Coffee, studio work and this mutt to keep me company. (I genuinely don’t know how he didn’t spill that cup over.)
It’s insanely busy around here due to the holidays and today is the last day for Lagniappe’s Shop Small weekend sale! Save 10% on any order by typing in “shopsmall” when you check out!
I will always be someone who wants to put what they’re feeling into words. The concept of sitting with exceptional gratitude, acceptance — or even the complete opposite — does not settle in my stomach well. It never has.
There’s always a calm after the storm and life is not particularly easy. It never has been. It’s never going to be. There’s no destination — I, nor no one else, will ever “be in the clear.” Life will endlessly, always, throw situations and circumstances and change in our way. That’s how it works. I’ve learned that. I’ve dropped my expectation that everything is going to make sense one day. I’ve let go of the expectation I’ve held to myself that I will “be able to handle things from here on out.” There’s no such thing, in my perspective. No one can depict what happens or control their future reactions to said events.
Yesterday, I went to lunch with someone who has watched me grown up, and I shared with them the details of my life that I feel have been becoming chaotic. He pointed out, “But you know, you can’t c —”
"Control it. Exactly."
He looked at me intently, almost observing and said, “Right.” I’ve always wanted to try to control everything.
And I continued sharing. And there was a slight and subtle difference between yesterday and any day before that, and that was in my ability to hold, carry, stomach and let go of what goes on in and around my experience of living. I was not panicked nor was I asking for advice. I did not feel lost in what I was telling him. I was simply sharing.
I received a text later that night and it read, "I just wanted to say goodnight and I am happy about how you are turning out. I love you." And I knew exactly what he meant by that.
I’ve learned that one good day does not necessarily justify celebration because you can so easily let it all go the next. Just as how one good deed does not make you a “good” person. I do not claim to be clear-minded nor do I claim life to be easy; I am stressed and life is hard. But I am growing, immensely, continuously, in a way that makes life a little more manageable — in a way where I can focus on the good and simply enjoy what is good, and let the bad happen, because it will eventually pass, because circumstance is temporary. I’m not interested in making my life or my experience any more difficult than necessary. It’s already, by default, wired with struggle. And like I said, I don’t necessarily believe I am “in the clear,” but I am certainly, genuinely excited for today and every day after — it’s moments like this that make me very excited to see the woman that I will grow to become in time; where I feel especially faithful in the future, as unknowing and unpredictable as it may be.
Kay Gehshan, folks! One of the loveliest, most kind-hearted ladies I’ve ever known. And I’m lucky enough to be featuring her impeccable skills in hand-lettering, woodworking and design in the upcoming publication, Support the Makers.
We’ve only got a small handful of weeks before we launch our Kickstarter and tons of work to do in between! Sign up for our mailing list to stay in touch!
In honor of Small Business Saturday, we’re having a weekend sale from today until Monday night! Type in “shopsmall” when you order to get 10% off any item you purchase all weekend!
Do you have any words of advice regarding staying creative and keeping a journal our a diary? Recently I've started a journal because I thought it would help me keep my head clear AND my creativity flowing, but at the same time it's so difficult for me to put things into words, and in the end I get more frustrated.
You know what, honestly? Keeping a journal only makes me more scattered. It doesn’t keep my head clear, it only makes it worse. It’s taken me nine years to finally admit that. I love writing, but writing for myself, in my own journal, only makes me intensify what I’m writing about in a way where it makes me unhappy. As if I’m dwelling. So, I’m not sure my advice is going to be valuable for you. But maybe you’re just like me, in this way and all this means is that you find other ways to clear your head.
I write letters, instead. I find it more useful, quite therapeutic and ultimately, more rewarding. Mail-art is great, too because it’s a way of making, writing, sharing, communicating and it gets your creative energy flowing. Amber Esner is a great example of a mail-artist.
Other than that, I make lists. A lot of them. About everything. Most of my journals or sketchbooks are made up of organizational tendencies. It helps me put things in order, clears my head and the act of doing it usually calms me down.
I hope this helps!
November 2013 self-portrait.