I’ve lost my voice. Flus usually just brush past me with mild symptoms, but this time, I sound like a frog and can’t talk past a few words, and it’s perfect for summing up my Scorpio full moon (May 13/14th). So far, it’s been a week with old, old woes on the work front.
First, the synchronicity I have with astrological energies is getting uncanny. How it usually happens: Life chugs along, things are good until they aren’t, and the timing and nature of the issues is exactly what the moon or planets are bringing out: “overwhelm, pressure, frustration, stagnation and exhaustion… all of which seem right in line with the energies building toward Wednesday’s Full Moon.”
Over the weekend, an old problem reared its head: Work on an already slow-moving project had reached an impasse (thanks, retrograde Mars), despite the pressure to reach a deadline. Nothing was getting approval (despite the professed love) and I was unwilling to redo the art because the reasons for doing so were not about quality, but seemed a lack of faith, with anxieties based on continued comparisons with other artists’ works. (It can be tiring sometimes if the person becomes set on a style that’s not yours–tons of work and tears could have been saved by hiring that other artist. Artists are, if one hasn’t noticed, not quite interchangeable if you’re stuck on certain results.)
My soul was weary because difficult projects are old and hated territory for me. After all the slow progress and indecision from the client, I was unwilling to put in more work (the redo) on a style that was not representative of my own style–that already covers its own range, and that I’ve worked hard to embrace instead of devaluing in recent years. (It’s not a boon to be asked to water down your own work.) Most artists aren’t going to please everyone and that’s fine, even the best art will always be “too this” or “too that” to someone out there, so the best attitude is to please yourself and work with people who appreciate it and your judgment and the experience you’ve built up.
In the past, I would have been desperate for the work, to please and to get the job done, and would do whatever it took, my health allowing, to do so even if the results were something I wanted to hide forever. It was stupid; the money and completion were usually anti-climactic after all the time and stress, and the resulting art did not become assets in my portfolio because I didn’t want to do that kind of work again. And yet, because I’d internalised a ton of “suck it up”, “don’t complain”, “be professional”, “the customer is always right” and other unhelpful disempowering advice for customer service peons over my life, I’d try to shoulder it all and while taking out the frustration in rants to family or on my journal. Why me, why again, why always this, etc etc.
Maybe the answer was because I thought this was what I really needed to do for money, my image, my “break” into the industry, more work, etc. The fear was that the cessation of the job would ruin me/my reputation forever and I’d be a guaranteed failure. Fear-based illusions that are not truth.
This week, in the Monday pre-dawn hours, while the almost-full Scorpio moon was shining on me through my window, I found myself writing a long email being honest with my misgivings on the project, as if I had no fear of losing the money involved. (Not that I’m willing to lose that either–being exploited is another old problem/pattern I need to see the back of.) It was in neutral language, but my stance was uncompromising and my reasons phrased as fully and clearly as I could muster. It boiled down to: If I couldn’t be trusted with my experience or my style and met in the middle, this was not working.
You know how magic happens in threes? I found myself having repeat my point two more times. And that I was done on the third pronouncement. (The Law of Decree?) Repetition of oneself is fun for no one, of course; it betrays the fact you’re not being heard. On Tuesday I literally lost my voice, the same time I realised that I was repeating myself (mostly in emails) because I was not being heard. Moreover, my “artist’s voice” was being ignored. It was astounding synchronicity, or perhaps a clear message.
As I said, this was old, dreaded territory, obviously a repeat lesson that had nothing to do with the other person, so there’s no lingering personal hatred, just a lesson I hope I’ve absorbed and can move on from. In the past few years, I’ve had many doctors confirm that my body has been through (and moved past) a major wringer, and all this coincided with some tough lessons that I’d compromised myself too much–I only started taking my health back when I prioritised myself, my feelings, my needs and desires. It’s a continuing lesson, but I think I’m finally getting it, and my body’s been my best teacher. Even as I write this, the flu symptoms have become manageable again.
My voice isn’t 100% back, but that’s OK, because I’ve said my piece.