Ann Arbor, MI -- Snowmass Village, CO

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SITE CONTENT IS © GABRIELLE GRAVES 2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Well... Here Goes Something.

Why do we say "Here goes nothing?" Shouldn't it be "Here goes something?" Usually, we are trying something new or uncertain when we say this, and aren't sure how that something is going to turn out. Likely though, we say "nothing" rather than "something" because we mean nothing is lost when we try this thing; like "there's nothing to lose if this doesn't work out, so here goes nothing." But maybe I'll start saying "here goes something". Because, here possibly goes something. I possibly have something to lose doing this, doing anything. If you think about it, anything worth doing really has some sort of cost/benefit ratio. And if you are trying to go for something - especially something you really want - that always has a cost. There is the chance of failure. And THAT, right there, is scary. No matter what anyone says, failure is scary. Putting yourself out there, especially your inner thoughts and desires, is completely vulnerable. And vulnerability is terrifying. However, it can also be liberating. Not only for yourself, but for others who see that vulnerability and understand and relate to it. It can be inspiring and helpful.


So, here goes something.


My work as an artist is wholly about pain. I tried to deny that for a while, to focus on something positive. But I have come to realize that, overall, it is positive. My work is a catharsis and therapy for me, even though it can definitely be painful at times, and I hope that it can also play a similar role for others. My goal is to foster spaces of acceptance and to let other people know that pain is real, it is valid, and it is okay to feel. It is okay to talk about, as it is something we all have and go through. And I am not talking about breaking your arm, or getting kicked in the face, or that cramp you get when you run for the first time in a year. I am talking about internal, mental, emotional pain. The type of agony that is socially unacceptable to talk about in the culture that we live in. The type of pain we invalidate because we can't see it. We can't fully comprehend the internal pain someone else is in because we don't have a measure for it: we only know how it exists in our own heads; we can't see where the pain is coming from externally; and we don't even have an adequate vocabulary with which to talk about pain that we feel in our heads.


There is so much stigma around mental pain and its divulgence. Telling people we're having a rough day because our chests are tight so it's hard to breathe and our anxiety isn't allowing us to concentrate and waking up was the hardest part of the day and we're on the brink of tears every single moment. And how do we change these stigmas? By talking about our mental states. By being honest, open, and vulnerable. And even though it is going to be difficult to talk about these things, and for those who know me to read them, I've decided that if my practice is about pain, then I should be honest about my own. So with a lot to lose but everything to gain, here goes something with all of the things I should have said.