This blog series is an accompaniment to the performance of #No.Filter: an exercise in vulnerability for clarinet, electronics, and film which will premier original works at Resonance Cafe, March 25 at 9pm.
I think that over the years I have come to make associations between things that may not be correct. This is a common occurrence, and these misplaced connections are not unique. Sometimes they are small and meaningless, sometimes they are more significant and can impact our relationship to the world around us.
My misconceptions have shaped my personality, my sense of self and identity. There was a path towards this image of who I wanted to be and I had thought that I understood this version of myself, and how to get there. The path was paved with misconceptions.
I wanted so much to be independent. Independence is the cornerstone of every version of myself I could ever dream up, the foundation of everything I have ever aspired to. I had this very specific understanding of what that meant, what independence is, or at least what I thought it meant for me. I had this idea of a woman who is like a lone ship in the night. She is sure, confident, all-knowing, with infinite trust in herself. She surrounds herself with people only if she chooses, she doesn't need anything from anyone else.She is completely self-reliant.
But this idea of independence was about so much more for me than just this woman I strived to be. Her independency was also tied to her ambition, her determination and tenacity; she needed nothing and no one, so she would cut down anything that stood in her way. Fierce, fearless, always in control.
This is obviously a crock of shit. This woman does not exist. Scratch that... This person does not exist man or woman. My idea of what it meant to be independent it conflated with a million other things that have nothing to do with independency.
My ideas centered around a searing need to not need. Needing is normal, Needing is human. My ideas for independency transcended humanness. They are an impossibility, yet I strove for them (still strive for them).
I think we are taught this as women, its become a loose synonym for feminism. The iconic independent woman. She is beautiful, intelligent, slim, strong, calculated yet free, totally in control of herself. She is successful, driven, ambitious, and educated. She has it all. Has it all... more like do it all.. we are expected to keep up with our smartly decorated apartments, prepare instagram-worthy meals, make time for friends and family, succeed at work, at school, at raising a family, all while making sure our eyebrows are always on fleek (whatever the hell that means) and without a single errant hair.
Independent is flawless. Independent is powerful. Independent is fearless. Independent is perfection.
These are common grievances that many women have made before me. The issue, or rather my issue, is that I tried with extreme fervor to live up to these ideals. In striving for the fantastical ideals we can wind up losing our grip on reality, floating off the ground, and it can be difficult to find our way back.