I care…

A constant question in my life is: how open should I be?  I have no problem sharing things about my life; I’d rather be fully transparent, with all my cards on the table, than try to bluff my way through.  But I’ve found other people don’t necessarily appreciate that.  And because I have these remarkably frustrating and deeply seated need to please people, I filter what I share.  I care about my reputation; I care about being authentic; I care about being trustworthy; I care about not being judged.  I care about whether people think I am being over-dramatic or a self-obsessed asshole.  I care about whether people will judge me for swearing and if that will sway their decision to let me babysit their kids (even though I would obviously never swear in front of children!!).  I care about if I am wearing a shirt that my sweat will show through.  I care about if the shoes I am wearing are too loud when I walk.  I care about finding the balance between authenticity and privacy.  I care about my motivations for posting things and I care about other people perceptions of my motivations for posting things.  I overthink and overanalyze.  I am remarkably self-conscious about how many times I have used the word ‘I’ in this post so far…

A caption from my Instagram, to further reiterate:

“To anyone who saw my little overthinking breakdown on my story last night, I apologize… I mean, I’m not going to lie, all of those thoughts are pretty much always bubbling just below the surface anyway… But there was a trigger last night that brought them to the surface and apparently onto social media. There have been such a variety of experiences and events over the last few years of my life that have shaped me, but I’m remarkably insecure about admitting to some of them. And maybe I don’t have to, maybe that’s not any of your business. Maybe privacy in the midst of social media is something I should embrace more. But where is the line of authenticity drawn? Is all of this just a way of pretending we have friends and relationships when what we really have are followers? Where do honesty and vulnerability reside? What would my life have been like without the pressure to present things are certain way on the internet? What of this is an act and who am I really? And the biggest question of the moment, am I the only one? Does this bother other people? Do you have doubts you’re afraid to share? Do you know who you are at your core? Would you admit it if you didn’t?”

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I care…

GOAL: walk all the streets

I am tired of seeing the same route every time I go for a walk.  I am tired of the extra pounds I have put on since being married.  I am tired of not having any goals that I get me excited.  I am tired of not feeling proud of myself… and in fact, feeling kind of like a loser.  So I am working to change that.  Let’s go 2018.

Goal #1: Walk all the streets in Blacksburg.

(Yes.. I recognize that I am going to have to put some constraints and limits on this but I haven’t yet figured out what those are.  One I do know, however, is I will not be walking the highway (460 for you locals).  Two: I will not be trespassing on any private property or restricted areas.  Edge boundaries are TBD.)

Three days so far to test this idea.  It’s actually been a blast, getting to walk streets full of old memories, but also explore new little nooks and crannies of the town I have lived in for now… what would it be… 6.5 years.

December 17 to 20

I think there will be more maps to come… This project has gotten me thinking about all the knowledge of this place I have accumulated over my time in Blacksburg and how desperate I was for information when I first came here as a freshmen at Virginia Tech.  Stay tuned for more in the future!

december 18d

dec 17 to 20 listsdecember 18 to 20

GOAL: walk all the streets

Shockingly Original Post Idea (aka thanksgiving)

Hi friends,

Happy Thanksgiving!! I know the holidays can be a difficult time for some, ranging from the normal stress and pressure associated with travel/plans or more intense emotions (grief, loneliness..).  So I hope wherever you are today, whoever you are with, that it is as restful as possible.

I just wanted to share a few of the things I am thankful for this year and then share one new art-related technique I attempted recently.

As for things that I am thankful for… there are so many in this season of life right now that it’ll be hard to list.  And I am thankful for feeling like I can even write that.  As some of you know, I have struggled on and off with depression since middle school and there have been quite a few thanksgivings that I haven’t felt so thankful.  Sometimes it is just so difficult, when you’re in the darkness, to see any light at all.  Especially when there is additional social pressure because of a holiday.  Or when your brain says, “you really should be happy, you have nothing to be so depressed about, what is wrong with you, look at all the people in the world who are so much worse off than you.”  Comparison, though it may seem logical, is not beneficial in those moments.  But I digress…

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for my family, both biological and in-laws.  I am thankful for their love for me and each other.
I am thankful for how much effort my parents have put into their marriage throughout the last year.  Coming back from the brink of divorce is no small thing and I am so grateful.
I am thankful for my husband who works so hard for our family and who cares so deeply for those he loves.
I am thankful for the time I got to spend with the family who hired me to nanny for them.  I can honestly say that I can think of no other way I would have rather spent that time and I can think of no other family who would have been more loving, more wonderful than they are.  (Love you Caro!) See you again so soon!
I am thankful for my part-time architectural drafting work and for the free time to pursue art/design/collage/sewing/baking/knitting/children’s book writing.  It really has been such a life-giving combination so far.
I am thankful for our new apartment, for no rats, for privacy (and no topless neighbors on the roof outside of my kitchen window), for a guest room I am not embarrassed to have guests stay in, for a washer and dryer in our apartment (!!! goodbye laundromat!)
I am thankful for friends and moments together and laughter and phone calls (even though they definitely aren’t the same as hanging out in person).
I am thankful for the freedom I feel to explore my beliefs and express myself and be who I am.
And I think I can also honestly say in this moment, that I am thankful for the lows… They make the good times so much sweeter, they help me empathize, they provide creative inspiration.  But I am also SO thankful that that’s not where I am right now.

What are you thankful for?

 

And a final little aside: I have been working on developing a children’s book recently and, even if it only ends up on my shelf and the shelf of my beloved little friend, it has been a really awesome experience.  This week I attempted to digitally add some color to a couple of the layouts I had drawn during inktober:

These were just quick digital sketches designed to help me plan how I want to physically paint them with watercolors and it was really satisfying to get to interlace analog and digital methods so seamlessly!

Which one do you prefer?

Thanks for reading.
Talk to you soon!
M

Shockingly Original Post Idea (aka thanksgiving)

It was just an adjective.

Simple sounds
muffled amongst the layers of meaning
that wrap overlap and veil
Meant to convey
they confuse refusing to be as simple as they seem
Because we’ve imbued them all
Convoluted them all
And if they’re not in a dictionary yet, just you wait
And the words on the screen broken down
are just pixels perceived by your eyes
Any meaning perceived
all lies behind
where the lines are converted to sounds
wrapped around and around with meaning
A mean thing
created by the creatures determined to drown out the actual sounds and
Perhaps the magic of music is found
in the substance of sound without meaning,
sound just being

If I could only just be.

And feel

(The wind of the word
a i r
and the Teeth
(Are you feeling your Tongue Touch the Tip of your Teeth
and your breath breath breath)
the swish and the swash of the grass and
the buzz of the bugs
and the squish and the squash of the marsh
and the gal-lop gal-lop gal-lop)

When did sounds become words
and words become meaning
and meaning become so abstract
that I can’t even grasp what it is to mean.

It was just an adjective.