After The HoliDaze. 

Once we’ve all had our fill of Christmas dinners, presents, and family traditions. It’s time to sober up from the holiday buzz that overcomes us all. Whether you get drunk off the gift giving and holiday cheer, or just the eggnog, it’s a great time to take some self inventory. Did you get what you wanted out of the season? 

If your answer is an all around resounding “Yes!” Then I’m proud of you and happy for you! If. It’s not, then why is that? Keep in mind I’m not a therapist or counsellor so I’m not trying to get in your head or solve your emotional problems. I’m trying to open a dialogue. Something I always used to get hung up on was personal satisfaction. 

I mean that in a specific way such as, I would only ever find it if I managed to make everyone else as happy as I could over the holidays. Then I’d second guess myself and wind up miserable. It didn’t matter if I KNEW that I did a good job of gift giving or spreading holiday cheer, it would somehow get twisted. 

There’s no real solution to this that I can offer you, so instead, this is what I’ve been doing. Try and understand what you’re capable of accomplishing, and then what you’d like to accomplish. If those don’t line up, then adjust your perspective. It isn’t possible to make every single person on your list perfectly happy. Yet it is possible to do the best you can and feel good about it. 

As we trek through the last week of this very curious epidemic we know as 2016, don’t get hung up on the holidays. Look forward to the next chapter or the next project. Even the next holiday if that’s your bread and butter. Either way, acknowledge that you did your best, and you’re loved no matter how many gifts you brought to the tree, or how many hours you had to work through this season. 

It’s sometimes hard to fathom, but we’re all doing a little better than we’re feeling. 

Happy holidays, may you have a peaceful and love filled end to the year. 

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A trend Ive noticed for myself personally is a sort of catch and release situation. In the way of, I save money for something, spend the money and then have to save up again. Alternatively it can go more like spend a large amount on credit, then pay it off, lather rinse repeat. The thing about this seems to be that while its avoidable, its a way of life. We as humans are constantly doing it. I know I am.

With that said, whats the solutions? I feel as though its becoming the kind of thing where we as a society don’t like doing things with our time that doesn’t result in money. I myself feel that pull. Its where art can become a confliction at times. I work a full time day job, as I’m sure all of you do too, and then in my off hours i spend many of my free hours creating art. That art has made me zero dollars, but i spend as much time on it as i could on a full time job. So where on earth is the payoff?

I think for me that payoff is in finishing something that your’e proud of, creating something thats beautiful and completely your own design. Yet, at some point isn’t the point of that to make a living? If that isn’t the endgame then what is your time being used for? Im not saying that you cant do these things purely for enjoyment without any desire for fame or fortune. Im merely wondering how that spent time weighs out in comparison. That famous quote exists for a reason ‘If your’e good at something never do it for free’. I agree with that.

So then, as people who are talented and or gifted, why are we always spending our time for zero compensation? Isn’t that just doubling down on a loss? If the banks started asking you to pay $5 for every transaction you made using your card, would it be worth it in the end? I personally love spending my time on my art, and i get endless satisfaction from it. Although, I would definitely love to turn what is currently a hobby, into a career.

Also, I know not everyone wants to make money on their art. That too is acceptable.

Taking Steps

I think that like anything, failure is something we can find ourselves accustomed to. I don’t mean to say in the way of accepting failures; but more in the sense of never reaching for something greater, because we accept that we wont succeed. I think I became incredibly comfortable in that realm of acceptance. Became the type of person who wouldn’t reach unless I knew I could fail safely. Didn’t take any risks unless I knew there was a backup plan. I don’t think this is a great way to live.

Thankfully, I’ve found myself slowly but surely digging my way out of that. Like any comfort zone it gets difficult to truly pull yourself from the depths, yet as with most things, it only gets easier the more you actually do it. Though I may seem to be preaching I’m still no daredevil, though I would argue that I’m at least making choices. That in the end is the hardest part I think. Making the choices that actively put you out of your comfort zone and force you to sink or swim.

Without that knee jerk reaction towards survival the human race itself would never have evolved to this point. Let alone me evolving to a level of actually being able to follow through on something. Heres to taking steps, may all of you push yourselves towards something outside your comfort zone. Find that place that you dream of reaching and reach, reach, reach until you grasp.

All That Gold

I think that one of the most precious resources we have in this world is art. I mean, how many times do you find yourself turning to art? I myself can come up with a lengthy list. I mean who can’t? With that being said, I choose to look at art as something even more precious than gold. The only difference really being that you can create it in your basement, your spare room, your friends living room and even in no room at all.

I worry that people are becoming too easily dissuaded from creating. There is such a huge amount of art circulating out there that one might find it daunting to even think about creating something and putting it out into the crowded sea of everyone else’ work. Which I understand completely. I’m pretty afraid of it too. I mean, here I sit having just finished writing my first novel, and I have no idea what to do next. It’s worse then that though, I haven’t even told that many people. Which maybe is a good thing? I don’t know.

What I do know, is that you can’t stop creating. You have to keep going and keep doing it. Treat it like the drug you cant live without, or the support structure you rely on. No matter what just do it. Thats the one thing I’ve become absolutely certain of. Will I ever become a successful author, a famous actor, or anything related to the art world? I hope so. Should the countless possible end results affect my present dedication to my passions?

Absolutely not.

I mean what do i really know though right? This is just what works for me. Find your own thing, stick to it, love it, and live it. Please. For you.

The Ones Without Feeling

Every so often in this huge and marvellous world we are all equally apart of, we cross paths with an individual that makes us feel a certain way. A feeling of anger, pain and or sadness. A feeling that generates misery. This type of individual almost always wins. If only because we find ourselves constantly distracted by the thoughts they provoked us to generate. Maybe its thoughts of hate, thoughts of anger and even thoughts of vengeance. Either way, its all wasted time. They probably got what they wanted from you and now you’re just spinning your wheels.

It’s never an easy thing. Processing the fact that someone wronged you. No matter how small or how large, its almost always a shock to our systems. Maybe you trusted them, maybe you had no reason to suspect them. Life has a way of being unexpected. I myself was recently taken advantage of in a way where I worked hard for someone, and got majorly screwed over. I didn’t get paid, and I didn’t even get closure.

When I say closure, I literally mean that I don’t actually know if its over with. theres a very small percentage of me that thinks “Maybe he’ll get back to me and I’ll still get paid?”. I know that isn’t likely, and all of my support structures agree it isn’t either. Yet I still find a way to try and hope and no let go. I want my money. Who wouldn’t, but almost more than that I want the closure. An email saying “I screwed you over, haha” would even be acceptable. Just so I know.

Its the waiting that kills you. Yet I won’t lose hope or even further destroy my trust for the outside world. Yet I am exhausted. I worked my ass off for this prick and I have nothing to show for it. Now he’s going to take my work and put his name on it, and theres nothing I can do about it. I’m angry and I’m disappointed. Most of all though, I’m ready to move on. Thats what this is.

I’m taking steps forward.

 

 

In Paradise

I’ve heard people say that the best way to create art is by utilizing your sadness and or pain. Channeling it into something beautiful and meaningful. To take something bad that happened to you or someone you love and making it mean more by immortalizing it. I think I put too much faith in that ideal for too long of a time. It was something I whole heartedly believed in. It felt like it was the right way to do things. Feeling pain felt like home, and being sad was the key to forward motion creatively. That was a dangerous time for me.

When things happen in your life that can change you, or do in fact change you directly. It makes sense to think its meant to be. To believe that its something thats supposed to happen. To feel as though you must now be different, that life is demanding you to be someone else. That is another thing that I believed with all of me. Another thing that I gave up my time for. It becomes a sort of game that you play with yourself. Where you think of the things that hurt you just to see how deep the cut runs. To see how much you can make yourself bleed without ever using a real knife. Self torture isn’t only ever physical, and while that can be fatal, the emotional kind can be too.

Maybe we don’t always know when we’re doing it. Maybe it’s just a thought here, and a thought there, but eventually builds into something different. Becomes a monster that you’ve created yourself, but something thats seemingly impossible to deconstruct on your own. We are capable of creating such wondrous things with our minds, it only makes sense that the opposite is equally as true. So we change and we self destruct, then we rebuild and then we change, only to destroy again.

Until we realize something. Something that took me a long time to realize, but can happily say that I’m aware of. While this life will devastate you, push you, and ultimately end you. It doesn’t have to change you. It doesn’t need to alter the image you see in the mirror, or take away from you the memories you hold dear. It can try, and it will, but it comes down to whether or not your willing to lose. As an artist, I thought it was my job to lose, that sadness was just a rite of passage. While it can be inspirational, it doesn’t have to become a way of life. You’re allowed to smile, you’re allowed to laugh, and most importantly you’re allowed to be happy.

The battle never ends though. If I’m being honest with you, I struggle more than I like to admit. Only the difference is I know that its okay to allow yourself to feel the pain, if you acknowledge that its only for the moment. I have the people that I love who will support me through anything, and I finally feel happiness surrounding me.

Don’t sacrifice your happiness for art. Find a way to exist in a world where you can feel the sun, and still enjoy the rain.

Worthy of Self

I’ve never claimed to know anything about anything else. I sometimes say things that I believe in and other times I say things that I think or otherwise have an opinion on. Those are sometimes wrong. Often times, I’m wrong, and I’m okay with that. I learn from it and I take it under serious consideration. I think I make a lot of mistakes, because well, I have to in order to evolve. I don’t think thats a bad thing, but what I do think is it can be exhausting. Lately I’ve felt overwhelmed. A little in a good way, and a little in a bad way. I can really feel my life taking me in a better direction than its ever been, and at the same time I feel emotionally nostalgic and reminded of everything that led me here.

I suppose moving forward is often accompanied by looking back. Just to be clear, I don’t mean looking back in any sense of regret or wishful thinking. I mean looking back in the way you look at a photo album, or read old letters. The kind of thing you do on a rainy day, or when you find out a friend is getting married. Specific example, but not literal. I guess I think it’s a good thing. To feel this way about my life moving forward and to be able to contrast it with my past. At least I think that’s what that means. As I said, I’m wrong sometimes.

With every new chapter and every new adventure though you’re reminded of the past ones, which is probably where I’m at. I think the difference between coming out of that reflection okay and succumbing to its depths is acceptance. Allowing yourself to feel those emotions and letting yourself absorb the weight of it, at least for a moment. I guess now is as good a time as any.

I can confidently say that where I am now is the happiest and proudest place I have been. With that being said, I miss some of the people I used to be good friends with. The ones who were there for me when things were difficult, or the ones who stood by my side when I felt alone. I don’t miss a few of the people I used to know, but they helped get me here. I miss some of the places I used to go to. I don’t miss my shitty former jobs.  I miss not feeling as though I need to be busy every second of every day. I don’t miss feeling directionless. Most of all, I miss my dad. I barely knew him, and I wont get a chance to fix that, but I feel okay now.

I am okay. I’m better than okay, and I’m not afraid of that anymore. To be alright, to survive, to be happy. Those things used to be so fucking terrifying. Like I did them, but I hated them, and thought I didn’t deserve them. Until I discovered a hidden truth. I do deserve them, so do you, and so does everyone. It can be hard to accept, but you have to.

Thanks for walking with me down this road.

Sorry for my language.