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So here I am,
A big question - how to do this?
I can do this,
It's easiest in the morning.
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I am not the person I used to be. Elsas Creativity Blog explores
JUNE 23, 2007
I'm very aware, these days, that I am not the person I used to be. I used to believe, in my head, in the equality of people. But I did not, in some very deep ways, feel equal to people with much more success, status or wealth than me.
I don't have anything like Hollywood success. I haven't become a millionaire. I haven't saved the world or done anything amazing by worldwide standards.
But I have a Ph.D. I did university teaching while getting my Ph.D, and now have a fulltime position as a college teacher.
I am the first person on either side of my family to have that kind of academic success.
More than that, I own a city and a country place, and have (by association) a place in Provence. Inside me, had I met my current self a couple of decades ago, I would have backed away, sure the person would not see me as an equal
And then, I have a creativity site. From where I stand, I see how much there is to do. From where I stood, I would have been intimidated.
That's too polite a way of saying things. I would have been frozen. I wouldn't have talked to me. I would have looked the other way, sure I wouldn't want to talk to her.
On some level I would have been sure of my value - my intelligence, my creativity, my thinking, my doing, my caring, and so on and so forth - but on another level, I would not have felt equal at all.
It is easy to believe in equality. It is impossible to force peope to believe deeply in our own equality.
What would scare the past me most? Not the fame - I am not (yet, anyhow) famous enough to totally freeze the person I used to be.
She would have seen me as rich. She would not have seen the old car, the long hours, the shopping for the best buys. She would have seen RICH.
My father was so against separation by class, the class system - and yet I can feel, inside me, the way class (money) intimidated me. I'm sure it was powerful for him too.
A memory. My father once told me of his first visit to the opera. He was given tickets by a childhood friend, now an opera singer. It was at the end of the war, in bombed-out Vienna. He was a very poor, often hungry apprentice. He had no formal wear, not even any presentable clothes. Whatever you have is fine, she reassured him. It was an extremely hot summer day. He wore what he had, shorts and a white undershirt. The other men wore tux and talls.
He felt shame through and through himself, in every bit of himself.
When I imagine myself back into my long ago self, the emotion I come to is fear. (Is the imagining accurate? I know I also had courage and many other qualities. So, to answer my own question: I'm sure I can't remember 100% accurately. But I do come to a vivid sense of myself. So, back to my inner image of my earlier self - afraid.)
Shame comes in too. I was afraid of being shamed, of being seen as pushy and intrusive, unwanted - afraid of feeling ashamed of having pushed myself where I wasn't wanted.
And now, much less fear. Not, I think, because I have accomplished things. My sense it that it's through nibbling away at the fear - and somtimes by smashing through a huge chunk of it - that I've been able to do much of what I have done.
There have been outside barriers as well, of course, that I've had to deal with - no teaching available when I got my Ph.D., and so on. Those have certainly counted, and very forcefully. With no outside barriers, I wouldnt even have had to become aware of the inner ones.
It's when I've come across outside barriers, that I've been gripped by the power of the inner ones. I'm alone, wish I were with someone. If that person appears, just like that, I don't have to know how scary it is to reach out. It's when no one appears, and there I am, alone and longing, that I've had to recognize it isn't just the world that's holding me back, but me.
Back to - I am a person who would have scared me. Yes, I am. And for the long-ago person, I hope to become even scarier - that is, even more successful in reaching for what she and I both long for. Because she is me.
There is much more to this - but this is where something so much in my awareness right now.
So many plans just now - this creativity site, interactivity for many people to post their works and find creativie matches, Zee's Cafe Cafe.
And with that,
As always, welcome into my world.
JUNE 23, 2007
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I am not the person I used to be.