Since 2011, I have been leaving anonymous ambivalent notes in public spaces. My hope is that the people who find my little heart-marked envelopes will be confronted by my questions and feel inspired to reflect upon their own ambivalent feelings.
I have left notes in taxi cabs, in public rest-rooms, in the pockets of clothing in stores, in a bra, at an ATM, in a subway car, in library books, in Las Vegas, in a casino, in the Jersey Shore store, in a melon display at the market...The act of leaving a note in a public space creates a rush of rebellion that feels like reverse shop-lifting.
Each note is documented and posted on my blog ambivalently-yours.com, where I also write a short story about why and where I left it. For example, after reading about a study that concluded women who wore skirts in professional settings were more successful than those who wore pants, I began to resent a floral skirt that I had once loved. So I wrote an ambivalent note to my skirt and left it on a subway car on my way to work. I then posted the note on my blog, followed by a text examining the frustrations of socially imposed femininity and how it interferes with the pleasures of sartorial expression.
The process of writing notes and giving them away to an unknown public, allows me to separate my pleasures from my frustrations. Once separate, the two can be re-examined with more clarity than when they co-existed as a single ambivalent feeling.
I have also invited other people to share in this practice of leaving anonymous ambivalent notes in public places. To read more or to contribute to this project, please click the button below.