I came across my own feelings on this subject in a conversation with my dad over a joint on my back deck. I was explaining my thoughts about changes that occurred in me after having moved to Vancouver Island BC. In reflection, maybe it has nothing to do with moving from Toronto, instead more to do with inevitable changes that happen to any 21-25 year old person. Either way, my thoughts were that I’ve mostly overcome one of the most challenging limits in my life, and now everything is easier. It’s a limit I feel has been installed in every person who subjects themselves to “the mainstream”: I’ve coined it as The Complex. (formerly the Female Complex)
Allow my elaboration.
Despite my inherent hippyness noticeable at adolescence, my old life was one fully plugged into the system. Babylon. The Mainstream. The MANstream? Examples: Use many make-up products every day. Turn the TV on first thing in the morning, regard it all day. Battle my hair so that it looks a certain way using products. Pay a gym every month (never go). Eat some kind of deliciousness not good for me whatsoever. Work a plethora of jobs for the optics only. Listen to the easiest radio station. Smoke a lot of cigarettes. Worry too much. Cash in on my looks. String along a promenade of men. Shop for temporary gratification.
Every time I found myself in a situation in which I was to interact with another female, there was always an uncomfortable mental process of judgment, measuring, and competition. I can’t explain why there was this automatic competition. It was terrible! Unreasonable comparisons: Hers is more, or mine is more. Hers is less, or mine is less. All of these thoughts caused ill feelings within me no matter the sum. These situations were times in which my own insecurities would reign, finding everything wrong with her and myself. Just. Terrible. My judging eye and cold voice were enough to ward off any chance of connection. “I get along better with guys” was the standard phrase, I think.
Somewhere along the line, this trend was interrupted, because I don’t feel this way anymore. Now, when another woman enters the room, I feel like I want to connect with her. I want to make her feel warm and welcomed to be there. I want her to talk to me, and even become friends. Somewhere along the line, I think I just learned to be nice. I learned somewhere along the line to suspend my judgments, and to see her for what she really is: NOT my competition. Instead: my sister.
This is a concept I had to learn on my own. Society (in my case, Torontonian Babylon) does not foster this sisterhood. Perhaps the Left-Coast mentality of love is life/beauty is everyone/pass the doobie in British Columbia has untied the matted knots in my psyche. For years still, I’m practicing this new way. Just being nice. Suspend the judgements and assumptions, Ashta. They aren’t real. They are installed. The Man has turned you against your own sister. This is my rationale. I trace back the roots of said dysfunction, and it always starts with something I watched on TV, or some stupid hollywood movie, or some irrational consumerism mentality. Always.
I’m aware that many women still feel like I used to. Perhaps they don’t understand their own resistance, like how I didn’t even know I had a resistance to begin with. Now, whenever I experience a cold voice, or judging eye, I balance it with nice. I show her that I’m her sister. No beefs. Perhaps she assumed I would be judgy or cold towards them, just like how I did? Now, I’m able to make meaningful connections with other women. Had I not come to the realization of my own resistance, this would not be possible. My life is enriched because of it. This is my admission, and along with it comes a tidbit of advice: Being nice is so much nicer than being not nice.
What is attributed to this realization?
Maybe that’s a topic for another post.