Tag vulnerable

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The girl who circumnavigated Fairyland in a ship of her own making

I saw this book at work after the fundraiser, and knew I just had to buy it. The title alone completely grabbed my attention and I can’t wait to delve into September’s world.

But the title.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making.  Just resonates.

I don’t know why, but it just feels empowering, I feel braver, stronger and capable somehow just looking at the name.

Maybe it’s because inside I yearn to be that, and I have occasional moments of feeling it. Lately, for instance, I’ve been feeling a bit more confident and glancing over the last year, I’ve become more brave, more myself, at least on the inside even if I haven’t shown it much publicly. But I want to.

In 2012 I’m going to continue my journey to me. I’m going to try to be more of the person I am and want to be inside myself. I want to reinvent, to be new and real. I want to continue to remove the layers of masks that have been my image and my persona in the past and get to the truth of who I am, the me that I once knew and abandoned . A friend of mine has been writing about words for the  year, and how she wants to be unafraid. I’ve sort of stumbled upon mine…Aletheia.

An anonymous card I received recently was signed as that. Which, according to wikipedia

Aletheia (ἀλήθεια) is a Greek word variously translated as “unclosedness”, “unconcealedness”, “disclosure” or “truth“. The literal meaning of the word λήθεια is “the state of not being hidden; the state of being evident” and it also implies sincerity, as well as factuality or reality.

I’ve been thinking about that lately, and how it uncannily describes me right now, what I crave to discover and to become. A journey I’ve started and continue to travel. So in 2012, the year I turn 21 (and no one can make fun of me for not being 21 anymore – score!) I want to become aletheia bravely, and unashamedly me.

I want to be the girl who circumnavigated her world in a ship of her own making, and I think I’m closer to that than I ever have been.


I get lost in my own little world sometimes. Thoughts jump from one topic and phrase to the next in a high speed chase while I keep my hands busy and let my brain work itself out. I did that today, while deep cleaning my kitchen in a race against the two loads of laundry I had going. I let my thoughts fade in and out of reality – sometimes paying complete attention to the music on my phone and others getting lost in the swirls of brown goop from cleaning the stove, so that it was nearly invisible.
Of course, I couldn’t actually tell you what I was thinking about, because I don’t remember more than bits, and not in any way that makes sense. But I enjoyed the process of cleaning and losing myself to whatever world my thoughts took me into. I think that helps me clean sometimes, being able to bounce my attention between music and cleaning and thoughts while still doing the same thing and racing the clock.
When I was driving this weekend I let the oranges of the leaves on the trees through the hills seep into my mind as I created a world (that looked suspiciously like something from Dr. Seuss) full of color and breezes and bubbles. The plant outside the restaurant was swaying to the music from inside.
And I had a really weird brainstorm on a comic, which seemed brilliant in the fog of just waking up…it’s lame now.
I’m getting better at letting myself go and not hold back – at least, inside the confines and safety of my own mind. I accidentally tried a new painting technique as I got lost in the texture and how the paint and the palette knife acted against the canvas.
Getting lost.
has become so much…easier as I’ve learned to let myself just be. By repeating over and over the things my soul needs to hear and keeping words on mirrors. Getting lost makes me come alive.

plans (authentic Thursday)

Sometimes I have so many ideas, or really good ideas are given to me, that it all ends up in a jumble of stuff that I really want to do, and really want to do NOW. But there’s so much of it that it never really ends up going anywhere. So I made a system. It’s not really a system, it’s actually just a list. That way, I can write down all the ideas I have and want to do, so when I need something to do I can look at it, or if I forget one, I have a place to go and remember and in general it just promotes brainstorming. I had one of these moments last night, and this is what I ended up with:
Idea ListAlex suggested the idea of making a web-comic to me and I really liked it. I just have to come up with a story and stuff, but first I need to finish illustrating my current project. Although, I have a bit more motivation now, because I’m going to try and not let myself move on until the illustrating is done and I have a really good story idea. I have a few, none of them are really fleshed out and I’m contemplating the idea of doing a couple one-shots or collaborating with Alex. I could also use some of the material that I wrote years ago and put a twist on it…
Earlier this week I had a really cool idea for a painting which I practically laid out completely, because I don’t want to forget my initial idea for it.
I’d also really like to start waking up earlier than I currently do, because winter is coming which means it’ll start getting dark at 3pm and that absolutely drives me nuts. If I stay on my current schedule (going to bed at 2am and waking up at 12:30) I’d barely get 3 hours of daylight, and I did that before and I was miserable. So I’m thinking maybe waking up in the am and not just going to bed then would help with my winter blues…and if I woke up before Alex, I could do some exercises and be less grumpy (I’m so not a morning person).
My problem is that as much as I really want to, when the alarm goes off I’m going to definitely *not* want to so I need some kind of motivation. Maybe I’ll check and see what cartoons are on, and I’ll start slow. Or maybe I’ll promise myself blueberry pancakes that are toast-able.
I love and hate the feeling of having so many ideas and dreams and plans but not really being sure how to do them. It’s overwhelming in a good way but it feels like a lot, and for me, I need *reasons* to do the stuff that I know I should but lack motivation to do. Even petty reasons…like if Phineas and Ferb are on in the mornings, or something to get my energy up about it if I just feel like sitting and not doing anything. I know it makes me feel bad, and doing things: art, working out, writing, whatever, make me feel better. But sometimes that’s not quite enough to pull me out of my fog. The most helpful thing I’ve discovered is dragging around one of our photography lights so I trick myself into thinking there’s sun (I’m more energetic on sunny days). It’s weird. And yet, I want to move to PDX someday. Sometimes I don’t even make sense to myself.
On an unrelated note, I found this a on pinterest a while ago, and I’ve been wanting to share it because it’s so…. me right now.
I am on a Journey...with my work, my explorations, and a few sad stories. I travel with a suitcase full of outrageous blessings. I am on a quest for truth, beauty, and quiet joy. I am an artist, a writer, an explorer.

What I want to do this year: Personal Edition

I think one of the biggest things I’m going to learn this year is balance – how to balance my work and personal life. I suck at it, so much. With that in mind though, the last and final list of things I want to do for myself/because it’d be good.
* I want to have a christmas (and/or halloween) party and watch a non-holiday movie
* I’d like to (and we’re planning on) turn my book into a short film – do a really good job, and possibly show it.
* Take a nice relaxing vacation that’s longer than 3 days
* Visit my home-state (FL) or Oklahoma
* Go to/have a new years eve party
* Be able to get After Effects and a computer specifically to handle that (and Blender, and WoW…obviously.)
* Buy (or make) a bookshelf and retire the cardboard one
* Actually, retire *all* cardboard furniture and replace it with real furniture
* Level to 85 in WoW
* Have a bathing suit that fits and that I feel confident in
* become better at communicating boundaries (which is, actually to just communicate them) so that I can be more confident
* Find a GOOD therapist who doesn’t bring much of their religion into sessions unless they’re asked to.
* Heal
* Do something epic for my Sister-in-law’s Sweet 16th.
* Find a smaller car…that I don’t have to massively adjust the seat on, and I can also reach the floor…
* Play the Ukulele more
* Find a style, and wear it
* Dance
* Exercise more (yay kinect fitness!)
* Learn how to eat well
* Get a massage and visit a Chiropractor (hopefully soon)
* Cook a little because Alex would like it
* Get a non-lizard pet and name it Tonks or Nymphadora.

Blog Evolution

Over the last year there’ve been many changes to this blog – it started out like it is now one blog with many different topics. Over the course of time I thought it would be cool to move my attempts at art to their own blog – because I thought that would be more interesting. Months passed and my husband made a comment about how maybe the evolution of my blog was somehow related to my self-confidence. As weird and lame as that is, he was right. I was trying to separate myself into parts that people would find most interesting – I set up a splash page, so if you wanted to see my art you could go there, if you wanted to see my (boring) random thoughts you could go here, if you wanted to just contact me, you could bypass the blogs completely. So whatever you were looking for, or whatever you were interested in, was right there, and you didn’t have to deal with the ‘me’ part of it.
For  while it helped me feel safe – I had an artistic (interesting) side and a separate (less interesting) thought process side. Thing is, they overlap. When something is a part of you, you can’t keep it separated forever – when your art coincides with your thoughts, your musing spurs creativity, what do you do then? Two different blog posts, apparently. Recently, I got tired of that (and Alex has been so supportive of this whole thing, and kept encouraging me to be *me* completely) and re-integrated my art blog here.
So, while I spent a lot of time moving blogs around for ease or whatever, what really happened was that I learned to accept myself completely, as a whole person – an artist and a thinker. Now, they aren’t mutually exclusive pieces of myself.  When you come to my blog you see me – artist, thinker, writer…an almost 20 year old discovering who she is. What I’m learning now, is that it’s beautiful.

This Month

I know it seems like I’ve been abandoning this blog over the last month except for a few birthday posts, but I really have been busy. All month I’ve been writing and illustrating a children’s book (something I swore off earlier this year, I need to stop Jinxing myself). Long story short, I finished in less than a month and I’m now ready to publish – I’ll be selling it on lulu, possibly amazon marketplace and after some tweaking, the apple book store. 🙂 Details will come once everything it uploaded and set up.
If you want to read about the journey, check out the blog.

Stress meter

Last week was an overload – on Monday I was depressed, Tuesday I was stressed, Wednesday I got my first ever pink slip from the police (who explained my inspection sticker was expired and I explained I had no idea and was looking at -apparently- the wrong number), Friday we found out that everything inspection-related that could be broken was (and we failed), it can be fixed for $1300 and we’ll have our car back on Tuesday, Saturday we got a lift home to our locked apartment and waited for our landlord to come unlock it (keys were at the mechanic and in the couch. lovely). This week, we’re car-less till tomorrow (hopefully) and I miss Glee’s season premier (yes, that actually matters to me). On Saturday there were several times I thought I was just going to snap and lose it in front of everyone. Thankfully, Alex helped me feel better after he found me hanging out at the gallery (he waited at the apartment and I hung around town). He let me talk and made cinnamon buns and watched movies with me. Sunday I was feeling pretty good.
My stress meter is fragile – and I realized today, it’s *very* delicate. Right now I’m thinking that I should live in a bubble.  For some reason all my introspective thoughts or sad and scary daydreams take place while I’m doing the dishes…limited counter space and moldy coffee cups from the days we weren’t home aren’t exactly conducive to less stress. I sort of snapped a little, I was frustrated, took it out on Alex and his coffee cups. Mostly by rushing out of the kitchen and sitting on the couch with a pouty face. Alex pointed out that my stress meter is fragile and I need to take a break and cool down, I’d already done more than I needed to.
That helped. He doesn’t care if there’s stuff left undone, or if it gets done all the time, he just wants me to not stress.
So I was thinking while I was trying to cool down, that I’ve come a long way – I have a lot of shit to process and heal, but this is what I have right now:

  • Amazing, loving, healthy relationships with my husband, his family, and my adopted family.
  • no babies! or chance of babies!
  • a beautiful in town apartment that’s walking distance to everything (handy for days when I have no car)
  • warm cuddly blankets and the freedom to curl up and stay in them as long as I want to
  • good art supplies and lessons
  • freedom to learn and explore whatever I want to because I’m not tied down to a job
  • freedom to do nothing
  • a running car that we’ll be able to sell if we want to
  • safe friends
  • coats!
  • enough money to live comfortably (and Alex won’t let me in the clearance sections) and get things that I’d like because I *want* them regardless of practicality (even though I rarely do because I feel guilty for spending money on me…haha…and things that I *want* usually aren’t crazy expensive, and the ones that are we save for).
  • a ukulele!
  • dishes 😀

Big things, small things, random things, they’re all important to me. Even though I stress easily (soooo easily) and I’m not handling it as well as I’m used to (less suppression, so maybe it’s good), at the end of the day, I still have people who’ll make me feel better, and a safe environment, and people who want me to really live and be happy and people who don’t mind my imperfections or things I didn’t get around to doing. That’s progress.

Meet Ella

Ella loves to dance ballet, draw, paint, play dogs and send her little toy horses on trips across the country. She lives in hidden places and only comes out when she’s feeling vulnerable, lost, and needs someone to hug her and tell her she’s good. Ella is perpetually 9 years old, just starting out and caught in between wanting to grow and being too scared to come out.
Occasionally though, she musters up the courage to come out and let her feelings flow through me. Because you see, Ella is me. She’s the me that I shut down, the me I sent into a corner with toys and feelings and vulnerabilities. She’s the 9 year old who wants to make and be a part of something beautiful. People and wonder inspire her. She wants to gallop through the forest with the wind in her hair and stop and sketch a picture of a butterfly before landing a tour jeté on stage in a crowded auditorium.
I got older and gave up and let go of most of those dreams, but she hasn’t. Now I’m finding her again, I’m rekindling old dreams, wiping off the dust and chains and putting them up front where I can see them. With the rediscovery and hope that comes with reacquainting myself comes pain, vulnerability, and sometimes the feeling of hopelessness. Sometimes going back and working on art leaves me feeling overwhelmed and depressed – Ella feels vulnerable and scared, what if it doesn’t work? what if she’s no good? what if she lets it go and loses it again? Why is it so lonely? Ella misses people, she misses the energy that comes from a room of peers with different styles yet the same goal. I think of local classes but suddenly feel intimidated. What if I walk into the room and I’m the only one under 40, or 60? Why are all the art places I’m finding either for middle and high school students, or are primarily made up of much older adults?
I think of colleges, because Ella’s need for people at it’s root, is mine. I grow confused. Why do I need people so much? Why can’t I be happy in solitude, reading books and doing my own thing? Why do I need to complicate it by needing people somewhere close to my age? Why does that inspire me? Why does that give me energy? Why does solitude drain me? Ella starts crying and losing hope, and I feel it too. It overwhelms me to the point where I can’t really do anything. I don’t know what to do, I don’t know how to comfort Ella, I’m fresh out of ideas and feel like joining her under the blankets crying together, hoping that maybe after our tears are dry we can figure something out. We feel lost, full of potential, but clueless as to how to turn the energy into something beautiful.

Nothing was going to change if I stayed depressed though. So I talked about it. I told Alex how I was feeling and what was wrong, and somehow, just talking about it helped me feel better and quieted Ella’s fears. It’s still frustrating, but it’s good to have someone else there, coming up with ideas, and willing to do things differently because Alex knows that (for some reason) I need people.
Ella comes out when I feel vulnerable and self-conscious, because she feels that way. Sometimes all it takes too quench that is  a hug and some soft reassuring words. You’re great at art. You keep getting better. We’re finding classes. We can go places. You can work on a project and connect with people virtually. Somehow those words bring hope. Ella goes back to her finger paints and I find my pens and set to work. Hopefully I’ll have something to show for it soon, and probably more playing around with deviantart until I can find or do something local (or save for a real college class. who knows.).