The other day someone asked me if I was depressed, they said they'd read my blog and I sounded down. Sure I get down...and about once a month I take a ride on the hormone roller coaster and get really, really down, but depressed? Certainly not.
I love my life. I am married to the exact right person for me. We have such camaraderie between us, such good humour, and such a rigorous, flexible, tough working bond...plus he makes my toes curl up when he smiles at me (which my Uncle Lorn always said was THE SIGN). Even on the worst of days, it is pretty darn awesome that we just get to be together. These two sons of mine, they have exceeded my expectation in every way of what it would be and how it would feel to be a parent. I marvel at them. I am life-drunk on the impossible sweetness of watching each of them become themselves. I am so very honoured to be their mom. Even on the most challenging days, there are always moments that pierce me through with deep gratitude for who I am and what I have. Friends, family, health, abilities, a comfy, comfy cocoon of a home, a future full of possibilities in a safe country...these are no small blessings, and I feel their heft in my hand, their piercing sweetness, my own intoxicating luck every single day...even on the tough days.
So I am definitely not depressed, but this does not mean that I don't get down. I get angsty, anxious, moody, impatient, bored and plain old fashioned cranky...human, I get human. I work hard -very, very, sweat-on-the-brow hard to behave in measured, generous, positive and kind ways towards the people around me, especially my children, no matter what I am feeling on the inside. I don't always succeed...but I succeed most of the time. I also work hard to cultivate the calm, confident, optimistic bits inside of me...through the books I read, art, the friends I keep and the way I allow my thought processes to unfold about any given event. I am working hard, always, like Rocky training for the fight, because it doesn't come naturally to me. I am wired for anxiety, neurologically and chemically, but as I've said before, I am also wired for tenacity and hope. I can do better, and I do better because I can.
But does this mean I shouldn't or can't talk about the messy bits? I know people that think that admitting to the fear and the frustration just gives it more legitimacy. These are the "never complain" people. They keep calm and carry on, they certainly don't or can't talk about the ugly stuff. I am not one of these people. If I bottle up my anxieties, they grow. The internal pressure rises. The confusion and angst gains momentum, fears loom larger and larger. If I talk, journal, blog or art out the things that are bothering me, the very second they hit the paper or escape my mouth, they diminish. I gain immediate calm and perspective. I can begin to problem solve.
Moral of the story: I need to KVETCH! I just do.
Now, I could certainly just keep this fear sharing private, but I also think that there are many people like me out there, and that when we all share it creates a sense of community and a mutual lightening of loads. I love real stories from real people. I want to know about and celebrate the good stuff, but I am interested in the awkward, and the struggle, and the unresolved, because that is wherein the life and the growth occurs.
So I share my down moments on this blog, and I share my frustration over situations that are not fixable, like my sons' struggles at school, which are only likely to intensify as they approach the teen years, no matter what therapies and accommodations we have in place. I am not looking for solutions or pity, just a release of anxiety and a realignment of perspective, and maybe to inspire, amuse or comfort someone else out there whose life is also imperfect, just as others have done for me. But I promise it won't all be angst, there will be art and cupcakes too, chiaroscuro, remember?
So in the spirit of revealing the messy bits, the opening photo is of my family room coffee table. Uh huh, quit judging. It took me 10 minutes to find my patch cord this morning. It was under all of that stuff on the coffee table of course. I wanted to photograph this:
A small canvas, a bit of collage and underpainting and wires attached with brads. I am truly obsessed with this wire idea, but can't seem to find wires of just the right gauge and finish to match what's in my head around here, thus a big art output slowdown. This canvas is at that "Oh no, what was I thinking?" stage, but I have dug into the problem solving part of the process. What will bring it towards the feeling I want to evoke? It is like a puzzle and I am slowly finding the right pieces and fitting them together...much like in life I guess. Art reflecting life and life reflecting art, O what a wonderful circle!
April Art Journal Pages
16 hours ago