This Will Not Define Me
It's hard for me to be an artist. Always has. Along with it I have created what I thought my identity was supposed to be, since I could remember. Some of these have NOT been in my best interest. As a matter of fact, they have been holding me back and damaging me.
Wear dark colors.
Be an outcast.
Drink LOTS of coffee.
Be either Goth, Punk, or Hipster.
These have been my crutches, my support, and coping systems all bundled into one. Many of these on the list I have conquered in the last 8 years. First it was battling the depression, and it's still a constant, but I will never be ashamed that I am on medication for it. Folks, it works, and I've tried everything else under the sun (minus drugs of any sort), and nothing but my Zoloft has done the job giving me more brain space.
"What about the photo above..." -- getting there.
Next I learned it's great to be mysterious and all, but mainly people just wanted to know what I thought and were really worn out trying to figure me out. Amazingly, I have stronger relationships now than ever because I shared my deep thoughts and opinions with love rather than pouting and playing "all that".
"But the photo...it's obvious..." -- yes but let's be positive for a moment.
Lately it's definitely been my image. I LOVE CLOTHES....now. This has always been a struggle for me, and I have learned....who cares?! Wear what inspires, is comfy, and makes you feel beautiful. I'm not any particular style, tho you might call me hippie or hipster (original I might add), but some days I like an old navy sweater and jeans, or fine clothing you'd wear to work. My hair might be straight, or so dirty (thank you kiddos) that I wear my red slump hat (it's my blankie), or spiked out. Truly, I can't stop shopping for something unique, fairy like, or comfy that fits ME.
Now about the photo
Yesterday I embarked on a path all too familiar, quitting smoking. I was able to do it 4 years ago after being a smoker for 10 years. Yet, with the birth of my son (kiddo #2) I found stay at home mom/artist life so unbelievably stressful that I picked it back up again.
I told myself it was for a season right from the start. Now I'm acting on that phrase by trying to quit now.
How does this have to do with being an artist? Much.
My family smokes. Always have (tho dad did quit a few years back!), but I never started....until I entered art school. I was vulnerable, scared, insecure, and lost. Another artist I was sharing these feelings with passed me a cigarette. Because of my wishing to impress this handsome fellow, I took a drag. Hated it! But continued because well, it seemed like it was a way to get friends. I was right. So many of the students smoked that the smoke breaks were social times and I made friends very quickly.
I started out of insecurity and stress. I have always smoked when in social circumstances that make me uncomfortable or stress me out.
This time around, it's for good. I WILL NOT let this define me as an artist. I have always fallen on "All artists smoke, it's part of who we are and what we do! Just like coffee." Um, I'm not giving up coffee, fyi.
I don't have to smoke to be an artist in image and in deed, I don't have to smoke to make friends, I don't have to smoke to get through the stressors in life (hello essential oils!), I don't need cigarettes!
I'm writing this as my first post on my new blog because being an artist, a mom, and just an adult is HARD. I want to share these difficulties (and probably a few successes too) and how I have processed (or survived) them, in hopes that maybe, some day, it will help someone else.
We're all in this together!
Oh, and it kinda helps hold me accountable, because right before I started this post I was really craving a smoke while drawing, and sharing is a weapon in the fight. ;)