Stubbornness is a Virtue, I Guess

Okay, well here I am being extreme again, but I mean what I say. I know stubbornness is not necessarily indicative of “goodness,” but it has paid off more times in my life than it has caused me grief.

Art has had a profound impact on my life. And when I say art, I mean all forms of it: from music to poetry to drama to painting. I took singing lessons for 2 years, learned how to build my own pinhole camera and develop film, I took classes in drama and helped perform and work backstage, won a contest for an oil pastel piece, created numerous chalk pastel aurora pieces, learned to paint with acrylic and watercolor, I drew tattoo designs, I wrote a novel, I wrote hundreds of poems, all before the age of 18.

I say this not to make me seem like I’m an arrogant person (I kind of am, though), or to put myself up on a pedestal, or to brag.

I say this because throughout doing all of this, I never felt like it was enough. I never felt like I was living up to the standard that I wanted. I wanted to, and still want to, be the best. And I don’t mean be the best I can be, but to be the best that anyone can be. A lofty goal. An unattainable goal.

If my brother went to pre-k, I had to too. So I started school a year earlier than everyone else. I had to be placed in a grade higher than mine for swimming competitions in elementary school because I was too fast for the kids in my grade (which, as I mentioned, was already technically a grade ahead of me).

Like I said, I’m extreme. Just ask my family; they’ve put up with me for almost 30 years.

Trust me, I think I’m a pain in the ass too. I’m annoyed by my confidence. I’m annoyed that I try so hard. And I am beyond annoyed at how much all of my efforts exhaust me.

I’ve talked a few times about how, while working on Sagittarius for my Zodiac Portrait series, I had to start over twice. Did I mention I did the same thing with Scorpio? Did I mention that I do this with almost everything?

It’s why I’ve had this website since 2012. Do you see how many blog posts I have? It’s two. Because over and over again, I’ve written and erased hundreds of blog posts. And yet here I am, blogging once again, trying to be better.

The picture above shows you the first version of Scorpio. I completely started over. Even after I was done with the final version, I couldn’t look at it for almost a month without feeling dissatisfied and wanting to start over.

Someone once said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. I think the word they were looking for was perseverance.

New Year, New Brain

new studio photo

I always find myself way in over my head and with a to-do list that’s longer than a CVS receipt. It has been 3 years since I’ve attempted at starting my own business, even longer if you count the Etsy shop I briefly opened up in college. Overzealous, fickle, and impatient would be the words I’d use to describe myself throughout this process. There are two things, however, that have remained consistent through my journey starting a business. One is that I am dedicated to writing. The other is my art, which started out as a fun hobby and turned into illustration and painting.

I’m not very good at staying on track of things. I get caught up in a daily hurricane of thoughts and ideas, and usually my inspiration shifts as quickly as it started. I’m a woman of many muses who all demand my attention.

So you can’t imagine how happy I was that my parents offered their spare bedroom for me to use as a studio space. This room… I can come in here and not think about dishes or laundry or the end of the world or whatever random thought has pulled me away from my focus for hours. My brain is always swirling, and here I have a somewhat empty room. Somewhere where I can place my mind-garbage outside the door and work. Knowing myself, this could or could not last very long, this motivation, so I’ll use it while I can.

I think you know what I’m getting at here. I’ve talked a lot about mental illness, on here, Instagram, or just if you happen to talk to me (which is rare because I don’t talk to many people). I’ve talked about PTSD and panic attacks and nightmares. I’ve talked about depression and misdiagnosis. I’ve talked about my sleep, or inability to.

Just like my to-do list, I come with a litany of ailments that seems to always grow longer, shifting as my mind does back and forth. Sometimes the diagnoses only fit partially, others are pretty accurate. So, when I went to therapy recently, it was a little out of nowhere but yet unsurprising to hear that my therapist diagnosed me with ADHD. A former therapist once suggested that as well, but I forgot about it, as usual. My mother recently joked that I got all the loose change of the family DNA, all the leftovers; I think she might be right.

So, I’m happy to have more answers, to have more of a “normal” life with some future adjustments, and I’m happy to have a space that lets me clear this busy head. At least for now.