As I grapple with memories of perceived mean words and actions with new hurt feelings, I truly try to follow the path of kindness for the most part because I can never take being the victim of mean girls (or boys). (Do unto others...right?) But then again, who can? Another mean girl? Someone with "tough skin"? Someone who let's things roll off their back like a rubber duck? I have spent my life trying to not be that "mean girl" but it slips out every now and then. (I guess a person can't help it if they were raised in a house with seven females.) I've often been told I'm too sensitive, or that I'm overly emotional, or that I'm delusional in the way I see things. That's ok. I'm ok with those past descriptors of me. I'm sure that I will continue to be those things...too sensitive...overly emotional...somewhat delusional in my take on the world. Why change now? I finally have a focus on who I really am, what I really want to be, and how I want to continue living my life.
I had a friend once tell me in her experience as a mother, her son never said the kinds of things her daughter would say to her in an effort to intentionally hurt her feelings. Women seem to know how to hit each other below the belt for that gut wrenching effect. I was able to empathize with her. I saw and heard it happen all of the time growing up. But in all fairness I have heard some guys say some pretty nasty things to their mothers. I'm pretty sure feelings were hurt just as deeply.
As I type, type, type away, I'm trying to lasso my ideas together to make a succinct point. I'm not sure I can do it because my writing skills are a bit scattered. I feel more at ease reflecting my feelings through pictures. Every one of my pictures has a meaning but it's not always very obvious. There's no play button in the corner of the picture to push to hear the meaning in voice...words of description...a definition to go along with the image.
My recent image depicts a little girl in a huge window looking out over what could be a fairy tale kingdom. Seeing the world as she wants to see it...magical and full of opportunities. Full of wisdom. Full of hope. Full of wonder. But most of all full of beauty and love. Only seeing the best the world has to offer. Am I trying to tap on that proverbial fountain of youth through the mind of a 58 year old woman? Maybe. Maybe that's what the fountain of youth really is; portraying the world through the eyes of a child with the wisdom of years lived. (Some fairy tales were written to warn children about the dark side of the world. Hansel and Gretel was written to warn the young about the evils of seemingly kind strangers. Aged wisdom through the events a child could understand.)
I've often said I love the decade of my 50's. Now that I'm closing in on the next decade of my 60's I'm looking forward to how much more I might know about myself and my life...provided good health prevails...provided how my version of the fountain of youth prevails. In my mind I feel just as young as I did in my 20's, just wiser. How many times have you seen the question on Facebook "how would you relive your life if you knew what you know now?" I've been seeing it a lot lately. I guess my postings are fitting into an algorithm of artificial intelligence identifying me as age appropriate for such thoughts. (lol)
My point being that I hope my art continues to connect me to my life and vice versa. Seeing my life as a constant learning experience. Treating my art pursuits with the zeal of a perpetual student of the arts. Noting the wrongs I see without allowing myself to become victim to those wrongs. Or, at the very least, trying not to proliferate those wrongs.
Point of concern: Watching as my granddaughter successfully learns a lesson in being a mean girl at my expense (subconscious as it may be for a 4 year old). Even though it is just my perception of the event, do I lash out childishly in my own defense, do I confront the the issue, or do I suck it up buttercup? I'll suck it up for now knowing that some day I may need to address the issue head on, but as I do I'll search for a different kinder path to travel. Maybe she will follow the same path. Maybe not. It's her choice.