Strength Test

Some days are a bit more difficult than others. And on most I am curious as to whether or not I am pushing myself or if someone else is pushing me towards the anger and sadness I feel. But I always come to the same conclusion, I want to be a good person. I want to be a better version of myself. Today I asked myself if I pushed my god away from me. Did I pray to too many and ask too much of their time? Did I not ask the right God or are they mad at me because I cannot decide between them? These are the types of things I ask myself when I need strength. And then there are times when my friends come to my rescue by filling both my heart and tummy with joy. I am so extremely thankful to have the loved ones I do. Today has been very difficult, more trying than I would have expected and I think its because I have been holding back. I have been telling myself I am strong, stay focused, and then when something small happens I tend to get a bit more crazy than normal. I really want to work on that. I have been able to calm myself down a lot more saying that things could be worse. I have so much love in my world I could not imagine a reason big enough to be upset. So again, when I am being tested am I testing myself or is a higher power testing me? I am not sure I will ever find my answer to this, but I am certain that I will continue to improve on myself. I want to find the strength necessary to make it through each day. I am looking forward to the day when that strength is by my side each day. I have never felt more sure of my future and I cannot wait to live it out next to my love.


Research Research Research

I am currently reading about healthier food options and have decided to try picking some items up slowly and pricing various stores on their organic goods. I went to Trader Joes this week and picked up their organic, vegetarian fed, free range, cage free eggs. And just wow. I decided go big or go home and went for the best they offered and I am very happy with my purchase. Sometimes I can taste the difference in quality food and sometimes I cannot. But the difference between these eggs and the other cage free eggs I have been buying is insane. There is a definite cost difference in the better eggs, but I am also doing something I believe in by supporting better farming techniques and increasing my health. I will definitely be searching other stores to price their eggs and see what they offer as far as better treatment of animals. Im tired of supporting people that damage the earth. We all damage it in some way, but if I can keep my footprint small, I will. Not to mention higher prices mean less food and less food means less chance of weight gain so it will probably help my fitness habits anyways. Yay for things working together. (Although I would prefer a lower cost.) I am sure my biggest issue is food, but for the purpose of successful training I want to adjust my workout as well.

While soothing my muscles from yesterdays workout I was reading about cardio and weight training and how they should be done to increase the look I am going for. And I can honestly say I am still a bit confused but feel I have the just. Cardio is good for endurance, heart health, and losing fat but it could also mean losing muscle depending on how I incorporate it into my routine. I am going to try and use the Brazil Buttlift and Insanity workout schedule to create my own based on how they organize cardio and strength training throughout the month. I need a schedule that is easy to follow. I also have not been attending near as much as I need to see the results I want. Somedays I do not feel like attending the gym so I might need to start having alternatives set up at home (which may just end up being my exercise videos).

In general I am ready for all of this to fall into place and not just some aspects of life. I think the most difficult part of my journey is going to be unwavering dedication. It is extremely easy for me to just say yes to people to appeal to them, but I am tired of doing things based on the comfort of other people. I need to start doing what I want in life and honestly I don’t think making a healthier version of myself is bad. Im not giving in to stereotypes or a womanizing culture. Im not going to stop being a “true fat kid” or anything else that encompasses my personality. I am merely changing things in my home and life that are going to allow me to be a better teacher, parent, friend, and spouse. I hope that anyone  that feels different or gets upset with me along the way understands that I am doing this for my future and to be in my loved ones futures longer. I cannot wait to cheer to a new beginning this new years. I can honestly say that by the time the new year starts I will be very happy with the advancements I have made in my own life. I hope to continue to grow as an individual and that my energy is not wasted in my endeavors.

A little goes a long way

Blogging, art making, and schoolwork have been more frequent, but not everyday. Exercise has been added back in, but not being followed through. Reading is about the only thing I do everyday. But I think staying committed to the initial plan is what’s continuing to push me. So instead of being discouraged I am going to stick to the plan as much as possible. Maybe even make up for the losses I have felt. Holidays and friends are very distracting and not something I considered enough. This post is short and I don’t have much to share, but I have been learning some new things from my new read: Healthy Child Healthy World Creating a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home. 

There are a lot of things that as a consumer I see, but I don’t always register the overall cost. Im referring to simple changes like organic foods, green cleaners, fragrances in products for the home and body, paper, plastic, or reusable grocery bags. There are so many things right in front of our face everyday and we choose to take the lesser value for lower financial cost without realizing the decision we are making is detrimental to our health and home. I am really thankful my friend let me borrow the book and I am excited to start making the changes. But just like everything else I want to change, I need to be mindful and realistic. I will have to move at my own pace and go a little at a time.

Something I will also need to consider is, if my posts are not occurring and when they are I do not have much to say then did I really do anything worthwhile in my day or did I waste it drinking wine, scanning social apps, or watching tv? What exactly is distracting me and how do I stop it from entering my daily routine? How do I minimize the amount of time distractions take from my routine?

Working It Out

I did not write yesterday and the days prior I wrote long after my schedule set out for me to do so. As long as I am still completing the tasks I want I am not too concerned when they are getting accomplished throughout the day. I just need to make sure I am keeping up with them. I wanted to be completed with the octopus painting on Monday, but I have run into more issues than expected. It always happens that way and after I learn my craft and style more I hope to better be able to manage my time. In general I have always had trouble with my time management.

I went through my school folders yesterday and I really need to go back through and review the information. I have forgotten some of the skills I learned and I want to make sure I am caught up when I return to school. I have the cleaner greener home book I want to finish as well and was hoping to read marvels for entertainment before I move. So beyond wanting to work on art and other crafts I really want to read through the books that I have.

My new years resolutions next year will most likely be to keep the good habits I (hope to) have formed and finish all the books I have ever wanted to read. I think reading will definitely help me to relate to my future students (since i love young adult series) and increase my knowledge and desire to read more. Beyond the habits I am working on forming now, in general I want to have an overall healthy lifestyle. I would much rather be reading than watching tv or movies. I would much rather be making art or blogging than looking at social networks.

I have completed the background in my octopus painting and am satisfied with it. I have been analyzing the anatomy of an octopus to try and better understand the position for each feature. I feel like I have a good idea of what everything should look like (downfall to using multiple images and positions to create my own image) so that I can finish up the texture of the animal and begin outlining everything. I have been very weary of how I am going to outline it since I have never done anything like that. In two dimensional foundation art we worked in sharpie, pen, ink, and some other mediums to help understand but I am unsure if i will be successful. I still have some india ink and I am thinking that using my calligraphy pen and ink should do the trick but still very weary. I have some other canvases I can test out on so I will probably do that today. when looking up painting methods for outlining on acrylic I started thinking about processes and different materials to work in.

I have been trying to develop lesson plans and ideas so that whenever I start teaching I will already have a nice little bag of tricks for ways to engage the students. When I thought about the process to creating an image I immediately remember the book Speak. I loved that book so much. I think that it was an amazing idea to have the kids choose one image to work with all year long and elaborate on their skills by developing the image overtime. I also think about in photography class how we had an assignment to work from a song and only from the song. Creating images that depicted a specific lyric or mood was very empowering when successful. It really helped to tie in everything and see the song or book as something more. I think that I will use this idea for a lot of things in class.

I have also been considering whether or not to make the octopus a series where I have like at least three images that are octopus related or maybe just stick to an underwater theme. I want to have a way to show my work and I want it to be something people will want to buy. But at the same time I am trying to stay with secondary education lesson plans. I don’t want to work to elaborately or too focused on what a professional artist would do because I am more concerned about targeting the kids minds than targeting my own pocketbook. So yeah, I should definitely work in more items so that I can have a general idea on more things than a focused idea on a few. I would rather be able to help my students sketch a turtle than help them draw an octopus to scale. I should definitely try and look up various popular items and then sketch them. (woot, new project alert!!)

And once again writing has really helped me to make a decision. I will remain focused on finishing the octopus so that I can move on to my next task. I need to remember to take things a little at a time. If the ideas I think up are worthwhile then they will stick around long enough to see out the other tasks. I want to post again tonight to make up for not posting yesterday, but I am concerned because I will not be at home the next couple days that my path to forming good habits will be compromised. I will be home in the evenings so my days will be quite turned around, but I will need to make the appropriate changes to accommodate my plans. I hope that with this change I can still accomplish what I want. It will be a difficult task, but should help to make me more flexible.


Today I was accepted to continue the Masters of Secondary Education program I began in 2012. I am nervous to go back, but excited at the same time. I have changed a lot in the last few years and feel more prepared for what the program requires of me. I also am realizing the mistakes I made when first attending and happy to be moving forward. I am optimistic that by this time next year I could be employed through alternative certification and be teaching during my last semester. I am confused about capstone procedures and hopeful that my advisor will be helpful in clearing up any confusion.

With only yesterday and today recorded I have been successful in making good decisions. I am not following my schedule the same as I have it written, but I am fully satisfying all my tasks. I think my hardest challenge is waking up early in the morning after I have stayed up late the night prior. My attention has been short and I am not satisfied with that. I have been focused on what I need to do, but find myself almost confused about what I should do next or even now what I should type. However, if I were to follow my schedule as its written then I should have already eaten three times today and I have only eaten once. So I will use todays problems and test them tomorrow to see if I have the same issues focusing. Although one day is not enough to truly test my focus, I think for the purpose of this test and the personal agenda it represents, that one day will suffice.

I felt really “blah” and lazy yesterday before exercising. Afterwards I was really optimistic about what the evening had in store. I did not do cardio and I ended up waiting around a lot at the gym because machines were being used. However, considering right now I am merely focused on building good habits I am looking forward to attending the gym today. I gained a new appreciation for the gym yesterday and I hope it keeps me going back. People watching is by far the best at the gym. I think that after forming a routine of working out I might build the confidence to request a session with a personal trainer to help build my routine to suit my needs.

I feel as if I should have completed a lot more today than I did, but I am a fan of lists so lets make me feel good!

  • Created a plan of study (needs reviewed by advisor)
  • Emailed advisor regarding appointment and current distance
  • Purchased a parking permit
  • Service desk reactivated my student account
  • Name change request form prepared to fax tomorrow during business hours.
  • Set up printer for wireless usage

What I have learned is that regardless of having lots of progress today I was only able to complete school related work and was unable to meet my dietary needs or work on art. So for the remainder of the day I will focus on the business of art, exercise, and foooooood! Tomorrow I will work to stay focused on my schedule and wake up earlier so that I can complete more tasks.

Learning Self-Discipline

As I work towards my career goals I find that I have fallen short on where I want to be with my physical appearance. I have limited my alcohol but will need to start following a no more than 7 drinks a week until I can only drink on reward days. I have started eating a lot more processed foods and in larger servings without proper exercise. In order to look the way I want and reach my goals of physical appearance I need self-discipline. Learning to keep temptations out of sight, stop allowing other menial tasks or social media to distract me from a more productive use of my time. Unplug. I have been considering being vegan again with everything I am reading regarding chemicals in food. But also just learning to take everything in strides, so maybe that will be the next step. A little at a time. Forming good habits means changing bad habits, which is difficult to do when I have told myself for so long that its okay to be less than par. I will need to focus on forgiving my failures and move forward. So in reading about how to learn self-discipline Forbes really helped to build guidelines:

  1. Remove temptations
  2. Eat regularly and healthier
  3. Embrace what feels wrong to form a good habit and break a bad habit.
  4. Make reasonable rewards, don’t be too regimented.
  5. Forgive failures and move forward.

In the mornings I find myself scrolling through social apps when I should be reading or typing. I want to start blogging in the mornings with breakfast. I hope this will help to limit my temptation to social media and focus my mind on my work and career. When I make food I think about something delicious and disregard the health of the meal. I am currently reading about how to make my home cleaner and greener and with this my commitment to healthy options will develop. For the purpose of my current goal I will only focus on choosing healthier options and smaller portions until I have formed good eating habits. This will need to include number of drinks per week (at accurate measurements, no more overflowing wine glasses) and choosing when to reward myself and forgiving failures with proper exercise. Exercise has been the biggest failure of all goals I set out for myself. I loathe exercise! Its the absolute worst! But it is necessary for me to maintain confidence, build self-discipline, and the means to relaxation. In order to properly fit exercise into my routine and make it a lifelong habit I will need to coincide healthy eating with exercise. Half an hour of exercise is recommended per day for a healthy lifestyle. Because I want to tone, use exercise as a means of relaxation, and as I age I will need it to remain more active I am going to work on building a habit of exercise 1 hour each day and develop a more regimented workout as time progresses. So with the guidelines of self discipline and the goals I wish to reach before the end of the year the routine I would like to set in place is:

  • Pre-workout snack (fruit, granola, green tea)
  • Exercise 1 hour (tone, yoga for relaxation)
  • Get ready for day
  • Breakfast and blog
  • Begin work (whatever work is relevant at the time)
  • Lunch and research
  • Return to work
  • Dinner
  • Professional development (reading or practicing design and drawing elements)
  • Snack *optional* (based on rewards, calorie counts, etc)

Building a routine is the most difficult thing I have ever tried to commit to. I like details and I like learning about processes, but I enjoy being spontaneous and trying new things. And when I regiment myself and set a schedule I feel forced, almost as if it is not my choice. I know now that is the feeling of breaking bad habits to form new and better habits. Because this is my choice and always has been, but I never committed. Twenty one days to form a habit, a little over thirty until Thanksgiving, and right in between my schedule will change to accommodate Jacobs’. By the end of November success means sticking to the plan and forgiving any failures along the way. And (once good habits have formed) by December I can add in organic foods and a more detailed workout. By making this plan a habit and routine I will satisfy all my goals set out for the year regarding my health, relaxation, and building skills. The only goal left to achieve is paying off student loans.

I will once again need to use the guide to self-discipline in order to obtain my financial goals. The money saved from limiting alcohol will “pad” payments on my loan. Money saved on eating smaller healthier meals will most likely average out with beginning to purchase organic foods. I wanted to make a minimum payment of a hundred dollars each month to my loans, but I did not begin until September, so only half of my goal will be met by end of year unless I supplement my regular auto-payments with income created from art sales. This will teach me a lesson in business, speed up production, quality of work, and learn what my customer base is.

Heres to starting something new.

Inspiration for Girlfriends

Around this time last year I had a lifelong friend send me a gift, The One Year Book of Inspiration for Girlfriends juggling Not-So-Perfect, OFTEN-CRAZY, but Gloriously REAL LIVES by Ellen Miller. And it was exactly what I needed.

The year prior to receiving the gift was one of the most difficult years I had ever encountered. Left my masters program, moved away from friends and family, entered into my first year of marriage, and realized I was struggling with finding the independent woman I had loved so much. My friends did not have me at their side during their toughest of hurdles, they did not have me when they mourned the lost of their loved ones. They did not have me to make them smile and inspire them to see the beauty remaining in the world. They did not have me because I was drowning in alcohol and sorrow.

I was not the friend I could have or should have been. And I definitely was not the artist I desired to be. I was a Pollock without the skill. But through the love of my friends, family, and this book I climbed right out of that dungeon of sadness and am walking tall. I hope that the future is full of nothing but challenges and success. I am ready for life and I hope it is ready for me.

The following is a list of (rough) phrases I remember from the book that keep me going.

  • How would you like to describe you?
  • Take the high road
  • Stop playing the scales
  • Be flexible with tasks of life
  • There is always more you don’t know
  • Sometimes all you can do is laugh
  • Forgiving your parents doesn’t mean you accept or excuse their poor behavior
  • Dont collect distractions. Only carry what you need
  • Unplug
  • Be mature and self aware
  • Take the common out of your everyday. Try a staycation
  • If you are successful, it becomes possible for you to leave an inheritance for others. But if you desire to do more, to create a legacy, then you need to leave that in others.
  • Its coming up a cloud (wait out the storm and forgive)
  • Make your work meaningful
  • Be consistent

(Reminder: I am Agnostic)

The next two are excerpts from her book are derived from the bible for which I find very inspiring and thoughtful.

  • So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. (Thessalonians 5:11)
  • And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. (Ezekiel 36:26)

What I loved so much about receiving this gift is that regardless of the distance and the short conversations she was able to see how much I needed help. For some it is difficult to form a friendship and even more difficult to seal the bond forever. But for me I believe in the power of community and what it can do for people. I am not so sure how any of this will relate to my work directly, but it is the reason for my return to the pursuit of creative arts.

How did I get here?

All throughout my life I have bounced between the walls of normal and depressed. Holding on to decisions in life that most would not think twice about. I am constantly reminding myself of the positive words my mother has given me and how she helps me through so much. I am so afraid that I will not learn how to control this life without her there for guidance. I am having so much difficulty figuring everything out even with her still with me. I want to know though that I am stronger than medicine. I want to form a natural life and find other means of happiness than the bottom of a bottle, alcohol or prescription. Because one day I will not have her for support and my children will be looking to me for that same support. I am just so unhappy and the choices I have thought up to create happiness for myself are so rash that I am unsure they are the choices my mother would guide me towards. But I want to make them without her guidance as a means to see if I am ready. I am so unhappy with my job, my body, and the overall way I am living my life. I haven’t volunteered in years, been in an art club or group in even longer. I have not talked, created, read or done much of anything towards education and art in I don’t know how long. The things I love most I am allowing to slip through my fingers as if they are my past alone. I got this job to pay off my student loans and that has not happened. I’ve probably only paid $500 maximum. I’ve been hoarding the art I have made and that which I haven’t I have given away. Most of which was given to people no longer even in my life. So many choices and so many still I cannot stop thinking about. Is this regret? I have always thought I was not the type of person to feel regret, guilt, any sadness towards a decision I had made. I always tell myself my decisions are thought out enough that my final choice is the best and therefore should not be considered for further debate. But here I am debating on whether or not I should be mailing letters of forgiveness and apologies to those I have hurt or treated unfairly. Or whether or not doing so would be too much like tying up lose ends and people consider me suicidal. I am just so confused as to whether or not what I am feeling is normal or depression. Sure, I am weird. But is weird just a means of skating over the fact that someone is dealing with deeper issues that people don’t really want to admit or discuss? Or is weird just that I not only have an overactive imagination but that my brain overthinks everything to the point of hysteria. But even then, isn’t that something that should be discussed so that I would know how to control it and how to lead a “normal” life. And then again is what I am feeling actually normal or is it something more? I don’t want to be a disappointment, a stay at home wife/mother, an unemployed disgrace to society, or anything else unsavory. But I do want to be happy and be able to discover what truly makes me happy so I know how to continue with my life. I just hate feeling this way and falling in to these emotions. I think a big struggle for me right now is knowing that I met Jacob during a time in which my life was in the midst of taking off and really heading towards great things and through our first years of marriage I have fallen and backtracked. It disappoints me for him to see me like this because this sadness is not the woman he married. This under appreciated overworked retail worker is not the future I had for myself. How can I ask him to support me in a decision that seems to keep going backwards when we both want to move forward? All I can think is that my thoughts are still positive even though my body is still screaming sadness. So as long as I am in the process of fixing these things before the sadness takes over I can overcome this relapse, right? In 27 days I will be on vacation. And in that time I hope to have enough soul searching that I can regain myself 100%. I just want to be more. I want to have a legacy. And I want to be an inspiration or at least continue to be something my parents brag about. I want to take care of them as they have for me.

Behind the Silence

There is so much that has changed and so much that will over the course of a few years. I have always known these days would come, but never really expected them to arrive the way they have. I always thought there would be more resistance, a bit more fight in me, but somehow all of that which would have been fighting against the change is embracing the future of what these changes will bring. I found out today that my father hurt himself very badly. A part of me was very afraid it would be the man I called dad for so many years but in my heart I knew it was the man who gave me life. And regardless of the distance and differences he and I have shared I broke down into tears and am still crying long after having found out. If he were to leave this world today he would think I do not love him. He would think many things and very few would be accurate to my true feelings. And I would be even more angry than I already am. There is so much that I have not been able to say to him. There is so much that we have not shared. And I still have not been able to bring myself to devote enough time to figure out what exactly I want from him. And so much of what I want maybe he is finally able to give, but what if I do not have the heart to give and that is the problem. I want to know what all he did for me as a child so I can feel better about him in my life. I want to know why he made the choices he did and how he plans on making better choices. I want to know that he has a plan and is adamant about keeping his word. I want to know that if I put my faith in him for the remainder of his life that I will not be sacrificing mine for nothing. I wanted him to be a part of my life for so long, and I tried so hard to try and make him interested in mine and be proud of me so he would want to be a part of my life and do what it took, but I just don’t know that I have that strength to give him again. I have to start thinking of the life I am going to build for myself and the future of the family I hope to build. I am so afraid to start a family without having the state of my current family at peace. I don’t want to raise my children in a broken home, but that extends beyond my husband and I. I do not want my children to be confused about who their grandparents are and have negative feelings towards anyone based on someone else’s feelings, especially my own. When I look at myself I am happy with the woman I see. I am not happy with the lack of career I have, or the student loan debt, or the way in which I have let my education fall from my focus. But I am happy with the way in which I have been able to find myself after having almost lost who I was. Life is very tricky and so many things are keeping me from where I want to be, but mostly I am incapable of telling myself what I want and what I deserve are what I should be spending my time on. I am very good at allowing things to distract me from what is important. I miss my friends and I miss my family, but I am very afraid that if I keep hanging on to the life I had in Oklahoma then I will not grow into the person I hope to be. There is a life I picture for myself that is finally coming into view. I am feeling more confident everyday about knowing who I am and what I want in life. So much of who I am and what I wanted is making itself more apparent. I just have to find a way to work past temptation and focus on what I am really after. Its crazy to think how hurt we all are and how easily we disguise it or bury it within ourselves. Even crazier to think that as a person I have consistently tried to mimic those around me in hopes it would bring me closer to myself, but instead it only took me further from myself. I always felt the need to attribute my interests to something or someone and failed to realize that my interests were my own because i enjoyed doing them. That I felt a sense of self, warmth, and happiness when I did said tasks. Life is so very strange. I normally would only feel this way after having talked to my friends and being reassured that life would work itself out. So although I am sad I have been distant I am happy to see that I can still find my own way. Sometimes that’s all I really need, is to know that I am still making progress in life and not standing still wasting my time.

Realizing my husband is my secret journal

There is so much that I have to say but it doesn’t seem any of it really means anything other than my subconscious knows I am unhappy and wants to strive for more in life. But my body is just avoiding the conversation. Now that I cannot talk with Jacob about all these things I’m realizing how unhappy I am at work and how I do want something more for myself and I have this whole time. I’m afraid of defeat. I’m afraid of failure. I’m afraid of more debt or venturing off and finding myself still not where I want to be. I mean I live in fucking Washington and I’m telling myself I can’t make an art career for myself here. That’s crazy. I mean friends back home have managed to do so and they are in Oklahoma. Seattle is like a rock throw away and I’m complaining and working at a party store. That’s just embarrassing. I mean yeah sure I’m a manager but come on.. Dude I am so much more than average. I mean I still need an income, but shit. I also need to step up my game. I’m not trying anymore. I’ve gotten lazy. I’m not even taking advantage of the fact that we live somewhere different than we always have. Anyways, I just want to show improvement before the end of the year. I want to be able to tell myself I have grown and pushed forward. That I have gained something in the last year other than material belongings. I want to know that I am comfortable in my skin and who I am. That I have an image and it’s what I want for myself. I am aging and not progressing. Even my artistic skill hasn’t developed. Pure sadness this thought. I need to do more. And I know it. I am just always so tired and unmotivated. Maybe vitamins, I stopped taking them. And gaining a stronger community in which to develop my mind and soul. A support group. Something that will make me push myself and gain constructive criticism from others about how to improve.