yo self

The season of change could not have come at a better time. There's so much going on around me, every day is like a certain dream I need to shake myself awake from. My life is so different, and yet the struggles are entirely the same (and intense) as they were at the start of this year. Working for myself has been a bit of a roller coaster ride, though I'd say that at this point, it's starting to settle and make some sense. I just needed to slow down and take care. I'm really so hard on myself, sometimes. Aren't we all?

There seems to be this incredible message circling around, about how happiness is something we create for ourselves. It's sort of funny to see it happening around me so frequently, like it's becoming a new discovery for a lot of people. This makes me really happy to see, because I have often felt like an outcast; for valuing my own time. I think the world could use a little bit of alone time, by throwing themselves in the middle of the wilderness, to discover their actual insignificance. Slow down, shut up, turn it off, and who cares about whose face is on the cover of a magazine. Get outside and take in this lovely world we've been plunked upon to explore. Who knows how long we'll get to be here?

For almost half of my lifetime, I was in some kind of a relationship that involved a lot of running in circles. It felt necessary that the love I had to give, be given to someone else, in order for it to be valid. It's unfortunate that a lot of people don't see how wonderful it can be, to be on your own. I mean.. if you don't enjoy your own company, then why should anyone else? As I've come to love my alone time, and even value myself as a person, I feel that if someone finds me along the way, then I'll be loved for the right reasons. No one can change me from being who I am. I'm a lot of things that I didn't really give myself the chance to realize, because I was too focused on giving it elsewhere. It's so much easier to give to others than it is to give to ourselves. I think that's where our happiness battles fall a bit short. Makes sense why I'm not nearly as exhausted as I used to be.

I have no regrets in my relationships, no matter the shape or size that they have come in. I firmly believe that if we're given one life to live on this earth, we should see each and every person we encounter, and share with, as a gift. Our experiences shape who we are. It's a beautiful thing, and my mind sees it all as one big story, writing itself as I go along. It's lovely. I'm thankful for the characters who have made this story what it is, right now. This is how I see the world in front of me. It's weird, but it's mine.

That's why I decided that if I woke up as someone else, tomorrow, I know I'd feel sad to lose out on who I am. I have a mind that I am accepting as a certain thing that not everyone can understand. That doesn't make me a bad person at all, I'm glad to be who I am. I think about things in a different way, I feel things heavily, I process every little thing in front of me, and I see things at such an intensity that the details inspire me to create. That's sorta beautiful, if you ask me. It's apparently selfish to accept ourselves for who we are... yet... what? What a waste of life, to feel you have to keep on guessing and shitting it out, in order for others to feel better about themselves. 

Why can't we see ourselves as unique and wonderful creatures? Not being accepted by one person, doesn't mean you get the shaft from the world. I hardly have much of an existing family, and yet I've made one of my own, to make up for those losses. Why dwell? Why not celebrate what you can make as your own? I am glad I'm a feeler, a deep one.. "deeper than the goddam ocean," as a charming friend of mine recently said. It's true, I'm a bit of an abyss of emotion. I thought it was a bad thing, because it's a lot to take in. It's who I am. I'm not selfish at all. I'm just up to date with keeping myself in check. It's necessary to give yourself what you need. 

My favourite moments are when I'm outside and surrounded by nature. The sounds of silence, the trickling of the rivers, the gravel beneath my feet, the chirping of birds, the breeze that whispers through my hair. It's incredible. I don't feel alone at all. I take myself on adventures, and every day I catch myself looking up as high as I can crane my neck, to see the tops of the trees as they extend far beyond the clouds in the sky. I always say thank you, thank you to every little thing that I've been given. Everything that has brought me here. Every experience, every success, every downfall, every person I've met along the way, everyone I've come to love and accept as a part of my life, right now. Myself included.

The world isn't going to love you back the way you want it to. All you can do is love it entirely the way that you know how. It paints a different view of what is around you, and what is actually important. It really is a gift you give to yourself. Once you present it to the right place, your heart and mind will thank you. You have so much to give to yourself. No one can take it away from you. Only you can provide yourself the happiness you need. And, you'll never feel alone.


time to thank you

I recently read some interesting messages -on social media- about selfishness, this week; which sorta hit home because it seems to be a common issue. Well, it's still a confusing topic, to be honest, and I'm trying to write about it without any passive aggressive finger pointing, but it's a thing that I've encountered a few times this year.. and I'll be even more honest when I say that I'm fucking sick of it. Maybe that's a selfish thing to say. I don't even know anymore.

I express myself through social media. Primarily, Instagram. It's where I keep a visual journal of what I do with my days; it is also where I maintain my business. It's my life. I'm not posting to gain any sort of attention, I'm doing it to share with whoever it might touch or inspire along the way. My goal is to teach people the benefits of creation; that being silly, serious, or even vulnerable, can be inspiring. I'm honest, I'm open. It's something that started out entirely for me, but it has expanded. It grows almost constantly, along with my heart. I'm grateful, I'm inspired, even more so in return.

Daily, I receive messages from total strangers, who are jacked up by what I do. Some of them share their own creations, while others just have special words to pass along about how I've somehow inspired them. This honestly never gets old, to me, because it's something I want people to embrace for themselves. It feels good to create, and it feels even better to share it with others. Is this selfish? I have to check in on this to see if I'm missing anything. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Outside of the internet, I live in a real world. I'm in a world that is entirely new to me, so much that I go most of my days entirely alone (with a dog.) Of course, I made the decision to come here, and maybe that was selfish, too. Should I remain in the same damn spot, for the sake of others? I certainly hope not. Maybe that is selfish to say. I had a chance to try something new, to expand, to experiment, to grow; on my own. No one is here to hold my hand, but me. Is it less selfish to ask others for help? I don't even know. I honestly don't. I choose to do it for myself, because to me, that feels necessary.

I was in a funk when I arrived, because I struggled with this sensation of selfishness. I felt like an asshole to leave the town I had called home, the friends I had made, for something I didn't even know. I felt guilty for feeling good, for taking a leap into something new; for where it might take me. People have the tendency to feel left behind, like happiness means you're moving toward forgetting the things that matter. No, the things that matter join you. Simple as that. It has absolutely nothing to do with selfishness. Selfishness belongs to those who feel your success and happiness is a threat. Leave them be. That tantrum is not yours to tend to.

The positives can be terrifying. I'm sick of apologizing for moving forward, I'm sick of feeling bad for doing well, I'm angry at feeling like a dick for actually being proud of my achievements. I've worked my entire life to get where I am, and yet, I'm wasting precious energy trying to guess at what makes others happy; because they feel threatened in some way. I was bashed before I left, and I was bashed when I landed. Part of that bashing came from myself, because I knew, I felt it, that I'd be asked to pay. It's been an interesting go, seeing who my real friends are in this whole adventure. Goes with the season of change. It hurts, I have to be honest; but change is always good for the soul.

Only I can mend what is currently hurting and challenging me, every day. Yes, I willingly came here, yes, I'm supporting myself doing what I love. Yes, it's beautiful. Regardless of what is well, does anyone know how fucking hard that is to face it all, alone? I'm not entirely alone, so to speak, but absolutely, there are days where I don't even utter a single word, because it is just me. I enjoy my own company -to an extent- because I feel it's necessary. Perhaps this causes me to be less needy to others. I personally think it's a gift, to give yourself joy. I'm thankful I possess this gift. Yes, I think we should all thank ourselves for what we've done to get here. High five yourselves for being amazing. Seriously. I mean that with all my heart. Selfish? Yes, I'm seeing it all more clearly.

But really, have you ever lived entirely on your own? Gone to bed, walked around, woken up, day in, day out, entirely on your own? I'm asking nothing from anyone because I have myself to depend on. Myself. Why is being your own best friend seen as a certain threat? It doesn't mean I don't care for anyone else but myself, I just know that right now is a crucial time to be my biggest supporter.. when it's just me here to support ME. Doing your goddam best is not a threat to those who truly care for you. If time and kindness are used as a certain debt that you are expected to pay in return, that is not kindness at all. Kindness is something you willingly give to others, without any expectation of what comes back. Yet, why am I being told so often that I'm the selfish one for what is being given to me? I know I'm a giving person, so I'm left feeling baffled. So baffled. Maybe I just need to learn how to say 'fuck off' more firmly...without feeling bad for it. Yes, maybe.

I took myself for a walk today. I went, by myself, with my silent companion in tow. We walked for what seemed like hours, until there wasn't a sound to be heard, but our own breath. The silence was haunting, beautiful, enchanting, and refreshing. Today was a day of thanks, where people gather to be with their families. Here I was, alone, in the forest, in a place I still barely know. I stood, frozen, yet totally blown away by what has become of my life. I said out loud, to the trees, to the sky, the clouds, the rocks, the leaves on the ground, "thank you." Thank you for showing me, I'm not alone.

I was recently told that I seemed happy, like it was a bad thing. Like focusing on my own happiness is a threat to someone else's universe. Like I'm leaving someone behind, as I explore my own life for what it is. It's not the first time I've been shot down in such a way, or accused of purposely ignoring someone else's needs that are not my own. Last time I checked, we were put on this world to fight our own battles. If I'm not providing something that you need from yourself, seek it from yourself. I know for a fact, I am not selfish. I'm just sick and tired of being told so. If I am in debt to your kindness or efforts of being what is supposed to be a friendship; it's an effort that should no longer exist. Friendship requires no effort, it is a natural thing. I'm thankful for knowing this. My heart is kind, my heart is wise. That's not a selfish act. That's knowledge. I feel the world could use more of this.
Thank you.


coming back to me

After a good run of dumping on myself, I have to say that I'm really good at feeling guilty for things that I shouldn't. I sat with this for quite some time, after I jumped on the island, and it fortunately got old very quickly. I mean, moving is always tough on the system, and even tougher when you're rolling solo into unknown territory. There's a lot to grieve, but also just as much to celebrate. I'm proud of myself for getting to this point, and yet I spent an entire month letting myself wreck it and feel it was somehow wrong... wrong to feel good about it.

I reached out to a lot of people. I got some messages and even some phone calls from my toughest 'real talk' givers. When I told my friend Marc that I'd only been here for two months, he was shocked. Not only because it didn't feel like that long, but because we both realized just how hard I'd been on myself, straight out the gate. What's the deal? I didn't even give myself a chance to catch up. I hit the ground, crammed a bunch of shit on my shoulders, and then became so overwhelmed that I threw myself the biggest pity party for not knowing how to keep up with it all. You fall down, you get up. You have to get up. Thanks for being fantastically blunt, Marc.

The biggest problem I had was that I was forcing down the work, when I really should have been taking time to rest and process the emotions. I didn't know how.. but it gradually trickled in and showed me some very new perspective. I took myself out of the house, I even started sending myself to bed super early. I needed time to catch up with it all, and racing against it was not the way to go about it. For me, that is a tough thing to do because I get my drive from being productive. What I didn't know is that the work didn't have to be actual work. That's the magic of being creative. We heal through exploring it.

I put my pens down, I even told myself to do absolutely nothing. I sat in my bed and stared at the glowing screen of the television. I watched visually inspiring movies, mind numbing bullshit that made me shut my eyes intentionally, and I even sat in complete silence with everything turned off. I limited my time with distractions, I shut my brains off from thinking ahead, I stopped focusing on the things that don't matter. I meditate, I turn things off. My anxiety takes hikes with me. I breathe deeply, I smile, I actually thank the trees around me for catching me when I fall. Seriously, nature is a healer. We live in such a magnificent world, that we need to slow down and appreciate it, with all that we've got. Thank you, for showing me how to slow the fuck down.

I'm glad that I'm picking things up again. I got in touch with my pens, and I haven't been able to put them down. I've stopped trying to please the world, and I've given up on dismissing my value as an artist. I can't afford to play around anymore, though there is a disconnect from work and art. If I do art, it's for me. It's my life, it's what makes up my soul, and I have to value my time and the effort that goes into it. It's tough to say no, but it also feels fan-fucking-tastic to do so on occasion, because it opens time for other things. Things that help me grow. It's insane how much my mind is racing with ideas these days. It's non-stop, and yet in a peaceful way.

Then, I see the people around me. The ones who come to me to share, to chat, to listen, to offer me advice and to also take what I have to give them. It's an amazing exchange which makes distance a lame excuse to cut off ties. I write postcards, I have a number of pen pals and regulars who I keep up with. It's a lovely sensation, and I feel so grateful to see that nothing much has changed other than my surroundings. Much like the Big Dipper that I carry on my wrist, family and close bonds are never severed by distance. Each star may be entirely unrelated, and yet they seem to be one solid unit before us. Yeah.. I'm deep. I'm happy to be deep.

When I take the time to notice what types of people are in my life, I see that my energy is in a very positive place. I've dropped the ones who play games and toy with my patience. I don't have time for it. Silence games, name calling, tantrums, fits, blame games, guilt, and dishonesty...  I'm done with bullshit. You know who you are, and I wish you well. I worked hard to get here, and I can only continue to be among the ones who push me up and into a better place. The support I've had over the course of the time I've been here.. amazing. Don't ever stop being amazing. Y'all are killer. You pump me up.

Let's get creative!