The important dynamics of a varied friendship group

Ok – I’ll admit it… that title doesn’t sound like me. But it’s something I’ve spent the past few moments mulling around in my head and I just decided to go with it. In the past month that I’ve put together my new commercial studio space (which by the way – i’m 95% done with and it’s AMAZING!) I’ve met so very many of my sister’s friends, plus people in the building, and some of my friends have come to visit as well…. it’s been a month of PEOPLE. 🙂 And I say that with delight and joy – because after spending so very much time in my home with the quarantines, this new energy has truly been a delight for me and is helping when it comes to giving me inspiration with my comics.

Something I’ve learned this month tho, is that it’s so important to have a well-rounded group of friends. One of the things I cherish so much about my own friend group is how eclectic it is – we’re a bunch of misfits in our own ways- but if an outsider were to label each of us – they’d be surprised that we’re all friends. And everyone comes from a different background – some from all over the world – and everyone also seems to be at different stages of their own life journey.

There have been moments in my life when I wished I had someone who was on a similar journey as me. Thinking that perhaps then I’d feel understood. But what I realized this morning is that it’s because of the incredibly varied perspectives of those who I surround myself with that I feel free enough to break through the constraints that I had on me.

I had someone I was chatting with recently share their passion and drive for their career. At first – I glommed onto that and used that to carry the conversation a bit – and it was an enjoyable chat. But later, as I reflected on how nice it was to talk to someone who has a lot of drive in their career, I also reminded myself that that was once me – but i’m not in that place anymore. I no longer live to work. Not at all. I reminded myself how once upon a time, I would put a lot of weight on someone’s worth being tied to their job or their career accomplishments. And now? I just don’t care anymore. Are they happy? Are they content and healthy and balanced?

I’d have never changed my way of thinking if it weren’t for my diverse group of friends who were both kind and brave enough to share their own perspectives in order to widen mine. I’m so grateful to have them in my life – and am hopeful that I’ll continue to grow in these ways. 🙂

I do hope you are all doing well out there! Stop in and leave a note below and tell me what has been on your mind today? Happy Tuesday!

“Staying in your lane”

My sister says this to people. A lot. And sometimes I agree with her, and other times, not so much. You see, if I had “stayed in my lane” my entire life, then I wouldn’t be where I am. In fact, I’d wager, had she said that to me long ago – i’d have found a way to kindly tell her to go fuck herself because you can’t stay in one lane when you own the pool. 😀 But I digress. I get why she says it – it’s to help someone know when they are slipping from their path – or losing focus. It is a signal, to reel it in and double check yourself. How often do people even DO that anymore? I find that I do it often – and perhaps maybe need to just let it loose a little more. Granted – that does beg the question – what happens if you don’t know what lane you’re even in? Maybe you’re actually swimming diagonally across the pool?! Maybe you don’t believe in lanes! 😀 Hehe.

This week – I really need to stay in my lane when it comes to work focus. I’ve got lots to do, both for my day job and for my comic. I also just generally need to recover from a full weekend of shenanigans. The sister and I went to Portland for a short overnight getaway. The weekend was filled with a mix of things – shopping, self care, good food, strippers!, new friends, old friends… you name it. And while I had fun – a blast actually during most of it – I’m feeling a bit overly crispy around the edges today. Like – stick a fork in me already – i’m done. I may take a bit of a nap later and see if it re-energizes me.

My comic work is coming about slowly and steadily. At least on “Bar Tales”. My Mom book however I’m still stuck on. I need to just suck it up and start drawing the main character and not stop until i can do her consistently. But the problem is – she is me. And i’m still learning to see myself. It’s hard. My view of myself changes constantly – perhaps that’s why I feel like I own the pool rather than a single lane. I’ve written about this in the past and it still feels true today – we wear a lot of masks in society – and I’m not entirely convinced that all of us have figured out who we are without them.

Well, I better get back to my work morning – but here’s me wishing you a happy week!

Good morning Neverland!

2021 is off to an interesting start

I don’t want to jinx it. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush… but so far – 2021 is off to an interesting start. I find myself in a unique position to take a little break from the stresses of my career and give myself a reset. A reset from all that happened in 2020. I don’t want to get into any of the real nitty gritty details right now – but a few highlights include

  • Losing the woman who helped raise me to Covid
  • Divorce
  • My kid “came out” – lots of whirlwind rollercoaster emotions with that one, but the end result has been quite positive.
  • Work stresses from 4 manager changes – and then over the New Years break deciding it was time to move on from that company.

And so much more…. I’ve decided to really look at what I’ve been prioritizing in my life. To really focus on my health and wellbeing – both physical and emotional and mentally. It’s a little bit scary – but it feels right. And I’m doing it holistically – across many avenues and many paths.

I’ve started drawing again…even drawing about the moments from this blog. It’s a comic book or web comic – of this blog…of my life. A modern day ”Cathy” or A modern day ”Calvin and Hobbes” – but about a mom instead of a boy. A grown up female mom with an imagination that rivals the boy. I don’t know if it will amount to anything -but I’m absolutely beyond driven to make it a real thing. It feels so good to draw the moments that helped shape who I am. Poignant Vulnerable Moments. Some of them are even quite funny! It’s been a very positive and very empowering project to get started on – and the more I work on it – the more I see it taking real shape. I can also see where I’ve been influenced as far as other artists in my life. 🙂

I’ve been slowly sharing pages and work in progress on a new instagram account. If any of you are interested – I’d love a like or two on the ones that make you smile or make you think. In truth – I’m still learning – my grandfather was the artist – not me. But it brings me such joy.

http://www.instagram.com/snowfallstudiosart

I think right now, I have 6 followers – and a few came from my kid. 🙂 I don’t mind. In theory – people will slowly find my work and if they like it – they’ll follow me as I go. Even if no one ever finds them… it feels good to put visuals to the story I’m telling about my life.

I just did this piece … it doesn’t fit with the blog – but it’s a bit more relevant for the world we’re in right now. It’s showing what it would be like to go on a vacation in a world where we not only wear masks – but we also have our own personal plastic bubble (PPB). It was fun to draw out to be honest. And I’m not sure my line art does it justice – at some point – I’ll put color to it – but I kind of like what it is right now – as it is.

I’ve also highly enjoyed drawing the kids and my pups – showing those little moments that bring such joy in my life. Even my son has enjoyed helping me plan out different panels and tell a story. How could I NOT want to spend my time doing THAT? 🙂

Well – I better get back to my day – but I wanted to check in. All the love to you in neverland. We’ll catch up again real soon. If you feel up to it – leave me a note in the comment section – how’s your 2021 going so far?

Coming round to a decision…

I’ve come to a decision about my future. It’s taken me some time. I’ve let things marinate and I’ve given ample opportunity to see change. I’ve worked with my counselor just about every week to better understand my reactions and where I could have done things differently. And after all of it – I’m about ready to file for divorce. I’ve given myself a deadline. I have to have surgery in a few weeks, so I’m giving myself some room there too – to rest, recover and heal. But I’m feeling pretty positive about my decision. I can honestly say I’ve done all I could to make things work from my end. I’ve listened more than I’ve ever listened in my life. And ultimately – I think this may be the reason I’m going through this. The universe has thrown lessons and tests at me throughout my life – and I don’t always understand them in the moment – darn that hindsight being 20/20 … but I think I understand this one.

I needed to learn that you can lead that damn horse to water – but only the horse can make himself drink. I needed to learn to be able to communicate in a better, more productive way. In previous relationships I learned how to have a voice – but often it would come out raging or so filled with emotions that my voice wasn’t clear or crisp. The past year has taught me how to use my voice in a calm, collected, crystal clear fashion. I learned how to set boundaries, how to find an awareness of my own needs and be able to voice them. And – in the end – I learned how to choose myself, my health, my emotional well being, and ultimately, my future happiness- over what would have amounted to death by a thousand paper cuts.

It’s odd – in my work life – things could not be better. I won a manager award on Wednesday. Recognized for being a top leader, transforming a team, and inspiring others to become better leaders. It felt good… but bittersweet in some ways. How can I be getting it so right at work – but so wrong at home?

The kids are happy and healthy… Well-loved and thriving. My puppies are also doing damn well- although my youngest pup still has the energy of a tornado. hehe. That’s what 12 week old puppies do tho, so it’s to be expected! So maybe I’m not getting it wrong at “home” – but I sure do question my ability to get it right when it comes to matters of the heart.

I’m hopeful for 2020. I’m going to continue to focus on embracing my own well being. I’m going to keep the trend of being authentically me. But I am also going to work on re-establishing my tribe. Somehow, in the past year, I’ve let a lot of my friendships falter. Not by doing something bad – just from general neglect and lack of attention. My focus was elsewhere, and I’m feeling the loss. I miss the “family” that I built around me. Not all are blood – in fact, very little are truly family members. My tribe was a group of people who became as close as family to me – and in all truth – I miss them. There are only a very small circle of people I talk to these days – and even out of that circle, only 2 who know what’s really going on with me. It’s kind of a lonely existence when you’re in limbo. And I’ve never been a very patient woman when it comes to my own path. I get frustrated when my dreams aren’t moving along at the pace I think they should. I know – it’s silly.

Well – I should get my butt moving. Time to dive into another day at work. The day beckons… but please know, to all you who read this silly little blog – I appreciate you. I’m thankful that you’re there – reading the things I toss into the void. Have a great day!

Love, getting older, and trust

I’ve spent some time with my grandparents within the past month.  Real time.  Where we sat and chat and had no time restraints.  I’m grateful that I’ve been able to take the time to prioritize my family in that way.  I love them with all my heart.

Something that has struck me and left me processing for a bit now, is what I see in their relationship to each other.  They are all they have left, of a life that was rich with friends and loved ones.  They are now at an age, where they watch who’s left of their friends pass away.  Moving on to bigger adventures in the grand circle of life.  It’s a sad, lonely, and quite frankly, a depressing time of one’s life it would seem.  So of course, the love my grandparents share is magnified that much more.  They’ve been through everything together.  They hold hands when they get their hair cut.  They are constantly talking about each other and thinking about each other when they are apart.

It’s left me thinking about my own future a little bit.  For one, I feel this sudden urge to make sure my retirement accounts are healthy – holy moly does that level of care cost a FORTUNE or what?!  But beyond that, I can’t help but wonder what my future as an old lady will be like?  Will I live in a nice assisted living place like my grandparents?  What will I be like when I’m an old lady?  Will I be more cantankerous?  More kooky?  More sweet?  🙂

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Who will be by my side?

Of course, when you start to look ahead, you can’t help but also look behind.  I think about the fact that so much in my life has changed from where I was 10, even 15 years ago.  How young and innocent I was.  Naive to much of what life could, and would throw my way; but I’ve always handled it all.  I’m damn proud of that.  And I don’t think I’d trade anything from it.  EXCEPT one thing.  Well – ok maybe two.  One – I’d love to have my body back from my early twenties.  Uh… yes Please!?!  But two… Somewhere along the lines I’ve lost my ability to trust someone else completely.  And I miss that.

I sat today and tried to pinpoint when I lost it.  Like it was a coin from my pocket that had somehow slipped out and run about loose.  But it wasn’t like that.  I think it was more like how a rocky cliffside will slowly erode away from the ocean waves that pound on it.  The more people I’ve put faith and trust in over the years who’ve let me down, have made it so that I’m a bit leery to be blindly handing out my trust anymore.  And that’s really quite a sad thing.  That’s me changing and adapting due to shitty people.  It’s perfectly normal of course, life experiences teach you, after all.

I’ve been thinking a lot about  weddings and relationships.  I think it’s because of something my grandmother brought up. 70+ years together.  Just Wow.  I was admiring their wedding photo and couldn’t help but think that they both, for sure, upheld their wedding vows.

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I always upheld mine.  That I can say without uncertainty.  When I think about my own future, it’s dawned on me that I’ve never really thought about what I’d want someone to say to me now.  Because of my own experiences – I think I’d want to write them – rather than have someone say them for me.  Because the standard I will love, honor, cherish, obey …. insert the rest of the standard bit here… isn’t quite right for me anymore.

Yes, I would hope to be loved, honored, cherished… i’m pretty sure they cut out obey now… so i won’t get into that one… but I think I’d also want a few other guidelines in there.  Ones I would hope would be a mutually spoken thing of course.

8 Vow additions for a future husband & wife:

I promise to Respect.
I would hope that my future husband would promise to always respect me and our relationship.

I promise to Trust and never do anything to cause that level of trust to falter.

I promise to always put your needs at the same priority level as my own.  If I’m going to be “selfish” it will be for us – not just myself.

I promise to always be stubborn and to never quit trying and putting effort into us and our lives we’re building together.  Even when things get tough or tense.

I promise to always communicate and be transparent. You are the one person I am not allowed to hide anything from.  I will always try and make sure that we are communicating in a healthy manner.

I promise to never judge you.  I will always empathize with you, and try and understand from your perspective.

I promise to always prioritize our sex life.  To be affectionate with you.  To touch you and hug you and love you. Because this is something I will also need and crave.

I also promise to adventure with you, to make you laugh, to sing to you, to lift you up and encourage you to spread your wings.  To be your cheerleader when you need it, and a silent gaming partner when you need that too.

 

Hmm… yea, I suppose that covers quite a bit.  Makes me wonder how people end their vows these days – and yes, I realize I could go search that.  Do they say till death do us part anymore?  Or is it till divorce or death do us part?  LOL.  Ok, ok, I shouldn’t laugh at that – divorce is no laughing matter at all.  As obviously, I speak from personal experience there.  But do people work loopholes into their vows now?

Can you imagine what some of the worst vows out there could be like?  I take you… till death, divorce, sickness, fatness, or a really cute rich guy comes along…

funny-marriage-cartoon

Ugh.  I would certainly hope that doesn’t happen.  Would seem like a sad state of affairs for the “sanctity of marriage”.

Is it wrong for me to long for this to be a more simple thing?  I suppose there is no such thing.  All you can do is hope for the best.  Hope that the right person will come along and sweep you off your feet.  That they’ll be the one to open your eyes to everything that’s good and wonderful in the world.  And who knows – maybe they’ll even be a master at making grilled cheese.  😉

Goodnight Neverland.  Much love to you.

lipstick kiss