queen of the imposters

it’s my grandma saying
“you’d be so pretty if only you dressed like a girl”
it’s my parents saying
“writing is a nice hobby, but what will you really do?”
it’s that boyfriend saying
“you might be sexy if you started jogging and lost some weight”
it’s the father of my children saying
“why do i have to work why you do nothing?”
the father of my children
questioning all my decisions while offering no help
the father of my children
insinuating i’m doing it all
wrong….
but they don’t even know
they don’t even know what they have done to me
that they have become a little voice in my head
telling me i’m an imposter
when i wear girl’s clothes & pretend to be pretty
i’m an imposter
when i say i’m a writer
i’m an imposter
when i feel sexy
i’m an imposter
when i try to mother my children….

a friend of mine was talking about how the judging voice in her head was “the white lady.” this made me wonder what the most disruptive voice in my head looked like.
so i meditated & journeyed into myself to confront the one who whispers “imposter” whenever i try to do certain things.
i couldn’t find anyone. no one came forward. i called & called, but no one answered. i assumed they were hiding from me.
but then last night as i lay in bed after being screamed at by my ex-husband who was visiting for our son’s birthday, i realized, my imposter voice was there…they just didn’t realize i was talking to them. they are oblivious to what they are doing to me. they think they have done nothing wrong. they see themselves as completely innocent.
this made me realize i need to start being oblivious to it as well. just drown it out by proclaiming, “i am not an imposter. i am a good mother. a good writer. i am pretty & goddammit, sexy too.”

saint nobody

the tower falls
as faulty towers do
but could it be a blessing
& not a curse
like what if the tower
is built out of
all my terrible
relationships
what if it is constructed
out of my self-doubt
& insecurity
my believing i am
unlovable
has saturated
brick after brick
creating this monstrosity
of an
unstable structure
that needs
needs to be
knocked down
so a new me
can grow.

got the “tower” card in my tarot draw again. the scariest card in the deck. disaster! defeat! disrepair!
crap.
so i tried to look at it a different way. like, what if the unstable structure i have built–the one that needs to fall down–is my believing i am an imposter. a nobody. worthless…. could that tower fall?
could it not be a disaster so much as a chance to rise from those fucking ashes?
let’s find out.

washed away

i was letting myself
get washed away
in the current
when i got stuck
in a whirlpool
of me
caused by a pile
of my own
debris…
so then
so then i started
picking at
kicking in
fighting & crying
but the dam
held steady…
so now i relax
i float on my back
watching the sky
spin
above me
& i have faith
that my problems
will break free
make space
&
let me flow forward
once more.

more metaphors on my clogged stream of energy.

this inking is a self-portrait in honor of my upcoming self-portrait collection, the invisible exhibitionist.
my floating in a pool of me….

and also in the spirit of selfies. my publisher suggested i take a selfie with my book proof.

i am happy to say that reading through my proof made me laugh several times. it feels nice that i’m not making myself cry at the moment.

buffering

“keep your distance”
is what my energy worker
tells me
is lurking in the energy field
just next to my skin
& i know
it is true
true of me now
& for as long
as i can remember
i don’t let
anyone
close
i am an open book
friendly even
sometimes…
but there is always
that invisible buffer
to keep you
form getting
too close
to me.

ah yes, the walls of the emje. carefully built & tended.
of course, in my tarot yesterday, i drew an upside down warrior who told me: putting up walls is a sign of weakness–not strength.
poop.
i guess i might need to dismantle the catapult and bake some muffins…
but seriously, after a lifetime of keeping everyone away, how do i learn to let people in?

messed up

if i identify
as broken
if my narrative
is
what a mess
i am…
what then?

just trying to work the feelings out. that fucked up self-talk can really do a number on you.
i really don’t know what i would do without my being able to ink it out.
art therapy, y’all.

dove soup

the dove sits on the telephone wire
watching me do yoga, poorly
like i was feeling out of sorts
& yoga only confirmed
how badly my mind & body
are aligned. how ungrounded
how uncentered i am
& the bird watches all of it
through my picture window…
usually a lone mourning dove
is a comfort
an echo of my own lonely heart
but today it feels like a taunting
a mockery
& all i want to do
is shoot the damn thing off of its
spy’s perch
& have dove soup for lunch.

deconstructing

i feel like anger
has been woven into me
& now
i need to undo all these fibers
work backward
get the knot out
the fucked up stitch
& re-weave myself
into the person
i need to be
the person
i want to be
but
fuck me
it feels like so much work.

of course, if i don’t do the work, that will drive me crazy. looking at the mess of me will bug me until i finally do do the work.
and i will do it.
i will. just, right now, i could really use a nap.

“lydia”
8X10 ink on watercolor paper
$45 ish

to give a fuck or…

opposite this page in my journal is a list of ALL the people i have been “romantically” involved with from love letters to handjobs on amtraks to every position ever….
it is exactly the same as the number of u.s. presidents!
i was looking for a pattern. i think i secretly have a math brain because i do enjoy me some patterns.

in other news. i picked up a copy of mark manson’s the subtle art of not giving a fuck at the suggestion of my friend & fellow blogger, jason sandberg.
it’s pretty much a philosophy i have been following forever with many life suggestions i had already figured out through all my obsessive naval gazing…but it’s still nice to hear someone else say it.
so now i am wondering what i have to do to get a quote from mr. manson for my book the invisible exhibitionist where i expose everything in my own struggles with and embracing of a couldn’t-give-a-fuck mindset. hmmm…. anyone know him?

something i am examining from mr. manson’s book is that i have chosen my own struggles. sometimes, when i am wallowing in my sinkhole–completely overwhelmed, i act as if my life is not of my own choosing…when it so much is. four kids & a fixer upper…life as a starving artist & single mother…. that’s all on me. i did that. like, on purpose even. now what?
i will let you know what i figure out from this.

i

fraud alert

seeing my books
on discount
hit me much harder
than i expected
i am already too fragile
of late
my exhibitionist
more exposed
than invisible me

i’m trying to fly instead of falling…but i just keep tripping over myself. what the what. i hate this. i guess i need to take a breath & not push me too hard…but i can’t let me slip backwards either.
in other news, i had to fire my handyman as i am sinking further & further into debt and guessing i have to figure out how to fix madness manor by myself?
so tired of doing things by myself….
and as getting by on my good looks is not panning out…i had to get a paying job, but at least it is working with plants. of course, now i have to worry that i am not actually qualified to work with plants….
there was a personality test with the job application. i was sure i blew the personality test. who the fuck would hire me?
but they did hire me.
why? i’m not sure i would hire me.
and after i post this, i am headed over to the viroqua public market to drop off more art because my drawer at home is overflowing. now my spot at the market will be overflowing…i only sold just one last month.
i googled how to promote myself….
fuck.
i peeked out…couldn’t find my shadow…and now i’m headed back into my hidey hole.

coming soon!

tara over at raw earth ink sent me a sample of things to come for my next publication
the invisible exhibitionist!
so exciting!
for you who weren’t with me from 2017 through 2019, i was obsessively inking self-portraits & vomiting free verse in an attempt to root out the damage that kept me broken.
i wrote about everything & anything that went through my head or that i felt inside me.
i exorcised as many demons as i could find
& ended up making friends with a few of them.
i did almost 500 pages of self-portraits.
during 2020, i hung up a show at a local art spot & more than one person told me it should be a book.
so!
it’s going to be a book.
every time i read what i wrote back then, it makes me cry all over again. i was a raw as i could be.
and i share that rawness in hopes that someone who needs to see it will. in hopes that i can help at least one person not feel alone.
i am looking forward to seeing it all together in one book.

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