• Lucia Joyce

ReBranding 'Power'

I've been feeling powerful all day today.

Not the kind of power that comes from hierarchy. No stuffy velveted monarchs or secret backroom deals. I need no status or control over others to feel powerful. My power is limitless, radiating from the inside out.

I am a sundress'd goddess in a garden of my own design. I am an athlete dripping sweat on the grass. I am a creator of TikTok charm and handy joy reminders. I am overflowing with appreciation for the micro and the macro details. I am an editor, a choreographer, and a performer of fine films. I am sudden music and dance. I am my own streaming channel to be amused and inspired by. I am back on the actor grind with a much better perspective about my craft and my growth in the industry. I am the love of someone's life: so kissed and so held and almost psychically in tune. I am happy and deserve to be.

I felt the power of cooking simple, healthy meals: mushrooms and escarole, green geometric romesco, leftover cashew ranch on toast with avocado and arugula, brown rice with cilantro pesto and miso mushrooms. At the stove, as I chop and process and fold in the pesto, I think about some worthless meme one of the managers at my old restaurant job showed me on International Women's Day: some iteration of "women belong in the kitchen, har!" He caught me off guard in the middle of a busy shift and I half-laughed, a reflexive response left over from junior high, when I would laugh at shitty jokes to fit in. Now, I just feel sorry for those still cracking jokes like they don't know deep in their gut how utterly powerful and important literally all women are. Yes, I have a gift for food, honed through decades of experimentation and taste trial. I seem easily attuned to house and garden work, taught by a chain of patient, meticulous mothers. That doesn't mean I 'belong' in the kitchen, though any kitchen would be lucky to have me. I belong where I choose to belong... in sweaty spontaneous dance breaks and playful film edits and weekly writers groups/scene studies. I belong in grass and sand, in long, song-filled car commutes and perfect parallel parkings. I belong on screens and on stages, in hearts and on published pages. And the kitchen, well, it belongs to me really.

I am living art: kindness pushing ever outward from behind messy buns and diagonal french braids. I am a face that draws you near, with makeup and without. I am a caretaker of all things, an endlessly dutiful water-bearer plodding from plant to plant with my sweet words and my mist in a bottle. While others try to make outdated comments cool again, I'm soaking up even more of the world with my big open heart.

That's powerful.

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