I came to a realization that there are reasons beyond simply being busy that I don't often update this blog. Busy is part of it, considering I have only lately been informed that my amount of classes is technically more than full time, as well as my great enjoyment of sleep and a semi-nocturnal schedule (Washington vampire roll call!).
But those aren't the only reasons, I think.
It doesn't take specific circumstances for me to get reflective, but sometimes it takes special circumstances for me to feel the need to express those thoughts verbally or in written form. Something that makes it real, outside my head. This isn't about whatever specific thing happened this time, but what it made me realize I wanted to say, and to make it accessible for others to read, whatever effect that has. I'm sending it out, so people can do with it what they will.
I'm surprised when people tell me I'm nice.
It's not that I don't think I am, or can be, but I've experienced enough where such a statement gives me pause.
It's not my goal to be nice.
It's my goal to be true.
When people think I'm nice, they tend to change their mind when I speak mine. I'm not a total cynic. But I'm far from idealist.
In a world that preaches "be yourself," what's really meant except for rare cases, is "be the you that I think you are, so I'm comfortable." This isn't limited by religion. This isn't limited by political ideology. This isn't limited by gender, sex, sexuality, age, or income. I've experienced all of this firsthand. I don't need to give someone my life story before deserving respect for how far I've come, as if I have to pass the juried test of affliction and experience.
My reasons for being quiet are three, mainly. A natural quietness, simply because I feel no need to raise my voice without good reason. Residual fear of speaking, because of a background filled with abuse of power and consistent blame for other people being angry, regardless of what I say about it. And the realization that I usually don't care to write or talk about something unless I feel strongly about it.
This is where a lot of the problems start. Assumptions have been made that I can't possibly be reacting to something in the same manner I received it.
Part of the abuse of power I've experienced in the past regarded mental health and not being quite like the other kids. The accusations flew that if someone was upset, it was because I intended to upset them. If I did something that turned out badly, it was because I neglected to reflect on my actions and choose the proper (obvious) one. I've been called a liar, rude, insane, conflict addicted, lazy, manipulative, selfish, sponging, psychotic, and vicious, and mostly by people who were once my friends.
I'm a liar when people don't like the idea that I might be telling the truth, so I'm not.
I'm rude when I'm tired of false politeness and want to get to the point.
I'm insane when I do the unexpected, and someone confuses surprise with hurt.
I'm conflict addicted because I'm not shy when I want something addressed.
I'm lazy when I take time for myself in-between working behind the scenes.
I'm manipulative if I point out one action or statement contradicts another.
I'm selfish if I don't agree with what someone wants me to do, and take care of myself first.
I'm sponging if I'm having trouble and need help, and it doesn't mean instant success.
I'm psychotic if I don't "agree to disagree" on an issue that's important to me.
I'm vicious if I don't let people push me around who feel entitled to.
I'm a troublemaker.
I don't have many friends, because I have a different standard than most. A standard I'm not going to change. I hate the phrase "good vibes only." All that really means is ignoring negativity and letting it take over behind the curtain.
In the past, I would have apologized for a negative post, but I'm not going to. I'd like people to read this blog when I post, and I want to offer relevant information and input, but I'm tired of pretending like my professional self is so wholly separate from my real self that I have to go so far between posting, all because I'm terrified of not doing something "right." Of someone getting to know part of me, and not liking it.
I understand professional concepts. I understand why many of the "rules" are there. I value getting things done and updating the source of my work so I can offer it to people.
My art isn't fueled by "Good Vibes Only."
It's fueled by how things are, and how I wish they could be. It's speculation and a lot of what-ifs and parallel realities and illustrations three inches to the left of "normal." It's the dark, cozy space where people once called me an ungodly freak that wasn't worth talking to. It's the bright, rainbow, monster-shaped candy to spite every "you're just a late bloomer" and comparison to kids who were not and will never be me.
I offer it because while I've endured a lot at the hands of the politely hateful, I hold out hope that not only will people enjoy my work for what it is through their eyes, someone can connect to it for the same reasons I make it.
It's not my goal to be nice.
It's my goal to be true.
And it's cost me a lot.
I hope you enjoy it, and it helps you out like it does me.
Updates will come. They'll be what I want to talk about, instead of being afraid I'm not doing it "right." If you've come here, it's for my work, and that's part of me. It comes with being in the parlor.
If you do, however, have any subjects you want a less polite approach to, I will happily have a look.