Saturday, June 13, 2015

500 Words. Day 18. Still nothing.



Day 18. Still nothing. It’s hard to write lately, mainly because I feel weary, weighed down. I’m not taking care of myself the way I should be. My sleep habits have suffered, I’ve gained weight, I’m not doing yoga, barely writing. It takes vast amounts of effort to show up here, and when I do sit down with my laptop, my brain goes quiet. 

These are the times that I need my pen and pages the most. When I am disgusted at the thought of opening myself up and coming face to face with what I’m feeling. These are the moments when I make the decision to keep going on this path and stay the course that leads to depression,  or speak to myself with firm gentleness and start taking care of myself. 

20 years of on and off again therapy has brought me this far. I am able to recognize these pivotal moments. these forks in the road. Some times I knowingly head down the darker path, sometimes I stay to the right and continue on in the light. I don’t know which path I’m choosing this time, because each moment is different. Every moment is it’s own. 

All I can do this evening is be aware of where I am on this journey, be present in this moment right here. I don’t want to debate the ins and outs of emotions, mental fatigue, depression, anxiety, or anything of the sort. I simply don’t have the energy to spend on that. I am using all of my energy to be grateful for this moment-sitting propped up against my hippo pillow, Emmett sprawled out to my left, the volume turned down  while Rising Appalachia drifts from my laptops speakers, the hum of the A/C, the quiet of being the only on in the house. 

I took a version of the Myers-Briggs personality test today. I’m an INFP. More on that later. 


For now, some journaling for a course I’m taking, maybe a bit of line drawing, and then sleep.

Friday, June 12, 2015

500 Days. Day 17. Showing up. Diving deep.



The perfect time to write? Right now. While waiting for the gesso to dry on the next canvas to be painted. What will show up? I have absolutely no idea. I’m going in blind.

There was no writing or painting yesterday because it was Kennywood day! I love amusement parks when they aren’t crowded, and the weather isn’t too hot. Yesterday was perfect. The lines were short, the most we waited for a ride was 15 minutes, and we rode most of my favorite rides. The Pirate Ship was closed though. 

It was the exact kind of day I needed. Excercise, thrills, warm weather, not having to think about anything else. I’ve been really stressed lately, and a lot of this stress is from my own doing. It was nice to escape. Everyone needs to escape everyonce in a while, but it shouldn’t happen on a regular basis. 

The only one who will make me show up is me. Even when I have people in my corner rooting for me, cheering me on, I am the only one who can make the moves. I’m learning that a lot of my resistance is of my own making. 

When it comes to writing, painting, creating videos, teaching yoga, starting a business, and anything else that puts me out there, I’m realizing that I am my own roadblock. I had a revelation the other day that I can’t remember anyone ever telling me that I wasn’t good at something. 

Singing for example. I was in choir when I was in high school, and I sang all of the time. No one ever told me that I sucked, or that I wasn’t good enough. I stopped singing because of a trivial experience. When I tried out for a musical, my friend at the time ended up choosing the same song I had been practicing for my try outs after she had practiced for weeks with a different song. We ended up going in and trying out together, and she went first. When she played the song I was using, I was crushed. I don’t remember how I sang during my audition, but I can remember feeling defeated when I saw that she ended up getting a role in the play, and I was in the ensamble. 

I honestly can’t recall anything else about this, other than I didn’t do the musical because I moved. I don’t remember how she sang, or how I sang, or any other pieces of importance, but I still remember that feeling. 

I’m having a lot of these moments lately. I’m becoming more introspective about the limits I have placed on myself. I’m coming face to face with where these limits started in my past, and the deeply held feelings I have around them.


I’m very grateful for both of my writing and painting challenges, because they are helping me create the space needed to delve deep into myself. It’s all about creating space to grow and that is exactly what is happening, even when I recognize that I’m resisting showing up to the page or canvas.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

500 Days. Day 19, err 16. Resistance


I didn't realize until I opened up a new document to start typing, that it had been four days since I posted. So much for daily writing. Even if I tried, I couldn't tell you where the last four days have gone. I try to remember, and looking back is hazy. All of my days are running together. The only thing that stands out is the little bits of painting I have done every day. In some aspect I am still being creative daily, and that is all I can muster right now.

I've hit the resistance plateau in both my writing and my art. Being able to acknowledge it is a step in the right direction. I feel tired today, even though I've been getting enough sleep. Typing words to meet a quota, that is what I feel is happening here. It has to so that I can continue on, moving across this plateau and up to the next step.

The painting pictured above is my current WIP. I am beyond frustrated because I have a very vivd image in my mind that I can not get onto the canvas.

My dreams Sunday evening were intensely vivid, and I woke up fatigued and exhausted Monday morning. This has happened a few times over the past several years. I dream so intensely, it's as if I was actually participating and using up all of my energy.

Multiple tornadoes. Running. Trying to convince people they should come with me to safety. Standing in basements of tall buildings in open fields with open spaces where floor to ceiling windows should be. Standing in these open spaces surveying the damage from these tornadoes. So much activity, no wonder I had no energy to do anything after waking. Maybe I didn't even sleep.

In this dream, or dreams, while I was in the basement I remember receiving a message to "root down". I say receiving because it seemed like a narrator to this dream was telling me this. I didn't read it, or speak it. I didn't even think it. To me it is more of a knowing, a brilliant flash of knowing. Upon waking, I knew that I needed to paint a person meditating next to a tree against a fiery background. Both the person and the tree rooting into the ground. The image in my mind looks nothing like my current painting, and it is incredibly maddening. Knowing that I have this intense vision, this feeling, that needs to be poured out onto the canvas, yet not being able to accurately bring that feeling to life? It's disheartening, and embarrassing. It brings up all of these feelings of not being good at painting, and maybe I shouldn't even waste my time. If I give up though, I'm not even giving myself the chance at improving. Same goes with my writing. Even if I don't like it, and I don't want to do it, I need to show up and keep going.

I know this is all a part of the creative process, but damn it. I want it to look the way it looks in my mind RIGHT NOW!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

500 Words. Day 15. Much Excitement.

What a long day. I’m not really complaining. I’m extremely grateful for days like this.

Today was a massage day. I spent the day at a popular venue in the city, giving massage to dancers for a popular musician’s tour. 



Can’t you see how excited I am? My friend asked me to help her out, and I was all in from the get go! As we were packing up to leave, the production manager asks “are you staying to watch the show? I’ll show you were to go.” Yes, yes yes! We were so close to the stage, ground level. Much excitement!

I woke up before my alarm today, not out of excitement, but of anxiety. Other things going on in my life right now are causing me to be anxious, and this was the perfect distraction.

I really enjoyed meeting and talking to everyone I worked with today. I even fan girled at one point, when a tall gentleman with curly hair walked past me and smiled. I smiled back, and felt a bit girly. I don’t normally do this, considering where I work, I see famous people randomly. There was something about him though…


I don’t have many more words, so I’m okay with saying that I hit my quota for today. Even though I didn’t meet my new best friend (One day soon, T and I will be best friends. I’m sure of it!), I am posting before midnight. Still a win!



Friday, June 5, 2015

500 Words. Day 14. Perfectly acceptable

Fuck.


One fuck would suffice for what I have to say, but I feel bad for not writing 500 words. So here are 475 more.


Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. 

**It's allowed according to rule numero uno of this writing experiment. Check it out.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

500 Words. Day 13. Story time.




I didin’t want to write today. My resistance is strong. I am feeling an aversion to painting, taking a walk, listening to music, doing anything. I simply want to sit on my bed and stare out the window.

I’m not depressed. This is NOT what my depression looks like. I have a very intimate relationship with my depression, and sometimes it sneaks up on me out of no where, wrapping it’s dark tendrils around my waist and shoulders trying to hold on to my tight. Whispering words of suggested warmth, that actually leave me cold. Sometimes I can see my depression slinking up next to me, like some random old guy at the bar wanting to buy me a drink. “Hey, how are you?” No thank you.

This is not my depression. This is me reeling from the feeling that my world may implode. I’m currently viewing my environment as a field of land mines. I have such a vivid picture in my mind as I type this. The sky is blue with light fluffy clouds lazily moving along. I’m standing in the middle of this field or maybe even on the periphery since I am not looking behind me, simply looking straight ahead. The farthest edge of this field is marked by a simple fence. It may be barbed wire, or a simple pasture fence used to keep in livestock, but I’m too far away to see the detail. There are mountains in the distance, along with green sloping hills. The grass is different shades of green, patterns of scrub grass dotting the ground. 

If you weren't me, you wouldn’t know this is a gentle landscape is littered with land mines. Somehow, I know they are there. I just wish I knew where exactly. How am I supposed to cross this landscape, if I don’t know where to step? How do I trust that this my path takes me through this land unscathed? I don’t. Even though my path is not marked, I have an innate understanding that I must cross this field, and make it to the other side. What I’m looking for is across the fence.

My thoughts and inner critic are wildly varied today. I’m consistently switching between this scene and one of a wild cat caught in a cage. She’s pacing, always pacing. Back and forth, looking out of the bars, trying to see more than what is in front of her. Am I looking for a way out? Am I fantasizing about what is beyond the bars? Or am I comparing the constant comfort of this cage to the wild unknown outside? Sometimes as this cat, I simply curl up and lay down, content to be in this space. Other times, I’m trying to lash out against what is confining me, trying to swipe at the air, looking for a way out. 

These two scenes playing out in my mind are on opposite sides of the spectrum. The cat has so much emotion surrounding her. Strong emotions. Raw power. The girl in the field is timid, unsure, and nervous. I feel so very human in that scene, and yet so powerful as the cat. As the cat, I perceive that the bars of the cage holding me in are my own. They can be easily broken and torn apart, but I find comfort in them. The field is the unknown, the world outside the cage, beyond the bars. 

If I know this about these two scenes, is there a way that I can remain as powerful as the wild cat once I step out of the confinement I have created for myself?

As I’m writing this I realize that I AM creative. I view my world in scenes that I wish to describe for others. That is how I want to write. Rich descriptions, vivid details. I so desperately want these scenes to convey the feelings that I somehow can not describe succinctly. I want to weave landscapes of emotion for those around me, inviting them into my world, so they can experience my world the way I do on a daily basis. 

500 Words. Day 12. The prompt



I'm going for it.

What would someone see if the looked through my windows for 24 hours?

First off-Seriously? You have nothing better to do with your day than to creep on my for 24 hours? I'm really that intriguing? Well, thank you. If I blushed, my cheeks may be a bit pink right now.

Second-this should be interesting. Anytime I'm walking or driving past a house that has illuminated windows with the curtains drawn back, I want to peer inside to see how they decorate. Based on that, I like to make up imaginary stories about who they are as people and what kind of lives they leave. What would someone think of me if they looked in my windows?

If you were to look into my house through the french doors on the porch, you may come face to face with Emmett has he peers outside to watch the cars go by. He may be trying to plan an escape, or he simply enjoys watching people walk past our house. You'll catch a glimpse of my yoga mats, blocks, and my bolster leaning against the fire place. Above, the mantle decorated with colorful glass bottles. Black wooden furniture from ikea and the most comfortable couch from Crate & Barrel furnish the living room. I don't spend much time in this room unless I'm watching a movie, or pushing all the furniture out of the way to practice yoga or dance wildly around the room. Yoga and dancing usually happen together.

Peering through into the living room through the side window, will bring you face to face with my 5 shelf bookcase. She is filled with books on subjects such as creativity, writing, art history, the law of attraction. It also holds my Twilight and Harry Potter books. You'll also see the other book shelf filled with all of our DVD's, games, pilot magazines, and random stuff we haven't put away yet.

If you can make it to our dining room window through the hydrangea bushes that are acting as cover for the air handler, you'll probably first notice the bouquet of dead flowers. I inadvertently dried the bouquet that my friends surprised me with at the surprise "Welcome home from Yoga Teacher Training" dinner party they held for me at my favorite Mexican restaurant. I can't bear with disposing of them, because they remind me of love with every dried, crispy petal. Do we ever sit in the dining room?  Sometimes we will play Cards against Humanity with our friends around our black Ikea dining room table, or sometimes it's a dinner date with my boyfriend. Mostly we just enter the dining room table to head to the beer fridge.

We spend most of our time in the kitchen, so step two feet to the right to catch a glipmse of how we move around time and space. Stopping to get water from the fridge, hopping up to sit on the counter to talk to friends, or standing in front of the stove while cooking dinner. Anytime we have guests over, the kitchen seems to be the place to hang out. My spot is either sitting on the counter or perched on the step stool that is kept under the sink. I'm always sitting on counters. I don't really know why that's my preference, but anytime I'm in a kitchen that is where I want to sit. It feels weird to stand next to the counter, when I can sit on it.

It may be a night where I'm trying a new recipe, so don't be alarmed to hear the vibration of some upbeat tunes or classical music being listened to loudly while I move around the kitchen like a whirlwind. It's quite possible I'm making a mess with the crazy amount of dishes I'm using, or the flour that somehow ends up everywhere, but the dish will probably be pleasing and tasty. I do promise that I will clean up my mess and put the dishes in the dishwasher, but AFTER dessert.

This is you seeing what could happen at any point looking through my windows, but a 24 hour period? That's deeply intimate, vulnerable, and I don't know if I want you to look in on me for that long.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

500 Words. Day 11. NOT the prompt.


Via A softer world. Thank you for putting my feeling into webcomic form.

I’m still counting this entry as Day 11, and my 8th day in a row because I haven’t gone to bed. I have always believed that it is still the same day it was when i woke up because I haven’t decided to sleep yet. It doesn’t matter that it’s after midnight. It’s still Tuesday, because I say so.

I’m tired and not making any sense. Wondering what I’m going to write about today. I think about these things when I’m at work, and then I get distracted and side tracked. This means that I don’t write down any of the ideas that I have, and my critic usually has some pretty good ideas. Not tonight.

I’ve been thinking about the prompt that was tossed to us like a bone, and I’m wondering if I will write about it. What would someone see if they looked through my windows for 24 hours. It depends on which window. I think I will write about that tomorrow, when I can think straight and string decent sentences together.

This is yet another entry to just take up space. Is that what this experiment will come down to for me? Writing crap because I can’t decide what I want to write, and I’m still not giving myself enough time to write on the days that I work 8+ hours.

Well shit. If I’m going to waste everyones time with a shitty entry, then lets talk about my day. Setting my alarm for 7, and hitting the snooze button enough times to finally drag myself out of bed at 8:10. Don’t tell anyone, but I didn’t shower before work since I showered the night before. I’m weird about my shower habits. I wonder if I can write 500 words about that one day? I’m going to add that to my list of topics to write about. Right after the prompt, my thoughts on my yoga practice, cats, and nothing else.

Back to my day. I made sure I brushed my teeth, and put on a bit of make up to make it look lik I cared, and slipped on some crazy patterned pants. Plain bagel with strawberry cream cheese and chocolate milk for breakfast. Work from 9:30-6:30. Interacting with people in regards to their technology is always an adventure. Some days its good, some days its a crap shoot. Today was alright. Nothing memorable. Lunch was a chicken burrito that gave me heartburn. Oh yeah, that’s another topic to talk about. How I can’t ingest antacids and I’ve also never experienced heartburn until I turned 30. Indigestion has been my best friend pretty much my entire life, but heartburn? We are new friends.

After work, I took a few hours to rearrange my room so that I have more space to practice yoga if I ever get on my fucking mat again. I also moved my alter down by my bed, and then proceeded to work on my second canvas for my 30/30 art challenge. Let’s add that topic to my list also. I feel like I’m not an artist because I still use pictures as inspiration to base my paintings off of.

Topic list for future entries:
~THE prompt
~Yoga practice
~Cats
~My new found frienship with heartburn
~Being a faux artist

Is there anything else I should add to the list?


Monday, June 1, 2015

500 Words. Day 10. Saying Yes.


I think I'll name her "affirmation"

June 1st. One. First. Beginning. Initial. Introduction. Open. 

I am always excited by the first day of the month, the first day that I begin a project or adventure. The first step on a path, the initial stroke of a paintbrush on canvas. There is a feeling of newness and possibility in every action. I love beginnings. They set the tone and atmosphere for the chapter you are experiencing. What I’m finding out about myself is that I love them so much because all beginnings start with a saying “Yes”.

You say yes when you start a new job, when you wake up in the morning, when you lace up your hiking boots before putting on your pack. You say yes when you sit down to write in the morning, when you open your eyes upon waking up, when you look at your schedule for the day. You say yes when you sit to meditate, when you step onto your yoga mat, when you lean down to pet an animal. So many subconscious and unrealized “yeses” throughout our day. So much possibility for love and openness. 

I'm finding that by saying yes to this experiment, I have been saying yes to my creativity.  I'm breaking myself open, and stretching beyond my comfort zone. This is now day 10, but my seventh day in a row of writing daily, and I see that I have opened up the space for more creativity in my daily life. I started painting more, getting drawn into the possibilities of abstracts. I am enjoying the process of sitting with my feelings and thoughts and seeing how I give them life on the canvas and on the page.

Saying yes every time I sit down with my computer and a blank document allows me to feel the expansiveness of my being. I’m mostly finding that I have no set direction on where I want to take my writing that day, but I allow the words to flow through me. Maybe one day in an process of growing, I will sit down to write based on a prompt or a specific idea I want to convey, but for today I am ok with the unknown direction of my writing. 

When I sit on my floor in front of a blank canvas, I am saying yes to my muse and my creative guides. I may look at a piece for inspiration, but I know that I can not replicate, I can only create my interpretation of a feeling, thought, or idea. I find that with my creative process, there can be more angst and frustration, but I already wrote about being aware of my limits. Maybe in knowing these limits, that is why I said “yes” to a 30 day painting challenge. Try to create 30 paintings in 30 days by painting everyday. Showing up to a canvas and allowing my art to move through me the same way I allow the words to move through me.

What else will I say yes to in my life?
**Saying yes because of Kale & Cigarettes