And at this time of year anything can happen.
Over the last month or so I haven’t wanted to talk about me or what is going on in my life online save for the occasional tweet or Facebook update. I’ve been doing my best to pay attention and more than that just to be present with what is happening around me and within the circles of people that I spend time with in real life.
It was a needed break from online activity and this change of pace gave me a chance to attend and sell my art at five live art shows and sales during the months of November and December. These shows were amazing and I got to speak to many people and fans and it made me feel very humbled to be able to create for a living but more than that break out of a stagnant routine that was ultimately killing me.
I quit smoking five weeks ago. Passing that one month mark last weekend was almost more than I could stand. The moment was surreal as I was prepping for my fifth and final art show of 2011 in a neighboring city, planning a first date with a man (whom I’ve since been on two more dates with BTW) and fighting mental exhaustion from producing enough stock to bring to the shows to sell.
And shit has happened over the last five weeks and people have been mean and things have occurred that would have easily made me smoke in the past but for some damn reason I don’t care about any of you who want to see me fail or anything that wants to undermine my health or safety. I don’t wish any of you ill or harm or anything bad I just need the space from the negativity and harsh judgements that you seem to have.
I began the year 2011 talking about not being afraid and I must say this year caused me more angst and fear than any other in recent memory. But what a beautiful year it has been and what a wonderful time it is to be alive and to be not afraid.
I am fortunate to have not have lost my house this year.
I am fortunate to have regained my health.
I am fortunate to have conquered the last addiction that I had.
I am smart enough to know the difference between a good a guy and a bad guy.
And I am so lucky to have family and friends who love me.
I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season. I’ll be transitioning into blogging and working online more over the coming weeks. I miss talking with you all.
Merry Christmas from Missy two the cat, Little Orange the cat and myself!
The Three Wise Men are available matted in the shop!
Well since my master plan of getting a tree and making things semi-festive this year has not panned out due to our house being infested with illness, I thought I might do a little dreaming instead. If I can’t decorate, I can still use my creativity!
Here are five things I dream of doing, some easier to accomplish than others, but one day I’ll have done them all.
1. Throw a big festive dinner for friends and family. Vegan options, not-remotely-vegan options, wine flowing like wine. In a big decorated house.
2. Spend all of autumn in a place that really shows its seasons. I’ve always dreamed of renting out a nice house from maybe September through December, somewhere like Vermont, where I can watch all the leaves turn colors and then fall off while the world around me morphs into a giant snowglobe. And everything will smell like apple cider, and people will walk their dogs through piles of leaves and the dogs will be wearing scarves and sleigh bells will jingle in the distance. That’s how it is there, right?
3. Make hot white chocolate for my husband. I’m not a fan of white chocolate either (the darker the better) but the poor kid is allergic to regular chocolate. It’s so sad.
4. Buy mistletoe and hang it somewhere.
5. Go stay in a shnazzy hotel in a big city that’s all decorated and bustling for the holidays, with window displays and people running around and lights hanging from everything. Like Paris. Or New York.
Despite not yet having a tree or even knowing if I’ll be able to get one, I know I have a few things to look forward to this year either way. Hanukkah party at our friend’s house. Sushi on Christmas Eve. Driving around looking at lights with my husband. Mulled wine and watching Downton Abbey with my mom.
But in the meantime, I’m gonna keep dreaming of a healthy weekend.
—Written by Shayla Maddox for Art & Musings
A couple of years ago, as I approached a new decade, I decided that I was no longer going to be bashful in my 30s. To me this meant developing the strength I knew was there, and blossoming into the perpetual self-confidence I felt I deserved but never embraced. Why shouldn’t I? I was young, healthy, smart. I had good ideas, and with a little hard work, a great future.
Suffice it to say, now in my 30s, this is still an ongoing struggle.
So what’s the problem? What I didn’t know in my 20s is that being confident is a verb, an action. It’s not a feeling that floats around inside you. Doing the things of a confident person is what makes you confident. You have to do first, feel later. You cannot sit around waiting for confidence to find you, or blame the lack of it on your inability to accomplish tasks. The years continue on around us regardless of whether or not we feel confident enough to participate. Life is not a dress rehearsal. Continue reading
So I’ve learned something.
I went to Kauai to find answers, not really even knowing what my questions were, but feeling like there was something I was missing that I needed to find. Or maybe I needed to be found. One of those. I don’t know.
I wait for answers too often. If I want something to happen, I assume things are simply going to work out, eventually. Someone or something will swoop in with neon signs and arrows showing me every step of the way.
But clearly, for awhile now, I’ve been unhappy. I’ve felt unsettled and awkward, almost like I was intentionally avoiding something. And for the first few days in Kauai, I wasn’t settled either. I was thrilled to be there, of course, but I felt a little like I was phoning it in. The truth was, I was starting to panic. What if I didn’t find answers here? WHAT IF THERE WERE NO ANSWERS?! Gack. Continue reading