18 May 2006


**eta: warning - book ahead**

i cherish those moments of reflection when i am doing some random task like brushing my teeth and i come to a realization that i know for sure will make me a better person or make my life better, even if it's sad or frustrating or difficult.

once in a while i slide into self doubt and insecurity. today it dawned on me that i spent so much of my teenagehood in total angst and manic-ness and anger and sadness and over-the-moon-ness. flying from horribly insecure and depressed to wildly confident and having the time of my life. probably fairly typical for a teenager. the current slips are so reminiscent of those years...it's unsettling.

doubting my art. this is huge for me. in the past year of sharing myself and my art on the internet, i've become enriched beyond belief. met amazing people and seen things and opened my mind up to things that leave me to never be the same again. i gain inspiration from others. i also compare and strive and yearn...to an unhealthy level at times. and it's hard to realize what i'm doing to myself before the funk hits. so important to recognize...and i suppose i will only learn by once in a while living through the funk.

today i was thinking about friendships. i feel the same. you think you know people...you put yourself out there...you can only hope that your efforts will be reciprocated. i wear my heart on my damn sleeve and it just screws me sometimes. i've learned how to deal with people in real life. totally. i keep my expectations low...and i'm not talking in a pessimistic way here. i have awesome friends in my life...who are all there for a reason. the ones who make as much effort and put as much heart and soul into the relationship are the ones who benefit from me giving all of me. i LOVE having friends. i LOVE giving and sharing and talking and being honest with people. it took me a long time, but i finally realized how to let myself be vulnerable...drop my pride and open myself up...to the right people. connecting with people on the internet is different. still experimenting with that one. internet friendships are awesome and awful. they are easy and exciting. but they are also unstable and unsure. really...do you KNOW these people? maybe. maybe you do. but that doesn't mean that they FEEL the same. doesn't mean that they can't play games (a lot more easily than in real life). it doesn't mean that they are going to always be honest...always reciprocate or always stay constant. so much less accountability it seems. i lovelovelove that i've met some amazing incredible people in the past year. i feel like being online and scrapping and sharing has enriched my life beyond belief. but once in a while, i feel those old negative, insecure feelings creeping back in. and then i have to take a step back. regroup. centre myself. think about and focus on what IS real and what i can count on beyond all doubt.

dren is the first person in my life that i trust with ALL of it. my heart. my spirit. my body. my mind. my life. my child. what an amazingly SECURE feeling. there is nothing better, when it comes right down to it.

my child. we had a pretty rough start, he and i. he was what you might call a "difficult" baby. and we can just follow that up with i was what you might call a "psychopath" first-time mother for about 6 or so months. i didn't know it at the time (when you're psychotic you're not often rationally self-observant, after all) and so i didn't ask for or seek out the help or support we really needed. i realize now what i needed then. i wish i knew then, because i could have been a much better mother. while i doubt my skill then, and still do from time to time these days, it's gotten better and better. i've forged a solid, loving relationship with my child that will NEVER go away. what an amazing thing.

today we were walking (well, i was walking, he was riding his bike...fast, like sonic the hedgehog) to school, and he was rambling on and on. i love these moments we share. it means about an hour and fifteen minutes from the time we leave the house until i arrive at work, but it's so worth it. he was riding along...in such a good mood. randomly rambling little out of the blue comments like the ones in this gem of a conversation:
"i know when the dinosaurs went a-stinct"
me: really? (genuine surprise here folks)
j: yep...sixty million hours.
me: wow...hmmm.
j: or maybe sixty million hundred.
me: holy smokes!
j: do you know how big a pachycephalosaurus is? (yes, the kid knows all the crazy dino names...he's gonna be a paleantologist just like ross...and if i spelled the name of the dinosaur or the name of the person who studies them wrong, then sue me...i'm so not one of those people)
me: nope.
j: free. he's free feet.

ahhh. it's gonna be alright. it's gonna be just fine.
nothing like a 4 year old to get it all in perspective for me.
the sun is shining and i'm getting nice and re-centred.

**and if you did actually make it all the way through and to the end of this, i do thank you. so very much.


Alison said...

I know exactly what you mean about the high school feelings.
And before you realize you're being totally psycho and who really cares, it's too late.

but please, please do not ever doubt your art.

Mara said...

i agree with alison.
please do not doubt your art.
it's gorgeous and unique and totally YOU. YOURS. and it's awesome.
and i love this post.
a lot.
you put into words (great words, i say) what i am often thinking.
thank you, sweet g. mainly just for being you.

gabbyfek said...

love you, love your work, love that kiddo of yours.
so much.

Jamie said...

sounds like we were the same person in high school. ugh. bad memories. i wouldn't re-live high school if my life depended on it. no way jose. so i feel ya on that one.

i'm sorry you're feeling down lately. :( (((((HUGS)))))

but your art? never, never doubt that. :)

Kathy Bishop (aka scrappinkat) said...

hey hun - I have noticed you have been awfully quiet. I am here for ya if ya ever need k

Anonymous said...

i wear my heart on my damn sleeve too
and i compare myself to others at unhealthy levels too
sometimes we just can't escape who we are
thanks for that email the other day
it hit the spot

sarah.b said...

I feel that no matter what happens in our lives we will always have our feelings and whether or not we think they are justified or valid, they are still part of us, as is the art that comes out as a result of it all, never doubt your creativity, it's about who YOU are INSIDE and how you feel!There is never anything wrong with that!

Jen said...

This was a WONDERFUL post, and I can relate to so much of what you said. As I'm sure we all can.
Love that you put this out there Gen....THAT, takes guts.

Caroline said...

**hugs** girl

danielle said...

wow, i empathize with this more than words can say... internet friendships are a VERY VERY hard thing and i sometimes slip back into those SAME feelings i had in high school, etc, etc.. it really IS hard to *know* what friendships are concrete, real or whatever.. when you may never meet them face to face and you only "see" them through a computer screen.. it's a hard thing. But then sometimes you meet people in cyberspace that just GET you and what you're about better than any "real" person that you can touch. It's so weird! and hard. So i sympathize!! :-) It's also hard to find those friendships that are very much 50-50... i have the misfortune of getting sucked into friendships where i'm putting SO much into them and not getting anything back. It's just not healthy.

anyway, that's my book! your post just hit close to home Gen! :-)

HUGS!!!!! :-) you sound like you have an amazing family.. which helps beyond words!! :-)

danielle said...

oh! and i forgot.. i compare myself and my art to other people on a constant basis too... lol!! it's SO SO SO not fun.. i have a hard time bringing myself back to that place where i should just ENJOY it and no give a damn what other people think. And not always feeling like i SUCK. Art shouldn't be a source of stress and anxiety... sometimes it's hard to remember that.

And your art inspires me to no end!!! you inspire alot of people.. remember that! :-)

*~*Jocelynne*~* said...

I think I know what you're trying to say. I've tried forging some friendships here on the net. And it is definitely hard. Mainly cuz I don't have many in real life. I always just feel like a geek-girl that the popular girls are snickering at, and not in a good way. And while I pretend that it doesn't bother me, it really does. When I am having my "up days" (as I call them), I am invincible, I feel like I'm making progress in that aspect and so many others. My house gets and stays clean, I am on-time to things, I am efficient. Then come my "down days". Alone, crying, sensitive to every little thing, I can find hidden meaning in stuff like "do you know where my shoes are?" It's the difference between knowing you can take on the world and dreading going out in the world. It's a roller coaster for sure. But I don't think I'd want it anyway. If you ask me on a down-day though, I might be ready to give it all up.

Hang in there Gen! You have such a beauty to you...your mind, your art, YOU. It's a gamble, it really is. And it's a payoff either way! Either you get the prize or the lesson learned.

I'm here if you need to chat!

Kelly said...

Wow, read your post, decided to stoplurking and comment!
I can relate , that is one of the reasons why I haven't started a blog or posted my work, but after reading this I realize if you don't put yourself out there, your only hurting yourself.
SO keep posting , keep creating. and never DOUBT your art! It's why many of us are here!
(oh and yhanks for making me smile :)