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!