Doodling: Day 2

I must confess, day 2 of my self administered doodling challenge didn’t go great. I found it difficult to draw anything new, I didn’t quite enjoy what I was doodling. So, I went back to my best friend, lines and circles. Which I like to call, alien language… It sounds cooler that way, right? So day 2, was also a day for me to work on other creative things, and cook one of my favorite fall meals. I did all that but, also found myself in a serious funk. I guess all there is to do, is keep keeping on.

Thanks for stopping by!

Butternut Squash and Chickpea curry soup. Served over rice, with a bed of spinach and Sriracha drizzled on top.

YUM!

Expecting Change

Is it naive to expect a life-altering change when you don’t have a plan?

I guess it seems to me that life throws things at you when you least expect it, right? I never usually give myself the time necessary, I never wait. Now, in this uncertain place, I have been taking the time.

It feels as though nothing is coming my way. I wonder if it has something to do with manifesting ideas into action, and neglecting to pursue the ‘safe option’. I understand that hard-work is mandatory in our lives, in succeeding, but, I find myself working hard on potentially all of the wrong things. There are some positives to take away from this time off, and to be honest, my mental health has been going pretty well. I have been more creative, more hopeful. On the other side of that though, I have been more unsure, and confused.

What should I expect from what I am pursuing?

It’s obvious I’ve been pursuing more creative fields, I’ve been working on a lot of things I enjoy. Coming around to the fact, the things I enjoy don’t bring me sustainability. I absolutely hate that money is what keeps the world turning. I hate that status = money, and money = power. I have no desire to increase my value monetarily, but unfortunately we are all forced to pursue it. I have long-term goals, things that require the proper funds. I want to travel, I want to buy land and start an animal sanctuary some day, I want to learn to build sustainable housing, etc.

Asking the proper questions is difficult, albeit impossible, due to the sheer volume of necessary questions. There is no possible way to ask them all at once.

Right now I have a few at the forefront of my mind. One of them being, what is most important? Is my mental health more important than making a steady paycheck? If so, how am I going to reach my long-term goals? I think these questions are probably going through everyone’s mind at certain points of their life. I think everyone has good reason to ask these questions regularly, but what about the answers? I’m not sure we are meant to get them, rather than, embrace the question itself?

Doodling : Day 1

I’ve decided to get back on the drawing band wagon, and hold myself more accountable by drawing something each day. It may just be a collection of lines, or a doodle here and there. However, I’m hopeful that it will help me stay creative and motivated. Searching for jobs, and trying to figure out my next step in life has been utterly stressful, and leads me to get overwhelmed super easily. I’ve found that taking a little time to doodle, or read, has really helped me stay grounded over the past few weeks.

Constantly thinking about what your marketable skills are during a world-wide pandemic, isn’t easy. Or healthy. Hopefully taking a little time to breath, and do things that I enjoy will help me in my search. Wish me luck!

More of the Same

I have a few more images from the other day that I’d like to share, take a peek if you’re interested.

I’ve been messing around with different edits, cropping, and saturations.

I’d love any tips, tricks, or advice for future photo shoots, so here I am on the interweb trying to get some opinions. Is that a bad idea? Eh, I’ll go for it anyway!

Reflecting on the past

While I agree that it doesn’t help to dwell on the past, I’ve found that looking through old journals really helps with developing new ideas, and understanding how you’ve felt in the past. I took the time today to go through some old notebooks and find some entries that elicited emotion. Below, I’ll share from a journal I kept through the summer of 2019, so over a year ago, in the hopes that it will give some insight into my current journey.

When will I grow up, and stop living in daydreams and idle fantasies.

Stubbornly feigning indifference, while bearing the weight of worlds.

These were placed on the inside cover of my notebook along with a poem I chose not to share. I have learned through these passages, I have come to recognize pieces of myself, pieces that I still struggle with, but in some ways have come to love. I dream. I question. I feel deeply.

Wander exceptionally far away from what you know, only there will you find yourself.

This one is still relevant to me today. All of my goals lead to a time where I am able to wander. A time, that will give me the freedom to experience, to learn, and to find myself.

Note to Self:

In order to find _______ .

Adventure is inherently important. Nothing else matters. Finding magic means taking the necessary leap.

Be free, create the world you dream of.

Make your ideal reality.

Here I am, over a year ago, searching, yet not knowing what it is I’m looking for. My mind during this time was similar to what it is now, I still yearn for a sense of freedom that I haven’t found. However, I have come to understand the importance of so many other things. I have come to understand the importance of connection, of family, and of being vulnerable enough to let people in.

Small City

Heightened awareness of status in a bourgeois sense.

Finally finished with college degrees, shopping for polos and pleated skirts.

Waiting eagerly for the chance to wear them to new jobs, holding themselves in a higher esteem than they truly should.

False confidence emitted in hazardous waves.

Unappreciated and well despised by those who walk the streets in rags, by those who have seen cruelty and misfortune in this little city.

Now, this piece holds some true anger. I remember the day I wrote this, I was at a stoplight in the city that I was working in. I was watching people walk by, holding their shopping bags from ritzy stores. At this same crosswalk I saw others walking by, dirty and tired, carrying everything they owned on their backs. It was a long day at work, and I had befriended some of the people that were carrying everything they owned on their backs. I felt for them, for their misfortune, and most of all for how misunderstood they are. I still think that everyone who has the privilege of new things, a hot meal, and a place to sleep, should take the time to get to know, and potentially help, someone less fortunate. However, I no longer feel that I can immediately condemn or judge those who do have more.

Nothing feels familiar, and everything is out of place. Lost in a cascade of emotions, never seeming to make sense. It has taken a long while to understand, and here you are, still looking at some unknown land, with a language that eludes you. It was once your vernacular, and yet, it is foreign.

This passage to me, was all of my feelings of disconnect, of uncertainty. Wondering where to turn, who would listen, who would care. This is still something I struggle with, connection for some reason feels so important, yet so scarce.

I guess this blog is an embodiment of my yearning for similarities in such a vast world. This is a place for me to be me, completely honest and open, forgetting all of the time I spent burying my thoughts. It’s also about gaining the confidence to share passages like these. I hope, if you’ve taken the time to read these, that you can gain something too.

Top 5 Reading Picks for 2020

So I decided, because reading is such a big part of my personal development, that I’d share some of my favorites, and a few that I think would be fitting for this whirlwind year.

  1. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.”

Aldous Huxley

Brave New World is a novel that I personally think everyone should read. I’ve read it three times now, and am seriously considering reading it again in 2020. It is a dystopian fiction, but it is so relevant, and thought-provoking. What started for me as a personal choice English assignment became a mind altering read, that made me fall in love with Aldous Huxley as a writer. While I found that the first 50 pages or so, were hard to get through, I ultimately couldn’t put it down. Going into a utopian society where people are made for specific roles, and everyone is conditioned to become exactly what is expected of them. One man, comes to recognize individuality and the issues with the current system. What was meant to be perfect, becomes very much the opposite. Being written in 1931, this book brings a new light to our modern world, and genuinely makes you question where we are headed. Highly recommend.

2. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

“make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.” 

If you enjoy biographies, and adventurous spirits, there is no better book than Into the Wild. Jon Krakauer, takes the time to get to know the subject, Christopher McCandless, like no other. Even though the tale ends in tragedy, the inspiration drawn from the life of a true idealist/adventurer/lover of life is incomparable to any other book I’ve read. This is another book I’ve read over and over again throughout my life, when I need to remember who I am, and what my dreams are, I always come back to this. We can all take something from McCandless’ life and death, a true tale of embracing what the world has to offer, and never looking back.

3. A Doubter’s Almanac by Ethan Canin

“In people like us, the craving is as strong as the craving for food or water, the yearning for touch or light or love. I was looking for something–a diversion, an occupation, an unwavering force–that would elevate me, that would lift me out of the melancholy dissection of my own interior geography that otherwise would have consumed me pitilessly, as it had my father. I wanted to fly above myself– if only for a few hours–and look down in tranquility upon my life.” 

Now, this is a book I picked up by chance on a sales rack at Barnes & Noble, it sat on my shelf for months, before I decided to give it a shot. Wow, am I glad that I did. It is a book about life, about how an analytical, mathematical mind is plagued with unanswered questions. This is one you really have to read in order to understand, anything I say about it will do it no justice. I love the different perspectives, the writing style, the focus on family but also pain and the need to understand loved ones. Seriously, you won’t be disappointed.

4. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

“But at times I wondered if I had not come a long way only to find that what I really sought was something I had left behind.” 

Krakauer again. To be honest, he is just one of my favorite authors, his writing style is captivating, and this book in particular is a first hand account, which makes the book all the more interesting. Now this book made me cry, several times, so if you aren’t interested in getting emotionally encapsulated, don’t read this one. This book is overall about climbing Everest, about disaster striking, and about the drive that brings people up one of the largest mountains in the world. However, it is about so much more, and I think anyone can draw personal correlations to this book, all the while gaining a perspective completely unique. The struggle that is human kinds desire to achieve the unachievable, and how that brings people to life and death situations. Most importantly though, it’s about how you come out on the other side, what you’ve gained, and what you’ve lost. An amazing read.

5. Finding Everett Ruess by David Roberts

“I am overwhelmed by the appalling strangeness and intricacy of the curiously tangled knot of life.”

Everett Ruess

I am currently reading this book, and I can say that I’ve been having a hard time getting through the second half. However, the first portion of the book was completely captivating, hence it’s place on this list. I expect you’ve noticed a theme of biographical non-fiction on this list, but I find it is a genre I hold a lot of interest in. Learning from other people, from dreamers, wanderers, vagabonds, it’s all so fascinating to me. Everett Ruess, is no doubt flawed, living through the Great Depression and taking his parents kindness for granted. However, if a bit selfish, he chose to focus on what mattered to him, focused on art, experience, and a life of adventure. In his short life, he made multiple trips across the American West, and spent every moment searching for beauty. If you like mysteries as well you may like this book, as the second half is all about the search for Everett, and his unsolved disappearance.

As time passes

Something that has always been a massive cause of anxiety for me, has been feeling that I’m not doing enough. Progress is something that can’t be seen in the day to day, and being like most young adults, that makes me feel like no progress is happening at all.

Trying to take things a day at a time, hoping that living in the present will lead me to a better, more light-hearted future.

Spending less time thinking about what I’m going to do, how I’m going to get somewhere, etc. It has helped keep me from my feelings of hopelessness and anxiety. Life ebbs and flows, things change, some days feel like the world is ending, and some days, it feels like opportunity is all around.

Opportunity to live, to flourish, to be. There are so many quotes out there describing, and explaining life in so few words, but the truth is, there are no words to explain what life is to each individual. I guess the point of it all is for you to decide, for you to find out. That’s what makes life so captivating and inspiring.

Empowerment with Portrait Photography

In the past couple weeks, I have gone from hating being in front of a camera, to genuinely enjoying the artistry involved in self-portraits. It’s strange to think about how uncomfortable and nervous I was in front of a lens. This is not to say that I have all the self-confidence in the world. However, I am gaining self-confidence through photos, I never thought I would get a good photo of myself in a million years. I seemed to think I was the least photogenic person in the world, and that’s just how it was.

Breaking out of my comfort zone, and taking photos of myself, or trusting someone else to take photos of me has ultimately done wonders for my self-esteem. In a short couple weeks I have come to notice things about myself that I ACTUALLY like! Which is something I wouldn’t have been able to say back in my bought of self-loathing.

It really is an empowering feeling to look at a photo of yourself and think, “wow! I look good”. I personally think that anyone struggling with their self-confidence should definitely take some time in front of a camera, getting to know your perceptions and how many of them are just built up delusions that you hold close. Honestly, let’s all just break the chains and learn to love ourselves, and take really awesome pictures while we are at it.

I know it’s easier said than done, and my own self-esteem battle is just beginning, but I can say without any doubt, that photographs have pushed me in the right direction.

Sunny Daze

With fall upon us, I have been taking the extra time to truly enjoy what the beginning of this season has to offer. Fun photo days are something I genuinely look forward to. They always seem to lift my spirits and spark creativity. From searching for a good location, to funny photos, to getting the perfect shot, to getting home and having a drink while looking through all of the pictures from the day. It all has some serious meaning and it makes life more enjoyable.

Yesterday was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, and the fresh air was rejuvenating. Spending the whole day adventuring and embracing my inner model, it was truly one of the best days I’ve had in a long while. Nowadays, everyone is talking about self-love and self-care, mental health days, etc. Being able to take that time to relax and genuinely just have fun, no pressure, no worries. That to me is the greatest form of self-care.

It’s been hard lately with the uncertainty that is the world right now, and quite honestly, the uncertainty that is my life. My dream is to travel, to have fun, to experience, and to love. Yet as a currently unemployed young adult, with a very short resume… I’ve had some bad days. No one prepares you for the harshness of the world, and no one prepares you for a global pandemic, climate change, or any of the other plagues of society. However, I am truly, trying my damnedest, to embrace life and enjoy the present.

I hope you are able to enjoy your own sunny daze.

Below are a few of the bloopers I hold dear.

Paint Me

These photos are what sparked creativity, shocked me into an awareness that, I have been allowing myself to fall into my own anxieties and doubts too long. My mind may always war with itself but, I can’t let it stop me from living anymore. Worldwide pandemic or not, I’m determined to make the most of what I have.

I’m looking forward to seeing more ‘colors’ come out in this chapter… Breaking out of my shell I suppose. Wish me luck