Tag vulnerable

28 posts

New Circles

art journal
I’m in a weird place. My support group has sort of eroded and I’m standing in the middle between a place I want to be and being sad because I feel like I’ve lost most of the people who’ve really helped me over the last few years.
Truth is, I’ve moved on. I’m not completely done baking, but my needs are changing, my heart is beating and I’m ready to find myself in the world again.
Most of my support group have moved on too, just in different ways. Many of the childless couples I met – the first childless couples I met after being married – are no longer childless, and others are looking forward to not staying childless. We’re all sort of moving on to new journeys and I feel distant and sad. I’m moving in a different direction – I can’t join them, and I honestly don’t want to – but I feel bad because of how vehemently I react inside. I don’t know if it’s normal because I don’t know many (any?) couples who don’t want children as strongly as I.
But this is life, I suppose. I’m told there are couples like us, who grow old and never have children because they find fulfillment in living life sans crypods, but I don’t really know where to find them. My circle, my support group, my friends who helped me realize that it was okay to find myself and healthy to be me have moved on to different journeys. That group will always be special and valuable to me, but right now, it’s time for me to start on my own journey – my own rebirth. To find my center and dance to the tribal drums. It’s time to find new circles.

Bikini Debut

We had a heat warning thing the other day because the heat index was at 100º F due to humidity. Unlike the rest of the US, apparently Maine doesn’t believe in central AC so we have to try to suffice with the stupid window units that work as long as you’re not in a different room.
So then the power went out, for an hour or two. We left and went to dinner (AC!) and then came home and decided to go to the beach.
I’ve been wanting to break out my bikini, so I put it on and we left and I realized that my bikini debut was going to take place on a day where I’m really prickly, because I hadn’t shaved or had a chance to shower before leaving, and my hair was all greasy and I was bloaty from heat and water retention and my stomach being weird all day and generally the complete opposite of how I wanted to look when I wore my bikini to the beach in my imagination.
But then I realized, you know what, I’m okay with that. I was okay for not being completely perfect and just going – unshaved legs and arms and greasy hair and acne and bloat and everything.
So then after walking around in my bikini for a little while, the bugs discovered me because it was low tide and they were parched, and I looked tasty.
We left shortly after that.
And that’s the story of my bikini debut.

Babies, bathwater, and shit in the brownies

Whenever people write about something remotely controversial the people who disagree generally respond with “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater!” and occasionally the  viewpoint opposite will make a retort about how if you had a brownie with dog shit in it you wouldn’t eat it.
My response to the two of them are as follows: one, if the bathwater is dirty, the baby and the bathwater should probably be taken out; two: why are you baking with dog shit? When was that a thing? And why are you trying to poison me?
However, I’m not writing an article on the merits of metaphor, I only brought it up to make a point – I know that what follows is more than likely going to be controversial. While I know this going in and it doesn’t bother me, if I see one of these or another similar metaphor take place in the potential conversation I will roll my eyes; because you are more than likely missing the point and should be redirected to the above statement about dirty water and poison.
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When I give myself a voice

and tell myself what I really need and what my motives are, I get this.
soul-speak
And then my brain feels really sheepish about it, like maybe it’s really lame and I’m incapable of mattering or doing things that matter. I think it’s just upset that it kept it hidden and in the shadows for so long, because it feels so scary to say it; and to name the things that drive me and have driven me since I went down that slide in the playground thinking I could be a hero like Balto when I was three.

Before Bed

Every night before I fall asleep (somewhat fitfully) for the last few days I’ve had a running scenario/monologue. This isn’t really new to me, but for some reason it’s been fairly consistent the last few days which is somewhat odd.
I’m a guest on my favorite podcast (nerdist) and we’re talking about something and it always goes back to how I haven’t been to college which leads to me then explaining in detail the scenario of why that is, which leads me to trying to figure out if it’s okay that I don’t have a degree or any formal education after high school. Besides the fact that job odds are ever stacked in the opposite of my favor as far as pay goes – which is for many other reasons than just college, admittedly.
I don’t even know that I think college would make me a better person. I’m basically making myself a job by doing art, web-development stuff, both producing and acting in separate web series(es?), and trying to be healthy/fit. As far as time goes, I constantly need to evaluate how I spend it, and I am doing really cool things with it (in my opinion). I know how to learn, and I’m good at learning.
Honestly, as much as I think about having a steady paying job for myself, I’m not actually looking for one, because I’m enjoying doing “Niche Shoppe job” with my time because of the loveliness of my husband (who enables me to do that, and I don’t take it for granted – I try not to, anyway).
But something in the back of my mind is always there. Things from my past that I haven’t rooted out yet. I feel like college would somehow be a culmination of an inner need to tell myself that I can do it, and I don’t have to be the person I thought I was “supposed” to be, and that I’m not turning into that (obviously, the person I thought I was “supposed” to be would look absolutely nothing like me, and she’d have bad hair).
But I don’t have the money. Or the time, frankly. As much as I would love to someday, and may make that a goal in the future, I have other things calling my name – establishing myself, and my series(es), and my art, and taking care of me, and proving to myself that just because I don’t clock in at 9 and out at 5 and don’t actually get a paycheck (yet?) that what I’m doing is just as relevant; and just because I occasionally work in a bathrobe and do things from the comfort of our apartment doesn’t mean that I’m the definition of a “housewife”.
Because I’m really not.
I’m looking at you, dinner.
And dishes, I hate you.
With a passion.
 

Art Journaling

I’ve wanted to be an art journaler for a long time, but every time I started I’d stop. I think it was because subconsciously I never really felt good enough. I loved other people’s art journals – in books, with loads of paint, or collages. But I’ve never really been able to do that (I can’t bring myself to write in books) and I wanted my journal to look cool too, so I sort of just got hung up.
The Art Journal: prompt 1
A few days ago, I discovered The Art Journaler and their April prompt which somehow made it okay. Then, yesterday, I was hunting down a letter to tape to my journal-journal with another letter and I stumbled across some of my old notebooks from 2009 on. As I flipped through them, with the rambled notes and illustrations in the corner I realized, I’d been art journaling before I even realized I was an artist. And it wasn’t perfect, and it wasn’t collage-y or dedicated (I had business ideas, math, sermon notes, and random marriage notes in with my thoughts) it was mine – and my art has improved a lot since then.
Late Night art #taj #norules
Which somehow made me realize something. It’s just a journal, and I don’t have to compare it and it doesn’t have to be like anyone else’s and it doesn’t have to be worthy, because it already is, because it’s mine. So lately, I’ve been toting around my pentalic recycled drawing book that I got on vacation last summer, and my sign pen markers I got for christmas; and drawing, coloring, and writing whatever prompts me, whatever thoughts I have in my head, and whatever I feel like I need to get down before I lose it.
Art journal
If it’s particularly lengthy though, I have my shiny “live free” notebook my sister-in-law gave me for christmas that I’ve turned into my journal-journal. Pretty notebooks make good journals.
wish #wish #taj #norules

Changing the World

I used to fantasize about either taking over the world, or just changing the world in high school.
I’m good at politics and basically lived and breathed that world for 4 years. My politics have changed significantly since then, but sometimes a moment comes along and that bit of me that I’ve left in the past where I thought it belonged, sparks.
I realize more and more that I have many “faces” but not so much faces, as facets. I get energy and exhilaration from many things, and maybe there’s a way to embrace all of those passions, and not focus solely on one at the expense of another, or cut one huge part of myself off completely just to avoid it.
Maybe I can blend my love of the arts with that thing that ignites when I’m culturally aware and just want to do something. It’s all I’ve ever wanted really, and it’s been staring me in the face. All I want to be able to do is something, to change something, to have a reason to be remembered because I tried to make something better.
It makes me feel so vulnerable. I’ve been looking for something new but it’s been there all along, just different than what I thought it was initially.
I want to make a mark on the world, and I want to make it better. I feel alive when I make things and do things that I feel matter. I love art because with it I can express thoughts and emotions that I can’t put into words.
I don’t want to make propaganda pieces or anything, that’s sort of….my definition of what my art shouldn’t become – and whenever I’ve tried it always turns out much too preachy for my taste. I prefer to center around universal truths that seeking souls sort of…find and cling to, or mine does anyway. But art is powerful, and I’m good at that too.
Artivist? maybe… Rise of a Beautiful Champion? perhaps (sounds like a weird movie title). Maybe I’m an idealist…but maybe in some way, I could change a small part of the world.
Starting with mine {and learning what that means}. Maybe having a vastly huge and possibly unattainable dream with so much room to explore isn’t a bad thing, because small ones just aren’t working for me.
I have a voice…I’m just learning what it sounds like.
Strangely, the epiphany occurred while reading this article from Esquire.

Beautiful Champion

I wrote a letter a few weeks ago, to myself in the future. It’s not something I do out of habit, but one of my friends – a kindred soul – inspired me to try a few weeks ago. What I thought was going to be something I saved and read to myself 10 years from now, turned out to be something more powerful, and something more….real. As I slowly become brave in myself, and learn who I am {becoming} and who I want to be…I find that deep down, the answers have been there all along, voices just waiting to be heard – beats meant to be danced to.
I feel almost as self conscious writing this, as I did when I wrote the letter.

I called myself Beautiful Champion, because that is who I want to become; and when I read my letter to myself, not 10 years from now, but when I read it adressed to myself now – I knew somehow, that’s not who I hope to become, but who I am. I feel, far, far, short of that title – I fail myself probably more than I fail anyone else – but my soul cries and it resonates, and somehow that truth penetrates.
Dear beautiful champion,
Your bravery, heart, and imagination inspire. Your strength, love, and passion help people you don’t even see. Your grace and empathy makes you safe for people to come to and discover that it’s okay to be themselves, as you are yourself. Your journey, your pain, your path, and your discovery are all important, while hard, parts of your journey and your story. You wouldn’t be who you are without the painful and sad pieces, because those enable you to understand what other people are incapable of imagining. 
Unwittingly, I wrote truths that I needed in this moment – truths that I battle to find all the time. Which is probably why, when I let my heart speak and write the words, I found exactly what I needed to find.
You beautiful, strong, compassionate champion – may feel lost at times, but don’t let that stop you from your journey – your journey to be and become and realize your full potential, you who truly are. Never stop growing, dear one – you are more important than you realize.

[in]significance

I struggle (and I always have) with feeling insignificant. With my self-worth and self-value. Anything that has to do with thinking I’m a remotely okay person who has a value slightly above that of a cockroach I’ve battled with. Extensively.
I blame myself for everything and anything. If it’s raining and I didn’t bring an umbrella I apologize because I feel like it’s either my fault it rained, or I should have known it was going to rain at that moment and brought something.
I have a responsibility complex which makes me feel like the world is on my shoulders and I just KNOW it will all end in nuclear war if I don’t clean my kitchen RIGHT NOW. But I hate having to spend so much energy on tasks that need to be repeated and I’m the one who does them all the time (and I don’t mind generally). But after a good long time, it comes back to my feeling less and less significant and like my primary function is home-hygiene. At that point, I just need to be a robot named Rosie. Or better yet, have a robot named Rosie.
When I get to the point that I feel like I don’t matter, I don’t do well. It bothers me because I know I matter in my head. I know I have people who like me around and think I’m relatively cool and that I’m a pretty decent human. But that does nothing to diminish the trapped feeling I have inside of myself – like I’m shackled to something and I don’t know what yet.
I take it out on my gender, and for the most part I’m okay with that. I don’t like being a woman. I just want to be a person without connotations of what women should or shouldn’t do or be in which circle, because I just want to be my complete self and I think a lot of that has to do with A) being human and B) being an ENFP (apparently, valuing individuality is a common trait).
Also, I get attacked by sharks and hormones every 3 weeks and someone needs to make that stop. It’s not healthy, I tell you!
But honestly, it would be nice to not hate myself for something I can’t help at some point. It would be nice to not lapse into an I-can’t-do-anything-unless-I-really-force-myself-and-then-take-a-nap depression when everything goes wrong because all I can manage to do is figure out a way to blame myself and try and take responsibility for something that I have literally no control over…which leads me to feeling useless and irresponsible and well, yeah, worthless.
It’d be nice to accept that sometimes I can’t do anything and that’s okay…and that somehow, my value as a person isn’t based on my ability. Is it intrinsic? And what does that even mean?
I want it to be, so badly. But I just can’t bring myself to believe that I am intrinsically valuable, even though I believe that about everyone else.
Maybe I’ll put this on my list. I am completely clueless as to the implementation. I don’t even know where to start. But if I made a little progress….that might be magical. I mean, how cool would it be to not hate myself?