Lit up? Like there’s a light just beaming out of your eyes and you can tell?
I feel that today.
I’m on. I’m here. I’m alive.
I am not an empty cup
that needs filling
I am a fountain
in the depths of Winter
It’s been a while! And I haven’t forgotten about you- oh no. I haven’t been absent for a lack of trying, either. In fact, the real reason I’ve been missing is my laptop was stolen out of my apartment on week 2 of living in Midtown! I debated even sharing that information because I didn’t want to reinforce a negative stereotype, but hey, it’s kind of a funny story, right? Mais, c’est la vie! I consider it a right of passage and, because it has forced me to focus more on my art, I’m oddly thankful.
Of course, I called my dad in tears the day after and he kindly reminded me “It’s just a thing” and that in the long run this wont matter, but I think I’m handling it pretty well. It’s hard parting with all of my photos of Martin, photos of the kids in India, drafts of unposted poetry and project ideas, etc, but the part I was most upset about was that someone had been in my home. We had the locks changed promptly after the incident. I’ll never be able to afford another laptop at this rate (still don’t have a job, though I didn’t really start the hunt until this week) but when I go home for Christmas I’m gonna bring back my old laptop for essentials like tumblr and email.
I love Detroit so far. Love it. The people here are so friendly, and interesting and interested in you as a person. I’ve received such warm welcome from anyone I tell that I’m a recent transplant. I won’t lie though, I’ve had some downs, which are natural for me, but are only amplified by the move. The weather was only nice for about a week after I got here, and it’s been pretty grey and frigid ever since. Without a job, it’s hard to meet people or get myself out of the house, and I can start feeling stir crazy (since my artist studio is also located within the apartment). I’m combatting this, though, by taking an herbal depression supplement and by really pursuing a job/finding places to volunteer. I’ve already mentioned Ponyride, but I also got the number today for the volunteer coordinator at the Children’s Center just around the corner from my apartment. Something completely unplanned, I just had a good feeling about it when I was walking by this morning.
I’ve been doing pretty well creatively, too. My first few weeks here Sadie and I both were art machines, as you can see on my Instagram. And for the month of November alone I’ve already made 4 etsy sales! I made a new goal to pay at least one entire month’s rent with only art/etsy sales before the end of the year. I’m pretty close to covering November already!
As for Halloween, I don’t have pictures to post but Martin went as Zombie Miley Cyrus and I was Feminist Robin Thicke (wore the striped pants and carried around a copy of The Feminine Mystique). Sadie was the Childlike Empress from Never Ending Story. We’ve had fun acting out this scene ever since.
Things I’m gonna change about my routine:
More details to come via video blog, I just was too excited to have internet access to postpone an update.
Right now I don’t have a 9 to 5 job because I just moved to Detroit, but honestly I don’t know that I’ll ever have a job in the traditional sense ever again. I don’t care to wake up and do something I don’t care about and dread Mondays (or weekends, as it used to be when I was a waitress). Those jobs have always driven me insane, and have only served as distractions from my true passions.
I have had something stirred up in me that refuses to settle. I do believe in compromise, but at this stage in my life I have decided to out rule it, to live truly freely and see where my bliss takes me. I have been nomadic for a long time, and this makes holding a job impossible. My resume is a nightmare because my longest time at a job is about 5 months. I have been forced to be more creative and also, yes, take help from others when necessary. I make money a lot of different ways. I have an etsy store where I sell jewelry, clothing, and accessories all made by my hand. I sell paintings, I cut hair, I am commissioned for tattoo designs, and recently I have been offered work as a freelance screen printer.
I have stopped telling myself that “I am going to do this waitressing job until I have money to buy art supplies” I am just going to buy those art supplies and trust in my abilities.
I am going to have faith that my debts will be recovered.
I am investing in myself.
Like anyone else, I have my ups and downs. It can depend on my clothes, the effort I put into my hair, make up, etc., but I find it really boils down to my attitude and my self-esteem. Some nights I go out looking like shit but have a great attitude, and I’ll end up feeling like a movie star.
When I sometimes see old photos of me I can covet an old hair style, weight, or “era” of my past, but it’s all fleeting and shallow. Photos of me in India are some of my absolute favorites. Photos where I didn’t wear make up, do my hair, or even wear american clothing. I was just happy and it shows. I think what is attractive about those photos isn’t something as easy to observe as a lack of blemishes in my skin or a shine in my hair, it’s my attitude. I don’t look anything like a super model in those photos, and I’m glad. In fact, when I came back from living there I shaved my head in an attempt to reject society’s expectations of women, and to force myself to focus on things more important than how I looked. And it worked.
The images I used to be barraged with of rail thin women who never smile used to make me feel bad about myself, but those never seem to make an impact on me anymore. The images that really stop me in my tracks are honest ones. Women smiling REAL smiles, women looking like total warriors, normal sized women: thin, curvy, muscular, medium- whatever. Women who look empowered and happy and freed from social constructs of beauty and success, these are the women and people I find inspiring and attractive.
I won’t say I’m perfect and that I’ve never had issues with self-esteem. Quite the contrary, I am my own worst critic. And though I’m still hard on myself, I’ve learned that what’s important is telling myself that nothing NEEDS to change. I don’t do things like weigh myself anymore, because that number is arbitrary and I prefer to go by feel.
How would I feel about how I look if no one else even saw me today?
How do my clothes fit when I wear them?
I used to obsess over that number, and that can ruin your entire day, and after enough of those, your life. I’d even note some days I’d think I looked great, and then I’d weigh myself and it’d change my body image to something that made me unhappy and self conscious. At times I may be less fit than I’d like, but if it’s not a health concern, then I shouldn’t be concerned.
Part of my process for raising my confidence is to accept myself how I am, so I don’t think I would change anything about my look. I would change something about my attitude. I would love to be more accepting of myself and stop comparing myself to others. I’m trying to pursue more things that make me happy and excited because that excitement is contagious and that is what being attractive is really all about. Physical beauty is fleeting, but you can hold on to things like wisdom, humor, enthusiasm, compassion and grace forever.