It's December now, and so much time has passed. Even within a couple of months, I could see noticeable changes with my kids. With every tantrum, laugh, cry, and smile is a life experience or lesson that slowly molds them into the person they'll be. To be able to witness this change and growth is incredible and terrifying all at once. The people around my kids and the people I allow my kids to be exposed to are instrumental in their character development. As their mom, I'm the main filter for the life they experience and it is the hardest task; to be fully accountable and instrumental as their major source of influence. However, not all of it is hard and stressful.
This is a candid photo my assistant took of me and my eldest son in the studio. He was so fascinated with the process of making a dummy head. Both transfixed on the sculpting, I got to be my natural self and explain to him how to approach the task of creating a realistic dummy head step by step. At that moment, I am aware that this “feels right.” The tendency to label and categorize a person by their role defines most of us. But right now, I don't feel like just a mother or just an artist. I am both at once and my son by my side feels natural and all too comfortable. He loves being here and this shared experience.
This is not how a normal studio operates with a children's art and activity center nestled in the corner among monsters and dummy heads. But my heart says this is right and how it needs to be for me to continue working wholeheartedly with no regrets. This is how I imagined my life to be and I am living it. I'm grateful to my family and those I keep close to me who are like-minded. This is how me and my tribe live; this is what we believe in and fight for...for the progressive change in the established patriarchal society that puts too much pressure on men and underutilizes its female workforce (with many benched out after motherhood). The system is starting to break and the “cogs” in the machines are overworked and over-stressed. It's not capitalism's fault as true capitalism is gender-blind. What we have is something tainted and politicized. It's also the slow inability for the masses to recognize that the system is broken and we need to fix it. We need to work smarter, not harder.
When I taught at a makeup academy, I told all my students before graduation that when they are out in the real world and working...if they ever face an injustice, that if they do nothing about it and move on like sheep, then there is a 100% guarantee that nothing will change. However, if they have the courage to confront it and speak up, then there's a chance, albeit small, that the world will slowly start to change. Words are powerful and stronger than bullets; have the courage to use the strongest weapon Mother Nature gave us.