Thursday, February 28, 2013

Does Anyone Ever Feel This Way?

That's right. ANGRY. I took this self portrait on Tuesday as I was thrashing and screaming about my home. My poor mother experienced this animorphic transformation when I spilled her smoothie all over the ice tray in the freezer. (I think the ice machine took offense because it hasn't made any ice since...)

I was so angry that I did what any mature, self-respecting young adult would do. I threw a tantrum. Granted it was contained in the form of a journal entry, but I think at one point I even threw my phone across the room onto my bed. Luckily my phone is military grade. It was trained to endure much worse.

I know how unattractive it is to admit this, but COME ON PEOPLE, do you really think I will believe you for a second if you told me your face hasn't turned blue, red, and maybe a little yellow in a moment of irrational rage? Ok, so maybe I'm the only one. Luckily I didn't take my rage out on anyone but myself (and the ice machine). But after a two-day cool down I've learned a couple of valuable lessons. 

Anger is quite the same as a headache. It's almost never the actual problem. It is always the symptom of a different ailment. And trying to treat the surface ailment may help for a moment, but it will only leave the real problem nesting away in your mind/body. And that problem will lay it's cancerous eggs e'ry-where 'till it has consumed your whole soul. 

So what was behind my anger? Hurt, anxiety, shame, fear, frustration, disappointment, embarrassment, and a just a pinch of jealousy. Yes, that is 8 of the 11 sub-faces on my anger face chart. Which feelings came from what I felt were unfair, and oddly cyclical life occurrences. 

After that wonderful realization, I had to start asking, "Why?" A mentor-friend I have been working with told me to keep asking why until you get to the bottom of things. And can I tell you something? I uncovered quite the amount of gunk. Things I have been holding on to for a long time that I have been sweeping under the rug. 

I would love to sit here and tell you all of the frustrations I have been facing and what was actually behind them, but the truth is I wouldn't know where to start, and I probably wouldn't know where to end. And I'm not even sure it would be all that helpful. However, in an effort not to be vague, I will tell you this. My next blog post will be dedicated to a specific experience I had this week that truly humbled me. Like the "man-I-was-just-served-and-boy-did-it-feel-good" sort of humbling. 

But for now I will say this. Most of my life I have been living for other people. Not because they wanted me to, but because I thought I wanted to. I felt it was my duty to fulfill the potential I thought others saw in me. And I would feel extremely disappointed if I couldn't live up to it. Trust me, it's an exhausting lifestyle. 

After a wee bit of soul searching, and some unexpected counsel from dear friends and supporters, I've decided to LET GO. There are good things to let go of, and there are bad things to let go of. And I'm sure I'll learn to navigate my way through both avenues. But for now I'm deciding to let go of two major things. 1) Other's opinions, and 2) Outcomes. And I'm also going to let go of the fact that I am not where I thought I would be at this stage in my life. So what? If I can be happy here and now, that is going to give me the most amount of peace. 

I have some amazing blessings in my life at the moment. I have plenty if reasons to feel happiness. And I have every reason to do things because I want to. Not because I think others want me to. And by the way - that is not to be taken in a bitter connotation, it isn't anyone else's fault I was living for them. I've just decided for myself that it's time to stop. 

So there it is. And here I am. And we'll see where it goes from here.

(PS. Next week I'm going to experiment with natural stains on wood. It's going to be so fun and I'm so excited!)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Paint on Paint

On Monday I was itching for creativity. And I wanted to be selfish about it. 

So I went to Savers and purchased this little diddy.



Sorry for the absolutely terrible pictures, but at least you get the idea. Some of my favorite details are in the pictures at the beginning of the post. 

Basically I wanted to take a tired, old, and forgotten painting and give it new life by painting over it. I used 6 colors of acrylic paint, wooden birds, and metal elements to create my new masterpiece. I didn't mix any of the colors because I wanted them to be pure and stand alone. Plus I loved how some of the elements from the original painting came through all on their own. 

  And how could I resist choosing this painting when I found this heartfelt message on the back of the frame??

If you have trouble deciphering the handwriting, it reads, 

"I Saw This - Fell in Love & Called Stan in Tears - He Said - "Get it" Bless Him!!"

Wow! So many things I love about this statement. Not sure which part of the story I love most. Is it the fact that the painting moved her so much that she called her (husband?) in tears, literally crying, to tell him about it? Or the fact that he loved her so much that he didn't laugh at her when she called, he just straight up said "buy it"?  Or is it that she was so moved by his offer that she blessed his name forever? Whatever it is, it was so moving that she had to document the story on the back of the frame. 

The date from that statement is November 1987. The same year I was born. 

When I first saw the painting, I honestly didn't see anything special. I thought, "DEER! I love deer! could paint them in glitter." It didn't move me. I honestly just wanted to find something I could paint over for a fun project. But as with every project, it takes on a life all of it's own. 

I thought about what the painting must have looked like before it was sun bleached, back in 1987. Was it really so moving? To bring someone to tears? Where has it been since then? And why would such an important piece be at the local thrift store?

I don't know the answers, but I know what it did for me. It still might not be anything special, but this is the first creative project I have done just for myself in years. Just because I wanted to. And I love how it has turned out.

And Mumford and Sons tied the whole thing together. My story and her story. Just as they always do.

I didn't intend for this blog post to get all sentimental, but it is what it is, I suppose. Stories on Stories, Paint on Paint. That, to me, is the beauty of life. 

I intend to do one creative project a week. Just because I want to!

And if anyone wants to join they are more than welcome! Let's make some memories :)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Get It, Girl!

Sometimes instagram hits the nail right on the head.

Sometimes you just need to stop feeling sorry for yourself and get up and go.

You don't have a job that fits your degree? So what? Hugh Jackman worked as a party clown before he ever made it big. (Can we say sexy clown? Yeeeah)

You're not married to the man/woman of your dreams? Do you remember that Justin Timberlake dated Britney Spears? Be glad you've probably dodged some bullets. 

You happen to have roommates who are 40 years older than you? And may have also given birth to you? Aaaand sometimes still buy you dinner? Well, I mean if you'd like to trade for halitosis-fire-breathing-drama-causing-twenty-something-year-olds-with-sticks-where-the-sun-don't-shine... be my guest! There's always a lucky chance you could even share a bed.

I guess what I'm trying to say is there are a lot of reasons we can feel sorry for ourselves. And that pity usually stems from fear. Fear of failure and fear of the unknown. But more likely the fear of success. The idea that what we want to do will actually WORK. And what does that mean if we have to power to change our plight in life. Does it seem overwhelming? 

I've never allowed myself to dream big, because I was afraid of disappointment. But I realize that I was actually more afraid of success and what success would mean in my life. So this is really a pep talk to me. Dream big, girl. Dream. Big.

Oh, and let go of that ridiculous pride. Nothing in my life at the moment is conventional. I'm waiting tables for extra cash, I'm giving online dating a shot, I'm a woman trying to start a new business, and I live at home with my parents. But I'd rather be unconventional than sitting at home scared (poop)less. And now that I'm starting this journey, I want to document it. I AIN'T SCURRED! Thank you, blogger, for being my outlet.

I don't know what it is I have always wanted to go do, and what is happening in my life is certainly not what I've always wanted to do. But the fact is, I'm DOING. And doing leads to more doing. And that doing is leading me up an unconquerable mountain. 

And so far the view is great.