2018 In Review

We made it! Happy New Year!

I didn't post as much this year, but 2018 was full of profound experiences around growth and change.

Here’s a recap, which I’ve summarized a bit below:

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PUBLICATIONS

  • DeLuge Journal

  • Meow Meow Pow Pow

  • Roar Magazine

  • Decarcerate UT

  • Artist interview with Boo Forever Collective

ART

  • Urban Plein Air show at UMOCA

  • Wild Earth Market

  • The Front Climbing Gym Summer Market

  • Matchbook Collective Show

  • Boo Forever Collective (February-December 2018)

PERSONAL

  • 128 days of straight meditation in 2018; 500+ days since 2015

  • Monthly therapy

  • Daily walks

  • Accomplished life goal of starting an art/spiritual business

In summary, I was published a little over 1x a quarter, participated in 4 art shows (not sure they're 100% my thing, but still good to do once in a while!), and sold a handful of original artworks, prints, and even some stickers.

Did you check out the updates to my store inventory? Peruse the ‘services’ page at your leisure.

Artistic Endeavors

In 2018, I committed myself to creativity, in art and writing, and dove head-in to developing structure for growth in both arenas.

I’m proud I started my business officially and quit my job.

Yes, the business came after, which isn't really the best way to go about it, and no, I’m not making as much money as I need to yet… but I really, really needed the time alone to detox from corporate work environments, cut energetic cords with every job or client I've ever nurtured, and re-discover myself.

I’m a sponge, and I needed a hard reset.

So far, all I can say is that I needed it, and it’s been worth it. Dedicating myself to my health is always worth it, even though it can be difficult.

The lifeless eyes are a realistic drawing effect that came through from the original picture… fun right?  Ah, the joy in despair and defeat, am I right?

The lifeless eyes are a realistic drawing effect that came through from the original picture… fun right?

Ah, the joy in despair and defeat, am I right?

Self Love, from 20s to 30

In 2018, I needed to fall back in love with myself, and to fall back in love with life, because my 20s were about surviving and making ends meet.

It’s like the younger twenties were about pain and survival, and the older twenties were about recovery and recuperation from environments that caused my cortisol levels to dump/flood my system constantly. I lost (all?) emotional resiliency, and was having fairly regular mental breakdowns

However, 2019 feels like more than a new year: it’s a new decade, I’m 30 now, and I want to be seen, heard and recognized.

I want to feel overflowing with creativity, inspiration, mission and drive. I want to feel supported, supportive, and most of all, nurturing.

My words for 2019 are nourish/nurture. What are yours, do you pick words to define your year?

I’ve only recently committed to dreaming of a future, investing in myself, and nurturing my relationships instead of running away from them.

The lesson has been to re-aquaint myself with loved ones rather than burning every bridge behind me. I've realized how much easier it is for me to be alone than with other people…and despite how much I never wanted to admit it, how much I felt certain members of my family betrayed me (at times), family is super important to me.

Relationships are what I treasure the most, and it's easier for me to isolate when I feel rejected or unseen, because of how I grew up, than it is to connect with others when I'm hurting.

Admitting it's not only okay, that it’s in fact very human to be desperately in need of love and affection, was monumental for me, and 2018 reminded me that it's okay to be human, and to have needs, and wants, and hopes, and dreams, rather than live a life of despair, waiting for an eventual death to happen, however many decades away.

The only thing I haven't coped or dealt with yet is Oakley's impending veterinary needs… I don’t even want to talk or write about it because it gives me anxiety. Alas. Here we go!

Oakley Updates

Oakley still hasn’t had surgery, as referenced in the embedded instagram post.

The day Carlos and I went to take him to surgery, we told the vet about a random and somewhat alarming cough he’s developed(/had?).

She was concerned enough to recommend holding off on removing Oakley’s split molar until we can get an ultrasound of his chest (which she suspects is slightly enlarged).

Preliminary tests showed his left heart is bigger than it should be for his age, and she wants us to get heart and stomach ultrasounds before we can pull the tooth...

As y’all might imagine, this news kind of shocked and devastated me in November. I fell into a depression, which is unusual for me in winter: back came the despair, and the panic, the doom and gloom.

I cried every day for a couple weeks (see what I mean with the low emotional resiliency?) Thoughts of life without him, which WILL happen someday, (most likely, unless I die first), still puts me into an emotional tailspin.

Oakley has been the most stable and consistent support in my life over the last 11 years, probably ever, and I can’t even begin to imagine life without him.

Yet, I know he’s getting older, and dogs and people age, and as much as I want him to live with me for my whole entire life, I know that’s unlikely (…unless I die early, right? We covered that?), I can’t even begin to process the idea that he won’t live forever, and that makes me feel a bit like an emotionally-codependent lunatic desperate for love, attention and family.

So things have been hard. I’ve been having a hard time with it and I haven’t been talking about it and I still don’t like to.

Garden sun with my gaurdin’ son, my sweetest angel baby

Meditation and Therapy

But… things aren’t all dismal, I’ve been going to therapy regularly. Once a month is as much as I can afford, though I wish I could go more frequently, and it’s still costing me more money than I’m bringing in, frankly.

Regardless, I’m putting my words to practice because I need therapy over most other expenses I have. Sometimes I try to skip it for a month and usually end up breaking down and crying and texting my therapist, begging him to take me and my appointment back for the day (so dramatic, right?).

I’ve been doing that, and walking and meditating every day. In fact, I’ve only got a few more days to go until beat my previous daily meditation record.

I meditate for a minimum of 40 minutes every day, but sometimes I need 2 hours, and then sometimes it turns into needing 4+ hours of sitting quietly.

Sometimes I wonder if it’s even possible to sit quietly for long enough to repair my emotional resiliency, because it feels so quick to drop, even after time periods of small improvements.

Will it be a battle of maintenance for the rest of adulthood, or will I actually one day feel strong, brave, and empowered consistently, without feeling so vulnerable and susceptible to outside influences? Only time will tell…

My therapist likes to remind me how much he, too, needed to sit quietly when he first and devoted himself to his meditation practice. The word he uses is ‘disassembled,’ that life had completely unraveled him to the point where simply breathing into the heart and lungs would bring him to tears.

Ewam and Garden of One Thousand Buddhas in Montana

He jokes with me, “I can’t tell a lot of people that joining a monastery is a good idea for them,” and I take a weird sort of pride in that.

I haven’t joined a monastery, but I’m prioritizing my neurotic-ass mindset, and trying to be kinder and more compassionate to myself.

If you’ve known me for a while, you might know how I used to be much more comfortable expressing myself online. It feels ironic to me that this is the place I find myself in now, learning how to embrace being my wild self, without fear or imposed restrictions.

Either way, I look forward to seeing where nurturing and nourishing a life that I can fall in love with again takes me.

I’ve tried my hardest to stay on focus. That being said, I deleted a lot in order to do so. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before y’all hear from me again.

Thanks for your friendship, support, and for taking the time to read this blog update, if you did!

I don’t always know how to show it the right way, but y’all mean more to me than you know. Happy 2019!


2018 Top 9 Insta Pix

The below pictures are not linked to the individual instagram posts, because who has the time?

But please follow me on instagram and say 'hello' if you want to engage with me and learn more about my life!