It's your time, it's your journey, and the gifts you bring back from these experiences will give life to others as you share it. You're a rockstar.
You are a creator, and this is YOUR STORY, DAMNIT.
If you want to do something, ain't nobody gonna hold you back but you. This includes making art, writing a book, getting strong muscles, trying out a new sport, asking out someone you have the hots for. Yaaassssssss, you can do it! Brianna is a cheerleader to the max, and she taught me to be my own cheerleader, too. Funny thing is, when you start cheering on yourself, you can't help but want to cheer on others!
You must love and understand both parts of you. Have that conversation with yourself though tarot cards, art making, or with a friend, in order to understand where you need to balance yourself in order to grow.
Because it's all about growin', folks. We are on this planet with all these plants and animals, growin' in tandem and it so. damn. cool.
Last note: I'm doing a Year of Making for myself, where I'll make somthing new everyday. It might be a painting, and little sculpture, and stamp, whatever. It's an internal exercise since I've gotten real weird about making personal work. Like real weird y'all. Wanna join? Join my newsletter and I'll be sending out little tidbits and sending encouragement.
Check out Brianna and Carrie on Instagram
Annie is an author and illustrator with books available on Amazon and local book stores. She is open for commission, too! She lives in California, and loves tea, bike rides, reading, and exploring new places.