I Write To Fight Stigma

All of a sudden, I’m nervous that I’m “talking about myself too much.”  I share my story, I offer my opinions, I write about how I’m optimistic about my future… So am I being selfish here?  I hope not.  I guess I just share myself because I want to make a positive difference in this world.  I want to uplift the people I encounter, and help there to be perhaps one more little ray of sunshine out there.  Earth needs them.

With that being said, I’ll share my musings for the day.

***

I like the prospect of earning supplemental income as a freelance writer, but it’s also a lot of hustle.  And hustle is tiring!  I’m realizing over the months, that I like writing because it is a way for me to express my inner musings.  A way for me to share my personal self with the world.  And as people read what I write, they get to know me.  People who like what I write then come into my life, and I find that they are the best of friends, more compatible with me than those I even meet in real life!

For the moment, I’ve veered away from freelance writing for pay.  I currently want to focus more on discovering my personal voice through writing.  While this does not put bread on my plate, it will help me become a better writer.  Writing from the heart is what motivates me to keep going on, even when I think my writing “sucks.”  To be honest, I was getting discouraged with trying to send pitches to places for income, because I felt that my writing was not genuine.

I see that many websites have a particular political slant or cultural emphasis, and they pick submissions that go along with their overall “vibe.”  The problem I have is, I question EVERYTHING.  I not only question the status quo, but I question the people (etc.) who question the status quo!  This is hard, because it somehow causes me to disagree with everyone I meet on some level.  But at the same time, this mentality has allowed for me to find compassion for even the most cantankerous of people.  I am no saint, but I attempt to live with love and happiness in my heart.

The only internet community that I seem to “fit in” with is the mental health awareness/advocacy/stigma fighting community.  When I write here from the heart, people read me how I want to be read.  I’ve also befriended some pen pals online from Germany, but again, my enthusiasm for the German language and culture is a fierce passion of mine.  I find that when I follow my passions, I find the most of fulfillment.

Fortunately, there are unpaid sites that publish my essays.  I’m glad to get my voice out there, and I’m glad to have my opinions heard.  I also have this little blog 🙂  This blog is a wonderful, personal space that I have created for myself… If I am frustrated with the online cultures of big-name paid sites, then I have my own site here where I call the shots!

Although, I’m the only writer here.  No matter.  The world still turns.  Stigma must be fought.  Voices need to be heard.  Fighting for freedom needs to happen now.  And so I try.

Being a Tall Woman… Trials and Tribulations

I’ve always been tall.  From toddlerhood to adulthood, this has been my reality.  And while I have never been ashamed or regretful about my height, there are societal complications that have affected my experience of life overall.

From kindergarten through fifth grade, I was always the tallest kid in the class, and possibly even the entire grade.  My height was especially punctuated because I lived in an East Asian neighborhood, and so there were a lot of short people around me.  (Forgive the stereotype, but this was the reality I faced.)  I was a sensitive person, so these taunts really hurt my feelings.  And as much as I tried, I just got down over it.  This was how the depression first started creeping up on me.
It also did not help that my family dressed me in unisex clothing.  My hair too was unfashionably styled.  Having the potential for luscious locks of curly black hair, my hair was instead cut just at the perfect length to create a large poofy ‘fro.  All of this together, combined with my height, spelled social disaster.  The girls would not talk to me.  I suppose the were both afraid of me, and disdainful.  It is a painful reality that children are some of the most judgmental people on the planet.

Nevertheless, I coped.  At lunch every day, I sat at the boys’ table.  They’d make jokes and blow bubbles in their milk… Far more interesting than the girls table, where they would silently munch on their sandwiches, legs dangling as they sit on the too-high benches at the table.

Yet it was hard.  “You look like a boy.”  “Why do you look like a boy?”  Painful to hear, because inside I felt very feminine.  And when I went to the bathroom?
“Ew!  There’s a boy in the girls’ bathroom!”
As I entered junior high school, the children around me started to display romantic notions towards one another.  Yet I felt completely excluded from this affair.  No guy would ever look on me, and I was also hesitant.  When I asked my mother “why do no boys like me,” she’d give the response:
“They’re probably intimidated by you.  You’re tall, and you’re not smiley or flirty.”

Indeed I wasn’t.  I frowned at times, frequently deep in thought.  Also, I was heavily engaged in taking violin and viola lessons.  Classical music was more important to me than childhood romance.  I disliked school culture overall, so I hated being there… Oh, did I mention that I was now in therapy for clinical depression?

I don’t think my height is correlated to my depression.  Yet I sometimes realize I am plagued by the trivial curse of being tall.  When I go to the boot camp gym for a class, I am a head taller than about half of the women there.  I sweat a lot and make faces because I am very intense with the exercise.  (Don’t worry, I don’t make any grunting sounds.)  Maybe I’m paranoid, but I have seen a couple of scared faces in my direction, as well as a ring of space around me.  I know that I don’t smell because I check myself.  Also, my curly hair is now long and frizzy, so perhaps I have a wild look as well.
After gym class, I don’t socialize with the other women there.  Sometimes I feel lonely, but also… I just had the realization… I miss out on a lot of conversations because they happen below my level of height.  I am not a giant at all, standing at a mere 5′ 10″.  But I see women talking and I don’t care enough to slouch down and listen to them.
I suppose all is well now.  I have matured into an adult who cares less about the opinions of others.  I am satisfied with my appearance, and have no frets or fears.
This blog post is a bit all over the place, I’ll admit.  I’m trying to brainstorm ideas that can be marketable for websites that pay their writers.  This article was a failed attempt towards that.  It’s reassuring to know that I have my own blog where my “trash” can go.
But I exaggerate.  This essay is not trash.  That’s because it came from meeeeee.
🙂

The Importance of Artistic Inspiration

The source of inspiration has always intrigued me.  Where does creativity come from?  When someone creates a song that hits the heart, or when someone dances with inimitable grace upon the stage… we wonder where indeed, did that expertise come from?  Can it be credited to the person performing the miracles, or is it the hint of perhaps something greater than us?  Deity?  A life force?  What indeed is it?

 

This concept of mystery has been one I have pondered and appreciated for many years.  It began when I was a toddler.  My mother is gifted as a visual artist, and various drawings hanging on our walls were of her conception.  It was mysterious to me, seeing her works… They hearkened unto times before my birth, and served as miniscule hints into the past.  Was my mother a different person before my arrival?

 

Inspiration affected me firsthand when I realized that Christmas came with carols.  Which I sang heartily then all year.  The melodies and words were divinely inspired, in both the religious and secular way, and so I appreciated them.  I began to develop a pleasant singing voice then, and music became my ally.  At the dawn of first grade, I started playing the violin.  And that is when the inspiration truly began.

 

Hearing classical music, specifically from the Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods, has entranced me always.  It is a style of music that is primarily driven by a melody, which is then accompanied and supported by other complex activities, including the lowest of bass rumblings and everything in between.  The whole package together is held by the chords created to suggest a certain key signature.  “Concerto for Violin in E Major, BWV 1042.”  That one’s by Johann Sebastian Bach.  “Violin Sonata No. 5 in F Major, Op. 24.”  Beethoven’s famed Spring Sonata.  Each piece is comprehensive, finished and complete, akin to a painting with every stroke placed perfectly.

 

Or perhaps like Renaissance sculptures of the physical form.  I wonder with Michelangelo… where does it end where the artist sculpts… and the piece of art sculpts itself?  Indeed, if he “tried too hard” to make David “perfect,” he could have nicked too much marble off here or there… of course he was an “expert” and would have “never” done that… Perhaps I don’t understand such genius enough.

 

I suppose for myself, I am gifted at music, though I don’t find much enjoyment in it.  It seems a blasphemous statement, for me to say that I don’t enjoy a gift I have, but so it is.  I find it too simplistic in some ways.  I write a melody with my guitar, as well as accompanying lyrics.  The words come to me easily, as do the rhymes (with the glad assistance of a rhyming dictionary), as does the music.  I am no canonical composer, but I have an elementary understanding of how to create a musical work that has all of its loose ends tied.  My songs tell stories.  They evoke images that are complete.  My songs are strung together with form in the traditional sense, and are not at all abstract.

 

But music seems so boring, precisely because it comes from somewhere that is NOT ME.  There is some sort of strange disconnect.  Of course, the songs I create are very personal to me, and accurately paint my life.  But I feel as if the songs I write are so transparent, that it is as if I simply shot a photograph of myself in the mirror.  And as fond as I am of selfies, I find them to be only tools for self-reflection, intended for myself.  It’s even uncanny.  Songs I have written several years before seem to predict events in my future.  They also develop greater meaning as I age, because they describe feelings and emotions that I did not have when I wrote them, yet I then acquire them in the future.

 

It’s an absolute eerie experience, and so I prefer to refrain from music.  I honestly have no desire to be a mystic or occultist, because honestly such work is exhausting.  And it also serves no purpose.  What benefit is there, to know my future?  I’ve consulted charlatans, evangelicals and honest spiritualists alike over the years, and their counsel only served to pack my subconscious with a rich pallet of insane colors, all thrown into my face like the abstract art of Millie Brown.  She is noted for creating works of art painted with her own vomit.  I must say, that vomit is my greatest fear on earth.

 

I much prefer writing.  In general, I have a lot of questions and thoughts and ideas.  Music is too slow of a medium to express this.  You can only utter so many words at once, and the music serves to influence the words likewise.  Music alone can influence one’s mood, and I find this too be too much.  I like the silence of words.  I like how words are more personal.  The emotions evoked within the person are noiseless.

 

Regardless of what talent I dedicate myself to, I know in my bones that I will be successful… as long as I stay true to my heart, and true to the people I care about.  The challenges that I face in pursuit of this goal, lies in developing compassion for every living creature I encounter and know about.  If I care about everyone alive, I will be able to make the deepest and most positive impact on this world, that I am capable of.

 

Yet I am only one person.  That is why I care about people.  One person cannot move a mountain.

 

Artistic inspiration perhaps comes from a place unknown to common sense or science.  It may lie latent in the brain, or perhaps it is from elsewhere outside the human form.  I think it is a popular statement these days, to say that “accessing this inspiration can cause healing for the brain.”  Healing, in the mental health aspect and holistically likewise.  Yet I find it opposite.  I was unable to become intuitive and artistic, until my brain was healed with medication.

 

It is a very complicated topic.  But I will say this: The experience of accessing your intuition, whether via an artistic discipline or perhaps even through the athletic practice of developing one’s level of fitness… Accessing your intuition is an ability that you have within you.   And you have every right of experiencing this phenomenon.

 

It is a sad state of affairs, that we are inundated with instant entertainment, from computer games to television to Top 40 songs.  We are so entertained, that we neglect to find our own latent intuition within ourselves… that once served to entertain us!  Perhaps that is why there is so much mental grief these days… We are being robbed of the opportunity to develop our imaginations due to being fed entertainment.

 

It’s a complicated matter, and I’m tired for now.  I could ponder it further in my sleep, and continue from there.  Indeed, the best of intuitions follow periods of rest.

 

Good night!