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Ok, sorry guys, I know I got off track on my schedule...I'm working on it.
So art. And life. Yeah.
Seriously, I am exhausted. But a good kind of exhausted I guess. Sometimes if doesn't feel very good, but I remember that I am tired because I am working so hard on my art and that makes me feel better. However, there is such a thing as working too hard.
Yesterday I was in Fort Worth for 12.5 hours. About 10 of which was spent in the studio or getting supplies. I did get to set stuff on fire, so that's good. Got a little overheated at one point (not during the fire part, surprisingly); as many of you know I am very heat-sensitive. But I managed. It was a productive day.
And yet I didn't feel like it at the end.
That's the problem with a perfectionist mindset.
You can't ever do anything "right" because you can't do it all in one day. I guess when you struggle with your self-esteem and believing in yourself, you can be pretty hard on yourself in the process of a project. Today, I have decided to rest. Trust me, I planned on doing a lot of hard work today, but that just wasn't going to happen. (I'm surprised I am even up for writing this.) I had to pull my car over in a parking lot after a midmorning appointment today and take a nap because I felt unsafe to drive. That's the amount of tired I'm talking about.
Sometimes we just desperately need a day off. And I have learned before and am continuing to learn that that is okay. Self-care and self-love is not selfish.
Here, buy the shirt:
I am sure that if people genuinely took better care of themselves, we would live in a much happier world. People who take care of themselves are more productive, more joyful, and much nicer. Self-care can involve little things and small acts that tell yourself that you are worth it. I'm not saying go crazy and spend all your money on yourself. Self-care is about being wise and gracious with yourself. If you do something in the name of self-care that will cause you distress later, it doesn't count. Sometimes just giving yourself permission to take a power nap is what you need.
One of the important things about self-care is that at the end of the day, you can't regret it. Let yourself be loved by yourself.
As I work towards this wonderful art show, I am having to be nice to myself even when I don't want to be. I want to be that tough boss or teacher that convinces you to run the extra 4 miles at the end of a long day, just so you can accomplish more. And sometimes that may be necessary. But I don't want myself or any of you to be drained and burned out with life.
Learn to care for yourself. You're worth it.
Ideas for self-care:
Take a bath
Take a nap
Clean your desk/room
Buy yourself a nice cup of coffee and have some chill time
Eat a scoop of ice cream
Paint your nails...or a wall
Clean your sheets for a fresh night's sleep
Take yourself out to dinner
Buy yourself a new exciting book to read for fun
Watch your favorite TV show
Cook yourself an organic dinner
Have the glass of wine
Go to a museum and look at beautiful things
Hold hands with someone (but don't try that with a stranger)
Get a massage
Get a pedicure
Journal how you feel and don't judge yourself
Play with play dough
Read your favorite children's book. (If you need a suggestion: What do you do with an idea? by: Kobi Yamada)
Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you love yourself and that you are beautiful
In life, it can be hard to see good things about yourself. Especially when you struggle with mental health issues.
A long time ago, a friend and mentor challenged me to think up and write down 50 things I loved about myself. Already struggling with my self esteem, I told her, “there aren't 50 things about me, let alone 50 things I love about myself.” But she still told me to do it. I made it 5 in and gave up. Despite her following up with me, my heart wasn't in it and I gave up for good.
One and a half years later, I was sitting in PHP (partial hospitalization program) for therapy and mentioned that my friend had challenged me to write down 50 things I loved about myself but, I couldn't manage it. Suddenly, my therapist thought it was a fantastic idea and challenged me to finish my list.
Of course, I was not excited.
But my therapist said to just write 5 things before each session and work my way up to 50. However, once I was over halfway through, they just started coming to me. I realized there was more about myself to love than I thought there was.
Do you realize how loveable you are? Do you love yourself? Really think about it. Make a list if you need to and keep it on your phone like I do for hard times.
To prove it’s possible, here's my list:
50 Things I Love About Myself
1. My hair
2. I'm creative
3. I love my tattoo
4. I care deeply about people
5. I feel like I'm a very faithful person
6. I'm more courageous than I usually see
7. I love that I am a traveler who wanders
8. I love that I am a wonderer
9. I love to learn
10. I like the shape of my nose
11. I love that I dance
12. I love my eclectic sense of style
13. I love that my favorite color is grey and so are my eyes
14. I love my love for words
15. I love that I'm unique
16. I love that I am loved
17. I love that I am a passionate person
18. I love that I'm an artist
19. I love that I'm adventurous
20. I love that I'm curious
21. I love that I'm sincere
22. I love that I make a genuine effort to be kind to others
23. I love that I am a reader
24. I love that I'm a dreamer
25. I love that I am colorful
26. I love that I have a purpose
27. I love my hat collection
28. I love my imagination
29. I love my love for people
30. I love my choice in friends
31. I love that I'm a fighter
32. I love that I loves miniatures and tiny things
33. I love that I am a very spiritual person
34. I love that I keep my toes painted and my feet healthy
35. I love that my brain works like a book in space
36. I love that I can hand make books
37. I love that I'm a sculptor and caster
38. I love that I am skörjet
39. I love that I've lived abroad
40. I love that I have piercings
41. I love that I have an eclectic taste in music
42. I love that I love fluffy things
43. I love that I love organic aesthetics
44. I love that I have generally good composition and aesthetics
45. I love that I have faith in people and am learning to have faith in myself
46. I love that I love the cold and the snow
47. Yet I love that I love hot drinks
48. I love that my favorite word is yet.
49. I love that I have good discernment
50. I love that I still give my heart to people even though it's been broken so much
So what about you? What do you love about yourself?
Ok, so I had a weird Wednesday.
By weird, I mean that really good stuff happened and really bad stuff happened. So at the end of the day, I wasn't exactly sure how I should be feeling. All I knew was that I was tired. Exhausted.
The good news was about the art show...things are moving forward in good direction. Some meetings were set and some decisions were made. And hopefully soon, I will have a space to paint and sculpt and create in. That is was the hope is today. It's looking fairly good, but I am still praying.
The bad news... well, apparently I haven't done my work at my day job the way some people want it done and it came back on me. Hard. Especially since it was about my writing, it made it a difficult pill to swallow. And obviously, as medicated as I am, I am used to swallowing pills. This one came with a little more humiliation and embarrassment.
After so much emotion, by the end of the night, I was very ready for bed.
As for an art update, I have my projects for the art show planned out and scheduled for creation. There are about 25 pieces and then a series of about 100 small drawings that I am working on. It’s definitely a lot of work, but I am excited to do it. Some of the work is already in progress and some of it is still waiting for the supplies to be bought. But I feel good about the schedule that I am on.
To be honest, last week was full of anxiety and yesterday felt like I got the first wave of relief in about 1.5 weeks. Lots of panic attacks were had and late, sleepless nights. I spent a lot of time wondering what I was doing wrong with my life and why I couldn’t just calm down. Some of it, I do not even know why I was struggling with anxiety. I know that part of it was because there was a lot up in the air about the event and I was nervous. But more so, I just didn’t trust that there was a plan. And there is only so much I can do on my own. Taking more time to write and read and create was helpful though. In hindsight, I probably should have done much more of it. But when you are in the middle of anxiety or depression “doing” is the last thing you want to do, whatever it may be.
My therapist gave me some good insight on Tuesday...she said right now is almost a calm before the storm time. And because I am aware that I am about to get very, very busy, I need to make sure that I do the things I want done before the storm hits. So I was like, what do I want to do? The answer: reading, duh. That always gets brushed off when work becomes really busy, but something I miss very much. So my goal is to read quite a few books in the next few weeks or month. What are some of your latest favorite books? To be honest, I probably will not be able to add them to my list, because man, do I have a long list, but I would love to hear about them and have them for future reads. I’m always down to talk about books anyways. You might have noticed that since I’ve reviewed books on my blog. I have made sure to limit it to creative and inspirations books though, but I really do like a wide variety of literature.
So how about it? What are you reading?
This is a two part blog today. Part I covers the past and the present. Part II covers the future and some plans.
Wow...there is so much going on and I am not sure where to begin. Creativity, art, mental health, business, work, writing, building, friendships, life, and death. All of it is going on at once. But I guess that is they way life is, isn't it?
When I first was planning out this post (a long time ago), I thought I was going to explain what April was to me. But I realized that it didn't matter. April was a struggle. And you know what's sad? I started my new job April 4th and I LOVED it. You know what I am doing? Writing. And it's amazing. I have the privilege to write for a marketing company, as well as create graphics and video and other content for our clients. It's not always easy, but I am truly enjoying it and feel like I am supposed to be there. That is a nice feeling.
Work was not my problem in April. But every other area of my life was feeling drained. I was sad that I could not embrace the joy of my new, exciting job to the fullest because I was feeling dragged down by other struggles and worries. Friendships were a struggle and I take that very seriously. People that I am close to mean a lot to me and when there is something wrong there, I feel it very deeply and become very sensitive to whatever issues are going on.
When May began, I said, "Okay, new month, new beginning. Let's start over."
But it didn't work like that. The first week of May felt like an April hangover. I dragged myself around and felt as if I was barely making it.
Honestly, I felt as if I had created this blog and worked so hard to do so much and thought I was getting no where. My anxiety was becoming more and more of a problem; my depression was considering moving back into it's old room in my brain. That was not something I wanted.
Then something changed.
Don't get me wrong, I do not believe that circumstances make life easy or not. It's about how we live our lives, being willing to be content even in the difficult times. However, I needed a change of scenery. Something, anything, I felt that would be different than what I was used to.
Apparently, my cries were heard.
Finally, I am able to tell you guys that something is happening...I know that's not much to go on. But what I mean is that the goal for this blog to document my new portfolio and the creation of a series of art that is meant to go into my first solo art exhibition...that goal is coming into fruition. That much I can say.
Now, I am not at liberty to give you all the details right now, but I just want to give you a heads up that things are happening...all of you who read this blog are part of a community, and that community is growing.
Of course, something could go terribly wrong and everything could change and I could be alone and devastated tomorrow...at least that is what my anxiety keeps trying to tell me. But my faith and hope and trust is being told another dream. One that says, "Hold on, answers are coming. Dreams are coming true."
I truly hope you all will be apart of this journey. There is much to come. And many good surprises along the way. So as they say...stay tuned. There's more to come. So much more.
The other part of this post is to tell you that I have come up with a calendar for posting. No more random posts and no more waiting a month in between posts. There are actually things going on! Things that are important to document! So you will actually be hearing from me...regularly. And that will start very soon. Just so you know my goal, and yes, you may hold me to it, I plan to post twice a week. I will let you know what those days are this week, too. A calendar is being made and worked on as we speak.
This also means regular emails. I've missed writing to you guys. I hope you've missed hearing from me. I plan to be much more involved from now on. Thank you for being patient with me. I appreciate every one of you.
If you have read this to the very end, I thank you, deeply. Feel free to comment and let me know if you made it : ) Survivors will be awarded...somehow...someway...someday, possibly. But at least you have all the information and get to go forth knowing you finished reading the entire blog post. Thank you.
Til next time...
Life is like a box of chocolates...you are allowed to eat all you want, but you are eventually going to have a sugar crash.
My week has been full of highs and lows. Which I guess is just life. But the immense contrast makes it difficult to focus on the highs when you become emotionally drained. I'm not trying to be a downer, but just observant.
I worked very hard last week, on a lot of things, but unfortunately because I had not completed a single big project, I still had to copy my entire to do list from last week to this week. Talk about a depressing list. But it helped me realize that I needed to break things down into smaller, bite-sized steps.
"You can eat a whole elephant, just one bite at a time."
But please don't eat elephants. It's just a phrase. They are too wonderful to eat. I love elephants.
The point is, you can do anything, just take it one step at a time. Don't try to accomplish entire projects in one step.
On the bright side of accomplishing, I have officially launched my fundraising page, which is very exciting! Please take a look and let me know what you think!
The art show is becoming more and more of a reality and it is very overwhelming - in an awesome way.
Working on the art for the portfolio has been amazing and truly invigorating. I cannot wait to share with you what has been going on artistically.
So don't forget to stick around and make sure you see what happens next...
Again, I am at a day when I do not want to write. But it’s not for the same reasons as my last post.
I’m feeling better, by the way.
In truth, I am afraid to write because I do not know what to say exactly. But that’s part of the adventure of writing so here goes…
I learned recently that I feel that in my life right now I am on a carousel. Just going round and round and round and never stopping. That annoying music is playing in the background and I cannot seem to turn it off. There’s no jumping off the carousel because this is where I am supposed to be, frustrating as it is.
After a week of thinking about this metaphorical circus machine, I’m trying to stay calm and not worry about the circles that I’m going in and find peace along the way. Apparently, I’m not very good at that though. Because of that, I have to work extra hard just to be still and patient. But I will put this out into the universe: I want change. I’m ready. I do not know what exactly is coming or in what form it may come, but I’m ready.
I do not say this to invite disaster in; this is a much more hopeful change I am talking about. But I just want to put it out there that I am ready and waiting for it.
Do you know what I am talking about?
Let me explain this: my life has rarely been boring. I have always been on some kind of adventure, so the idea that my current job is to be still and patient is a terrifying fact. Thankfully, my friends are never boring and they always bring joy and excitement into my life. But where is my train? Where do I get on? Why am I on a carousel? Or, you know what, I don’t need a train, I just want a horse, a real one, and not these big metal ones that are anchored to a pole. With a real horse, I could go! I could go fast or slow or somewhere, anywhere.
Please understand that I am not saying that my life is horrible, not true. I am grateful for my life. But I also desire to do more, see more, and live more. Do you know that feeling? That wanderlust of life? That’s what I’m talking about.
Today…let me tell you about today. Today is a day in which I didn’t want to get out of bed. Today is a day in which just breathing feels like a drain to my system. Every little thing people do I interpret as personal or a threat to me. In my paranoia, everyone is out to get me.
Do I sound ridiculous? I’m sure I do to most of you. But other people know this is one of the types of days that is just part of being creative and sensitive.
On top of today being what it is, my last post was erratic and crazy sounding. So now I seem like I’m going from mania to depression. In reality, the state I’m in now has been building for the past week and had a catalyst today so it just exploded into this feeling of instability. I am teetering on the edge of oblivion feeling like the fall is inevitable.
Have I really only written that much? I feel like I’ve sat at my typewriter (more like computer) and bled all that I have to bleed, as Ernest Hemingway might put it.
I want to hide, but I’m afraid to be alone. I guess I need an invisibility cloak. One that has good airflow and doesn’t overheat me. I’ll check craigslist but if you hear of anyone trying to get rid of one, let me know.
Don’t misunderstand me, I may actually post this, but I don’t want to. I don’t want people knowing that I am feeling this way and thinking these things. But I take commitments very seriously and since I agreed to the reality and truth of the creative life in this blog, I am not going to go back on my word easily. I’m not saying it’s impossible; I know I am fallible. But I’ve fought too hard to fall guilty to stigmas and trying to only write the “right” things, the easy things.
The other difficult truth that I’ll be honest about on here is about God. Part of feeling the way I do today is feeling like God has left me. And abandonment issues run deep inside me. I feel left out in the rain. Don’t get me wrong, I like the rain, but being left out in it has a certain sad imagery to it. (By the way, the word for a lover of grey and rainy days is pluviophile. So, I am a pluviophile. Just not one who wants to get abandoned in the rain.)
Yes, I realize that my thinking is a vicious cycle and believe me when I say that I am fighting against it. It just isn’t easy.
“Do not mistake the bad days for days in which I am not fighting;
those are the days I am fighting the hardest.”
I am not sure who said that, but it is very true. Bad days do not mean I have given up; they just mean the demons got a great night’s sleep and were ready to start a violent fight this morning. I, on the other hand, slept very little. Add some nightmares to that and you’ve got an equation for a difficult day.
I write all this to say, yes, these days are real and really hard and horrible. But don’t mistake them for the end. As much as it may feel like the end, it really isn’t. So don’t let those demons you are fighting tell you otherwise. (I say all of this to myself more than anyone.)
Thank you for attention. See you later.