Sunday, July 31, 2011

Anxiety and today's cure.

Feeling anxious is the worst, it really is. I’d rather lie in bed all day feeling like I didn’t want to get out then this feeling of panic, pure panic over almost absolutely nothing. “There is nothing wrong with me, I’m fine,” and yet there is something stopping me from truly feeling ok. Talking doesn’t really seem to help because you can't really explain it. You don't feel sad or angry, it's a different feeling. Last night I arrived home from a perfectly wonderful day and despite being completely tired I had a nagging feeling like I couldn't go to bed. I needed to take a drive or do something.

I texted a friend but no response, which was no big deal I’m sure they were busy, it was a Saturday night after all. I certainly could have texted anyone else afterwards. I could have stayed and hung out with the five or so other friends in my house that night. And yet this particular person was the one I wanted to see. I just wanted to say “I know this isn’t your job anymore, to take care of me. And I know I’m fine and I really don’t want to talk about it. I don't care to investigate why and how how I’m feeling. But for a while you used to be my best friend and I just need you right now.” And now typing this out I start to cry realizing that I might not have that whenever I need it anymore. It’s funny, when you meet someone who almost always seems to keep you calm. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful because I am truly blessed, I really am. I have so many people in my life who would do anything for me. Yet this one person somehow always had to ability to make everything go away by just being around.

It is in these moments you realize someone else might not always be there, not 100% of the time. Some things you must learn to deal with on your own. I came to a hard realization yesterday as I shared in a conversation with a few people that I have a lot more growing to do still. We all have self-destructive habits and regrets in life, now is the time where we learn to move forward instead of making the same mistakes. It’s easy to have those “I don’t know where to go from here” moments, and in this moment right now, something is stopping me from being perfectly happy sitting at home on a Sunday enjoying breakfast, the book I’m reading, and the company of my cat. All I know is I’ve experienced the panic attacks and the dread that comes with anxiety and it’s a terrible feeling for anyone to have to endure.

*Four hours later

Instead of immediately publishing the post after typing all that. I saved it, where a few other posts I’ve written go that I don’t really feel comfortable with anyone ever reading. I lied in bed for the remainder of the morning when finally enough was enough. I realized I wasn’t going to miraculously feel better and got up and went for a run. Health-wise this may have not been the smartest of decisions considering it’s about 90 degrees outside and I haven’t been running in a while. I went anyway and pushed it pretty hard. I got to the river after running in an almost full-out sprint and decided to walk along the water for a while to catch my breath. I caught myself fighting back tears realizing I took my frustration out on the pavement and wondering why I don’t do this more often. The minute I stopped running the pit of my stomach ached as the feeling I might vomit took over. Everything hurt all of the sudden and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. But it was a good feeling at the same time, the feeling that you pushed your body to the brink of its breaking point. Truthfully I know I could have run much farther, much faster, and been completely fine, but in the moment it doesn’t always feel like that. I walked along the water until it cut off the sidewalk, sneaking up over the rocks due to this past week’s heavy rainfalls. I sat down and I realized I felt better, better about everything. I knew I was going to cool down for a second, stand up, and run home. The day was just like any other, filled with its ups and downs, and the anxious feelings were gone.

It’s funny how sometimes, if you allow yourself to walk away for a second, you realize everything will be just fine all on your own.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Breakfast at Tiffanys

I got home yesterday from a late bar night. Chatted with my roommates and a few friends, and my friend Collyn (who is currently visiting) and I came downstairs to bed. We were clearly exhausted and going to fall asleep at any moment when I insisted on putting on Breakfast at Tiffanys.

Anyone who has known me for a while knows how much I love this movie. My Mom and I watched it recently because she had never seen it, and when it was over exclaimed "Well that's not what I was expecting. She's weird." The truth is it's a classic for me. Audrey Hepburn in her little black dress eating croissants in front of the big Tiffanys window makes me smile every time.

We got on the subject last night of Breakfast at Tiffanys due to my roommate, Evan, and I finding the perfect apartment, can't really see the connection? Well, we've been looking for so long and I am so happy that something finally worked out. It's truly wonderful too, it has this small sun room filled with windows and painted bright yellow, along with a living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, and two equally sized bedrooms! Not only that, it has hard wood floors and a killer light fixture in the dining room. Now, silly as it may be my favorite part of it is that we have a buzzer to unlock the door and a very old mail slot for each apartment in the house identical to the one Paul and Holly live in in Breakfast at Tiffanys. Now if you're Holly Golightly, you just buzz the man who lives upstairs every time you need to open the front door. (You would also keep perfume and a mirror in your mailbox!) I may have to play out this scene once I move in, just for fun.

"Darling, I am sorry, but I lost my key."
"That was two weeks ago. You cannot go on keep ringing my bell! You disturb me! You must have a key made!"
"It does no good. I lose them all."

*Now who does that sound like to you?

Now all I have to do is find an old bathtub and turn it into a sofa, learn the ukulele, move my record player up here, and start keeping my telephone in an old suitcase.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A tale of two kitties

When you get two 10 week old kittens together for a play-date. The result is nothing short of hilarious.

Bean and Moo

Quote sketchbook.

A few weeks ago I started writing quotes down in Sharpie in an old book I have. It became a little sketchbook of sorts and I one day hope to fill the entire thing. This was the first one I did, certainly not anything special from an illustration point of view but there is something about it I like.

I should post pictures of them every so often, it has been a fun little side project.

Stop thinking so damn much.

Adele - Set Fire To The Rain

I'm not good with words, anyone who has ever attempted to read this blog would understand that. I get caught up in the mess of it all. It is an art, in my opinion, when someone can manage to convey how they're really feeling through words. I unfortunately wasn't gifted with such a talent. And yet, the older I get the more I wish I could. I would love to elegantly spill letters onto a page and have them make any sort of sense to anyone, usually people wind up feeling confused, causing me to second guess what I even tried to say in the first place (which is never good, second guessing is usually a sign of trouble)

Here is where part of my love for music comes into play. As an artist I am obviously a very visual person. However, there is something about listening to a particular song that gets into your system like no other; tugging at your heart strings and evoking memories. Obviously a lot of people can relate to lyrics but to me it is the songs where not only do the lyrics impress you but the instrumentation as well. I love that an ordinary person can feel transformed with music. When athletes need to get pumped up before a game, or a little girl needs some Taylor Swift to remind her it will all be ok in the end, music is something that most people with the ability to hear can relate to.

On that note, I call on my most recently played artist, Adele. Her newest cd, 21, is awesome (and while Rolling in the Deep is still one of my favorites) I have been listening to her song Set Fire to the Rain constantly. There is something about the strength behind it that I can really appreciate.


Letterpress. Not Design studios, Grand Rapids, MI.

Old photo, one of the first ones taken with my new camera, a Canon EOS 60D. I really need to start experimenting with it more. Oh! And learn some film techniques with it, as my friend Jen and I are planning a short film to create while on our trip to New York (Which I am so excited about! In fact, I have a blog entry I keep edited just for planning purposes!)

No real reason for posting, just loving on letterpress today.

Key to happiness.

I think I have realized the key to happiness.
Loving who you are no matter what.

Perhaps something I used to see as a quality that of selfishness is purely just people who are doing what it takes to make themselves happy. People who love themselves don't care who else is around. They aren't afraid to realize that it doesn't matter if you sit at home on a Saturday night because the book you're reading is more interesting then sitting in a crowded bar. Lunch with a good friend is better than small talk with people you don't give a shit about, no matter how unpopular you feel sometimes. Knowing your family will sit there with you and tell you how much better you are then the girl who said you were ugly or the boy that broke your heart. But the kicker is: no matter how many times you hear it, if you don't believe it, it doesn't really help at all. I realized the other day that no matter how many nights out with friends, or hours spent playing with kittens, or long phone calls over a pint of ice cream there are, it might all be just a band-aid on a wound. It stops it from hurting but doesn't really heal it at all.

I guess the truth is that you have to fix the problem. However, if you're the kind of person who doesn't think in this way, where do you start?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Summer in photographs.

As I feel like I have been spewing out words upon words lately. Here is a little break for some summer reflection through the eyes of a camera lens. Enjoy.

First big summer rain.

Danced at Crane Wives shows.

Learned how to fish.
Attended a Native American Pow-Wow
Made homemade sangria.
Visited the Windy City (aka Chicago) *Twice actually!

Had a few wonderful porch nights. Good food and friends.

Cleaned off and started using my old kayak again. I missed it.

Learned how to photograph fireworks.

Made peach cobbler.
(Unfortunately one of the only things I've baked all summer. I think only a few bites were eaten of this bad boy)

Obviously there have been many more good times that went un-documented. Always fun to look back at those that did though!


I watched a movie tonight, one that I've been looking forward to seeing for a while now. It's called HappyThankYouMorePlease. It had a good cast and an awesome soundtrack. While I thought certain parts of it could have been better, the messages were awesome and each individual character's story touched your heart in some way. A few of the scenes really stuck out to me, however it would be silly to try and explain them all without anyone else having seen the movie.

There were a few different quotes throughout the movie that were worth jotting down. The fairly long one I have posted below occurs after the character, Annie, realizes she's worth the adoration of a truly wonderful person. The truth is, I think a lot of people are in a similar boat, they don't feel worth it. I had a long discussion with my friend Evan while walking home from the bar the other this love thing worth it? I think anyone who has suffered through any sort of heartache starts to wonder so. The cynic in you takes over and you think about whether or not it would be better to live alone with your cats forever then to allow someone else the chance to prove your pessimistic self wrong. But the truth of the matter is, hopefully in the end you don't. And sometimes no matter what advice you always give to other people, maybe you should start listening to yourself a little more.

"Alright, I'm guessing that you're there, but you're sad and you can't be bothered. But I have a tale to tell Samuel. And you need to hear it. So listen up. The scene: Dinner with number 2, trying to cut him loose. No such luck. So get this, You know how people say beauty is on the inside? Well that's total bullshit. Beauty is on the outside, and I love me some beauty. I mean, who doesn't? But here is the crazy thing Sammy boy, I'm listening to Sam number 2. Listening, cuz he made me close my eyes... so hot. And he's making a total case for me and him to be an item. And as he's talking its like the molecules on his face must have re-arranged themselves because I opened my eyes and suddenly I am in front of the most beautiful, gorgeous man. Like a total hottie, who knew? Sammy 2! Haha that rhymes. And you were right by the way, it is a strong name. So here is what I have to say to you before the damn beep cuts me off. Sadness be gone! Let's be people who deserve to be loved. Who are worthy. Because we are worthy, we really are. You've been telling me that for years and now I get to spit it back at you. You're a good man Sam Wexler.
Go get yourself loved. That's all I've got."

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Half Broke Horses

While I was in Bear Lake I was able to finish the book I was currently reading, Never Let Me Go. Silly me, knowing how much I read when I'm on vacation, should have brought another book. In a way I'm glad I didn't because I ended up borrowing this one from my friend and absolutely loved it.

I have read Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle, and thought it was very well-written. However, I actually liked Half Broke Horses more. In this particular book Walls writes from the perspective of her Grandmother, Lily. The book is comprised of numerous short chapters which read almost as individual chapters in her life. In addition to making me want to up and leave Michigan, move down south and learn to become a rancher, this book reminded me of one of the most amazing women in my life, my Grandmother. The tidbits of advice hidden in the pages reminded me of almost every conversation we seem to have these days. In fact she almost ends every phone call saying "Well that's enough lecturing for now" The truth is I wouldn't have it any other way. In fact I really ought to start writing everything she says down...maybe I'll start.

Emotional needs.

Hah I thought this was one of those things that make you smile.

Found originally on See Me Everywhere. Check out the artist's Etsy here: Owly Shadow Puppets