Bitter Ends, Sweet Beginnings

Thursday, June 6th, 2019

 

What do I say after all this time? Against the roaring winds of eons past?

Trying to find time to blog has been trying. If you didn’t know by now or are just tuning in, my family earlier this year had been dealt a sudden blow with the death of our mother. Most of my creative outlets just before the news were greatly depleted and in much need of refilling the well. I got hit with Con-crud (then another disease) during the 2018 holiday season, which forced my hand to take a mandatory break. This year, stress from domestic affairs, death, family, legal, creative, etc. opened me and my husband to pneumonia (a week in the ER for him). I am trying to do a laundry list of things since a) no one else is gonna do it, b) it has to get done, c) deadlines and d) being busy and productive keeps the mind from wandering to dark places. Self-love and care are the main focus but still feel like a distant goal. After 11 years, I am seeing a therapist to deal with the grieving process. It has surprisingly helped immensely to understand and digest everything going on with my emotions, even how they affect my physical well being at this time. My confidence over my physical appearance is at an all-time low. Honestly, I feel like I make Medusa look beautiful. Things on and offline (sex & beauty-wise) trigger my insecurities. Bigger breasts, smaller waist, wrinkles, greying hair are thoughts that bother me now. I feel inadequate. Unworthy of sex, love, friends, etc. I find myself buried in work to escape these thoughts.

I’ve been told in the past it’s not in a blogger’s best interest to be “too honest” or open with everything that’s going on in your life since it would put off potential clients or make you look like a hot mess. That to admit setbacks of any sort makes you look like you don’t know what you are doing. That you are not in control (despite the open secret / fact that everyone is in the same boat). That you are somehow not credible. Watching occult business owners go at it with each other online for various reasons grants the example of: “A magician or witch who doesn’t have their shit together is clearly blah, blah, blah…” is a common one I hear. For me, that’s like saying I’m not a good artist, another occupation based on the eye of the beholder (style, technique, genre, demographics, questions of taste coming into play, etc.). Just because I’m not rich, famous or well off on my work by whatever imaginary bar the other person sets, my work has no merit. Across the board, no matter what profession you are in, that kind of thinking is toxic and has to stop. Results may vary. Like a painting. Some are great. Others not so much. Factors are always in play. Over a period of time, you hope a history or rapport develops with your clients based on those best possible results. That the work speaks for itself. You hope. It’s not always the case. To each their own. But I digress.

zI am not ashamed to admit I was experiencing creative burnout last year. Like any other emotion such as fear, anger, jealousy, or melancholy, it lets you know there’s something very wrong and you need to address it. To take a step back and a much-needed break. We don’t though because we’ve bought into the modern societal kool-aid – the cult of busy. If we’re not productive or killing ourselves continuously, somehow we have no intrinsic societal value. Afraid that if we stop, our financial means of survival will end abruptly. Spiritual burnout hit me two years before. I questioned everything. I questioned what I was doing with my life, my work, my artistic compass; things that once gave me pleasure caused me great pain to think about. I questioned my faith and what I fundamentally believed in. Some days imposter syndrome hit me really hard. So what do I do? I make lists. To-Do lists, appointments on calendars, mail, packages to emails posts so I don’t forget or set up. It forces me to get back on the horse. To try, try, try again. It’s annoying but effective. Seeing things crossed off your lists gives you a sense of accomplishment – momentum to move forward. It’s how I was able to save money, start traveling across local east coast conventions when before it seemed impossible, create an original comic from nothing, do a kickstarter, create a business, buy a co-op … you get the idea. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself looking back on a bunch of accomplishments wondering, “Wait a minute, when did I find time to do all this?”

My thanks to all of you who have stuck with me so far. Ultimately it’s the support of my fans and patrons that helps keep me going. I need a break right now to rest and recharge, but I guarantee I will be back up and running before you know it!

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