I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “The Feminism got her.” You’re thinking that I’m trapped under a drop cloth, pinned to the ground by a gallon of paint, a roller wedged in the space between me and the perfectly-taped wall.
Well, I’m not.
The truth is, I Did It. I took on my insecurities and I painted a room by myself. And as I was doing it, something magical happened.
I did more and more and more and more, without even realizing I was doing “more.” I was just…doing.
I removed this vent cover by myself.
I took off this light switch cover by myself.
I moved ALL of these books by myself.
I moved all the furniture, supplies, drop cloths…by myself. Dodo supervised.
And then I put it back together by myself, and it looks amazing. It’s exactly what I wanted it to be. Bright, warm, exciting, yet somehow calming at the same time.
This used to be my least favorite room in the house. The whole space carried a negative energy. We called it our “black hole” room – where we stored (a.k.a. tossed/threw/discarded) the stuff that didn’t quite fit anywhere else. When I got a new job working from home, I knew the space needed an overhaul – when you live in a tiny condo, there are only so many places to set up shop.
With a simple coat of paint, the room completely changed. Now it’s my favorite space. I seek it out. It’s my quiet little piece of World. I haven’t told Mr. E yet that he’s going to have to start asking me if he can borrow it.
I used to hate this painting. It felt dreary and cold and reminded me that we should’ve known better than to think we were getting real, original art when we were rifling through the innumerable stacks of canvases someone had set up outside of Safeway. (Hello, Starving Artists!)
But now, it’s got new life. It’s vibrant and warm and I like it, even though I still cringe at the thought of how we came to own it. I’m working on it.
All of this, because I decided to be a good feminist for once. The simple act of picking up a paint roller empowered me in a way I hadn’t expected. I noticed the effect rippling through me in the following days. My body was sore, but sore in a good way–a way I haven’t felt in a long time. And my arms looked amazing for a week. And once again I don’t understand physics.
I didn’t hesitate to trap and release a wasp–a WASP! (Granted, it was a very tiny baby wasp, but STILL.)
I called my mother–MY MOTHER! who I’ve only talked to once in the last year, due to her mental illness and my needing some time to separate myself from it, regather myself. But when she texted me that day, the same day I was covered in sweat and microscopic flecks of green paint, I called her right back. Because I knew I could handle it. And because I really miss her. And because I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. It was a good conversation.
Because I painted a room.