The universe, in some sort of weirdly choreographed routine, has allowed me to spend days on end in bed with my computer, a sketchbook, and the remote control. To some, this sounds like a paradise. Nowhere to be, no one to see, nothing to do except be at peace with your thoughts and have the room to create. On the contrary, it’s led me to asking myself some important questions about my role. That’s right – you read right – my role. As a person, an artist, a blogger, you name it. After being removed from active participation in the world, I’m left wondering what is it I do for the world anyways. Like with any other dilemma I’ve had recently, the roads lead me back here to figure it all out.
I want to discuss the importance of preserving your own significance. It’s one of many in the myriad of mid-20s lessons everyone (particularly women) needs to learn, but I don’t think there is a formulaic solution. It’s a quiet conflict that happens within us and can bear greatness and determination as easily as it can surrender and settlement.
I don’t typically post on weekends, but this just couldn’t wait. I’m dying to spread the word about an amazing new online publication that made its much-anticipated debut yesterday, Nellie Magazine. This wonderfully inspiring site is the brainchild and collaboration of some of my favorite bloggers; their honesty, strength, and desire to promote true beauty are attributes I look up to in my own everyday.
I’m super excited to
begin keep reading articles from all of these talented and lovely ladies on the regular and I think you should too! Their manifesto speaks to reaching a wholeness – a balance in life that allows us to become the best versions of ourselves. And if you’ve read any of my self-improvement rants, then you know I’m all about that.
So it’s that time of year. You know, the beginning. And everywhere you look – tv, social media, blogs – you are reading or listening to something about crafting goals for the year ahead. As always, I’d like to think that I’m different than everyone else, but really I’m not. The start of a new calendar year is a ubiquitous marker of time and instead of being cynical and ignorant about it’s importance, I’d rather join the bandwagon and do whatever it is I need to feel like I’m ready for what’s up ahead.
I don’t think I can go a traditional route of making a list of all the little goals I’d like to accomplish because it just feels too mechanical and all the more difficult to follow. There are generic things I’m always trying to improve in my life no matter what the month – trying to eat healthier, trying to be more patient, trying to be active, trying to be a better daughter/friend/partner. The turn of the year doesn’t really mark a new motivation for any of these things because I’m always in progress, always working on getting better at them.
As per usual, Darling Magazine has its finger on my emotional pulse. This fantastic article by Natalie on nurturing inspiring relationships touches on a topic that has personally been top of mind for me particularly for the past three months: friendship. I feel like I’ve recently read numerous blog posts and viral articles about how friendships, and really everything in life, changes significantly in your 20s. This is a no-brainer for sure, but still feels monumental when it happens in your own life. Remarkable really, how everyone goes through the same shifts. It really isn’t earth-shattering on the grand scale of current events, but when it happens to you, it really can feel like everything is changing (because… it is).
As you continue to progress in your career and romantic relationship, there is less and less time available to devote to friendships. What once was the only stable thing in your life now might become the most questionable. Even the best and closest friendships can slip through the cracks of “I’m just so busy”.
In almost any situation in life (and in art), I will stand behind the motto “be who you are”.
This can get a little bit complicated, as I’m sure you know. Most of our adolescence is spent learning how to act and how to present ourselves in the right light, in order to be on the right path. We learn to play the part of success because that is what everyone wants for their child (and for themselves). The problem is that success comes in infinite shades of grey and as we grow older, it gets more difficult to tell which shade is our own. You can spend your whole life trying to become some picture of perfection you had implanted in your head and suddenly realize one day that it is not you at all.
Cath and Lar inspired me by their sweet and simple lists of goals for the rest of 2013. There may not be that many days left in the year, but that doesn’t mean we should just resign to complacency until we’re coerced into having resolutions. There’s no better time than now to begin working on the everyday awesomeness of life. Do what you can and don’t feel guilty about the rest. Here are my own little goals to complete before the new year…
The year of 2013 has been quite a doozie for me. I’ve had three different jobs and teetered back and forth between “my dream is to become a full-fledged professional artist” and “god, I really want to be able to buy this pair of boots”. It’s driven all of my friends and family crazy, I’m sure, but is also completely necessary for me to move forward. Underlying all of the insanity, my ultimate goal (which maybe I’ll see a glimpse of by the end of the year) is to navigate the roads to achieving balance. Balance between being practical and being a risk-taker, balance between being a homebody and a busybody, balance between listening to others and listening to myself. Balance between art and life.
Art and life have always been at war with each other within me. It’s always been, choose one or the other. Be great at one or the other. But I’ve never been able to give up on either and so I’ve been struggling, pulling both of them along at once, sometimes equally and sometimes not.
Being in your mid-20s can often feel like you’re on a long-ass road trip with an unknown destination. At times it looks like freedom, nothing tying you down or stopping you from where you want to go. Each city passed marks the progress you’re making and every bit of the journey makes the trip feel precious and all the more worthwhile. Other times you wonder if it will ever end, if you are even half-way there yet, wondering how long it will be until you find peaceful stillness and a comfortable bed.
This has been the story of my life for the past three years…
With the leaves falling and the chill rapidly growing, I’m reminded of the passage of time and the irrefutable need to re-align my perspective. My life has found itself once again in a foreign landscape, this one being solely focused on working. Yes, clocking in and clocking out, that kind of working. While I stand behind my decision to do this, I can’t deny how hard it’s been to make this transition. My days are never ending and I’ve barely even had a single day off to do my own thing in the last month. That being said, I think it’s time I make some fall/winter resolutions. Who says you need to wait until New Year’s to begin working on yourself? Ideally, I’d like to keep track of these self-assigned initiatives through the blog, but I can’t make any promises right now. To start, let me just give you an outline of how I foresee this happening. If all goes well, it may even transform the way my blog is written and organized…
The month of September has been a month of change. I moved to a new location (still in Atlanta) with my beau, turned 26 years young, and began two new part-time jobs. No single thing from this list felt monumental at the time, but they all symbolize tiny turning points that may or may not lead to significant change for the coming year. These milestones mark a period in my life where patience will most definitely be the greatest and most difficult virtue to achieve and maintain.
I’ve thought about the importance of patience many a time before, but it’s never felt so pertinent to all facets of my life. I feel like the stars are on a path to aligning; not quite there yet but on the verge. Perhaps these past few weeks of instability have led to me recognizing my greater desire to invest rather than withdraw. I’m not sure how or why, but I’ve finally decided to give it the ol’ college try with these new jobs; they’re not dream jobs by any stretch of the imagination, but for the first time in a long time I feel like the brands of the companies I’m working for are cohesive with my own personal lifestyle and aesthetic. My faith in this harmony has led me to the decision to give a large portion of my time to them.
That being said, I do intend to keep up this blog as best I can, as it’s been one of the very few saving graces I’ve had from the professional turbulence. Perhaps I won’t have as many awesome pictures to show (because I no longer will be free to go to see so many cool things), but I will still have plenty to say – about life, love, and continuing to nurture the artist within. My writing along with my artwork will no doubt suffer from the overwhelming limits I have on time, but I’m hoping it’ll be a challenge that elicits focus instead of aimless meandering. Nevertheless, my goal remains the same: to gain clarity on what will lead to a healthy, happy, and more balanced fulfilling life. Wish me luck!
[ image via tumblr ]