To those of you who have been following my blog/facebook/tumblr/etc, thank you SO much for your support. It’s been great to receive all the words of encouragement and to connect with others going through similar life experiences.
As much as I love sharing my adventures in Atlanta, I’m going to cool it on the posts for about two weeks and see what happens when I just focus on drawing and living life. I really do enjoy blogging and all the social media that comes with it, but there are times when I feel like I’ve become too disconnected to actually experiencing what is going on around me. I’ve been spending too many minutes thinking about hashtags, content, followers, and the like.
I’ve been taking it slow with the whole art thing, but it deserves my full attention, even if only for a short period of time. The plan is to allow myself to get sort of lost in the process and see what happens. Hopefully, I’ll end up with a new little collection to share with you!
Thanks again for checking in and stay tuned to see what unfolds next…
This post is part of the Love Yourself Linkup, an ongoing series focusing on self-image to foster an engaged community of writers and readers to connect, share, and love. Anne The Adventurer bravely revealed her struggle to recovery and began this linkup to encourage other writers to share their unique experiences and journeys. You’ve read a little bit about it already, but here is the longer version of how I became who I am today.
For the greater part of my life, success for me was determined by the grades I received. The number one goal was to be at the top of the class in all subjects and to use any energy I had to get there. Yes, I was the Asian cliché: a timid and quiet overachiever raised in a strict environment who just wanted to make her parents proud. This deep sense of obligation was engrained in me early on and the only way I knew how to exist was to strive for perfection and do what was asked of me. Straight A’s were a standard of normalcy and the only acceptable report to bring home. Anything less resulted in a loss of privileges and along with it, strong words of disappointment, grief, and anger.
It was tough adolescence, but please don’t get me wrong. I was given as much love as I was given discipline, but my parents just had a different way of showing it. They were wonderfully generous to me, just not in an emotionally expressive way. You could say my mom was a little bit of a Tiger, but this was her own flavor of motherly love. If she didn’t push me to be better, who would? I’m sure this was the thinking behind it, but unfortunately it took me a lot of time to accept it as a positive force in the grand scheme of things.
It’s been almost three full years since I’ve graduated, and almost three years since I’ve made any “works of art”. I’ve always been my harshest critic when it comes to producing work so I’m constantly having to tell myself that it’s okay to ease back into it. It’s okay to do a little bit at a time.
The most difficult obstacle for me is that I can visualize greatness in my mind and it always ends up feeling so far away.
NPR has kicked off their “exploration of the changing lives of women” by asking one of their founding mothers what sort of advice she would give to her younger self. The article has of course ignited a plethora of comments containing valuable advice from the readership. Here are a few lines that I personally need to remember:
Worry more about what you think about yourself than what other people think about you.
Sometimes being honest is more important than being nice.
Speak up, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and own your successes and failures.
Acquire experiences over possessions.
Be who you wish to be in the world and recognize that you are responsible for this choice.
So remember that whole “my heart is winning” thing I just posted? Well in less than 12 hours, it went from winning to completely wanting to back out of the fight. That’s right. This post is being written right now in real time and I will be publishing it immediately for the whole internetz to see. Why would I post such a negative attitude, you ask? Why even write this at all? Because “beauty” isn’t one-note and to remain beautiful, I want to present a real version of myself – a version that is truthful and multi-dimensional.
The best and most inspiring days would never happen or feel nearly as exuberant if I didn’t have days where I felt like I wanted to disappear. The mix of creativity and ambition is like a disease, really. Or a psychological disorder. One of my former bosses labeled it as “divine discontent” (not sure if it’s something he read or came up with himself). I believe that I’ve suffered from this my entire life; the condition in which the force that drives you to reach for more is also what holds you back because you believe/know that nothing will actually make you feel satisfied or content. This always comes to me in form of the phrase “I want everything and nothing at the same time”.
While this is one of my downfalls, it’s also the thing that will bring me back up. And I’m sure at some point soon, back down again. But I’m only human and so I want you to know that this is what happens in my life. I’m sure it happens in yours as well, right?