We’ll Be Okay

I’ve had two full weeks at my new job, and been paid my first pay check. Having some overtime pay on this check helped to buffer the shock. I sat down and did some in-depth analysis of my month-to-month income and expenses. Thank god for my financial advisor and that his services come free from my bank. I feel like I can finally breathe again. I’ll know more once I am able to sit down with him and discuss the long term impact on my finances however from first appearances, this part-time job will provide what I need.

Physically I am able to handle the work better than I had anticipated. At first an eight hour shift on my feet took a lot out of me. It still does but it is getting better. My daughter helps on those days by cooking dinner if we have something she knows how to cook.

I expected within the first month to end up sick because I was in the public a lot more and not so isolated in my home. That prediction came true, however, not from the source I had thought it would. My daughter and I went shopping for her to pick out some much needed undergarments and a couple days later, she came down with a major cold. A week later and I started showing signs of getting it. The timing was good for something of this sort to happen. I am hoping to only miss two shifts at work. It hit me on my two days off. I had two days scheduled to work with another day off following it, so by only missing two days of work, I had five days to work on getting well enough to perform my shifts this weekend. So far, I feel as though I am on the mend. My check at the end of the month will be a bit lower than expected but I will be okay.

My last post was filled with a lot of emotions as a result of my situation. I read over it before starting to write this post and I still feel very strongly about what I had written. I work as a cashier and without someone performing that job retail businesses would not be in business. Yes, I know they have automated tills but even with those, someone has to oversee them because they aren’t perfect and there can be issues with product packaging that makes it difficult to scan them. Plus the amount of behind the scenes work that goes on for changes in product pricing due to specials and discounts means the system isn’t perfect. Knowledgeable customers catch these imperfections in the system.

I am surprised how much I enjoy the job. I meet a lot of really good people every single day. It has helped bolster my flagging perception of people.

I don’t really have much else to say in this post other than to say we’ll be fine. Unless I have missed something significant in my calculations, this part-time job is all I need to make ends meet. With it being part-time, I will also have time for my artwork and helping my daughter acclimate to her new school which is as close to homeschooling as one can get and still be under the Ministry of Education.

I’m more at ease these days. The anxiety is mostly gone, although I have moments it flares up, I’m not sure what triggers it. I’ve had moments while I’ve been sick of having flashes of anxiety that goes as quickly as it comes. I am wondering if there is such a thing as post-traumatic disorder from being laid off. The anxiety goes away as soon as I remind myself that I have a job and it is enough even with missing two shifts at work this week, the pay will be enough to fill in the gaps that my retirement income has within it. I don’t know how all of this will play out when it comes to filing taxes, it is a learning curve for me in a completely new situation. The good thing is, even though this job is part-time, I get benefits. I’m still learning just what those benefits cover.

I feel like I can breathe again. However, each breath taken is done so cautiously. It is difficult to feel safe given what I have gone through over the past three years and actually longer. I have learned when looking over my past, that things do indeed happen in threes. Maybe it is just how we look at it that makes them look like they belong together in such a grouping but whether it is or isn’t, it has left me with a lot to ponder.

I have had three, what I consider HUGE life changing events. In 2005, I began my journey as a single parent which took me down a path of making some major decisions to improve our lives. This involved a move across country, taking us further away from family and friends but something that needed to be done in order to give us a place we could call home and put down roots. Single parenthood was and is a huge life change for both my daughter and me. I believe that relationship and the subsequent issues for a year following its breakup were toxic to me and resulted in the cancer that developed in my body which became the second life altering event. At the time, I believed facing the challenge of having cancer was the hardest thing I ever had to do. At least until a year later when I was laid off of work and I was faced with the third major life changing event.

I sat and thought about all of these things Tuesday as I waited to see if the radiologist wanted any more pictures taken for my mammogram on my one remaining breast. It is difficult to believe one is now safe from harm. I wasn’t feeling well, the cold I had contracted from my daughter was gaining its foothold and becoming worse, and I was afraid. Not of the cold but having to face yet another tough obstacle if the pictures didn’t come out clean. As it turned out, they did want more pictures due to an anomaly on the ones that were taken. The radiologist thought maybe I had powder or residue on my skin causing an issue when the pictures were taken. I had no such thing. Ever since having cancer I don’t use products other than soap to wash with and deodorant and I had not put on any deodorant because I knew they don’t want you to wear any when having a mammogram. Either they hadn’t cleaned the machine well after the previous person or they didn’t take the pictures very well. Another technician took the second set of pictures and when she came back she reassured me that the anomaly wasn’t on the new set.

It won’t matter whether my exams are clear of cancer for the next twenty years. Every day of my life I will wonder if there is cancer in my body just looking for a place to grab onto and grow. Cancer is a horrid thing to deal with but what is worse is the treatments they continue to use. I won’t go into that.

What I do want to say is how difficult it is to compare and judge life altering events in our lives. Today, when I look back, what I experienced more recently in the job lay off feels as though it was the hardest thing I have ever had to face, while I also know when facing cancer I felt the same way.

Cancer made me face the reality of my mortal existence and that I won’t live forever. The emotional and mental turmoil I went through this past year made me realize the fragility of the mind. I came very close to losing my mind and not being able to cope. To face your own limitations is difficult. To face them alone is even harder. To face them in front of an 11 year old who grew to be 14 years old during this time, and having her witness my fragility was shattering. She expects to have a mother who can handle anything. I think she still sees me as strong but she now knows I have limitations. We are learning to function with those limitations.

I’m afraid to say I’m out of that long dark tunnel now. I’m afraid to look around and see that we aren’t, that there may still be more to come. I’m afraid to celebrate that we have finally emerged from three major life changing events before I’m really sure they are over. What we will do is celebrate this new job and that we have come through what was for me a very dark period of unknowns. If I read the signs correctly, we have a whole new life ahead of us which has an ever expanding range of possibilities. The main thing I have learned from these major events in our lives is to not give up hope, to not close doors on possibilities but also, and I think this is the most important one of all, that just because something looks like it is the best path to take, it might not be the right path to take.

 

 

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A World Out of Balance…

We live in a world where instant gratification is almost expected. But there is another side of that coin too. A world where others struggle every day of their lives not knowing if they will go hungry or if they will have to choose between feeding one child over another. I’m seeing a world through different eyes and it is scary. To think one day the norm may be for us to be hungry or starving, or be forced out of our home into the street because we have nowhere else to go, is an alarming prospect. And yet hundreds even thousands are in this situation every day. I’m not there yet, but I could be.

 It is shocking to think that after 33 years of solid work, commitment to a company that I could find myself in this situation. Scared for me. Scared for my daughter. A minimum wage job isn’t going to cut it. It won’t keep us off the street or keep us in our home. This fear is real.

 My option right now is a minimum wage job working part time. If I’m lucky I’ll clear one thousand dollars a month. WHAT? ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS A MONTH?!? I’m still applying for other jobs. I’m still praying that someone will see the value of my past experiences and my commitment to working and being dependable and want to hire me into a position which will provide for our needs.

 Anxiety is high right now. I feel it roll over me in waves. I’ll do what I have to even if it doesn’t bring in enough money right now. I’ll stand for hours which I’m not used to doing, even if it causes me excruciating pain.

 We live in a world where there are thousands of people living far above poverty levels, and many billionaires who probably have no idea what to do with their money. Many would look at me right now and not once think I might be on the verge of losing my house, my car, or not be able to feed ourselves. What we have now is the result of years of earning good pay. What we will have in another year or two, maybe a boot in the pants and a cardboard box to live in.

 I’m not alone in this situation. Every year thousands of people lose their jobs for various reasons. Many of them get stuck in a no win situation, where employment insurance doesn’t help them. Where their skills are rated so high no one will consider them for lessor skilled positions.

 I’m angry. I’m angry because there isn’t a single job that is more important than the rest. There isn’t a single position that has any more value than the rest. I know there are hundreds of people who will disagree with me and say hey, what about those jobs that require a college degree compared to the job at the local fast food store that doesn’t require a degree? Well, I’m here to tell you none of them are more important than the rest.

 Many people think the amount they get paid is tied directly in with how much value that job has in this world. So, if you get paid more for doing it then it must be more important than that job that earns minimum wage. Well, I’m here to tell you that is hogwash.

 Tell me, does a CEO of a corporation perform a higher function than a janitorial service personnel? The CEO cleans out the rubbish pile at the top of the corporation while the janitorial service personnel cleans out the physical garbage left behind from his activities. If the janitorial services did not provide this function then the CEO would be neck deep in his own garbage. This of course is metaphorical (to some extent) but it is in essence true. Who would want to walk into an office building that hasn’t been cleaned for over a month, including bathrooms and breakrooms? Can a corporations survive without a CEO, well possibly, depends on how well those in the next levels of management know about running the company. I’ve seen companies run rather well without a CEO for months before a new one was brought in. But if you get down into the lower levels, where those who work and develop the services or products that are being sold, if their whole department would one day disappear, would the company survive? Most likely not unless they miraculously pulled together another group of people who could step on in. Even so there would be a sudden cessation of services/products until they got up to speed. Then the quality of the services/products might come into question.

 When that big CEO man/woman suddenly wants a latte and their machine in their high corporate offices has broken down, you will suddenly discover them or someone from their office at the local café serving up their much needed caffeine fix so they can start their day. Don’t tell me that for that one moment the person providing the latte wasn’t considered a value as high as the CEO in that very moment.

 Our world is run archaically. It runs on a value system that there are jobs and people who are of lessor value and therefore deserve lessor pay. I’m here to disagree with that perception. A mother stays home after giving birth to their child and gets no pay at all. But if we go by the value system, her job is of the most valued of all because she is raising a child that could one day serve the world in various capacities, including that of President, or Prime Minister or CEO and yet we expect her mother, her father to raise her or him without being paid for that job. In some cases, we expect them to be able to do so on minimum wage earning barely enough to feed themselves and a child.

 Our world is out of balance and until balance is achieved we will see fluctuations in every area of life we live in. We’ll see it in the business world where people are overpaid and others are under paid. We’ll see it in children’s education where some receive higher education while others do not and may not receive any education at all. We will see it in the care of those who are in need, whether they are elderly, or young, disabled or in a medical crisis. Help is given to those who have the money to pay for it. That is the way this world works.

 I have been part of and seen so many things over the past three years which makes no sense. While one person is able to get the assistance they need and another is not. Where a person can feel on the verge of losing their mind because there seems to be no other options and are left to just live by the means she can just scrape by and hope it is enough. I’ve seen people dying because the medical industry sees only one way for treatment because it is dictated by the medical industry and there is no joint cooperation between mainstream medicine and alternative medicine. If someone wants to seek alternative medicine then they better have the big bucks to pay for it.

 Money creates the walls. It maintains the imbalance in our society. It feeds and nurtures the billionaires and starves and bitch slaps the poor.

 We need to look beyond the walls of our confinement. We need to realize there is more than enough to go around if we all work together to make that happen. But most of all, we need to revamp our old archaic systems that no longer serve us.

 As long as we continue to live in this way, we are not human beings, we are parasites. We take what we want to survive and discard anything that doesn’t regardless of the impact it has on the environment or world around us. A parasite will feed upon its host until the host dies. We are killing the only thing that sustains us, mother earth. When she dies, we will have nothing and we too will die and there will be no more doubt about whether we are parasites or we are human.

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Surprise or Mystery

For the past few days, her mind has been lost, in the confusion and aftermath of something she didn’t quite understand. All she had done was try and face her inner critic, change the scathing words rebounding in her head to something more positive, something uplifting, something better than what she had been hearing of late.

On top of that, her birthday would soon be here. Lately each year she was alive was now not so much as a surprise as it was a mystery. What was her purpose for being here? Was it simply to raise a child she never thought she would have, or was it to learn as much as she could that would create growth of spirit? The first, was easy. The second would explain so much.

She looked at the man, asleep in her bed. He was another surprise or rather a mystery. His arrival in her life came when she had finally stopped wanting a man. Six months ago, she had made the decision to stop trying to force life into the mold she had created for herself. It was hard, so very hard, to let go of all the expectations, all the things that had been drilled into her.

You have to work for what you want.  You won’t get anywhere if you don’t work for it. Had been the constant theme in her home growing up.

And yet, she had worked hard, really hard, and in the end, she had been tossed out on her rump. Thrown out into the street like a piece of trash. Well, a well wrapped piece of trash that is. But that wrapper only lasted for so long and she knew it. Desperation set in immediately.

It didn’t matter how hard she worked now. It didn’t matter how much she put herself out there. No one wanted her. No one cared that her experience would bring a lot of value.

Finally, after six months, she had enough. All signs pointed to forgetting what she ever knew about life, and start over. Instead of forcing life to conform, she chose to let life guide her. It didn’t take away her fears but it did give her some peace.

For six months, and in reality for far longer than that, she had felt like she was constantly in a fight, constantly in a battle, constantly waiting for the proverbial hammer to smash its way through her life, destroying everything in its path. The battle she fought was to try and prevent it from happening or to deny it would eventually happen. When it did, she was unprepared. It was devastating.  It shook the very foundations of her mental stability.

That stability didn’t return until she finally let go of everything she thought she knew about life and living. She knew she was on tenuous ground. Tenuous in comparison to what she had been taught one needed to feel stability, be considered successful, and being able to take care of one’s family.

She had to go back to learning what life really was. It wasn’t a job. It wasn’t even a family. It wasn’t about doing what society demands as ‘normal’ in order to be a functioning part of society.

Life is what we have inside of us. As a child, she has always known something very special. Somehow she knew, if she spoke aloud about what she knew, people would call her crazy. Luckily, she had grown up in an environment which did not encourage any such discussion. This protected her from criticism and judgements from those she loved.

Sitting in church she knew what they taught was only fractionally true, the rest was created by man to manipulate humanity. To keep humanity away from the truth she instinctively understood. They either didn’t want them to understand, for fear they would lose their power over them, or they didn’t feel humanity could handle it. It didn’t matter which. She didn’t come to understand this until she was much, much older. She just accepted the knowledge and kept it to herself.

Since letting go of everything she had been taught about life and living, things began to change. She was no longer accepting of the harsh words her inner critic had to say. When her inner critic wasn’t successful in one area, she would move on to another area. Lately, that area had to do with her physical appearance. Refusing to let her inner critic convince her that she was unlovable, both physically and mentally, she instead chose to love herself.

It was difficult at first. Deciding to take one day at a time had been the best decision she had ever made. Then taking one small step at a time. Bombarding herself with a dozen things all at once had been her downfall in the past. It was how she sabotaged herself. It was her way of proving to herself that all the negative internal talk was true.

Then one day, she looked at herself in the mirror and realized she had indeed changed. She was no longer the frumpy, dumpy woman who looked like she had come from the wrong side of the tracks. She had slowly altered her wardrobe. One day she walked into a store and found a blouse that made her feel good, so she bought it. Each week she chose one thing to do that would make her feel good. One week it was a piece of clothing. Another week, it was an accessory for her hair. Another week, it was maybe a book or another piece of clothing.

Daily, she had begun to take walks. Instead of thinking about walking as an exercise to change her physical body or convince it into losing weight, it was to just feel the air flow through her hair, or the rain upon her skin, or the earth under her feet, or see the beauty in nature around her. She started to notice, she felt more grounded, more in tune with her environment.

On occasion, her inner critic would get terribly loud. That is what happened a few days ago when she happened upon a man she had once known years ago. They had known each other when she was young, vibrant, full of life, but oh so confused about everything. They had a brief love affair but she had run off when her feelings reached a certain depth which frightened her. It was years before she understood this about herself.

They sat and talked. He had been curious about her life and what had happened. She decided to be completely honest with him about what she had finally understood about herself and why she reacted as she had. She had often wondered why he hadn’t pursued her. As they spoke, he revealed he had been just as confused.

For the following days, they spent hours together just talking. Neither of them held back on anything about their past. Neither of them judged the other. Each meeting left her feeling lighter. She hadn’t realized how much she had needed to talk to someone about everything without feeling as though she needed to justify any of it.

Occasionally, whenever they would talk, she would begin to shake. She knew the shaking was caused by the intensity of the emotions she held back. One day, during one of those moments, he reached over to her hand that was resting upon the table between them and let his fingers just lightly rest upon her fingers.

A bit of magic occurred. The energy flowed out of her and into him. He absorbed it like a sponge. She could feel herself breathe again, and from him flowed a calm, relaxing energy, which filled her completely.

After half a dozen or so of these meetings in public, she decided to invite him to her home. He offered to buy some Chinese takeout and they could eat and talk without having to worry about taking a table for too long in a restaurant or cafe like they had been doing. Before they knew it, they had talked through the night. It was 5am. Luckily, neither one of them needed to be anywhere the next day. She wasn’t ready for him to leave yet and he wasn’t ready to go.

The simple touch of his fingers had slowly graduated to holding hands, then to sitting close on the sofa as they continued to talk through the night. By 5am, she was wrapped in his warm embrace, with her head resting on his shoulder. They were past the need to look in each other’s faces as they spoke. She found this seemed to allow them to speak more freely about their hopes, their dreams, and even their lack of having any dreams at all.

Over the past couple of years, facing so much, dreaming had become a past time she no longer had a desire to spend her time doing. Dreams had become something she no longer had. When she revealed this to him, his arms held her tighter, expressing his sadness for her more completely than any words could ever have done.

Moments of silence occurred throughout the night, sometimes she would doze off for a few minutes and when she woke, they would continue talking again. Sometimes he would doze off as well. By 5am, it was becoming apparent that both of them were in need of sleep and the sofa wasn’t sufficient.

She stood, offered her hand to him, “come”. He took her hand, followed her to her room and fully clothed they lay down together. His arms wrapping her in warmth. He slipped off to sleep within moments. She turned towards him pulling the edge of the comforter over herself and looked at him. She took in all his features, loving all their characteristics. Some would call them flaws but not her.

For the past few days, her inner critic had been bombarding her with harsh words. “He doesn’t love you, could never love you. You are ugly. You are fat. He could never want someone like you….” On and on she went.

Finally, yesterday, before he was to arrive in her home for the first time, she had enough. She sat down and used the art skills she had been learning over the past year, to face her inner critic. She wrote out her frustrations over her inner critic and the harsh words she was always saying. She put energy into it, by letting her feelings flow into the words she wrote. She told her inner critic how she was such a liar and would no longer believe her. That it didn’t matter if he loved her on not, that she loved herself and that was all she needed.

She filled the fourteen by seventeen inch canvas, telling her inner critic how she felt and how she would no longer allow her lies to interfere with her life. She also told her inner critic she understood her inner critic’s purpose was to protect her from being hurt but that she needed to understand that her harsh words hurt her more.

Once she was done filling the canvas with the words, sometimes overlapping them in order to get them all on the canvas, she reached for her art supplies. She covered the canvas in her favorite colors, making abstract marks. She didn’t focus on anything, just let her feelings flow as she randomly reached for the colors she loved so much. After two hours she had a canvas filled with beautiful marks. One thing she loved about acrylic paint was how fast it dries. She hung the canvas on her bedroom wall where she would see it each morning when she woke. She looked at it now as she drifted off to sleep, knowing she had come to an understanding with her inner critic she had never thought possible.

Hours later she emerged slowly from her sleep. His arms still wrapped around her. His breath soft upon her cheek. He held her close, so close, she had no doubt of his physical response to her, but then again, her inner critic had something to say about that. It could be just from dreams as he slept. She almost laughed out loud when almost in the same moment those thoughts crossed her mind, did a soft kiss upon her cheek dispel them.

He, who so easily read her body language, felt the humorous chuckle flow silently through her body and asked her what it meant. So, she told him, explaining what she had noticed about his physical condition and what her inner critic had to say and the timing of his soft kiss.

Suddenly, gone was the patient man, the man who took slow steps. She had turned towards him to see his reaction to her explanation. As the last words, left her mouth, his mouth covered hers, proving beyond a doubt how wrong her inner critic was.

She both felt in his kiss the power of his attraction to her but also his demand in showing her just how wrong her thoughts were. His kiss wasn’t harsh. It was sensual. He tasted her like she tasted like fine chocolate. Devouring her while at the same time, cherishing her so as not to rush through a single bite.

He moved them both, rolling her onto her back, he covered her completely with his body. He didn’t, so much as press down on her as, to let their bodies mold against each other. He was strong, and hard, soft and yielding, and somehow comforting and protective.

He kissed her face, her cheeks, her eyes, her neck, and nibbled on her earlobe. No further did he go. She could have made love to him right there and then but he pulled back. Sat up on the edge of the bed and softly caressed her cheek with his thumb.

“I’ll prove your inner critic wrong, as many times as I have to, until you are no longer tempted to believe her. For now, this is enough to start with.”

She understood. They had spent over twelve hours together and they both needed some time. This last meeting had introduced more elements to consider and they both needed time to absorb what it meant.

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Survivors

I love this…

Purple Tulip Art Studio

I worked on this piece for a few days, layering and layering acrylic paint. After each layer I gave it a day or so for me to come back to it so I could look at it with fresh eyes. I’m glad I did. I had no forethought for what I wanted this piece to be. Intellectually, I understood the concept of how a sculptor would say, all they did was bring out of the marble or the wood what was already there.

In a way, this is what happened with this painting, but not until the next to last layer. It took a day or two for me to see it. Once, I did, all it took was black and white oil pastels to bring it out.

Survivors

If you like this painting, you can get prints here.

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I’ve been practicing lately…

Often times we find ourselves on a journey we did not expect. I’m not sure how many people actually succeed in creating their life exactly the way they had envisioned it to be. All I know is, anything I have planned doesn’t turn out like I envisioned it to be.

That isn’t to say it is a bad thing. It just can be very frustrating, and most times it pushes our comfort zone. May be that is why it happens. May be we need to find ourselves a bit out of our comfort zone in order to grow and to change, so we can become more than we are.

I have found myself in such a situation. Which has made me do some soul searching, but most of all it has made me re-evaluate myself.

I’ve been doing a lot of practicing lately. I’ve been practicing positive thinking. That sometimes doesn’t go so well. It is so easy to fall back on old habits. I used to think I was a positive person, but over the past year, evaluating my life and especially myself, I have learned that isn’t necessarily true. Practicing though, is turning that around. I’ll probably be practicing positive thinking for the rest of my life.

I mention all of this because one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, other than facing cancer and the loss of my job was to break down barriers, blockages which have been in place since I was a child. One of those blockages has to do with how I feel about myself and my abilities as an artist.

Like many artist, I’m very critical of what I create. I was so critical in fact, I allowed it to interfere with even picking up a pencil and making a single mark on a page with the intent to draw something. Part of practicing positive thinking includes practicing telling myself I am an artist.

This has led me to practicing other things, one of those things is drawing. Portraiture drawing to be more precise. I was looking back through some of the pictures I posted here and realized I haven’t posted much in a while. I have my reasons for that which I’m not going to explain here. At least not at this time. I thought though I would post something to show my progress.

This first picture, I posted a while back when I first started working on learning how to draw faces. In fact, it was October 28, 2016 when I posted it. I remember being proud of myself for being able to create the drawings without a reference photo. I steered away from reference photos because it was just too hard to look at what I was able to produce and see how far off it was from the picture I was referencing.facesToday, I still don’t use reference photos very much, but occasionally I do. Tonight was one of those nights I decided to use a reference photo and this is the result:

Page 12-2 copy

It still doesn’t look like the person in the photo but I am a great deal closer to being able create something that closely resembles the person than I was last October. It also looks more realistic than my previous drawings. I’m still working on getting proportions correct. The eyes are right, which always seems to be a problem for me. I would say the eyes are the hardest for me, but that isn’t necessarily true. Just getting the whole angle, size, shape, and alignment correct is challenging. It’s getting better though.

I still have quite a ways to go before I have a life like drawing, but even I can see the improvement I’ve made since last October. That being said, I’m continuing to practice. Maybe one day I will be able to draw her and some of you may be able to recognize her.

~Kate

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Selling art….

Purple Tulip Art Studio

My journey as an artist had begun with just wanting to awaken my inner artist. This journey started by simply learning to doodle by following some simple step out instructions on tanglepatterns.com . This was simple enough and soon expanded into learning how to draw mandalas.

I couldn’t stop there and soon developed into a full fledged adventure into all different mediums in the art world. I learned about mixed media art which appealed to my inner artist because, and to be quite frank, I’m just not a one medium girl. Even though I had some preconceived ideas that some mediums wouldn’t get along with me very well, I was soon to discover those ideas had no foundation to stand upon.

I ventured into all sorts of mediums and found some I am falling in love with. Acrylics and watercolors are probably my top two favorites right now. I’m also…

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Rudderless and change…

I’ve been trying to figure out what to blog about. Should I write a short story? Should I write an update about what has been going on in my life? What would my followers want most? I have no idea.

I lost track of how many posts I started and never finished. Some were short stories. Some were updates on my life. Some were just meanderings of nothingness.

This sort of reflects where I am in life. I’m in a period of confusion. I’m feeling lost and alone. I’m feeling betrayed. I have had the whole range of emotions cycling through me, sometimes when I least expect it and without warning. I don’t always know why or what triggers the emotions. I am, however, learning.

What I’m feeling most of all is the feeling of being lost, or adrift, no rudder to be found. I have nothing to grasp onto to help me steer my ship.

For some, Tarot, is the tool of the devil. For others, it is just a game. For others, it is a way to divine the future. And for still others, it is a way to connect with our higher selves. I have had to try and breach the wall of judgmental thinking of Tarot being the tool of the devil. I grew up with Christianity as my foundation where just wearing clothes the church deemed provocative was sinful. Where enjoying the beauty of our bodies would send us to hell.

I couldn’t live up to their standards, so I walked away. I didn’t walk away from my beliefs, I walked away from religion which was too judgmental, confining and even condemning in their thoughts and actions.

I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t be happy believing as everyone else believed. Or living like everyone else lived. I still have problems understanding why I don’t fit within those molds. The cookie cutter world so many people seem so happy to live within. I still struggle with this.

I know, the reason I feel so rudderless, is because I am embarking on a journey so different from what I have ever experienced. I find myself asking myself, “What do you want?” That is such a broad question, I try to narrow it down, so I ask, “What do I want in a relationship?” or “What do I want to do for work?” or “What do I want to do for fun?

Sometimes, I come up with answers, but mostly I come up with more questions. “What do I want in a relationship? Do I want a relationship with a man? Maybe, I just don’t want a relationship at all? Do I want to go through all the work it takes to get to know someone and then find out they aren’t the one? Do I want to have someone come into our lives and have him completely change everything? Can I have a relationship with a man and still have everything I have now?” on and on the questions go. Each topic, very much the same. Just change the word ‘relationship’ to ‘work’ and ‘man’ to ‘business or company’ and you have the same questions I ask myself about work.

Who am I kidding, no matter what happens, one element entering our lives will change it. The question is, am I willing to have this happen? If I were honest with myself the answer would be ‘no’ and ‘yes’. See what I mean? I’m rudderless. I want these things, I just don’t want things to change. But it will change. I’ve had so much change over the past three years, I’m scared to have any more changes come into my life.

Why am I afraid? Because the changes that have gone on these past three years have been devastating in so many ways. The next change that occurs has to be something uplifting, something wonderful, maybe even something beyond my wildest dreams. I can’t handle another devastating event.

So, in order to prevent this from happening, I remain rudderless. No movement, means no change. Nothing new and wonderful, means no room for it to go sour and fall apart.

I, however, cannot continue to remain rudderless. This will only work for so long before I have no other option than to make a choice, that puts the rudder back in my hand in order to steer my way into the current of the stream.

Life is a stream. It moves. It flows. Sometimes, it will become what appears to be a stagnant pool but eventually that stagnation will end. I am hoping I have restored my energies enough to withstand what is coming next. I have no option but to face it and do what is necessary.

Again, a question.. what will that be? I have no idea. I can only hope it will be something good and wonderful.

I brought up Tarot earlier. Here is an example of how I utilize Tarot. In a class I am part of, they have daily prompts to fill into the blank space left in a sentence or question. This month’s question is “What do I need to know about _____?”  Today’s prompt was “nature”. Filling in the blank space and the question becomes, “What do I need to know about nature?”

What you are meant to do, is focus on the question while shuffling a deck of your choice. Whether you use an oracle deck, tarot deck, playing card deck, or whatever, it is your choice. Once you feel like the cards are shuffled enough, you then pull a single card from the deck. You then look at the card. Study it. Ask yourself, what do you see in the card. How does this card make you feel? How does this card, or the feelings you feel when you look at the card, relate to the question?

I pulled XX Judgement, from my Tarot deck. I sometimes read the guidebook for the card I pull. I did today but it wasn’t helpful. It is best to go with your first instincts of what you thought and felt when you first looked at the card. My first thought was, “it is our nature to be judgmental”.  This then helped me to understand, that we need to be aware of whether our judgements are negative or positive. What we think and do goes out into the world. It comes back to us, sometimes more powerful. We might not consciously think about sending our thoughts out into the world. They go out there whether we want them to or not.

I’ve been less than kind in my judgments over the past three years. I’ve been rather harsh in my judgments towards my doctors and the company I worked for. I want to let go of all of that and be more positive, think more positive. It isn’t always easy. In fact, for me, most times it is very difficult to think positively.

I grew up in a negative environment, therefore, I learned to be rather negative in my thoughts and outlook on life. I want to change it but not sure if I can. It is a constant struggle. Again, another feeling of being rudderless, with no direction and just letting the stream take me over the rapids and hope I don’t tip out of the boat and drown. See how negative my thoughts can be?

Nature in itself is a slowly evolving entity. It doesn’t react well to a sudden onslaught of changes. Build a city and nature recedes. Have a sudden flood and nature goes dormant. But all of these things are temporary, eventually nature, in its persistence, will slowly revive itself and grow. In the case of a city, if left without interference, nature will devour it, leaving behind a network of skeletons it will use to become stronger.

Evolution really is about nature becoming stronger. Even mutations are natures way of evolving into something more powerful. You can’t stop change. I can’t stop change. At the most, I can enter into a state of dormancy to hold off change for as long as possible, but eventually, in its persistence, change will come. Change will take over.

I have a choice, either accept it and work with it, fight it, or remain neutral and let it take me where it will.

The question is, how do you tell the difference between fighting change and working with it? There have been times where I thought for sure I was working with change but now wonder if I have been fighting against it.

~Kate

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