A COMMUNAL EXPERIMENT IN SELF CURATION

a Soul Project

// part of a soul project

 // THIS PHOTOGRAPHER IS KEPT INTENTIONALLY ANONYMOUS

// THIS PHOTOGRAPHER IS KEPT INTENTIONALLY ANONYMOUS

We all have many faces—never should we try to hide a dynamic self behind a singular mask. My mother taught me to confine myself to one expectation, to warp myself to fit inside a cage of propriety, and to become my own jailor. I was a child, then a teen, then an adult— I had never been given the chance to form my own identity, and now I held my own self prisoner, like a good girl should. Don't question. Don't deviate. It almost killed me. Almost.

And instead I phoenixed out of that dead place and left the ashes behind. It didn't happen all at once, but in stages: breakthroughs over years, fighting the demons, learning to turn myself into a weapon of purpose against them. Summer of 2014 gave me our dear piløts, and I rounded a corner in my life with the momentum that bloomed inside of me with their words. They told me I could CREATE myself. Oh, the possibility!

Two plus years now and the lessons appear daily, relentless but wondrous. I look them in the face, demon or not, and I CREATE myself with response versus reaction. "Who do you want to be?" I ask myself, and I steer my vessel in that direction. Little by little, day by day. I comfort myself in failure, I praise myself in triumph. Rewiring, fine tuning, curating. Years of work, and finally I see the art manifesting. I am a work of art, a labor of love—can't we all be?

The masks I wear today are many, multiplying as I create genuine new versions of myself. The face beneath waits—weaving, mending, strengthening for the unveil—and already I love the woman beneath. Hello 2017. No matter what you throw at me, I'm unstoppable now.