After Thoughts: Subjectively Objective / by Lauren Rascoe

In response to seeing the dynamic artwork of my friend, Edrece Stansberry, that conceptualizes the idea of thought and how we as humans are conditioned to think, feel, behave, and act a certain way by our environments and surroundings, I am cornered by my own pile of mess. A particular pile of mess, I’ve been walking around for a few weeks, trying to figure out how to dissect it and get to the bottom of my own disorganization of thoughts and emotions that reek of the stench of negative self-talk and ideas that are rich in discouragement. His work made me stop and ponder. And captured my attention like incense and started to wrap itself around my negativity and dissolve it into thin air like you see in those Febreze commercials.

“I’ve maintained my virtues and purity by not involving myself in sexual activity. Never done drugs. Volunteered. Helped out people who needed it. Been the best person I’ve possibly could. So much so it often got me labeled — ‘teacher’s pet’, ‘goody two-shoes’, you know, your typical ‘good girl’. I practically did life the way we’re TOLD we’re supposed to do it and yet, somehow life still has handed me what feels like a particularly short end of the stick.”

Although I know happiness starts from within and there are a lot of things about myself that I’m good with…

I’m unsatisfied and unfilled. And often times question, why I followed all the rules in the first place.

People who didn’t seem to be having most of the fun. (But I know, I know… The grass is only greener where you water it.)

I’m reminded all the time how single I am, how I live at home, how I always seemed too big for this city and how no one ever thought I’d ever come back… how people expected I’d be doing something else.

Yea.. I thought that too. But life happens and more often than not, not in the way anyone would have planned.

So I reread the abstract and caption that came along with the post. I sat with it and recognized that everything that I know about life and how it is supposed to work and how things are supposed to go are based on the experiences of others. What they’ve told me, what I’ve watched them grow through. My understanding been a compilation of the conclusions drawn from those around me.

Now, I’m not discrediting their experiences or what they believed to be their truths, but it certainly made me question if I really knew my own.

“What is my truth? How do I find it? Have I already been called to try and find it? Is this the purpose of this time in my life?”

“Will this be the path towards defining a more satisfying life for me?” We shall see.

But in the meantime — I’m going to figure out the answer to these things.

“What needs to be different? What has to change? Is it my environment? My attitude? Me?”

“What do I want to accomplish? What’s supposed to be next? What do I need to help me discover it?”

“What do I need to be renewed?”

And then it came to me like a soft whisper…


I am in need of space. And I’m going to take it.