tick tock with thoughts

I decided to Google how many days it was until moving day, and the number turns up to be 71. I was curious, especially because my thoughts have been racing around what I want to do. Surprisingly, I've been asking myself where I want to go. At first, I thought I wanted to be back in the south end of town, but then I started to listen to my guts a bit more and see that they're looking for something different. It might be a dumb idea, but I can't ignore it. So, here I am letting it out. You know the drill. She writes.

I love Edmonton, and I will always consider it home. Still, I feel that my experiences here have been so up and down, it's almost like I've been crashing in circles for years. From my living situations, to my relationships, work, financial catchup, to even some of my friendships, it hasn't been a smooth ride. That's life though, and those things can continue to happen wherever I go, because they're out of my control. Still, to have moved 3 times in 4 years because of my living space (floody basement, frat house, shady hood) I wonder if maybe Edmonton is actually pushing me out.

I took a chance when I moved to this city, and I am so glad I chose to try it without even knowing what it looked like. I had nothing to lose at the time and took what I was handed (a job) and saw the experience as a time to get to know myself and live on my own for the first time ever. Yes, it was my first go at living solo, and I'll say it right now, I love it that way. I'm the same kid I was in high school, marching to the beat of my own drum. I prefer to do things my way, because I don't like asking for help. Stubborn is as stubborn does, but adventure always calls.

The friends I've made here, the places I've grown to love, the culture, the trails, the vibe of the city; it's really what keeps me grounded. I feel I can find these things everywhere I go though, and because of this positive experience, I seek even more. Maybe it sounds ungrateful or greedy to think about leaving it all, but I love considering the fact that had I not tried coming here, I wouldn't know the things I know now. It's mind blowing to see what your decisions can do to change your life. I have never regretted the decision to come here, even if it hasn't always been easy. It's the struggles that sorta teach you the most.

If I choose to stay here, I know I won't be staying long. I have always seen Edmonton as a stepping stone, and it has provided me with such a boost in my life, that I feel I've been handed a Mario star. With it being just me, my dog, and the couch I refuse to part with, I feel I can go anywhere. I don't mean to sound selfish or heartless when I say that I have nothing to lose, but life is short and precious, and those who support me and care, will stay with me no matter where I go. I feel I'd be leaving with a ton of friendships that I know will remain solid. That is also a part of why I want to stay. The people here are incredible.

But, where to? Toward the ocean, for sure. I find calm in the water, and incredible joy when I'm surrounded by trees and nature. To think of having the ability to go outside year round, with the boy in tow, without having to bundle up or set a timer for when our skin will freeze, it sounds heavenly. What better way for him to retire, right? My aunt came up with that thought actually, and I liked it. It's just that 6-7 months of freezing is not ideal for either of us. I struggle with seasonal depression, and he struggles with being a temperature wimp. Breakfast is most alive when he can be outside, like me. Weather changes moods, said Nirvana. And with my business surviving through online sales, I feel I can take it anywhere, too. That adds to my list of reasons why going is okay.

Still, I want to be responsible. I don't know if I can afford such a big move, though any move is going to be costly. Also, if I move back to the south side, how is it going to benefit me? There are memories that I'm sometimes not all that happy to visit, though they make me smile warmly as I pass them. Things are in disarray in our old stomping grounds, so things are changing along with us. All I'm considering is that if we go over there, to live, it's not going to last long.. which adds yet another number to the list of times I've moved in my lifetime. I think I'm at 19 or 20 now. I never hang things on my walls because of it. It's fair to say I want that to stop. I want to hang things up and settle for a while, cool my jets, and be content with where I go.

I could change my mind entirely tomorrow, I have no idea. All I know is that considering this new adventure picks up my adrenaline. Like standing on the edge of the high dive. It's cool to think that I can jump if I want to. If it's true that change is good for the soul, maybe this will give me the right amount of kick to step even further into what I have become. It's cool to consider all of the possibilities that come with it. Really, if you had nothing to lose, would you stay in one spot?

Time is ticking. Tomorrow is another day of change.


from me to me

And now, a bit of a post for myself. I started to write in my journal last night (yes, I still do a Dear Diary from time to time) and thought it would be better to post this out loud, because I feel we all need to get in touch with ourselves, and give out those pep talks we need to listen to from the inside. It's like a big hug to you, from you. It feels pretty good. Try it out some time.

Anyway, as I was writing about all of my celebrity crushes and why they won't marry me, I got into jotting down notes about my 34 year old self. I've only been 35 for a day now, so I figured that before my memory disappears completely, I'd like to remember who I was, at 34, and what that year looked like; what I learned, and what I hope to take with me into the land of 35. It's like my own personal time capsule, I guess you could say.. with that hug I mentioned earlier. Is my writing becoming too casual? Whatever, you guys. It was a fun exercise that helped me look at myself on the surface. If that's all you need to hear, stop reading. *jazz hands*

34 was a bit of a mix for me, in terms of being both good and not so good. While I'd say that the tougher stuff showed up shortly after my 34th birthday, I'd say that the transition forward -like most things- has only gotten easier as time progresses. I experienced a big move, some major heartache, some soul searching (whatever that really is, I'm not sure, I just know I spent a lot of time catching up with myself), I met a bunch of new people who I am grateful to call my friends, and I realize that no matter how alone you may feel on occasion, there is so much to be happy for. I'm surrounded by tremendous support, and that support is what keeps me grounded and in a place that I consider to be safe, welcoming, and best of all; home. Big deals, hands down.

With the obvious most positive change being my career move to working as a full time artist, I have to say that it has taught me the most about myself.. even if it has only been going on for a few months. Amazing, the impact of life changes. It's not an easy job, but it is one that I love and am very proud to see surviving, because of me. This made me think quite deeply when it was brought to my attention that I'd labelled myself as terribly insecure. An entrepreneur, making a life, doing what she loves? Where's the insecurity in that? Well, I think there are different layers to insecurity, but I will say that those funny bits of myself that I used to sit and pick away at, they're strengthening up and becoming a massive part of who I am. I'm okay with it, and I see I'm becoming quite good at it. Weird shit. I became brave somehow along the way.

I'm still quite viciously insecure, as I will be honest that it's part of my nature in a way, because I was never really surrounded by the example of confidence in my upbringing. I may have had an arrogant body builder of a father, but the fine line between confidence and arrogance is a tough one to sort out. I don't want to pass into douchebag territory, and I doubt I ever will.. but because of this blurred line, it keeps me reluctant toward passing into a more confident sense of self. I suppose being good at what you do and having pride in it, can easily become a target for trolls. Trolls are gonna troll, so really what's the issue? I have much to be proud of, and yet I feel overpowered by modesty to keep myself safe. I'll always be modest, because I am also a perfectionist, but most definitely I don't need to deprive myself of the benefits of being good at what I do. Own it, as Oprah would say.

The feedback I get from others is always so amazing to me. To be labelled as "cool" is the most entertaining, because here I am, on most Friday nights, drawing and watching old movies, curled up in blankets with my dog, alone. I'm a bit of a workaholic, actually, as I don't often think outside of what isn't productive. I like to make stuff, mostly because it makes people happy, which makes me happy in return. When I walk down the street and get approached by someone who recognizes me, from the work that I've done, it still makes me wobble a little bit, for being embraced for doing what I do, and being exactly who I am. If only I had a surveillance camera in my house to show what I do in a day. There's a lot of pacing, drawing, dancing, snacking, mouse clicking, emailing, instagramming, painting, and talking in accents to my dog. Is this cool, by the way? I suppose it is in the sense that I don't care, because it's what I do. It's how I roll. I suppose cool people don't let the opinions of others stand in the way of their natural dorkery. It's what makes us unique and wonderful. I'm realizing that who I am and what I do is actually.. pretty cool. High fives, selfie.

35 year old Kendyl has no idea what this number is going to look like. But, if I must look down at 34 year old Kendyl as someone different, and think outside of myself, I'd say that my one day of being wiser and older has told me that I need to step up and be more comfortable with who I am. Fortunately, what I do helps provide this sort of mindset to shine on, because if I disappear, so does my business. That risk would shut me down quite hard in a number of ways. I must be proud and certain of what I do. It's like the best self love challenge I could have been handed. Grow, grow, grow. Personal growth is the best.. unless it results in tighter pants.

I will always want to make the world happy, but I'm doing my best to also consider myself as part of that universe, because it's so important to give to yourself the exact same things that you give to others. Why don't we care so much about how we feel or how we are treated, or who we give our energy to? I feel 34 year old Kendyl experienced a lot of trial and error with allowing certain people to put her in a place that was far below where she needed to be. If someone stomps your heart out and hands it back, cover it in glitter and make it into something beautiful, for what it taught you and how it shaped you into something different. It'll help you think twice about who you hand that glitter covered heart to next time. If they can't appreciate the craftsmanship (I wouldn't touch it because glitter is like herpes and covers everything it touches) it's their problem and not yours. It's a gift that keeps giving, and if someone wants to pass your heart out to others and cherish it the same way you do, for what you've made of it, then those are the ones you need to continue sharing with. Is this method of explaining things just getting weird? I think so. Maybe? I'm trying to just write how it shows up in my head. This is what you get.

Anyway, my older, wiser, self knows exactly what I need to do, and my goal is to make sure that 36 year old Kendyl has many good things to say about what 35 year old Kendyl has done for herself. I feel that so much can happen within a day, a week, a month, I'm really looking forward to seeing how I shape myself in the next year. It's neat to be a new number and be handed the torch to see how far I can run with it. I have so many goals to achieve, and the support I receive from those around me on a daily basis shows me that this race is going to have a rewarding finish line. And so, I accept that the torch has been passed on from 34 year old Kendyl, who ran her hardest to keep up with the race. I feel like I will run even harder, faster and taller than I have before, because I see that to live another year is an incredible gift of learning and understanding. Embrace and enjoy your inner self as you age. It's nice to reflect on what you actually know.

Thanks, Kendyl.


yo mama so fat

I never know what to get for my mom for Mother's Day, though those poetic Hallmark cards know how to make her cry straight out the gate. I could get her anything, but things are just things, and while I can't see her face today I know she'll be thrilled to hear from me when I pick up the phone. It brings us closer to home, no matter the distance. That's how moms roll.

From experience with this day, I know that she has always appreciated my writing. She still has a poem I wrote about her, years ago, framed, and on display in her hutch. Is it a hutch? It's a thing that holds stuff. It's there, is all I'm getting at. And it's there because I touched her heart and made her proud to be my mom. She's a sensitive one, and I'm glad to say that I inherited that from her.

My mom has always been a huge supporter of the weird creative things that I do, and though she'll be the first to tell me that she doesn't get it, she has never once stood in my way of being who I am.... so long as I don't get into any trouble. She may not want to admit it, but I know that I got my flighty ways from her. She's often distracted, thinking ahead, planning, never able to sit still, reciting her thoughts, and always on the lookout to do things for others; because that's what she does best. Her heart is a gift that may cause me to be outrageously sensitive at times, but I'm glad I know how to care so deeply for things, as she does for others, especially me and my sister.

I am her baby. I always will be, no matter how much I want to stomp my feet and say that I'm a 35 year old grownup. It's been a long time since I've been in diapers, but she'll always see me that way. Pants pooper, nose runner, crying in my bedroom about growing up(er). She has always nurtured and cared for me, no matter what. It is a gift to me, to have her as my mom. A gentle soul, a nurturing care giver, eskimo kisser, and the toughest rib poker I know. She doesn't turn off the caring, unless of course my sister and I are making fun of her pronunciation of America. Inside mom joke.

While she may say that she wished she could have given us more, I feel the greatest gift she ever gave me is the ability to make others laugh. We grew up making goofs of ourselves, for our own entertainment, and it had a tremendous healing power on what we were going through at the time. It's true that the gifts our mothers give us are not something you find in the store. I will always laugh to feel better, and when I do, I will think of my mom.

She is her own worst critic, and no matter how much I slather on the mom love, she's always going to want to do better. Another quality I have inherited from her.. sigh. While it isn't a bad thing to want to do more, and to aim to achieve even bigger things, I think my mom could use some time to think about just how good of a job she did, to raise two determined, independent, confident, talented, and (I must say) smokin' hot girls. You gave us all you had, and you continue to teach us the beauty in the simpler things. Strut your stuff, because it's your day to shine.

Keep smiling, because you're one of the best moms I know.
Love you! xoxo


creative helps

Just writing a quick post on what 'creative counselling' actually is. I'm still figuring it out myself, but basically.. people are asking me for help. Help with what? Well...

From improving your drawing skills, getting back in touch with your creative side, sketching more, painting techniques, digital tips, figuring out how to tackle a major project, or problem solving what is standing in your way... That's what I'm here for. I've been making stuff for years, all my life actually, so I'm just trying to share what I know, to see if it actually helps.

I create -almost- ALL the time, so I suppose you could say I have some tips to share on how to bring creativity into your daily life without making it feel like how most people feel about flossing. It's something we know will do us some good, but we put it off until someone says your gums are bleeding. Weird comparison? Maybe, but you get what I mean... right? It has its benefits (flossing, and being creative). Do both more frequently, you'll smile harder, guaranteed.

So far, I've had a number of people, leaving on a very happy note; feeling motivated and inspired. This just fills my soul with so much joy, to get to encourage others in a positive direction. Creativity is a form of expression that I feel we all could spend more quality time with. It's how we got to know ourselves as kids, so why do we have to outgrow it and over rationalize everything like a boring grownup who needs rules and restrictions? If you're not sure how to get back into it, have some technique questions or anxieties, I'm here to help you put down the road blocks and bring yourself back to being a creative genius. It truly heals.

Let's make stuff!


creative counselling

Recently, someone asked me a very interesting question: if I would help them with their (lacking) creativity. While the question was also more driven toward learning how to draw, I decided to explore this a little deeper and refer to it as a bit of a creative counselling of sorts. I don't believe there is a special method on "how to" draw, but there are definitely ways of figuring out what works and what doesn't.

I don't feel I have any tricks or magic drawing secrets, though it is something I can try to offer help with. What I'm more interested in is helping people figure out their creative strengths and how to push them further, and use them in their daily lives (or however often they want to use them.) I use mine every waking moment, so why not offer some of that energy to see where it can inspire and encourage others; to get in touch with that magical side of our brains we knew so well as children.

I'm testing out this process to see if anyone is interested, if it is actually helpful, and if it's something I can actually add to my long list of services. I feel that we are all creative in our own ways, we just need some guidance and tips on how to use it. It's like, I'm your personal trainer, helping you pump up your creative muscles to show off to all of your friends. Yes? No?

For anyone who may be interested in trying out a session, whether it be to help with your sketchbook, how to draw and embrace your personal style, get back in touch with your creative side... I'm here for you. Let's give it a shot.

email breakfastjones@gmail.com for more details


dreaming and thinking out loud

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I come from a bit of a gypsy background. I've moved at least 21 times in my life, and I don't think I remember staying in the same place for more than 3 years at a time. I'm coming up on 4 years, and 4 moves, living in Edmonton; so I guess it makes sense that I'm getting a bit of an itch for adventure. With a lease that's up in August, I won't lie, I've been thinking. Where do I want to go?

The funny thing is, that I don't know where I want to go, and if I want to go just quite yet. Things here have been quite good to me, minus some wonky living situations, occupational struggles, and some failed relationships. It's like crashing around in circles in a way. This was when the idea came to surface. Maybe I'm being pushed out, maybe something new might bring me some structure and sense. It's tough to say.

I've been weighing out my reasons as well as the pros and cons to packing up and going someplace else. I have the freedom of being on my own, to make whatever decision I want, and the adventure bug has been itching my brain. Is it the right time, or poor timing? And why go when things are actually going so well? I'm being honest that it's been a thought, and I consider it every day. I just want to be responsible about it.

With only 2 months of experience in freelance, I have to say that I need to be considerate to this curiosity toward venturing outward, because it could backfire and take me down in one fell swoop. I've barely built up a savings, or even a solid structure with my process, as I still have so much more to learn, and even more so when it comes to making myself known. I make approx. 80% of my sales online, so who's to say that moving would make that much of a difference. My office goes where I go. There's magic and freedom in that. But, there's also the social part that I'm considering. This city is incredibly supportive, and I feel I've only just begun to get to know how supportive it actually can be. With festivals and venues approaching for the summer, I have to admit that I'm excited to get myself out there.

What keeps me here is actually a decent list, I've discovered, in the process of the debate. While I have often gone on and on about the culture of this city, it really is a wonderful and welcoming place to be. The people, hands down, are what I love about it. It has a small town vibe that is very approachable, and our creative drive may be what helps us relate to one another as a community. I have my art community, my crafts community, film, writing, design, music, and even Boston Terrier lovers. It's an incredibly wonderful way to feel welcome, in so many directions of interest. I feel my options are almost endless, and the variety is not something you find every day. Edmonton, you have a firm grip on my heart. I actually didn't expect this.

Every person I've met here seems to have some sort of creative spark, and it's what keeps them driven and dreaming in ways I can so easily relate to.  I love being able to touch base with each one of my social circles and feel a sense of understanding, even if the amount of time I actually spend with them is limited. This, I am seeking to change. I feel grateful to know the people I know today, and tend to consider that I would have never met them had I not decided to take a chance and move here. That's what piques my curiosity, though, when it comes to going somewhere new. New people, new adventures, new experiences. It's intriguing.

I realize that since I moved to the north side, I've had a bit of a battle with isolation. This may be part of my desire to branch off further, as I feel that going someplace else wouldn't make a massive difference; because social media and networking keeps us all closely knit and in touch. I suppose that's the nice thing about packing up and moving, in that the ones who stay in touch are the ones who matter most. I feel wealthy with all of the friendships I've made here. The fun thing is that it continues to grow at a rapid rate, thanks to my art. I actually feel... cool.

If I leave, I want to be sure that I'm leaving for the right reasons. I'll admit that last month was a personal struggle, and that's when I started to toss this idea around. When things don't go your way, it's easy to feel like you need to set yourself at a distance, when it isn't necessarily what is constructive. There is much to appreciate, and sometimes being in a poor mindset can blind you from that. For someone who doesn't like to ask for help, it might be better to swallow my pride and seek out those who I find so important and let them help bring me back to surface. I have a project in mind to encourage this. Will post about it another time.

I'm constantly making new friends here, and I have to say that it's overwhelming to see how much support I get from the people around me. I feel a sense of invincibility, like I can make friends anywhere, it's just that the idea of starting from scratch again can be both intriguing and kind of exhausting. It takes time to make friends and build up a social circle, especially as an adult. Am I ready for that? Sometimes yes, sometimes not at all. For someone who has pressed restart so many times in their lives, it may have become second nature to crave new introductions.. and yet, I'm 35 and seeking structure and stability in my flighty lifestyle.

So why go, then? Well, I know I don't want to stay here forever, and I can go when I want. Edmonton has been a bit of a stepping stone for me, and while I know there are bigger/better things for me to explore in this big blue planet, I just don't know when I'm ready to take that leap. It's like jumping off the high dive. I know I'm going to love the rush of it and be glad I gave it a shot; the question lies on when and where I'll land. With a little dog in tow and nothing holding me back, I feel we can do just about anything. That's a cool feeling. Who knows what I'll decide tomorrow or the next day. It's just sorta fun to dream out loud.

Life is full of endless opportunities, especially when you create them for yourself.