Intent

I feel sadness.

It’s a rare day when I can say that. I can be annoyed quite a bit, I’ve been increasingly angry. But sadness is the most uncommon thing, and it’s been very much present the past few days.

I’ve been mentally pointing accusing fingers at caffeine, hormones, the weather…I’ve no idea where to place any blame. I settled on the idea that it must be all that has happened suddenly suffocating me at once. And looking back now I remember feeling that it would come to this.

I started posting private vlogs on a new e-mail, thinking it might help. But my need to hide them from nearly everyone has made them useless to me. So I suppose I need to start posting them publicly.

A few days ago I felt a sudden steel certainty that I had to change things. I am 20 now. I need to start actively creating and working towards a life where I can make money doing things I enjoy. That day was the beginning of this sadness.

Maybe there’s a part of my subconscious that feels like a failure? A failure as an artist, and as all else? Maybe that’s why I had an extreme emotional reaction to someone’s casual joke about my drawing of a large eye. I felt that it confirmed something. I ran off and took a shower of all things, and I had my different feelings battle themselves out in my head. What it meant, what my reaction meant, what it all means.

I collapse on the inside when I imagine the possibility of going to school, graduating, and then filling a slot that someone wrote out for me to do. You know, an office job or something. Some set of daily tasks that someone else created. A position that makes me replaceable. Even jobs that I used to dream about. WitSec agent, criminal profiler, psychologist. They’re names for sets of tasks.

I want to feel free.

More and more I don’t feel free, I don’t feel that I’m throwing wide the door. And I think it creates a deep panic, like the walls are closing in on me to crush me. It’s going so far against what my nature has been clawing for ever since I was 11. But what else is there to do? I’m not going anywhere, and I need stability. I need to recover and clear my mental fog.

It’s almost a scary thing sometimes. More and more it’s a scarier thing. Like there’s something really wild in the marrow of my bones and all it wants is free reign and adventure. It wants an enormous canvas and whatever stupid colors I feel like using, and it wants to paint whatever the heck it wants without feeling anxious about whether or not it’ll sell, about whether or not there’s a market for someone like me and my work. There’s a market for everyone! I say to myself. Yes, yes there is. But the issue is whether or not it’s a big enough market to let me be free. To supply things adult humans need to go on and do what we’d like.

I haven’t been truly inspired for over a month now, I paint and draw eyes when I can’t think of anything else. Because you can do so much with eyes.

I used to draw beautiful dresses. I can’t draw them anymore. I’ve lost that completely. Ever since I had a short spat with bulimia and made a new promise to myself to stay strong against it (which resulted in my drawing here, Effects of Thinspo) I can’t view female figures the same way.

Image

I’ll begin to sketch an ideal hips-to-waist ratio and then my hands go against the desire to make something perfect.

NO! They shout, what is perfection?

Perhaps I want to paint something everyone will view as lovely?

Anything can be viewed as lovely. An ugly face with the right personality is lovely.

Ideal figures will sell more.

Why do you want to make crap that’ll sell?

Because I freaking need to. 

Why?

So I won’t be trapped working as a secretary or a waitress at a normal freaking job and die a nobody. That’s why.

Sincerity sells. Just be sincere in your art.

That didn’t sell very well before.

Do you want to become someone by making things everyone approves of? Is creativity your cash ticket now? Is that what art is to you now? Is it your tool?

I need to begin somewhere.

And so the battle will rage on for a while until I stare at the boxy or disproportionate figure on my little canvas in front of me and I want to scream and throw something. Time, time, time. So quickly there is no time. My hands won’t obey me. At least, they try, but can’t get far anymore.

Trapped, incapable.

I feel so…agitated. I feel that I’m capable of so much. Why can’t I make the things I know I can? Why does it have to turn into an internal war?

There’s a documentary I’ve been planning for years now, but I’m always so torn about starting it because I can feel my intent surrounding its creation quickly morphing from sincere to…other things. Imagining the attention, the process, the possible cash flow. How cold and sick and odd of me. And I always decide against starting it because I want to make something that large only if I’m determined in the beauty of it.

I know myself. I know that I’ll keep pressing on, keep trying and eventually I’ll reach a brainplace that lets me create, once I stop demanding inspiration.

As for all else happening, it seems that it’s just a tsunami of feels about everything that has happened since I moved to WV, and it’s simply something to ride out.

I’ll be fine.

I’m just a very frustrated, very sad, quite scared human at the moment. I’ve not changed to this darkness for good. I can feel that.

<^_^>

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Writing and Cringing and Feeling

“With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.” – Max Ehrmann

 

There’s a cafe in downtown Fairmont I’ve gotten used to visiting when I’m waiting on a bus. The little doodle above was created after one of these mornings, which would be this morning…words…there is a much lovelier way of saying everything I just said…

Speaking of words, I recently put a bunch of them in a particular order for The Writer’s Arena, it was…different. I’ve never done something public like that solo. 

I think I feel the same way I do about writing as I do drawing. If there’s a request/subject I struggle and fail to create something notable, I suck at focused fiction. I enjoy writing it, but only if it has nowhere to go and no one to answer to.

I did enjoy writing for the Arena, I enjoy doing pretty much anything for my HEPodcast amigos, I just cringe a little thinking about my story and what it’s going against. I don’t write truly frequently, I don’t believe I’m a writer, at least not the brand that does well on things like this. It’s the thought of an inexperienced 20-year old kid (moi) going against a real writerly hooman.

A couple months ago I recorded a podcast episode with one of the podcast fellows, I was unprepared and frazzled and completely dull and I was stuttering and stumbling. My brain had no real thoughts, at least no complete ones. I was so embarrassed by it that they were kind enough to never release it. It made me dislike a lot of pieces of my personality. My fear of looking stupid or unprepared, how overprotective I can be of my reputation, the fact that I didn’t even try to enjoy the book we were reviewing. And I should have, I should have tried to understand the series and the author and get attached to the characters. 

But I viewed it as a fun favor and didn’t bother to take the whole thing to heart, I actually procrastinated and didn’t fight to sink myself into the story, I just came up with a reward system to get through the book chapter-by-chapter. And I’ve discovered that when I jump into something half-heartedly I fail miserably.

I think I’m worried about doing that with the Arena. Because I’m not sure I embraced it with my whole self. And I wonder if I made excuses for myself, and made it acceptable to myself to not try harder to love the act and the process.

I’ve told friends before in the middle of advice rants that they can’t help what they feel, only how they respond and act on the feelings. But in a sense, we can control what we feel. It’s just too often I’m too lazy to attempt to do something about it. We can look at things differently and work harder to understand them. We can chip away pieces of anger or sadness and soften ourselves. 

I have a feeling throughout this entire post I am half right and half wrong.

I’m not sure, I’m not thinking very clearly. So it’s very likely I’ll read this over and shake my head.

I hope I stop being afraid of eyes and ears and the thoughts of others. It seems like a ridiculously simple thing to do. It seems simple to say I am my own personI am not what others see

Shake off what everyone thinks, and this and that and so on.

I have a fear of becoming too much of some things and too little of others. I’m afraid of being fat and careless and selfish. I’m afraid of being a nobody and of talking and being all talk and blinking and being an old lady with nothing to show for all my talk and young ambition. And I tend to look at other’s opinion of me (specifically, my close friends and family) to see how well I’m actually doing.

If I’m showing how much I care often enough, if I’m reaching out and responding and communicating and following through. If I’m doing right by the people who matter.

Anyway, I have a bus to catch back into Morgantown. So I will go ahead and publish this and see if I regret it later.

Stay groovy.

In Motion

Phooey, where to begin?

I’m in West Virginia.

I live here now.

I have an awesome roommate, I like my house, I’m happy about the job I recently got.

I’m worried about getting comfortable when it comes to the things I want to accomplish in life, I’m worried about starting to tell myself “I have time.” or “I’m so young.”

While being interviewed for one job they mentioned the benefits that employees get after one year of working for the company.

And I found myself actually shaking my head a little, the thought of staying with one job for a whole year is impossible for me now. I stayed with Toys “R” Us in California for a year because I had a very clear goal in mind, I had my list of priorities and getting my life straight and steady while prepping to move to West Virginia was at the top of my list.

And I’m here now. And I have the things I need (except for my car, which I won’t have for a bit longer, but the bus system in Morgantown is spectacular.)

I just need to focus on pumping out any type of creative content frequently. There is a large project of mine I’m going to try to finally set in motion, which will likely require a little help from my Internet peoples.

And I’m going to work harder at selling my stuff, and painting and drawing things that might actually sell.

I have hope. I just need to remember to never tell myself, “I have time.”

10 Days

I’m tired.

I am tired.

I’m tired.
I feel a pile of things I need to do always just sort of lingering by me at all times.
Most of it is things I’ve set myself up for. I don’t think I’m complaining. It doesn’t feel like I’m complaining.
The move feels very, terrifyingly close. But so far away.
I don’t know what I’m going to wear when I leave.
I don’t know what more to do right now.
I should go to bed.
I’m afraid. I’m scared.
I feel very alone.
I feel sad.
Hopeful and sad.
Excited and sad.
It’s the right move. I want this.
At least, I want this the most.
More than other things.
Why am I a procrastinator all of a sudden?
It’s like nothing orders itself in my mind anymore. Nothing plans itself out. There are no check boxes.
It’s like fuzzy chaos.
It’s like I’m staring straight ahead at a tsunami of a crowd, of pandemonium, but I can’t focus on anything.
Everywhere is my periphery.
I think I had a super power before.
I think it’s the stress getting to me.
The guilt and sadness and stress.
The loneliness.
Tense, I feel tense. I feel like piano wire. I feel like violin strings. No, one violin string. The thinnest.
I keep making a lot of tiny mistakes.
I keep saying things and I wonder why I can’t just stay quiet.
I’m good at observing, I should just observe more.
I shouldn’t stay quiet, that’s an odd thing to think. No one should.
I think maybe I should just not speak unless I have a real question or fully understand the subject being discussed.
I’m so afraid all the time of looking dumb, and yet I seem to set myself up for it.
It’s a silly thing to be afraid of.
I shouldn’t be afraid of that.
I’ll forget to be afraid of it, anyway.
I want to be unafraid of asking stupid questions.
Why is it so hard for me to get back to people now?
I’m intimidated by responses, I’m afraid of sounding like I don’t care.
I ramble so much.
I tell unnecessary stories.
Maybe they do like them, but I shouldn’t really be taking that risk that they get bored with them.
I wonder how often I’m someone who is simply tolerated.
They can tell I’m too young,
too naive
too inexperienced.
Too green, too empty-headed.
It feels like I make a lot of people feel inferior, at least a few.
When I’m not known very well folks get the impression that I’m brighter than I am.
That I’m more capable than I am.
And I’m torn between wanting to keep their perception strong and make myself think a little that they’re right. And being so freakishly sincere that they feel a bit higher than me.
Everything is silly to worry about.
Some tiny thing in the grand scheme.
I’m okay, and everything will be okay.
I’m going to throw wide the door, and do things I love. And I will make things.
I’m fine.
Just a bit tired.

Act Natural

Today I dropped off my pieces for Art Hop, which is in three days. 

It was cool walking into the art house and seeing a lot of pieces from other artists laying against walls and on tables. 

I was struck with a feeling of inferiority. Every artist being featured is so much more experienced than I am (I’ve hardly been painting 5 months.) And their able to show these profound depths of their imaginations very vividly. It’s striking. And I felt silly, standing waiting for my turn to register my pieces. Everyone else around me has obviously superior talent and they looked comfortable. Relaxed. They looked like they belonged. They even dressed like you’d expect artsy creative people to dress. And I could feel very clearly that my demeanor and the canvases I held made me stick out.

What pleasantly surprised me was I was treated with kindness and patience. It didn’t occur to me until I interacted with a couple of them that they might be thinking about when they were at the stage I’m at now. That they might not see me as inferior.

I’m just impatient to step up to the level where I belong. Seeing the pieces I did today inspired me and started up a new drive to get to a new place mentally where I can be on par with the ‘grown up’ artists.

I’m excited.

 

The New, the Shocking, and the Benji

Today I stopped in at the toy store for the first time since I quit.

It depressed me. All of my favorite people had quit and vanished off the face of the earth, the few really hard workers who had stayed are down to minimal hours and they’re purposely scheduled shifts that don’t allow them to work with people they’re friends with. A couple of very friendly, loving coworkers who started working during season have apparently become arrogant and rude. This is what the place has become.

I walked around electronics with Benji, he talked about moving plans and I talked about moving plans. He’s transferring to a location in Visalia. He talked about how miserable the job had become.

“I guess I jumped ship just in time.” I said. He pretended to straighten merchandise.

“Yeah you did.” He said. “It’s a sad ship now.”

I felt like I had just finished the end of a really good book series. I felt a loss. Like while I worked there I had been witnessing some epic adventure without realizing it. They all really had been the best coworkers I’ve ever had. And that perfect group had dissipated and dispersed to better and worse things.

And I felt something that I knew was coming for a while.

The feeling that an experience, a period in my life is no longer current, but a story. The year I’ve spent in California, rebuilding and repairing and creating. It has become a story. It’s a thing now. In about a month this whole shindig will be “When I lived in Cali…”

And I feel the loss of an active existence in one place. I’m becoming a thing that floats on the surface again and waits to settle.

I’ve been dissociating here and there again. I haven’t dissociated frequently for a long time. The days to the big move are inching closer and closer.

And I feel a sadness that I wasn’t expecting.

The first time I moved out of my parent’s home I was angry and bursting with a thirst for independence and success and shouting ‘I’ll show you what I can do on my own!’

But then life did its thing and beat me into submission, and I was handed things better than I deserved but didn’t realize it yet and I grew up quickly.

Sometimes I think about a genie appearing and if I would go back and do it all over again.

Sometimes I say yes. Most of the time I say yes. But after I fixed it all I’d want to forget what I did so horribly wrong the first time around. I would want the second time around to be the only time as far as I knew. If I remembered everything from the first time, then I could never really feel free. Because to me, it would have all still happened.

I feel sad this time, about leaving. Deeply sad. It’s like when I think about it a black hole shaped like a twister forms in my ribcage and swirls about and sucks at energy and light and makes me feel a little emptier.

I feel so darn guilty about the things I do to people by simply existing. There’s no way to dance this whole thing through without causing anxiety and sadness and frustration.

Yes, yes. It’s life.

People change so much, and it frustrates me to no end. Some of them grow to be so selfish and bitter and they pity themselves so much. They seem to take pride in not having joy, they think that whining openly about the depths of their despair makes them special and deep and admirable.

I’ve lost so much patience for self-pitying behavior, specifically when people seek out reasons to exhibit this behavior.

It’s the world’s fault that everyone isn’t in love with you, it’s the world’s fault you aren’t a grand success, it’s the world’s fault that you don’t love yourself.

The amount of entitlement in young people is so ridiculous.The brats.

I feel so angry at these whiny little children at the community college. They’re complaining about the fact that they get to have an education. I want to poke them with forks and make them listen to me. There are people who would do anything to be as you are. Young with the world ahead of you, with a shot at setting yourself up for a great life, for a better tomorrow by just memorizing some stuff for a little while and learning amazing things. YOU GET TO LISTEN TO EXTREMELY INTELLIGENT PEOPLE TEACH YOU THINGS EVERY WEEK. APPRECIATE THEIR EFFORTS.

After stopping at the toy store I started driving home, when I saw a sign at a favorite bookstore in Old Town, it said ‘OPEN MIC FRI. 6:30’ I looked at my phone, 6:44. So I turned the car around and stepped into the bookstore, up some stairs to where I heard a voice reciting a poem.

“Even the silk swallows it whole…”

I tip-toed to the back of the space to listen as one older gentleman replaced the other at a wooden podium with a mic attached to it. This second gentleman gave a rundown of some characters in his novel before diving immediately into a story that made me blush before I could start to tip-toe away. “Oh, Jerry.” The older man raised his voice for the part of the woman, “Whenever we fight we end up making love.” I almost burst out laughing from surprise at how…well, unusual the experience was for me. It was shocking. 

And so ended my first experience with an open mic night at a bookstore.

And once again I have no smooth way to end these posts…

Goodnight.

 

 

 

 

Shoebox Strapped Into The Back

I had been driving so long my leg started to cramp. I didn’t even know that was a thing that happens.
Austin and I switched back and forth between my Etta James music and his Billy Joel. California vineyards and orange groves zipped by. We can always see the mountains in this piece of Cali.

In the backseat a shoebox was strapped in. Inside lay a little, dusty, chocolate-brown bat curled up on a few layers of white tissue paper. I named him Bruce.

About eight hours earlier I had been walking into the comunity college, and seeing a couple of folks giggling and freaking out over some dark little mass on the floor. They were taking pictures and dancing around if it seemed to crawl towards them.

I remember looking at him and noticing first that his legs didn’t seem to move, only his right wing a little. And I remembered this one time walking out of a movie theater with my mom when I was little,  and I saw a bird in a cement planter, and I saw it was alive but it didn’t move its legs. And my mom told me if its legs aren’t moving then it’s too late. And I tried to talk her into letting me take it home to try to fix it, but she made me leave without it, so I didn’t talk to her for the rest of the day.
But I don’t know anything about bats, so maybe next to no leg movement is a normal thing.
One girl stuck around, it seemed out of curiosity, to see what would happen to it. Her name was Natalie.
The little dark mass on the ground started to crawl a few inches before pausing and trying to fly. The little dork made it maybe half an inch off the ground before it hit the tile again. He’d go still, as though he were weak from the effort and trying to think of his next move. Craaaawwwwlll. Craaawwwwll. Flapflapflapflap….thud……Craaaawwwwwll-
I emptied my makeup bag and stuck it in front of him to climb into. In he went. But just as quickly he turned around and tried to squeeze through the hole I hadn’t finished zipping up.

“No, you dummy. I’m saving you.” I said as he went back out. I just stuck the bag in front of him again and zipped it up faster than he could realize what had happened.

“We could just stick him outside.” Natalie said, staring at my bag.

“It’s cold and he seems weak. Besides, I don’t want some stupid college guys to come across him and start messing with him.”

“Yeah…yeah, for me, it’s just I don’t trust the guys.” I got the sense she was trying to attach herself to me.

Some guy came in then. Petite build, dark hair, gotee and slightly bulging eyes. He had a small box with him.
Natalie announced that he was her friend from the college bookstore, and he was planning on taking the bat.

“Where is he?”

“We’ve got him in a bag.” Natalie said. She glanced over to me and took a few steps closer.

He looked me up and down. I spoke and nodded to the box, “Is that for him?” He nodded, and told us to follow him outside to put the bat in the box. Natalie followed behind him and I gathered my things. I felt protective of the squirmy little dark mass, so I intentionally lingered. I dislike being told what to do by someone not in authority, so part of the lingering was to quickly fume in silence over this odd human being telling me what to do as though he had authority over my actions.

I stepped outside and there they stood. It was still sprinkling outside. It was cold and windy and the sky was a big poofy blanket of grey cotton. He opened the box, I put the little fellow in and waited for him to explain his plan of action as he taped up the open end. But then he stood upright, his eyes flicked from Natalie to me and back again, he suddenly looked to the other end of the campus, “Hey…I think I see…yeah…” he quickly started walking away and said, “I’ll take it from here.”

Natalie turned to me with a smile, “Well, we did what we could.” I watched the petite, bulgy eyed fellow as he strode off. “What is he planning on doing with it?” Natalie shrugged and started walking back into the building, “At least we know we tried.” She said, waiting for me to follow. I watched the fellow and started after him. I’ve seen this walk of his before, because I’ve done it. When a conversation gets awkward so I make up an excuse to leave and walk without knowing where I’m going, I just keep going until I think I’m out of sight. That was his walk. No leading direction, glancing, walking, feet pointing this way, then that. I felt irritated. He had no plan for the bat. He handled the box roughly. I imagined him dumping the thing in a dumpster or worse. He eventually started for an area of one building that had nothing but stairs. I followed and didn’t bother being subtle. I was getting the squirmy mass back.

He glanced behind himself several times to see me follow, he’d quickly glance away and pretend as though he didn’t see me. Darting from one area of buildings to the next. I lost my patience and jogged up to him, “I can watch him for a while, I don’t mind driving him somewhere after class.”

He stopped and stared at me for a few seconds. “I…uh, I actually have a friend who can handle bats…I can call her….actually, I think I’ll do that now.” He started dialing on his phone, and then suddenly started striding quickly away. I followed and stared at him. I’ve never felt like such a weirdo. And I can’t remember purposely trying to make someone so uncomfortable until that moment. Natalie ended up joining us when he stopped walking aimlessly. Eventually he agreed to hand the bat over, insisting he get my number to check up on the little guy. Natalie insisted she have my number as well. I forget her reason stated.

The odd little man eventually left, and I found myself faced with an attachment. Natalie explained very quickly and suddenly what’s wrong in her life. I felt again that she was trying to attach herself to me, this time through quickly gaining pity. I grew up figuring out this personality type, my great aunt Violet was a person of this sort. They suck energy out of whoever they can. Energy and money and material things. I found a reason to leave the conversation after about ten minutes and promised to let her know what would become of the bat.

I talked to him when I found myself alone somewhere. ‘Bruce’ seemed fitting as a name. I went home, made a lot of calls. And discovered that the closest wildlife rescue center that was equipped to handle bats was about four hours away. One woman who works at the center offered to meet me in the middle, everyone at the center who I talked to seemed thrilled to get a bat. Eventually I found out it’s because a woman who works there pretty much lives for bats. The very pleasant human being I met was a woman in her late 50s, very long, braided grey hair. Beautiful skin. I guessed she was a vegan. I glanced over to her car and saw peace signs. Very warm and friendly woman. I handed off the shoebox, she securely placed it in her backseat, which was layered with towels and carriers and food bowls. She handed me some newsletters, I hugged her, and that was that.

I tried to get Austin to listen to my ‘Learning Czech’ CD on the ride back into Clovis. He played nice for a minute or so before he had to make fun of the accent. Back to Billy Joel it was.

Ten Seconds a Day of Dull Inspiration

“My greatest adventure.”
It’s one thought that randomly appears throughout the day. Even while I’m doing something like getting groceries or parking at the library. It’s like a mental twitch or tic. There’s no emotion paired with it, it’s said almost like a matter of fact by a nameless voice.

My greatest adventure.

I give it ten seconds of brainspace. And I feel a dull thrill, because I imagine my single action as one bead in a very long strand of actions. And then I go back to wherever I was before. And I don’t think about it again until the words pop up a few hours, or a day later.

My greatest adventure, the way I think about it, is my only adventure. My life.

I was scribbling something on a piece of paper when the thought struck a few minutes ago, and before I forgot I wanted to write about it here.

So there it sits.