My Goals for the coming months.

I’m going to start off by saying that, as of right now, I’m incredibly excited to work on some new projects. I genuinely thrive off of having personal projects to work on.

As some may know, I bought a 1979 Layton trailer to remodel, and eventually travel in. Demolition has been going well, however it’s still daunting, and almost surreal. There’s so much work to do, and for a person who constantly stresses about time passing, it’s a bit terrifying I’ll be honest. However, all said and done, I’m super excited to be working on my travel dreams, FINALLY! Sometimes I do question the state of the world, and how safe it is to travel nowadays, but we have a while to go before the trailer is anywhere near long-term travel ready. Maybe things will get better, maybe they’ll get worse, but I’m going to see national parks all over the US, and no-one can stop me!

An idea that I’ve had forever, is making stickers and prints, of some of my pieces. I don’t know how well that one will work out. Honestly though, I would love to be able to share my art, and in turn, my perspective, ideas, and mind. So over the next months, I’m going to be working on editing, formatting, testing, and so many other things involved with producing art. Most of all, I’m going to keep creating. For me, that is the most exciting and revolutionary part, to think the motivation all started with a week long doodling challenge that I had set out for myself.

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read, it is amazing to find a community so supportive, and I hope to continue sharing my life, and art, with you.

“I don’t want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.”Ernst Fischer

Motivational talks for personal development

Since getting back from my camping trip, I’ve had a difficult time getting back to a clear mental state. After everything being so quiet for a few days, coming back to the world just feels so loud. I decided this morning to go through some different youtube videos/TED talks, to help get me back to a motivated state. Not just to motivate, but also to organize my head, I realize that I push myself into a state of confusion just because my mind is either moving too quickly, or not at all, and before letting that get insanely frustrating. I took a breath, and decided to go down a rabbit hole of motivational people to try to spark inspiration within myself again.

Without further ado, here’s a list of 4 videos to watch, when you just need someone to help you understand your life:

  1. Charlie Chaplin: The Great Dictator Speech https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8HdOHrc3OQ To start, we have a speech that is so relevant during election season, and throughout all time. It’s a beautiful speech, I can’t beg you, to truly listen to this, enough. It has continued to inspire, it continues to hold true, and it exemplifies values that have long been lost for most of us. If you are going to pick one video to listen to in this list, I would recommend taking the four minutes. And potentially, take many more, to contemplate how it makes you feel, what it makes you think, and how you can continue to adjust, make the meaning behind the words count.

2. Scott Dinsmore: How to Find and Do Work that You Love https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpe-LKn-4gM. Next on the list, is a video I first ran across in my search to find motivation. This may translate to a fairly stereotypical motivational speech. However, that is the theme of the post, it really was time well spent in my opinion. Scott has some great tips and tricks for people, using the statistic that 80% of the population is pursuing work that they don’t enjoy, simply because they think its what they should/need to do. It’s so important to recognize discontentment and complacency. We can make such a larger difference as individuals when we are able to pursue passionate work, rather than work that will simply pay the bills.

3. Mel Robbins: How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp7E973zozc I will be the first to say that, without too much judgement, this video starts off a little too self-help newspaper column. However, if you’re willing to get past the shrillness, and cliche-ness(?), there is genuinely good advice in here. We are in an age with so much ability to learn, to improve, to utilize, and that’s what this talk is all about.

4. Ashley Stahl: How to Figure Out What You Really Want https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRtBHF-WPpM Wow, this one starts off with a really interesting story, and evolves into a beautiful perspective. I don’t necessarily enjoy the feeling that I’m the one holding myself back, I hate that feeling actually. However, it must be the most important realization one person can make. How to change that, is a whole different story, and Ashley gives some great advice on going in the right direction. Forcing yourself out of fear of the unknown, and pursuing those things that you’ve always wanted. Life may be confusing, self-recognition may be even more so, it’s just so incredibly important to keep trying, keep questioning, and keep taking the time to assess yourself.

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.

One Little Room

Where all life’s experience exists

Every true genuine feeling is felt 

In one little room

 

To say whether it’s negative or positive 

Is not up to me 

 

Clearly I’ve lost you 

But then again you aren’t here

And whether or not that’s important

I don’t know

 

Maybe somehow I enjoy this space

The excuse for isolation 

Somehow consoling 

 

Here there is no pressure

Everyone is shut away 

Perfect

 

Until somehow it isn’t 

Being with yourself too long is somehow

worse?

 

Not every moment is terrible

Being alone is not always, lonely

Sometimes it’s just thinking

Feeling and Being too 

 

There is a melancholic comfort 

In being alone

No Pressure

no need to convey my thinking 

 

But then there’s ‘you’

Forcing me to acknowledge my discomfort, and discontent

Noticing my craving for connection

Wanting to escape this little room

 

You’ll show me how, won’t you?

Focused

Tap. Tap. Tap.

Tap. 

Rushing around in a world flowing by. Yet never really moving.

Contradiction and chaos, finding where the next ‘thing’ may land. 

Wondering if it will ever fall.

If it does, will it plummet to the earth like a meteor finding our atmosphere? 

Will the momentum be strong and fast, hurdling life into a new unknown? 

Or is this thing, this experience, this life, moving all alone?

No force, no gravity.

Just floating around, hovering about, waiting to be recognized and seen.

Hoping to be pulled down and guided through.

The Shoe Box apartment complex

The world is seen through a hole in a shoebox.
All of these little fully functional, all included shoe boxes, with an oven that is guaranteed to have cooked meth at one point, and is certainly through on its’ warranty. A bathtub designed to fill up with black sludge when it decides to rain. Lights that flicker and outlets that don’t work. 

Let’s not forget the constant movement of all of the other shoebox villagers so close and near to your home, invading privacy with no intent to do so. All the noise and chatter heard at all hours not like a symphony but like the script for a play about gang violence and income inequality. This is what I know, it’s something I’m used to. Yet, I still feel as uncomfortable in my own home as I always have. This isn’t home, it’s not where my heart is. It’s just another little stack of lives, and families, and human beings all crunched together and trying to live the life that they feel they deserve. 

And how the world is full of these shoebox complexes, some are shinier I’m sure, and some are far more tattered but yet they all seem to me to be the same. I’m cramped and claustrophobic and I long for a place much more my own. A place to feel safe, to feel connected to my own version of the world, a place to think and feel and breath without the buzzing of this little human ecosystem all around me. 

How do we live like this?

….. I wish I knew what to say.

What is this chaos, injustice, misinformation, misuse of power. How has our world gotten so corrupt, so lost in toxicity and hate.

I wish I knew what to say.

I’m at a loss for words, because there is no perfect word for what I am feeling.

Outraged, Disappointed, Depressed, Confused, Lost.

We need to welcome positive change, we need to band together as human beings, people all living on the same planet, all with one real, true, need. Life.

Figuring out life, Why you shouldn’t try it.

Being young and naive, it is easy for me to fall into the mind altering trap that is, ‘figuring your shit out’. However, this has recently led me into a loop of thoughts that create unwarranted anxiety in my person. Which is…. frustrating, to say the least. A lot has been changing lately, and we have all been forced to think, on our own, a lot. Which again, can get maddening. I’ve come to the conclusion, that even though, we as humans are predisposed to think ahead, there are reasons not to think too much about what we should be doing and how we should be doing it.

Life is a rollercoaster, ups and downs, and spin arounds. Having an idea of your ideal is important. If there isn’t a vision there isn’t anything to achieve. The notion of having ‘your shit together’ or ‘it all figured out’, is merely a misconception in and of itself. One that after being repeated throughout your life over and over again, just becomes more daunting, and chalked full of negative stress. My point is, that we all have a life to live, one life to be exact, and even though having a purpose and goals gives us a positive sense of self, it can also lead to lots and lots of lost time. I think most of us spend more time thinking about what’s next, rather than enjoying the current state of things. My goal from now on is to take extra care in remembering that, although I have goals and am excited to reach them, I still experience joy and contentedness in specific moments each day. Taking extra care in feeling and experiencing those moments is something that I look forward to. Reading a good book, enjoying a beautiful day, hiking, swimming, companionship. All of the things we so obviously take for granted in our day to day lives. Here’s to being a human, a human being, one that is excited for the future. Even though I don’t have it all figured out.

Thanks for Listening

 

Quarantine Bliss-ter

So this level of quarantining has been overwhelming to say the least. Now the world will be slowly moving again. I have definitely taken for granted some of the great things that have come out of this forced stagnancy. I have had TIME, for once since starting my adult life I have had time to go outside, draw, create, and learn. While I can’t say I have taken full advantage of this period of forced unemployment. I can say it has been enlightening, unfortunately it is only now, when everything is returning to normal. That I, am truly able to feel the bliss that comes with all of this time. I am excited though, to implement new daily rituals, rituals that I hope, will make the most of MY time. The possession of such a precious thing has gone unnoticed too long. There are so many things to do and enjoy and learn. Why we waste so much, I have no idea. I am guilty of binge watching a tv show for a full day, I am guilty of wasting, probably more than most. However, I notice the guilt, feel it, in all of its harsh reality. Time is a finite source for us, all of us moving around the globe. Time, or the lack there of, is something that we fear. And while fear can be a motivator, it isn’t the one I think we should be focusing on. It takes out enjoyment, it introduces too much complexity in our minds. When there is already so much complexity apart from ourselves, that is just begging to be noticed. It’s yet another thing I think we all take for granted. Don’t forget the feeling of time, don’t let time passing scare you, just make sure you spend it wisely.

Thanks for listening.