the lady miss susie (boygirlparty) wrote,
the lady miss susie


i got this advice today:

Start saying no to everything that doesn't directly involve or benefit you. Just for now. It will help you to see how often you are taken for granted.

This is something I have always had a difficult time with. I do a lot of things I don't have time for, things that don't directly involve or benefit me, because I feel like that's part of being a good friend, daughter, sister, wife, teacher, citizen, etc. It's even part of being a good artist. Sometimes you create work and pay for the materials and pay for the shipping because you support what the gallery does, or what the curator does. And there is no benefit in it for you, really - people might not go, the work probably won't sell, but your support was there. That's something.

There's also the intangible - many of the books I've been a part of recently (with the exception of the Hello Kitty anthology!) have been *completely* unpaid. I know for a fact that the "authors" (often fellow artists / friends) make a LOT of money from these endeavors, but again, I thought the combo of supporting my friend's project / potential exposure was enough to cram it into my life. Is exposure a benefit? Is exposure even real?

I think this advice came to me as a reaction to my volunteering for Handmade Holiday, a library fundraiser / craft show / music fest I am helping to organize here in San Diego (and sometimes, it feels, am shouldering the majority of the weight for)

San Diego is notoriously devoid of culture. Our local media hardly covers it, there is a general community disinterest in any event unless it involves beer, there is no centralized visual identity or resource, and -- aside from a small handful of people like me- dedicated to extending themselves to make stuff happen -- absolutely no support or opportunities (at least that I've experienced).

But if people like me don't step up and get involved to actively support local culture and art, who will? Is it ok that it may not benefit me in ANY way, that it completely saps my energy, that I feel my volunteer time often taken for granted - if it has the potential to create a more cultured city with more positive opportunities for artists going forward?

I mean, do I need to set a boundary and say "not my problem"? Is that just what everyone else is doing? I don't think I want to be like everyone else. I just want to have more time, and I don't want to only decide what I'll do in life based on what benefits me directly, financially or otherwise. That just seems like a sad way to live.
Tags: san diego, thoughts, you can't take it with you

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