Comfort Zone

I hear a lot about comfort zones. Specifically that you better jump out of them or else you will never grow and experience life. Well, thanks to my extreme anxiety, I live outside of comfort zones almost exclusively, and the things I do that may seem basic to you are often huge ordeals for me. I guess what I’m saying is that everyone is on their own journey, and some people are up to taking the road less traveled. But my little path and my baby steps are big accomplishments for me, so please don’t tell me that I’m not moving fast enough or working hard enough because you have no idea.

I realize that the phrase is meant to be motivational, and that as usual I am probably reading too far into things. But sometimes just showing up is what I’m capable of, and I already asked a lot of myself to do it. So please, don’t push if I don’t want to dance, or speak in front of people, or be the first to try it. I’m probably way outside of my comfort zone already.

Blahness

I don’t know why this blog is so difficult to maintain. It’s like it doesn’t write itself or something.

I could hash out all the ways my life got complicated in recent weeks, but that would be boring and uninspiring…and I need a little inspiration today. But then again I have all the tools to help myself, so maybe what I really need is motivation. You know what, I don’t know what I need. It’s a weird day.

What I’m not feeling is particularly artistic or creative…which is what this blog is all about – creativity. Sure, I’ve done some paintings…but I’m not especially happy with them and I have no exciting projects on the horizon. I’m feeling a bit like a fraud, actually… Like I’m not really an artist, not really talented… I know this is all just negative self-talk, but it’s constant and all-consuming and I don’t really have the energy to battle it out today. I feel like I’ve been tired for weeks.

Anyway, enough of all that. Here is a piece I did that I’m feeling blah about.


Some medical issues have put a stop to my work for clients for the time being, so I don’t have much to report on that front. And…that’s all for now, I guess!

The jungle continues

Whew! This project is bigger than I thought it was going to be! But I finally have all the greenery filled in, the next step will be the animals (parrots, monkeys and a tiger).


In other news, I see my doctor today and I’m going to ask him about something that has been bothering me a lot lately… my shaking hands (probably a side effect from the medication I’m on). Sometimes it’s so intense I have trouble gripping things, and it’s definitely embarrassing when I get nervous and my hands are shaking so hard it’s apparent to whoever is around me. It also makes painting fine details challenging. I googled what to do about shaking hands and everything said to stop being so anxious (I’m paraphrasing), which isn’t really an option for me. Unfortunately, anxiety is part of my life forever, I think…

So we will see. Wish me luck!

New adventures

So it’s been a while, but I’ve been busy! I started working with a new client on a mural – a jungle scene in his bathroom. Here are the first round of photos – still plenty of work to be done…


This was somewhat challenging as jungles are all about depth and layers, which is hard to portray on a flat surface…especially in a bathroom with varying heights and widths to the walls. But I enjoyed myself and I look forward to continuing to build and expand this vision! It’s also very nerve wracking as I paint things I’ve never attempted before – like tigers and parrots. But if you don’t explore, you’ll never discover, right?

wonder what’s wrong with me

One time, instead of getting ready for school (8th grade, I think), I locked myself in the bathroom and tried to kill myself. I laid at the bottom of the bathtub as it filled up, not resolved but terrified. I don’t think I was scared of dying, I was scared of myself…that I could have that much hate and anger in me, to take a life. I’ve thought of suicide before and after this episode, but this was the only time I ever actually attempted it. Thankfully I screamed my intentions to my dad, who was furious and broke down the door. Strangely, I don’t remember what happened next.

This is the problem I have with writing a memoir, or any story. I have gaps in my knowledge of the events. I think it has something to do with the bipolar, but it’s very inconvenient.

I don’t know why I’m thinking about this today. Probably because I’m still trying to figure out exactly what went wrong in my novel writing last night.

i can’t hold onto me

Here I am, in the aching place that hypomania left behind. This one was so brief, but blazed hard and burnt me up last night. I had to take an impromptu two hour nap just to recover, and today I still don’t feel quite right. I miss having the inspiration, the excitement. Now all I have is longing. I look at my writing notes and wonder if I will ever be able to write this fucking novel. Maybe it’s just not in me. Maybe it will only happen in the short moments of manic glory.

I thought that medication would make me perfect. That the pills would carve out all the doubt and self-loathing and replace it with confidence and commitment to the things I want for myself. Today I feel like all it’s done is made it hard to cry, and instead of big episodes that sweep through the household like a windstorm, I have just these little earthquake tremors. And that must be life.

I journaled last night. Just a page or so of whining. I don’t think it helped anything but I didn’t feel like I could draw or paint and I certainly wasn’t able to write with my heart broken up over yet another failed novel attempt. And what do you do when nothing is possible? When nothing helps?

Perhaps I need to go back to reading about my condition, studying the exercises that are supposed to give clarity. I could take my doctor’s advice and run around in the sunlight for a while, but lazing about and eating sounds much more appealing…

sometimes weird art

Sometimes, all I’m capable of is weird art. It begins with a concept that’s more of a feeling than anything else. Then I attach color and shapes to that, and then I try to put it all on the canvas. I would tell you that I’m usually between 30-60% successful. I’ve never had a piece of art turn out exactly how I pictured. Sometimes I like it anyway, and sometimes I am seconds away from painting over it. Or both.

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Right now it’s both.