I'm going to an artist's party this Saturday. I've never been to an artist's party. I'm usually the only artist at any party I go to. Now I'm going to be one of the crowd. I think I'll divide my time between working on a zombie comic and painting on the big wall they'll have papered from floor to ceiling. Drop cloths are a must.
It's a very strange thing to accept party invitations when you've spent most of your life skulking about as an insecurity addict. I always enjoyed people but was rarely allowed to mingle, even by myself. As a kid, I was told I was too weird, loud or disobedient. As an adult, I was told I was too stupid, loud and embarrassing. That's the common descriptions self-loathing individuals are spoon fed. Like the recipe for gruel in the book Oliver Twist, we're fed something that keeps us forever on the edge of starvation. Makes us easier to control when we're too hungry to form an opinion.
This party is an epiphany for me. A moment of clarity. Not for enjoyment's sake, although I'm sure I'll enjoy it, but because I actually want to go. When I was married, parties were rare. When I went, it was usually with my husband. The one time I rebelled and went alone, I was felt up by a drunk co-worker and called a whore went I went home. I became so insecure after that, I never even considered going alone again. Not this dumb loud whore who deserved her trouble. No way.
When I got divorced, I was too busy dealing with the mess of my kid in rehab to go to many parties. After Leland went to live with his dad, I was too busy caring for my invalid mom. After I moved back to New York, it took a year before I could even think of going out anywhere.
My roommate helped a lot. She encouraged me to get up and dance, to hang out, to laugh and socialize with strangers. I still don't care for parties much, but I love to dance. I never realized that before last year. I really love to dance. That too, was an epiphany about myself.
So I'm going to this thing and I'm looking forward to it. Life has taken such a strange and wondrous twist since I began to care for myself. Living has become so much fun. So keep at the self love exercises, my sad and weary friends. I was suicidal, miserable, angry and sick of breathing. Now I'm going to slop paint on a wall with a bunch of strangers and laugh as I do it. A surreal and magnificent banquet after a lifetime of gruel. Take care.