I had the opportunity to attended Mia Halton’s, Mad as Hell exhibition and workshop, which was inspired by the recent METOO social movement. Upon my arrival into the workshop, Halton gave her guests a warm welcome as she invited everyone to make themselves comfortable in the exhibition space prior to the beginning of the workshop. Halton then asked us to think about our mission in life and what we envision for our future. As a senior in college with graduation just around the corner, that was a heavy question.
For the first activity, we were instructed to write down a few things that we, (and I quote) would crawl through glass for. When Halton first posed this question I couldn’t help but pause to envision the graphic description of the question. However, after a few minutes I, along with the rest of the workshop participants, were able to make a fairly lengthy list.
Mia asked if anyone wanted to share their list and a few participants volunteered. Many answers read, “Family. A successful career. Friends,” all answers that I respect. However, there was a very specific answer a student gave that fascinated me;
I would crawl through glass for a level of self-confidence where I am content with being alone and being myself.
I was convinced that this girl transparently read my mind. Her words sounded like an unspoken truth about myself that I never voiced or even thought to put together in a logical sentence. She’s right; self-love is much more important that the love of anything and especially anyone else. We should be taught to be comfortable with our sole presence before being too welcoming to the presence of others in our lives.
The next activity during the workshop required us to mold a hand-sized slab of clay into something that we can keep in our space to inspire us in our everyday life. As simple as it may seem, I molded the clay into a heart and carved the word “love” in the middle. Love is something that inspires me every day and I hope it inspires others as well. I’m not referring to love solely in the romantic sense, but the love of all things that make living life worthwhile. It’s such a powerful emotion that has the ability to interchange itself to be both a person’s vice and virtue. I painted the molded heart in a hue of cerulean blue. Since the Mia Halton workshop, I keep my handmade ceramic comfortably placed on my desk where I can be reminded of all that I learned, not only at the workshop, but more importantly my own personal values and beliefs.