Life Update: Self Conversation of . . . .Self

So, I have this thing I have to do tomorrow, maybe, that I don’t necessarily have to do, but it’s probably better that I try so I’m not one of those people that look like they came just to hear people talk . . . .or that they just came for the food. . . .

I haven’t written anything here for awhile. It’s partially because I’ve allowed my academic life to become a slump and am rebuilding before it can slump itself more. I also have had some major things happen that will be noted in another post, but I just wanted to have a mini conversation with myself to get the ball rolling in terms of my focus . . .and sanity. When I write, whether it’s this or writing a story, I think I feel a little clearer or more aware of myself. When I read back what I’ve written (besides the large amount of errors on top of sentences that are pretending be sentences, but are really just run ons trying to hide themselves in parenthesis) I think ‘wow. . .I sound like a semi-sound, slightly funny individual. . .I’m convinced I probably didn’t write this.’

Granted, I’m not saying I think my writing is ‘the bomb’ or anything, I just enjoy reading some of the things I write and when it happens I’m slightly impressed because. . .to be honest. . .I think I suck. Especially within this day and time, I really don’t like myself all that much. For me to really appreciate anything I do, is like. . .the moment a unicorn gets it’s third wing. It doesn’t seem normal or useful, but it’s theoretical enough to consider and . . .enough to actually happen maybe once in awhile. That brings me to something hard. A conversation that I keep having with myself and I start off really well, then I reflect, and then I regress: Do I like myself and what do I like about myself?

See, the thing about me is that I don’t necessarily hate myself. I did at a very young age for several of both the right and wrong reasons, but I’m not fond of DiAnre`. I’m not a fan of her. I wouldn’t go to her book signing or concert. She doesn’t interest me. She listens to music and watches movies no one likes, she’s very open about her bodily functions. . .with people she knows, as much as she tries to think that she’s good at things it’s just a constant loop of being positively prideful and then being negatively prideful for being positively prideful, and she doesn’t do a ton of fun things. . . at least, on the fun level of people ‘her age’. There’s not much reputable about her. If you met her, she’d probably seem rude, but she’s really just so awkward and afraid of human contact that the look of ‘I want to escape the conversation’ is really ‘I want to escape my own body because of the amount of anxiety that’s happening’.

She’s also not that smart: she’s very dim when it comes to simple things. Tell her to find a hat. . .she can’t do it that well. She will bring you several hats . . .just not the one you’re looking for. Not only that, but she’s spacey and a bit naïve. When she’s inside her head, it’s literally like a separate world, Technicolor and all. The naivety comes from the amount of trust she gives. She just LOVES trusting people. . .it kind of works in others favor at times, but has the potential to be taken advantage of and has.  . .several times. I think that trust comes from her underlying love for others and the beauty she likes to see in people, but . . .take that as you will. She is also kind of a coward. . .yeah. .. I went there. She’s a coward.

She can write it off that it’s for the ‘comfortability of others’, but . . .it’s also possibly a fear of simply saying ‘no’. As socially inept as she is, being disregarded or seeming ‘difficult’ for five seconds makes her feel like she’s sitting on push pins: it’s awful. So, instead of correcting people until they get her name right (because, in hindsight, it’s really not that hard to pronounce as much as she’d like to think) she tells everyone she meets to call her ‘Re`’ despite feeling that . . .it kind of doesn’t fit in her mouth or her ear as well as it does for everyone else, but hey, as long as everyone else is comfortable. She could literally have everyone call her ‘Santa’ and she’d be on board.

Don’t even get me started on whatever’s happening on the outside of her: it’s like a hobo and a fashion designer got together and said ‘well, I don’t want to look too homeless, just enough to look like I thrifted everything and am on my way to see The Shins live in concert.’ That statement right there. . .that was me poking fun at my outsides, I could care less what I look like sometimes. As long as I’m comfortable, I could look like a star fish and still be fine with it.

If you managed to get to the end of this, you know what I’m about to do. . . .I’m about to give all the positives that I found through those negatives so that I can manage to see something worth SOMETHING in myself for the time being. This post is more for me to have the round about conversation I was alluding to originally.

So, the thing is that DiAnre` is pretty content with herself. She listens to music and watches movies that no one  likes, but it makes her feel different. . .almost unique. Like an alien. . .but maybe like a cute one. The music and movies she finds reminds her of pieces of herself. She has people willing to accept those unfavorable pieces, so it’s only fitting that she picks up music abandoned by the group that determines what genre or style is popular.

DiAnre` knits, and draws, and sings, and crafts, and she’s. . .creative. She may not be great at what she does, but her heart wants everything to be super tangible. To create and do things with her hands is what helps her feel things. It’s also personally enjoyable and makes her happy. It may not be interesting or awesome. She may not have built a rocket or engineered a computer or anything, but she made an infinity scarf. . .a lot of people complimented it . . .it was kind of nice in a non-pride-y way.

She loves people: they’re kind of her thing. She may be stuck inside her head and afraid to talk to people, but she definitely breaks that if it means helping someone or keeping someone safe. Although she may not think so, within seconds she’d probably take a bullet for someone she doesn’t know. . . and oddly enough it would be because they looked like their life was more important at the time.

As much as she wants things for herself (which seems like all the time) she’s willing to take a step back and consider the person in front of her. It’s not necessarily cowardice because she’s just willing to give someone something they need more. Even if it means making people save time on pronouncing her name, if she can save them that time and energy she’s okay if they call her one letter: it did a small thing for them. ‘Re`’ may not be her favorite thing to hear, but she can tell the ease and happiness that’s now connected to it because of how weirdly happy and joyful people are when they greet her. It has a positive connotation for them which is sweet and endearing to her: why stop that?

She’s thoughtful in weird ways. She’ll bake for you when your sad, try to tell you about a time where she fell on her face or made a butt out of herself to make your situation look better. She’ll even try to help you with homework she’s clearly not intelligent enough to do. . .and she’ll actually try her best as if she’s taken the course with you. She’ll try to remember your birthday despite knowing she’s practically Dory in her human form. DiAnre` is. . . .okay. . .I can live with her. She may not be my favorite person, but she’s not all bad.



Life, Being Saved, and Whatever Else. . . .

So, I’ve been busy (which is normal because the school year does that), but I’ve realized so many things that I knew already. . .they’re just more obvious now. Those few things would be that:

  1. I can’t study in my room if my bed exists in there. . .it just can’t happen
  2. Being in an apartment means living with people. . .that has it’s problems
  3. Being in a new place means being alone . . .that’s not that much of a problem
  4. Being alone means (as a Christian) that I’m realizing the importance of my relationship with Christ. . kind of a really cool and intimate experience
  5. a 15 minute break can turn into a two hour break . . .just like an hour nap can turn into a five hour nap. . .
  6. Conviction is real. . .and it’s something that’s not meant to make you feel bad, it’s just a mental fist palm to the mind.
  7. Not being prepared will bite you . . .and after it’s done biting you, it will realize you’re delicious and eat you . . .

That’s pretty much a synapses of the last month and a half of my life. In terms of school, those 7 are the summary of what my relationship with school has been so far. In terms of projects, I’ve realized that I have to fund the money myself (not a problem since the promotion portion kind of took the longest stand still in existence), but I’m still very much into making the art book a reality. I really don’t want to give up on it just because I and a few other close friends are the only ones who really believe in it. If anything, that just gives me a drive to want to do it more.

Recently, in terms of my faith, (and by recently I mean 20 minutes ago) I was at a meeting for a group that wants to help young pregnant teens and share the gospel with them. At first, I didn’t really want to go because I was being extremely lazy and didn’t want to bike all the way to school. For some foreign reason after church, I ran so fast back to my apartment to get dressed, get my bike and my backpack to head to campus that by the time I got there, I didn’t quite understand what had just happened. All I knew was that I was 15 minutes late and covered in sweat hoping and praying that I could still be apart of the meeting despite my extremely unfashionable late-ness. They welcomed me with warm smiles and greeted me like I was on time (which was a relief and a blessing in itself). They talked about the program and gave a brief synapses on mentor training and understanding the relationship that should be had between the young mothers and the mentor. Briefly, they discussed how we should really make sure this is something we should be doing and that it should be on our hearts to pray about whether God is calling out for us to do this. They also mentioned taking time think about how we came into Christ and sharing that the next time we meet.

The second I heard the comment about whether God really wanted us to do this or not, I kind of mentally cringed because, although I had come all that way to get there, I was suddenly extremely unsure. I have so much to work on as a person and I’m not the healthiest person emotionally or mentally at times. Although I am a believer, it was hard for me in that moment to properly validate whether it was something I should be doing or not. It also made me think about my personal relationship with God and realizing that, sure, I’m not perfect in this moment, but imagining where I was several years ago with Him is a different story entirely.

Just to give a short version of how I came into Christ, I’ve always felt that I knew Him in terms of His presence being something I couldn’t ignore. From the time I was young ’til now, I haven’t had a doubt that God exists and that Christ was this extremely wonderful and awesome thing. Granted, you can believe that and still not be completely 100% with Christ. I went through a period where I had a super dynamic thing happen to me that reoccurred between the ages of 5 and 12. I was a kid, so I can’t say that I was conscious of what I was doing as a whole, I just knew that it gave me the attention that I wanted at the time. When it ended, religiously I questioned a lot of things, this being the few:

-Am I still a virgin? What does that mean?

-Does God hate me? Did I do something wrong?

-How do I move forward? How do I fix this part of myself?

-How do I fulfill this need?

I didn’t have anyone to talk to about it with and, despite knowing who God was in terms of the dictionary definition, I didn’t quite understand how He felt about me at the time. All I could assume was that He hated me as much I hate myself. My parents never taught me that God didn’t condemn. Actually, as I write this, I realize that they may have unintentionally taught me the opposite. As I got older, I had issues in school because I was emotionally confused and I wanted the same feeling I was getting, but in a way that was socially acceptable. Either way, for some reason, I sought comfort in people that hated me. I’d like to think that it was because we shared a mutual hate of the same person, but I couldn’t really understand half of the reason why I was incredibly needy for attention. This was also a portion of my life where I had to take responsibility for my five siblings more than usual, so my childhood was shut down pretty quickly, and I had to learn to think about someone other than myself, which is hard for a kid. Within all this, I was angry at God. I wasn’t making friends well, I couldn’t look at myself without hating the person I saw, I was upset constantly by the past, I was trying to take care of five little people and deal with school, my parents were so involved with themselves, and I didn’t really feel like I mattered. It was easy for me to blame God because I wasn’t understanding how He worked. I had this very genie-bottle-esque picture of Him when that is the complete opposite of who and what He is. High school was better because I was coming to terms with myself and trying to understand my problems, but I still wasn’t getting rid of them. I had more patience with God because I knew that He was there with me, but I didn’t know how much of Him was there (still trying to grasp the concept of his being was difficult because I was holding myself by my own standard in a lot of ways). Not until I got to my first year of college, away from the negativity of my father, away from the responsibility of five amazing children, away from an environment that I didn’t realize affected me as much until I left it, was I finally able to see the beauty of God and the amazing things He has to offer me. I knew He was there, but it always seemed conditional. I always felt like because I had reserve for certain aspects of myself, that God was looking at me in the same way, but He’s not. Even now, it’ll take months for me to realize that my mentality is getting in the way of me receiving  how God feels about me and what He wants for me. So, although I’ve walked with Him  for awhile, I don’t think I was truly saved until my senior year of high school. That year leading into my freshmen year of college showed more things than I ever expected. Although I still struggle with so many things spiritually, it’s amazing to know I have someone who loves me and someone that is there for me consistently so I don’t have to go through this alone.

Now. . .for something short, that was a lot. . .but it was just a thought that  made me feel like I wasn’t properly equipped for this and that, being very fragile myself, it was the last thing I should go about doing. I’m still not sure though.. . . .hopefully prayer can help that.  . . .

Life Update: Moving in and project update

I’ve been through the moving/adjusting process, so I haven’t posted much. Moving in was definitely new and semi exciting. I’ve never lived in an apartment before, but it’s not bad. My roommates are nice and the bus stop isn’t incredibly far away, which I appreciate very much so. I did attempt to walk to campus, and it gave me new perspective on the meaning of hurt and tired. . .and the meaning of regular exercise that I should be doing. The new campus I’m on is already gigantic, so I just feel like I’m crossing an entire planet to get where I need to be (makes me miss my other university already. . .)

In terms of projects, the art book was halted because of lack of editing equipment (a laptop) and lack of any money at all to publish it. I will be getting a lap top soon, curtousy of my dad (thank you, dad :)) and I’ve created a 60 day indiegogo campaign for it to try and raise money. If anyone on here is interested in donating even the smallest chunk of money at all, it’s appreciated. I’m still trying to figure out a perk to give for those that donate more than a dollar. It will most likely be a mini artist care package that I would put together myself with a sketch book and some tools I suggest in my book. I obviously don’t have money to give everyone prisma colored pencils, as much as I’d love to, but I’m hoping most of the kit at least acts a starter for those who don’t really draw a ton to begin with.

Also, if you do decide to donate, the goal says $500, but that’s because indiegogo will not let me ask for less. . .so if I, for whatever reason, get to $500 or even $200,  the rest will be given to Marwen, the organization that will be receiving half the profit from the project.

For those who haven’t seen anything about my artbook project:

For those want to donate:

For those who want to know more about or donate to Marwen:

And at the bottom of this will be my lovely face as well as some new drawings and photos for the art book.  . . .do the pictures make you want to donate more???? O.O (the drawings, not my face. . .and I was joking. . .)






What it means to be ‘okay’

I made an article about a week or so ago in jest of the phrase ‘I’m okay’ because it’s a common response that’s generic enough to not be questioned fot deviating any type of societal norm. This time, I actually wanted to talk about what it might look/mean to be okay and what that really feels like. I’ve  felt it in spurts and being okay is one of the best emotional states I’ve ever experienced, aside from happiness. It’s a privelage, really it is.

What it looks like:

I don’t mean physical characteristics or anything like that, I mean what’s around us: our enviornment. Does it contain at least one or two people that act as a support net or a person to share our problems with? Do we have a place we call home that contains our basic necessities? Is that place consistent and does it give us a sense of security and balance?

Now, this looks different for many people. You could have one of these things and be fine. You could have none of these things and be 100% okay, but, even if you have nothing you have something. For those who seek and worship a higher power, that is your house, shelter, family, friends, and balance. It’s just not as much of an outward representation of it. Things unseen are only characterized by symbols, words, and prayer of some sort that have to come from the outside to get in.

See, ‘okay’ to most people I know is dependant on money (I’m a student, so to me, that’s what 95% of people around me, including myself, worry about.) It’s normal to lean on this and assume it’s the root of all happiness, but I’ve experienced plenty of times where I had no money and I was ‘okay’. I had a best friend to rely on, hobbies of my own to support my creativity, and a pen and paper always waiting for me. My best friend was/is my support net, my creativity was/is my necessity and constant, and my pen and paper was/is my home. All of those things made me feel ‘okay’ and still do, two out of the three of them just aren’t as available due to . . .well. . .time constraint.

What it feels like:

Feeling okay . . . .feels so good. Feeling okay, for me, is huge. It’s not the same as happiness. Happiness is a moment and is perpetual dependant on the day/month/year. ‘Okay’ is a greater state of being that means so much more than the blah English word and definition it was given. Being happy can be an accessory to being okay, but it doesn’t outshine it completely. Being okay feels secure, and warm, and content. It feels nurtured and fed mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. It’s waking up and knowing that the person you want to wake up to is there, whether awake or asleep. It’s feeling warm water come out of the faucet and not cold water. It’s feeling comfortable with yourself. It’s being free to do what you want in a space of time that actually works. It’s not feeling pressured, forced, broken, or all of the above. It’s being able to go outside and feeling the days optimism implode in your face. It’s knowing that anything is possible and that you are capable of all things, regardless of the out come. It’s feeling that whatever higher power you worship is behind you with each step you take. It’s being able to eat and sleep and dream and repeat. It’s feeling great about every outcome.

This state is difficult to obtain because there are so many factors that make it short lived. I have a tendency to forget why/how I managed to stay there and only remember within the time I’m experiencing it. I’ve seen people with it that never let it go. I’m afraid to be happy/stable, so I don’t allow myself to keep it as long. I don’t know if you, the reader, have experienced that state or have maintained it consistenly, but I you have I applaud you because it’s about the equivalent to walking on water for me.

This is just a thought I wanted to share. If you have comments about this or want to share perspective on this, do that please. I love personal opinions and perspectives even if they’re harsh and make me huddle in a corner. I’m about as open as an empty jar. Please spill whatever you have in, it’s very much appreciated. 

Alphabet of Life-ing: God

Link to project page if you haven’t read it from the beginning:

God and I have a very strained relationship at times and, to be honest, that’s my fault. God is the type of entity that has arms spread wide open always to anyone, no discrimination. He wants everything that I hold. The thing is I like holding on to the bad things sometimes. They’re mine and they comfort me. It’s when I’m truly alone that they become a burden and they eat away at whatever light is left. God wants it, he wants all these bad things because he can take them on better than I can.

The thing about Him is he doesn’t ask sometimes. Either that, or he’ll wait for a blind spot. A moment where I’m in great need and I open myself up exposing every ugly shattered thing. He takes surgical pliers and pulls and untwists them. He doesn’t keep them, but throws the mangled pieces away or crushes them between his index finger and thumb. He tells me to be patient because there’s work to be done and I cry out in pain. Although he’s taking the jagged and filthy portions away, it hurts because of how long it’s been attached to me. It’s fused in with all these important things and as he peels and pulls, my chest caves and I fight to breathe. Every nerve of my body is on fire and I cry like a newborn.

Being at church, hearing and giving praises. Listening to his words. . .reading  them and watching them manifest. . .with every thing I soak in, with every moment I allow myself to receive him, I feel like this. An overwhelming wave of both pain and relief: the two most confusing emotions to feel at the same time. Although I don’t allow Him take everything in one sitting, I pray for the day I can.

What a Response to ‘Are you okay?’ Really Means

We all have our moments where if someone asks us that, our initial response is ‘yes’ because that’s a response that doesn’t require a worried/concerned follow up. No one bothers someone after they’ve answered that way because that answer sums up words that don’t need to be said out loud. The truth is there’s a lot under that ‘yes’, and if your anything like me, you can share in the weight of it. These are my concealed thoughts to that question in different situations.

1. When my manager asks me if I’m okay

It’s clear that this was asked out of pure human concern for my well being, but if you see me dripping with sweat, wreaking of fried chicken and garbage, with a garbage bag slung over my shoulder, what do you think? My feet hurt, my face is in pain from smiling, my calves and thighs ache from constantly squatting on the floor to pick up wrappers and things, and I’m just plain old tired. . . .no, I’m not okay. . . .

2. When I’m on my cycle, and my dad asks me if I’m okay

I get that you are worried that I might hurt you or anyone else within 1 foot of me because my mood is all over the place, but don’t ask me if I’m okay. I’m cramping like my body’s contemplating self termination. I have no concept of time because nine times out of ten says I just got up because I was in bed cringing all day. There is a literal sea of red coming out of my body that I have no control over. Don’t suggest medicine, don’t suggest food, don’t ask me when it’ll be ‘done’. Ask God that question. He’s the one who gave me this ‘really cool’ physical alarm clock anouncing I’m not having babies every month through a series of terrible events. I love you. . .but please think about what it would be like for you to experience this and rethink the question you asked. I’m not okay.

3. When my brothers and sisters hop all over me and ask me if I’m okay

I was drawing something and you invaded my personal space. You’ve been coming in and out for the past 5 hours asking me what I’m doing when you can see what I’m doing in plain sight. You’ve made me mediate 5 arguments because you can’t ignore one another and you complain about being hungry despite being old enough to make whatever processed mess there is in our pantry. Then , you get all happy and jump all over me. . .no, I’m not okay.

4. When my mom asks me if I’m okay

This one is unique depending on the mom you have, but with me it’s one of the few times I release everything:

Nobody likes me at work, and I don’t want to seek validation because I shouldn’t care, but I want people to like me. I spilled a tea urn and my manager almost killed me. I think the food there is making me sick and I think I’m getting fat too. I’m tired and I miss you and all I can think about is pizza. . . .

Those were the only four I could think of, but I’m sure there are more. That simple ‘yes’ holds more than you know . . . . .

Life Update: Brief Absence

My posting hasn’t been extremely frequent, but it’s because of an extreme lack of motivation. Have you ever been so close to finishing something that the thought of its finality kind of hangs over you and makes you want to delay it being finished?: yeah, I’m going through a lot of that. My art book project is nearly finished and my story was halted by a fear of finishing the letter I started (I’ll be posting that after this). I also just wasn’t sure what else to write about beside my projects and things. I didn’t even feel like my life was worth writing about, but I finally got some energy and will be posting a bunch of things tonight (by a bunch, I mean two or three more posts after this). At the end of this post is my sun shiny face while drawing and drinking coffee. The shot was not purposeful, I just felt like taking a selfie. . . . .it happens sometimes. . . .