So many lessons to keep on learning as I try to be a better person, like someone who goes to the address of the gallery printed on their website, in this case, Isis Gallery. I went somewhere else, tried to find 66 Charlotte Road, and my immediate reaction to realizing I'd gone to the utterly wrong place was to tell myself how stupid I am. I tell myself that a lot, sometimes out loud like today, usually much more quietly. I forget sometimes how much hate I walk around with until it unleashes itself so virulently. It's something big I'm trying to work on, and it's so much easier to fall into the mode of thinking everyone, and certain someones especially, have these perfect lives where they don't make mistakes and everything goes swimmingly. Much easier to do so than to take a good hard look at my errors and flaws and failures and ask myself what purpose they've served, what purpose they keep on serving, and how I can work on doing better, which means not being perfect, as I long to be, but being me, flaws and all, but still trying my best.
It's a roadblock I keep on coming up against, over and over and over, and maybe that's the lesson; until I die I will be making mistakes. My first step this morning was to utterly loathe myself; that's so familiar, so default, so easy. And it's true; I made a juvenile, bad traveler error. I didn't map out where I wanted to go and plan accordingly, I relied on Googling "Isis Gallery" rather than looking at their site directly. I'm still angry with myself, but had to laugh at the fact that it's been almost a year since I got my "Open" tattoo and even as I contemplate another one, I am actually not very open at all. I'm not open with myself about making mistakes, and I am too easily distracted from my goals by...well, everything.
I had to step back and remind myself that I'm grateful to even know about the exhibit because of a beautiful story I was graced with the honor of reading for an anthology, one I very much hope I will be able to publish. I forget about those small everyday honors because they've become so commonplace. I try to be the "business me" and forget about the fact that so much of what I do is actually personal. That I'm lucky indeed for every story I get to publish, every author I get to work with, and every anthology that my work appears in, and even for the opportunities I've frittered away. I forget that as much as I might fuck up, I also am always learning. Not always learning things I want to learn, not always learning things that make me happy, but I always have the choice to move forward, or to do like I tend to do and either move backward or stay the same. I still want to be a girl I can look in the mirror and be proud of. Not there yet, but working on it, and realizing more and more that what anyone else thinks of me matters not a whit. That is a tough, tough lesson for a people pleaser, but it has no relation to what I think of myself and perhaps an inverse one as I get a little too high off other people's approval. Again, lessons. Which I always have the option of learning from. Always.
So yeah, in addition to figuring out my way from the underground to the overground and what it means when they ask if you want your coffee "black or white" means, I have a lot to consider from this trip. And maybe Jamie Reid will come do an exhibition in the United States. And if not, there will be a next time. Maybe not in the same shape or form, but a next time nonetheless. So until then...