I am having a strange week. A mix of really exciting (for me) news and some that's a little shitty. In many ways, taking my course has already paid off ten fold. Since the beginning of the school year I was accepted to a gallery special events committee, an internship with a huge charitable foundation in their events and fundraising department, and, most recently, was offered a job as the gallery co-ordinator of the art gallery at my university. I get to plan three exhibitions over the next six months, opening parties, recruit volunteers, and maintain the space (it's tiny). I even have my own work email! WHO AM I? I can't believe the doors that have opened up for me recently. After working my tail off for years trying to get the work I wanted and getting nowhere, feeling so disgruntled and burnt out after endlessly hustling and only getting retail positions. Finally! Finally, things have started to turn around for me. I am meeting amazing people and getting to help out with neat events over the course of the next year as well as plan them!
So why be sad? This one is hard to put into words articulately: because few people were happy for me. All week, I've been feeling like I need to apologize to the people who didn't get it, or explain how I got it. I understand where they are coming from, but still. The gallery role, while only a part time role, was sought after amongst my classmates. It had to go to one of us, and to my true surprise it went to me. I felt really great coming out of my interview, happy with how it went even if I didn't get the role. A lot of people were interviewed, and there was lots of discussion in class about it as people compared and contrasted their experiences. All of the ladies who I know were interviewed are competent, interesting, intelligent and talented women. Anyone one of them would have been an awesome choice. I think, because I am joker, charming in a neurotic way, with crazy clothes and a loud laugh, that somehow I was viewed as being less equipped for the role as they. To be fair, this has never been expressed to me, but there's just an attitude toward me sometimes. Like I am a character there for entertainment rather than a real, living, breathing person. I was met with incredulity rather than congratulations when the news broke that the job went to me, and that I accepted. I was even told not to talk about it by a classmate because it might upset the others - even though it wasn't even me who brought up getting the position. I am the farthest thing from a brag, but at the same time, shouldn't I be allowed to express happiness at something I am excited about? Wouldn't friends be happy for me? I never would have begrudged someone else's success if it hadn't gone to me. I have worked hard to build up a strong resume over the past few years and only now is it starting to pay off. Plus, a lot of galleries chose to take people who don't have formal studio backgrounds since it can create a bias when curating or jurying art for an exhibition.
While I know this reaction was not about me and more about other people's sadness, it definitely deflated my elation. I was apologized to by a school friend, who let me know they weren't mad I got it, just sad they didn't. And this experience hasn't changed my opinion of my classmates who, so far, are all pretty cool. I know it'll die down and be fine next week. Still stung.
On the positive side, it made me grateful for my family and close friends who were so excited for me. Because people who care about you will be happy for your happiness and sad for your sadness. One person's success doesn't equal another person's failure. The simple act of showing someone you support them makes a huge difference. This week was a huge learning curve in professionalism, and on the flip side appreciation. While I am sad few competitors were congratulatory, it was also a confidence boost to be getting these types of roles at long last.
Here's what I wore today. Only got one good shot! I also have lots of photos of fall and my cat, Gus. I love my little fur ball.