Jeanette’s Autism Show: Jacci Pillar Podcast #Aspiecomedy

This is Jeanette’s Autism Show – where autistic advocate and author Jeanette Purkis chats with guests doing good things in the autism community.

In this episode, Jeanette interviews me!

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-3wmmg-a31032

“Comedian, Anthropologist; Autistic-ly solving conundrums people don’t know they have! Her show “Labelled” is a comedic, audio-visual storytelling about growing up Autistic and the politics of neurodiversity. Her serious keynote mental health talk “Normal is a cycle on the washing machine” is about challenging old social norms about recovery from PTSD.  Jacci Pillar is a name synonymous with human narrative and positive mental health messages.  She takes complex issues and turns them into a storytelling journey delivered with energy and warmth.

Jacci has a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JacciPillar/

And is involved in the ‘Silently Growing Monsters’ campaign mention in the podcast: https://www.facebook.com/silentlygrowingmonsters/

Enjoy the podcast

Source: Jeanette’s Autism Show: Jacqui Pillar

Dodgy parodies

So I love rewriting poems and songs and performing as dodgy parodies – blends of song and poetry.  Parody so bad you can’t look away! Look out #MICF2019 here I come! Sorry this comes up wrong way up – it should right itself when you click play.  If you like these – like my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/JacciPillar/

Here’s the YouTube link if you want to share (please do!)

So then I decided I hadn’t massacred a perfectly good song enough – so I had another crack at both Dolly and Whitney.  Sorry fans!  This one was written specifically for someone who’d had a bad experience with a HR professional…so apologies to decent HR professionals! If you wanna share it YouTube link is here

*WARNING: swearing!*

The Long Haul Imposter and Ageist Wank

Ageism and sexism have always been dance partners. Like peas in a pod. Like flies to shit piles.

I felt invisible until I was 45. So whilst I’ve packed as much as I can into my life, I’ve mainly kept my head down and tried to stay invisible.

Then I started doing comedy. Now as I enter my 49th year I am more visible than ever and here for the long haul.

For the first time in my life I feel my story is important. That all our stories are important. If we are going to get truly intersectional, now is the time.

I wanted to write about the feminist cause and how long it takes to get things done and how we will always need feminism. But then I thought that was best told through my story.

Largely because, now, more than ever I am beginning to see the signs of a new “ism” for me.

I know ableism. This is a reality of being on the spectrum and having some acquired injuries as well.
I know sexism. All too well and I tell these stories on stage as a comedian to remind the world we still need feminism. I have experienced the “tone policing of the patriarchy” where I wasn’t allowed to like myself, let alone be proud of my achievements. Men and women in my circle of influence ran me down for any shred of pride. Until I left that circle of influence.

But this fucking ageism that says I am not allowed to be proud of where I’ve come to because I am now less relevant or need be humble? WTF. This is usually spoken before they know my history, based on zero knowledge of that story. However I’m “older” and these generalisations are usually accompanied by a range of comments about age.

Sometimes the use of humility, “stay humble”, is just another way the patriarchy tones polices women. I’ve done my fair share of self-depreciation sheathed in a supposed “humility”. No more.

I’m not promoting myself as dull for no-one, not even for the Dalai Lama.

As a side note, I’ve been retreating and studying eastern thought on subjects such as humility for a decade now and I’ve met a few significant Lamas. None quite the Rockstar of his holiness, but the contradiction of people commodifying Buddhism to the west so it can be culturally appropriated is not lost on me. I’ll just use mindfulness and meditation as techniques in and of themselves and stop trying to twist humility to serve the patriarchy.

I find it fascinating when women use humility in a way that was once used like “sweet, nice and passive” was once heavily used for oppressing women. Internalised misogyny is something we all work to recognise and manage.

Now I am proud of my achievements, proud of my place on the autism spectrum, proud of my association with feminist action (even before I called it that) – and that new ism of ageism is interfering with my pride.

I am not having any of this ageism wank masquerading as “relevance”. It can fuck off. I’m going to tell my story, whether people think it is relevant or not. Because there will be someone who benefits, someone who walks away from it feeling better or more empowered.  Even one is enough.

I currently work with a group of 40 plus of the cleverest women and men I have ever worked with. I’m not naming that organisation because I like to keep my public face and private face separate. But let me just say I regularly don’t feel bright or clever enough to work with them at all. I feel like an imposter sometimes.

Today my Chief Executive Officer reminded me it was time to let that go and by golly gee gosh (irony alert: isn’t that just such sweet older lady talk, I’m just saying it like some expect me to!) – she is right.  I am one of this crew of clever people. But this story isn’t just about me or the cohort I work with. It’s about how all women survive. It’s another story of survival and resilience. We really do need to honour ALL our stories.

This ageism is interesting, especially when a woman nearing 50 is assumed to have had a “traditionally female life”. Or that her history is not as relevant as younger contemporaries (whether traditional or otherwise). This suggests that we only assign value to whatever story is commodified by popular culture. Still, popular culture tends to, unfortunately, reinforce sexist norms about a woman’s beauty being most important. She is then, either a relic of the past, or, less relevant as she ages. If she dares modify her appearance she is then told to act her age.

Damned if you age gracefully, damned if you age disgracefully, just damned if you age. So age! Age however you fucking want and enjoy every freaking bit of it.

I’m here for the long haul as a feminist as old and irrelevant as some might assign me. As I always have been a feminist, unknowingly for a period, but nonetheless worthy of the label.

So, it matters not what anyone else thinks really. Besides, if I can wear a large vulva costume on stage and sing rewritten show tunes about reproductive rights – I clearly don’t care if certain quarters don’t like me. My audiences have been happy and the audience does not lie.

Desperately staying relevant is the new corset. The foot in our back is the patriarchy.

I was originally an accidental feminist who was most influenced by a father who didn’t believe in traditional notions of gender. I now know that as an AS woman I am less likely to be drawn to traditional notions of gender binaries, so that makes sense. I never understood “girl stuff” vs. “boy stuff”. If I wanted to do something, I did it, aided and abetted by a father who was 20 years older than my peers’ fathers. It wasn’t until I was studying at 28 I discovered the world of feminist literature and then I realised I was quite the feminist. I have worn the label with pride ever since.

I joined the military as a teen because I hated school and dropped out in year 11 and I decided to follow the rather dreadful family tradition of service. I started out a clerk supply in the Royal Australian Air Force, even though I had applied for technical positions. I had done all my trade related subjects at high school, but I was told I did not have the “aptitude”.

A year in to my service, my Commanding Officer at 486 squadron Richmond noticed my tech ability and let me become what he called a “pseudo-techo”. I was trained to do duty crew on the flight line – marshalling, refuelling, towing and doing general checks of Hercules C130 aircraft.  When the bases education officer revisited my recruitment tests, I most certainly did have the right aptitudes and there were tech places when I signed up.  So some sexist creep decided they wanted to limit the numbers.  This is a story I have heard from quite a few women in the forces from the 1980’s and 90’s.

With my CO’s support I quickly applied to become an Instrument Fitter (known as a re-muster when you are already in the services). Off I went to trade training and then went onto to be one of the first female Avionics tech to graduate (this was after becoming an Instrument fitter first).

I found myself part of a total quality team leaders’ group in the Royal Australian Air Force that convinced command to bring in paper recycling. It’s a funny story – I’ll tell it one day. So, yeah, green sensibilities are not new.  Sorry not sorry.

I also need to say that the two women in a unit of 300 had to ask for a toilet to be allocated to us. Then we had to share it with senior officers who went to extreme lengths to keep it to themselves (a story for another day). We were required to walk 500m, only to be abused for taking too long to pee. Yeah, you read that right. This was 1992, not 1942.

When I left the RAAF, I went on to train as a Scuba Dive Master (and there were very few females in the industry).

Unfortunately, I did a round with “the bends”. Surviving two forms, Neurological and Musculoskeletal Decompression Illness after a dive went wrong and I rescued two students in bad conditions. I was treated in a hyperbaric chamber for a few days on 100% oxygen. This was after being flown at low altitude from Maroochydore to Townsville and after a long delay. Horrifying. Painful. Debilitating and almost fatal.

The next few years were more hell and I successfully sued my dive operator for damages, only to get a mere $25 000 after six years of lost income. At that time the insurance giant HIH was crashing and my dive operator was insured with a subsidiary. My payment was limited as part of the government bailout for HIH.

I went on Today Tonight at 23 to raise awareness of the need for a hyperbaric chamber in Brisbane. For bends patients, cancer patients and the gamut of other conditions that benefit from hyperbaric medicine. I got 1000 signatures with others working on a petition. Thank goodness for all those electronic petitions now, I don’t have to walk the streets and talk to people I am literally scared of.  Comedy audiences are further away…over there. Now there is a shiny Hyperbaric Medicine facility at Wesley Hospital.

I have a copy of a dreadful That’s Life magazine with a story about me in it that a friend returned to me last year, she had hung onto it for over 20 years. The reporting was all about my husband’s despair about my difficulties, not about my bravery or my recovery. But that was considered the only thing important in 1994.  It was also part of the narrative that covered up the abuse of women with disabilities or mental health issues.

At 27, a new mum and in the abusive marriage from hell, I decided to go to University, despite still recovering from an acquired brain injury. In addition, I was regularly being misdiagnosed with a range of mental health conditions at the urging of my abuser who actively informed the medical process and who worked hard to keep me sick. It’s hard to cope and heal from significant injuries while being tortured in other ways.

It’s so easy to blame domestic violence on a woman’s mental health, particularly when she is recovering from a serious injury/illness. Any retaliation can be deftly blamed on her and the society that has normalised that violence goes “but the wife was crazy”. It’s a view that, thankfully, today is beginning to fade as we strip back the myths of violence against women.

Interesting how I have thrived ever since I left that relationship. If that is not proof enough, I don’t know what is. I have never remarried and came out as bisexual in my early 40’s.

It turns out that in my mid 30’s I was properly diagnosed with Asperger’s but I rejected it until my 40’s. Every treatment (except for my forays into mindfulness and meditation) up until then was potentially damaging and I wasn’t sure I wanted another label. The earlier PTSD diagnosis was accurate, but that was made worse by abuse.

In the late 1990’s I worked hard to use the techniques a neuropsychologist taught me to rewire my brain. I learned to manage my mental health and what I know now were AS meltdowns, not psychosis. I can now de-escalate them by working with my sensory differences (hypersensitivities to noise, sound and my vision) instead of working against them.

At 34, I graduated from the University of Queensland with Honours in Anthropology (socio-linguistics). I left my husband and went to become a sacred sites anthropologist in Alice Springs.

I lived in Alice Springs for two periods of 9 years and 2 years. I did interesting social justice related work. Drove 26 000 km off road and recorded song and story with local Aboriginal people. Worked with violent men in maximum security educating about family violence. Helped build Indigenous road crews along the Tanami Road. Worked as a homelessness advocate. Worked for Alice Springs Women’s Shelter and for Gap Youth Centre in differing capacities.

In between stints in Alice Springs I did similar work and a bit of lecturing in critical literacy in Cairns in Far North Queensland. I then did 6 months in China teaching English part time while I finished writing my historical fiction book (which is currently with last edits with a publisher – hopefully to go to print in the next year all going well).

Then did a year in Darwin in 2015 (and then back to Alice Springs in 2016). During that time I doing stand up comedy and it has morphed into women’s rights issues based comedy and my solo show about growing up different.

In July I moved to Melbourne. I experienced a low-level sexual assault at work in February in Alice Springs. A random off the street tried to force his way in a building while groping at my breasts. That was it. I’d had enough of frontline work. I struggled with it and got lots of counselling. Had some months off and had to live off the good will of friends in Melbourne for accommodation during that period. It was extremely difficult, but I am glad I decided to take a leap of faith and come home to Melbourne (I was born here, but have not lived here since 1974).

So the sexists, the ableists and the ageists can all kiss my broad, middle aged, cottage cheese, faded tattooed ass.

I’m here. To stay. See you at Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The show’s called Mad Pride. It’s the 4 – 5th April (I’m the 5th) at 7 pm. Firefly Room – Newmarket Hotel. Inkerman St. St Kilda.

Book at http://www.comedyfestival.com.au

Comedy and NOT Hiding in Plain Sight.

“Hiding in plain sight”.  I feel that until I was 45 that is exactly what I was doing.  Then I found the joy of performing comedy.

My father’s father was a iron monger.

My mother’s father was a house painter.

My father’s mother was a milliner.

My mother’s mother was a “housewife” aka as business manager of a house painting business.

Working class.  Blue collar.  Not that Australian’s like to think we have classes.  But we do.

I work in the white collar field of anthropology, I am a writer and a performer. I travel lots. I don’t aspire to the same way of life my grandparents did and most certainly not to a “settled or domestic life”.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved and admired both sets of grandparents and appreciate how different their lives were and that many of the choices I have were limited to them or not available at all.  So, the motivations for how they lived had to be different as a matter of course.  However, some of my ancestors would not have chosen a different course even if it is available to them – of that I am sure.

Yesterday I walked through the Melbourne CBD, where I will be working in the near future – thinking how very different I am to the last two generations of my family.

None of them wore parts of the female anatomy on stage.  *Yes, I sometimes do wear a large costume on stage that is to do with women’s reproductive rights – but not always*

None of them went to university.  They only travelled because of war.  How very lucky I am and how very grateful to my ancestors I am.

And exactly how much my hiding in plain sight was linked to the identities of my grandparents and perhaps much further back than that. 

We now know that some of our inter-generational behaviours are genetic – so that explains some of how difficult it is to be different from our forebears.

It also explains something for me about how different my course is – but how fundamentally similar it is.  I will always work in jobs that fight for the underdog, the battlers and for those who experience disadvantage.  Those are my social and genetic roots.

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Thank you to the Melbourne Observer for featuring my show! Read the whole edition (and me on page 51.) online at http://melbobserver.com.au/wp/

This might explain why we might feel as though we are “hiding in plain sight”.  Trying to blend in where we don’t really feel we do.  I think this is the source of much unhappiness for many people.

We need to stop hiding in plain sight.  The world’s diversity is it’s greatest gift.  

Stop it.  Stop it now.

Be who you are.

I am no longer hiding in plain sight.

I am holding my own space – fiercely.

 

You can see my show “Labelled” at #SydneyFringe and #MelbourneFringe Festivals.

Sydney Fringe – Kings Cross Hotel – 14 & 15 September – book tickets at:

https://sydneyfringe.com/buy-tickets/?e=MTU2MzU

Melbourne Fringe – at the Hare Hole at Hares and Hyenas, Fitzroy, 24, 25 & 26 September, book your tickets at:

https://melbournefringe.com.au/event/labelled-a-comedic-story-about-stories-about-people/

 

Comedy, Commitment and Cash

I never would have imagined my life to have turned out this way at 18 years old.  Now at nearly 48, thirty years later – I am constantly pleasantly surprised by the twists and turns of my life.

You have heard the stories about people who pursue performance/arts/writing careers?

I’m sure you have heard about the lack of stability in income, the need to fundraise and the need to live off the good will of the arts community and the arts consumer?

It’s all true.  What is also true is that those things often make creative people put off careers or keep them as “hobbies”.

This July I made a huge decision and committed 100% to my arts career.  I have a completed book manuscript in edits with a publisher after winning the 2016 Hachette Publishing Mentorship.

I have a non-conventional comedy show titled “Labelled” (part audio-visual, part theatrical, part storytelling, part musical comedy, part costume comedy) that is touring and doing Sydney Fringe and Melbourne Fringe Festivals in September.  I plan to do Adelaide Fringe, Vault (London) and Edinburgh Fringe (Scotland) in 2019.

“Labelled” is a show about growing up different, conforming and finding our way back to our true selves.

It is essentially comedic storytelling of gendered inter-generational trauma and positive mental health through the experience of growing up “different” in the 1970’s and 80’s. Aims to free the audience of the need to label through a story told from a tripartite of sexuality, gender and disability. There is a strong emphasis on neurodiversity (I am Asperger’s).

I have been involved in community radio broadcasting and will continue to be involved in that.  If you have followed my blog you will see a recent period of recovery from a stressful period and the decision to pack up and move 2200 km’s a little over four weeks ago.

Since then I haven’t felt better  and my emotional and psychological health is rapidly improving.

I’ve registered with recruitment agencies to get short term contracts in my old profession of anthropology – pursuing work to fit around my arts career, instead of my arts career being made to fit around anthropology.

I don’t have savings or assets and this move into the arts as a career is a big risk.  I am part of the cohort of older women who have had long periods of income loss due to domestic violence and/or disability and who may not have adequate super or savings because of that history.  We are rapidly becoming a significant homelessness risk.

To be really committed to this arts career – I’m gonna be broke assed and always in need of support and I don’t know how long for – and I don’t care, I feel alive for the first time in years.

I have finally committed to me.

I have been in denial of who I really am for many years, conforming to old ideas from my family of origin and slowing dying inside by doing work to pay the bills, instead of work to pay my soul, my heart and to be able to give to the world something really meaningful.

I’m starting to source a little arts consulting money and I’m so grateful for that (thank you Kerry if you are reading this!).  But it’s going to be slow.

My living arrangements may be with friends for the next twelve months, rotating between available bedrooms for periods of months at a time with people who support what I am doing with my arts career.  I am exceptionally grateful to them for understanding what I am trying to do and offering me space in their homes.

So yeah, it’s a challenge, but never has there been a more satisfying, more enjoyable and more fulfilling one.

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https://www.gofundme.com/sydneyfridgeforlabelled

At the moment I do have a GoFundMe campaign to help me get myself and my sound technician and sound effects guru Tim Read to Sydney Fringe accommodation.   If you can throw me $5 I would surely appreciate it! 🙂  #GoFundMe

Live a life fulfilled not imagined.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creativity, childhood, confidence et. al.

As 2016 draws closer to its conclusion I have found myself reflecting on the most amazing year I have had in terms of personal growth.  The pic in the featured image was my very first stand up comedy gig in May.  I have been writing and performing comedy ever since.

Til I was about 44 I repressed my creativity into pursuits I was convinced were “more productive”.

“What do you mean you want to be a writer? Do you want to end up living in a garage eating dog food?”

Those words spoken to me when I was announcing at 12 what I wanted to be, rang loud in my psyche until very recently.  The arts and anyone even vaguely associated with the arts – were scoffed at in my FOO (family of origin).

You had to get a serious job and pay the bills.  NO room to be creative was allowed.  The irony is that some members of my family still brag how I wrote my first poem at 8.  It was push/pull.

One minute I was praised for my writing and creative ability and the next minute verbally punished.  *I need to make it clear, there is no blame here just discussion. There were positives and negatives with this FOO experience.  My post-war baby boomer parents acted in this way cause this was what you did to ensure your child “survived”. 

So I channelled my creative mind into a “profession” and even though I thought I was in the drivers seat, something else was.

Me.  I was driving and not driving, there was choice and not-choice simultaneously.  From a technical career I hated, to moving into anthropology (which I love); a career that meant I had to observe and comment, albeit in very “dry” terms.  I had to immerse myself in life and write about it for purposes such as cultural heritage management, cross-cultural literacy projects, teaching/lecturing, field work of various applications of my training.

This year I committed to making a living through a day job and a creative life outside (which has three parts, performing comedy, speaking gigs and painting) of work that I plan to build into my full time career in the next ten years.  The day job is still there, but the monotony of it allows me to do the other “more important stuff”.

As I do more stand up comedy and learn to promote myself properly. See one of the head shots below that I just had done professionally.  I found really hard to do cause I was talking to myself like my mother would.  Instead of listen I channelled that negative voice; thus the middle finger on the cup.  However I grapple with this undercurrent of disapproval even to this day.

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As a child I was not allowed to shine, perform, sing or act without encountering considerable negativity.  Perfor ming was considered vain, superficial etc. etc.  I still have significant performance anxiety I have to overcome every time I speak publically or perform.  So many people I talk to, who have seen me in action, find this hard to believe, but it’s true.

However the caution and care that comes from that negative undercurrent of childhood discourse, is a good thing (I have made it a positive).  Because all my work has meaning and is not intended to just benefit me.  Cause I can’t stand money-obsessed “Khardasian” culture as I call it.

In a world becoming incredibly narcissistic it can become easy to label performers unnecessarily.  But there is still a difference between craft and art.  I would like to think I will take this new career on as art – seriously with the intention to give to others, make a living and not become a commodity.

I haven’t believed that phrase “make a living” has to mean a career to merely pay the bills and conform to societal expectations for about 15 years.  I believe it should be an extension of who you are.

So culturally I think we have to bust the “starving artist” discourse.  It just serves to punish creative people and try and put them on a capitalist factory line  of producing tax paying drones with depression.  Lots of people make a living from artistic work (and pay tax too!) and we need to revalue the arts.  The arts provide us with a sense of the world in more ways than we acknowledge and realise.

Here’s the thing.  If you have a creative child and you are not particularly creative, don’t label them.

Don’t let some teacher or doctor tell you it’s a behavioural issue that they seem easily distracted or day dream.  So they are not going to be the Civil Engineer you wanted them to be. Maybe they will become a architect and build amazing structures or a graphic designer or something else.  Creativity and a career don’t have to be mutually exclusive.  Let them find a path that honours their creative mind.

I don’t resent any path I have taken.  Each one has given me experience to get to here and I am grateful. However part of me wishes I had been encouraged to be as brave as I am now – when I was 12.

If you are interested in my comedy agency (my non-day job) – visit http://www.ginandtitters.com.

Early next year I will be preforming stand up comedy at Adelaide Fringe Festival and doing some speaking for International Women’s Day in Alice Springs and Darwin.

Or drop me a line on the contact form below.

 

On “Settling Down”, Comedy, the C Word and Creativity

Been a while since I last blogged and a lot has changed.   Haven’t travelled since Cambodia (except domestically for work purposes), but moved back to Alice Springs and “settled down”.  Or my version of that anyway.
I realised that I kept running away because I was conforming (as a woman) to settling as being about the  mythical white-picket fence story.
Instead of running, I have dug in, so to speak, to reclaiming my identity, in Alice Springs; through getting serious about my art, writing and continuing to develop my stand up comedy.  Whilst I am still very passionate about my “day job” – it has become more and more about a means to an end.  The end being embracing who I am and not compromising that identity, least of all to any patriarchal concept of what my femaleness is supposed to mean.
My comedy and art are both about sexual rights, anti-slut shaming and anti-body shaming.  It is funny, but makes a point too.
No, I am not intending to shock – because NONE of this should be shocking.
This “settling down” for me consists:
  1. A day job where I represent a number of NGO’s to government and has lots of advocacy that supports those directly acting for those who are experiencing disadvantage.
  2. Four paintings, a series of stylised vagina paintings, embedded in nature.  Cause vaginas are natural you know – not something to be ashamed of and hidden.  They have titles that include the word Cunt.  TreeCunt and FloralCunt are the first two. AnatomicalCunt is the third and the fourth is yet to be titled.  The fact is, that penises are everywhere in art, why on earth are not vaginas?  Yeah there has been some artistic expressions and it’s growing, but honestly I am over the response they get as shocking.
  3. Stand up comedy that is about women owning their sexuality and has an anti-slut and body shaming context. Note: I don’t talk about sexual acts, I tell stories that are funny and about real life situations where we can choose to own our sexuality or be ashamed of it – and choosing to own it.
Women have the same creative rights as men and I will not back down on the language or medium I use for the fear of being reprimanded as not “lady like”.
So thus the title of this post – if it offends you I suggest you take a good look at the world today before you get upset about the Cunt word.  First of all Cunt was once a good word to describe a woman and her vagina in almost sacred ways.  Sure, it may not always have been flattering, but it hasn’t always been the put down it is now.
In case there are rattles, I do swear in my comedy.   The swear rate is just about 5% yet I know it raises eyebrows. I for one, am sick of double standards that say it’s okay to use it in a negative light and not okay to use it to reclaim it’s old value.  In my comedy I Cunt once or twice tops, and probably five other expletives.
A woman comedian owning swearing on stage and the use of the word Cunt is apparently scary to some.
Me?  I am scared of war, death and poverty, but not profanity. 
Like most things I do, I am committed to doing it properly.  I have been doing workshops and learning from other comedians.
Last week I had some professional comedy shots taken.  Cause I have a few upcoming gigs in the new year and I want serious promotional material.
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Jacci Pillar is my stage name.  Pillar was my paternal grandmothers maiden name.  Check her page out at  https://www.facebook.com/JacciPillar/
Some savvy friends noticed the middle finger on my comedy shot, instead of my pinky lifted while drinking tea.  Well done. 🙂 subtle but truthful depiction of my supposed contradictions!
Last week when in Darwin for work and as happens to me sometimes; I received a stream of judgements from varying people about what I should aspire to.
All from people I can’t tell to fuck off (for obvious reasons). I ended up feeling “lacking” (momentarily) – then….I came home to my much loved apartment in the desert.
To my own space in Alice Springs which is becoming uniquely me. And I didn’t feel “alone”, like some think I should. I came back to friends who don’t judge but support. I felt content. I am currently buying this space. Alone (yay!).   A man has never been a plan for me.
I really don’t want a partner…it is only when in the presence of other people who think I should I begin to feel “less”.
I don’t give a flying fruitloop what other people think…but like anyone I can start to respond to the pressure of “normalisation” that surrounds us as women.
Last weeks “settle down” judgement list looked something like this:
Be thinner.
Be partnered.
Don’t paint cunts or talk about them either.
Don’t be vocal about sexual rights.
Don’t be “picky” about who I date.
Don’t aim to be good at anything, just  average will do (this from a guy I once liked and am glad I didn’t follow through).
And finally, that I should “settle down”.
I am settled thank you very much.
Settled on being who I am, how I can best use my skills and abilities without having to end up a slave to someone else’s idea of who I am.
My judgement of these judgments? Considering I have had to hear so much of it lately? Stick your boring, mainstream, self-medicating white-picket fence up your ass!
Special thank you to Joyce Van Dijk Photography for my new head shots! Thank you – check her work out here