Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Self help, self criticism and how I'll probably forget about it

Holy shit. What a week. Royal weddings, tornadoes, and that little news story on the 1st- I mean, really.
What. A. Week.
If your head feels like a spinning top right now, then you have my sympathy and my promise that, other than the previous statement, I will not talk about any of those things in this post. Deep breath.... and release.

Some times I dress like a bum, sans bindle, and leave the apartment. I am not sure if this fools the real bums who inhabit my neighborhood, but it fools most people and I am able to pass through my day quietly and uninterrupted. See, because people avoid bums because of their pre-conceived notions about the homeless and their unfortunate tendency to call them things like "bums".

Today I ran some errands in my bum costume and then returned home to put away groceries, sweep and then bury my shame and other things I didn't want to organize into the closet and under the bed. And then.... nothing.

I sat in the recliner in my deceptively clean apartment and couldn't figure out a damn thing to do. I don't have cable, so it's not like I can just veg out to whatever venereal disease/ax body spray laden show is currently airing on vh1, E!, MTV, or Bravo; and I've worn out all my dvds (and vhs's). I thought about knitting, but I couldn't think of anything I wanted to commit to making. I thought about cooking, but obviously the whole point of buying groceries is to not eat them so they'll last longer. I thought about doing something non domestic, but then I realized I would need money to do that, and I just spent money on groceries that I wasn't going to eat. I briefly thought about doing what all people who aren't able to come up with anything interesting to do on their own do- get drunk. But then I realized I would just move through my bottle of bourbon and gallon of sweet tea with a small sense of embarrassment that I am that uncreative. Plus I wanted to save it for a time when I would really need it, like when I pay my federal taxes.

So I clipped coupons. Well, I clipped coupons and watched old Suziblu videos on youtube. You probably haven't seen my older posts from around early 2008, but if you have, then you'll know that I used to keep an art journal. I actually credit it for helping me through some crippling anxiety issues (well, that, counseling, Xanax, and 2 years of Effexor) because it got me to face a few major fears about failure and judgement and all of those things we all fear, even though some of us are better at disguising those anxieties (hopefully not with arrogance and selfishness, as that is a common trap). What turned me on to this was watching a few "instructional" videos by a foul mouthed yogi from Jersey who wore funny wigs and said inspirational things about being an artist and an adult while painting dreamy pictures of girls and puppies and kitties.

As my life changed (moving, boys, jobs, shows, boys) I found that I had less time to sit down and create mix media portraits, and the time that I did have, I wanted to use it on other things. That being said, I still have a boat-load of art supplies that I occasionally break out, to the delight of my cat. I've tried to watch some of Suzi's more recent videos, but they've just gotten too manic for me to handle*; but the old ones that are still up are still quirky and soothing at the same time and they were a good companion for the evening. There was one in particular that I remembered watching several years ago when I was feeling slightly overwhelmed with supposed failure, and the drama was high and-

Ah, before I run away with myself- the drama always runs a little high and a little hot 'round these parts. I fully acknowledge the fact that I am just another in a never-ending list of 20-something actress-persons with a case of the Over Dramatics, but this doesn't take away from the fact that all my "drama" is sincerely felt, no matter how overblown it is. I swear to jebus that it is something I constantly work on moving past, and I am a grateful to the saint-like people who have stuck it out with me, even in my less-than-fine moments without making me feel even worse for feeling, you know, bad. And hey, in retrospect, a lot of my suffering has been the basis for some good self deprecating humor and offers a strong dose of humility whenever I get too full of myself, which isn't as often as I imagine some would believe. (Paranoia- also a symptom of the Over Dramatics)

Where was I going with this? (symptom: problems with attention) Oh! The video that got me out of an evening of feeling like a big old failurepuss. Suzi was trying to explain that it is never too late to start doing what you want to do. I'm not sure why it clicked with me- people dole out that kind of self help/think positive shit all the time. No one really believes it, as much as they want to. But what stuck out was when she pointed out that nothing is going to stop us from getting older and all the things that I think I've waited too long to do, well, two years from now I will still want to do them and I'll look back and wonder why I didn't go ahead and do it then and then feel regret over not giving it a shot two years ago when I thought it was too late, but now it really is too late to do anything and so I won't try it and then another two years will pass and I'll just repeat the whole process over again. Yeesh. Granted, that may not be the exact way she worded it, but that is how I heard it (symptom: hearing what you want to hear) and it helped.

The ugly bugger in this story is Time, which caused me to forget that I resolved back in 2007 to stop worrying that it is too late to accomplish what I want to accomplish. I always wanted to paint and craft, and mixed media was a good way to try my hand it. And I did it. I did it everyday for a whole year and never got any better or made anything truly outstanding, but at least I did it (and sometimes still do). I forgot that. I forgot that I told myself wasn't going to let fear of time or judgement or my age stop me.  Fuck, I probably already blogged about this issue and forgot about that too (symptom:forgetfulness) and I sincerely do apologize if that is the case. (symptom: frequent apologies, just to be on the safe side) (symptom: listing symptoms)

I need a way to never forget to stop being afraid of Time. A reminder, like a tattoo, or a daily email or text with the message "Don't forget, dummy!" or a little cartoon alien that follows me around telling me to go ahead and do what I want to do already.

Perhaps if all of you put this idea to use in your own lives, then it will stay relevant to me... Or I will look at your successes and feel shame with the lack of my own. So, scratch that last idea; Stop outdoing me, everybody else!

Jokes. (symptom: making jokes out of half truths)

*Suziblu is still making videos and now conducts workshops online and all that. If you don't mind constantly changing locations and lots of baby talk (I don't know when she decided to conduct most of her videos in baby voice, which is fine, it is her world and she can do what she wants, how she wants, it just happens to be one of my pet peeves- ladies, do you hear me? No. Baby. Voice.**) then I say give her a shot. She still is an inspiration to a large number of crafty girls out there and brings forth a lot of good ideas- the newer format has just become too complicated for me, and I need to keep my wandering brain in focus. Plus the baby voice. Oh, the baby voice.
**It is somewhat hypocritical of me to complain about BV, when I talk to my cat in a variety of voices- mostly the voices of old theatre divas and sassy rednecks. He must think I'm nuts. If he read my blog, he'd know it. (symptom: unending self criticism and jabs to belittle things I actually do enjoy and take a small amount of pride in, like blogging)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

jajaj√°, girl. it's hard to explain those voices to others far away, the sassy redneck and old theatre diva. shaaaw. well save me some sweet tea and whiskey, okay?? i really liked reading this and i remember your mixed media magic, you are very right for self lauding, you go. love, jfo