Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Goodbye Atlanta

I'm in Atlanta today. Stuck in the airport-- I'm exhausted and my eyelids are heavy from a two-day business trip. My feet hurt, but I am in my most comfortable flip flops and have found a seat in the terminal next to an outlet. I'm charging three devices, because I have a sneaking suspicion that I will be stuck on the Tarmac for a while. The weather here is temperamental, humid. 

I usually love airport days. I love to fly. I love to people watch and I love to watch the planes take off and land. Today feels different. I had a successful, up eventful trip, but home seems so far away. 

I love this life. It isn't what I imagined I'd be doing at 27, but it isn't so bad. Still I long for canvas and paint, or maybe scrubs and charts. What am I doing for this world? I'm really not sure. Atlanta is not any more beautiful than it was when I got here.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Struggle in three parts


FOOD, WEIGHT, AND BODY IMAGE:
I've had the most stressful month at work and turned immediately to my two most trusted friends, Ben and Jerry, to get me through. I skipped the gym, drank wine and no water, and ate pizza and burgers and fries and hot wings and cookies. So many cookies. My brother tells me that I deserve a piece of pizza now and then, which is like saying an alcoholic deserves a swig once in a while. One day I will begin treating food as the addiction it is, and recovery will begin. After all, I hit rock bottom a while ago and have been rolling around on its dirt floor ever since.

My weight has been an issue since I was young. Some people have stringy hair, some people have bad teeth or major acne. My weight is the cross I bear. I am totally on board with the I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR, CURVES AND STUFF mantra and all that jazz. I do think women with curves are beautiful. I think women without curves are beautiful, too.

Before you say that I am worth more than my weight, please know that I both know and agree with you. But still, this is a struggle for me, when it takes me so long to get ready in the morning because my skin doesn't fit, much less my clothing. I have no real resolutions, except to just keep trying. And try I will.


DEPRESSION AND MENTAL ILLNESS:
Just the other day I told my good friend that it was too soon to tell a new guy friend about my struggles with depression and anxiety. That afternoon Robin Williams was found dead of an apparent suicide in his home, and I realized just how important it is for people in your immediate realm to be aware of your struggle.

I have nothing to add to this conversation that hasn't been added via Facebook or Twitter or even Buzzfeed, except to say that I am just one of the ten percent of Americans that is currently being treated for depression. I wouldn't be scared to tell him if I had a heart condition, so I'm not sure why it would be too soon to tell him I have a brain condition.


FAILURE AND PERSEVERANCE:
Yesterday a coworker gave me this riddle by Albert Einstein and challenged me to give her the answer. After about an hour of drawing diagrams and starting over a few times, I finally solved it. I spent sixty-ish minutes telling myself that I could figure it out, but also beating myself up for it taking so long. That old familiar feeling.

I hate failing at anything. I hate it when things don't come easily, and roller derby brings out all of my insecurities more than anything else in my life. I hate it that I'm not bouting yet. I hate it that I still look like a toddler learning to walk when do a tomahawk stop.  I hate it that I still haven't passed my final endurance assessment. But I really have to take a step back and realize that the stride skills I was working on just a month ago have become second nature, and my crosses (while they still don't feel natural) are becoming more fluid, and my stance is becoming wider and stronger. So progress is being made, but it doesn't look like I expected it would look by now.

But there is no room for my insecurity on the track. There is no room for my insecurity at the gym. There is no room for my insecurity in my relationships. And it is for this reason that these three things are totally intertwined, so I guess I'll roll on.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Feeling three today


"What they don’t understand about birthdays and what they never tell you is that when you’re eleven, you’re also ten, and nine, and eight, and seven, and six, and five, and four, and three, and two, and one. And when you wake up on your eleventh birthday you expect to feel eleven, but you don’t. You open your eyes and everything’s just like yesterday, only it’s today. And you don’t feel eleven at all. You feel like you’re still ten. And you are—underneath the year that makes you eleven.

Like some days you might say something stupid, and that’s the part of you that’s still ten. Or maybe some days you might need to sit on your mama’s lap because you’re scared, and that’s the part of you that’s five. And maybe one day when you’re all grown up maybe you will need to cry like if you’re three, and that’s okay. That’s what I tell Mama when she’s sad and needs to cry. Maybe she’s feeling three.

Because the way you grow old is kind of like an onion or like the rings inside a tree trunk or like my little wooden dolls that fit one inside the other, each year inside the next one. That’s how being eleven years old is."

Eleven by Sandra Cisneros

Friday, July 18, 2014

Ten Goals

Art by Trevor Baum
I dream a lot and I talk a lot about things I want to happen in the future. Here are my top ten goals that are measurable, detailed, and have a deadline.

I also really like lists, so every Friday you will get some sort of list. Most of them won't be this serious though.

Goals, in no particular order:

1. To own this tiny house by the time I turn 30. I love the idea of living small.

2. To get rid of all the clothes I never wear and have a capsule wardrobe. Literally, my floor is full of this pile of clothing I don't need. I want this done by the end of the summer, but now that I have a free weekend, it may be done by Monday.

3. To have one month of emergency savings by the end of the year. I think I'll sleep better at night.

4. To do something creative-- anything at all-- every single day.

5. To sew my own formal dress (I imagine something like this) and also a not-so-formal dress (like this!) This way I always have a dress on hand for your wedding/funeral/fireman's ball and I don't keep buying dresses that don't fit my body the right way. Maybe by December as well?

6. To go an entire week without saying something negative about myself or my body.

7. To master crow pose. I did it-- and held it-- the other day for a few seconds and was so proud!

8. To bring in ten new design clients-- and finish their respective projects-- by December.

9. To finish the children's book that's been swimming around in my head for a month or two... by the end of the year.

10. To skate in a roller derby bout by July of next year. I am approaching my one-year derbyversary and I am still so far off from being even close to ready to playing. It's discouraging, but it's mostly my fault. I have a few skills I need to master before my gameplay will improve. Either I kick it into full gear or I quit derby, and I'm not ready to give up this dream yet.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

So easy


It would be so easy to run. It would be so easy to sell what little I have and donate the rest and disappear.

It would take time, but I could pack up all my art supplies and organize them for a car ride south. Somewhere warmer. Somewhere inspiring. Somewhere near water. Somewhere with whiskey. Somewhere where Tater could run and play and lie down in the sun when he got tired. We both could.

My best friend always told me she thought I would be a revolutionary. She thought that I would graduate and go on to do big things that would change the world. I look around this office, cluttered and stacked high with paperwork and materials for an upcoming trade show. This isn't what I thought changing the world would look like.

There are revolutionary things that I would like to do. I'd like to sew my own clothes, grow my own food, live in the country in a tiny house. I'd like to adopt shelter dogs and be a full-time, self-employed artist. I'd like to write a children's book. I'd like to make people think with my work. I'd like it to mean something. I'd like to right my wrongs by doing something that could benefit the world in some big way.

You'll call me a dreamer when you read this. Unrealistic. A typical '90s kid. Idealistic. Lost. A wanderer. And I am all of those things. I can't reconcile myself today. I'm feeling very underwhelmed, unsure of the next step. I miss my Savannah family. I miss Savannah in general. I miss the security of knowing I could always go home, and knowing exactly where that home is, and knowing that my second family would be sitting around the kitchen table waiting to greet me. Now that I know that I will have to move in October regardless...

...It would be so easy to run.
It would be so easy to run.