i think that my struggle has more to do with understanding my choice to be a mother. being a mother is a greater task than i could ask for. it takes everything of me, all the parts of me to do it as well as i like. i can do things outside of being a mom, and i do, but at the moment all roads lead back to that. the things that i am doing outside of being a mom include leading an attachment parenting group and organizing an attachment parenting group booth at a mother's day event. i also see a therapist to talk about being a mom, since my adult interaction is limited. i don't mind being a mom. i love it, it's fabulous. and i am still me even though i'm a mom. i guess i've found a career, you could say. but the struggle is that sometimes doubt creeps in. guilt creeps in. curiosity creeps in. and i begin to wonder if maybe there is some other version of my life. sometimes i feel the pressures of 70s-era feminism saying that opportunities were presented to me that i snotily declined. sometimes i feel the pressures of artisthood breathing down my neck saying that i should be progressing, growing, producing at all. at other times i realize that all of this is the stuff of life and if i were doing anything else i would be missing the real thing which is where i'm at - the purpose of the species, the intentions of my biology, to which i know that i am truly, truly dedicated. i know that despite the rhetoric, the goal of feminism was to allow for the choice, which as a culture we are only now remotely appreciating. i know that despite feminist gains that support for mothers at home or mothers at work or single mothers is decidely lacking and that the discrepancy between the pay rates of men and women is 75 cents on the dollar. i know that in order to be an artist fully, i must allow for life to feed the art. i also know how frida khalo struggled with the inertia to create, how fitzgerald felt that his earlier work was immature, and how salinger still hides in the woods. what history now tells me is that given all the time in the world (van gogh) or a hefty cocaine habit (basquiat), or the world's wealthiest sponsor (michelangelo), or some combination of the three, one can produce ad infinitum, provided one's back, or one's heart, or one's brain doesn't give out, which of course it eventually does. i am not yet 25. my world is not likely to end tomorrow. i must simply learn to accept everything in good time. i must also devise better methods for staving off all those gremlins of fear and doubt and guilt. and as an artist, for which the time will come, i must learn how to do as jack black has mastered and keep ego and critics away from my brain as my fingers type or paint or what have you. and you're right, indeed - fuck 'em.
i was wondering, do you ever feel the need for validation? because i was thinking about myself as an artist and realizing how i constantly need to be validated, whether or not i actually get it. i find myself even feeling a great pull for someone to tell me that i am doing what i should be doing, that this path that i am on makes sense regarding who i am and that it is good and right and that it is *who i am*. i feel sometimes that maybe i sold myself short in terms of art and that nothing i do is valuable and that nothing i've ever done was as great as it could be, or any good at all. and then i thought of you - and you seem so confident that what you do is good and of value and that how you actually make money, or that you make money or feel or find security is of little importance. that's the feeling i get from you - that you *know* absolutely that what you are doing is right. how ever did you get that way? is it something that your parents or community or society instilled in you? were you just born with that? did you/do you ever feel that you should be doing something better, or perhaps just outside pressure to do something more/better? i feel like i was told that i was good at so much and that i'm letting that image/idea of me down somehow, even though i know there's absolutely no real pressure to do anything other than what i'm doing. am i just overly neurotic? do i think through this too much? and why have i chosen you as my confessor (you might ask and even i ask myself)? i had this discussion with my father when he was here in february and he mentioned that everyone is surprised that i've become so "domesticated". no one ever expected that of me. i never even really expected it of myself, though it was what i really wanted. or maybe it was a cop-out. or maybe just a biological urge. but how can i reduce my love to biology? what the hell is wrong with me? why do i feel so twisted and turned about this? i speak about my life and get so tongue-tied. how do i get ahold of it, feel it, sense it, understand it, reconcile that which i dream with that which i do? where does understanding come? when do i feel sure of myself? how?