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.

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