Visions of a visionary.
I am of the belief that everyone should have a fair chance to be able to follow through with their visions at their own pace, in their own way. However, the world as we know it, is not a just and fair world. We are born into circumstances that often seem beyond our grasp and capability to change. Often, we are told since our childhood to accept things as they are because “that’s just the way it is”. A strict hierarchy that exists in our society teaches us to know our place in this world and to stay there. This can result in most of our primal, creative urges to be subdued and sedated. This process usually starts at home and continues into our schooling. Strict, conservative and traditional forms of institutionalized learning especially in “post-colonial” countries like mine does not nurture creative thinking and questioning. We are taught to memorize during the classes and regurgitate during the exams.
Since my early years, I rebelled against this dogmatic and structured view of life. I climbed trees, played ball, threw stones at ducks in ponds, picked mangoes and lychees from my grandma’s trees, chased birds, and did everything that “girls” don’t do. I never wanted to play with my sister and female cousins, because I thought they were boring. They played with dolls, and kitchen toys and everything else girls supposedly were interested in. Unknowingly, in my childhood innocence I was defying gender stereotypes and roles.
As I grew into a young lady, I was taught and told thousand of times how to speak and act like a girl by both my sister and mother. Somehow I could never follow those rules and this freethinking often caused me grief; as an adult it continues to get me in trouble.
I believe that everyone on this planet should have the opportunity to follow their dreams and turn it into a reality that they themselves have the power to control.
We all have a unique vision. We have a unique voice. To subdue this voice by following social norms, rules and regulations is one of the worst forms of violence we can cause to ourselves.
For the past ten years I have been working hard on developing my own unique voice and also working with other women so they can understand that they all have their own strong voices. Through my organization VOW Media, I am trying to contribute to a world where women from marginalized communities are empowered and their voices strengthened.
This dual work often really tires and stresses me. It is hard to find a balance between being the person; the artist and myself; and being a grassroots women’s activist. Often times I find no support to help push me further and often times I am too afraid to ask for support, falsely believing that I need to be strong and handle it myself. It is easy to get lost in this world of always being the strong pillar of support to the amazing community of women I work with and forgetting about my own self.
Being part of the World Pulse community for the past two months has forced me to reflect on myself; to evaluate and to re-understand myself. It helps me isolate my strengths from my weakness and clearly understand me; the person, the artist, the visionary.
It has made me realize that by being part of Voices of our Correspondent, on one hand I can experience my own personal artistic and critical thinking development through weekly writings and assignments and on the other hand I feel safe and secure in a group of women that nurture and hone my activism and progressive ideas. It is a balance between both the worlds I live in.
It is a place where I am often inspired because I spend time reading other women’s thoughts and ideas, which challenge my own. It is a place that encourages me to harness the power of digital media to share my vision, to sharpen my skills and allows me to feel like my voice can somehow or someday make a positive change in people’s lives by encouraging them to voice their own thoughts loud and strong.