Memorial

O Me! O Life!
BY WALT WHITMAN
“Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

Answer.
That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.”

On August 11, 2014 I bid my parents and my hometown goodbye (not for the first time in my life, and probably not for the last time in my life). I climbed into the back of my sisters very full Jetta and we headed south on US 131. The drive was fine, but it was a bit odd to be a passenger in a car for an extended period of time. (Most of the time I am driving by myself, especially if I am bound for Chicago). I looked at the scenery passing us by and adjusted bags next to me, and at my feet, so as to not crush anything. Eventually I got out my phone and started looking at FB (which ended up eating a shit ton of data). For a while I laughed at what friends posted, and made my own witty remarks about our trip thus far.

Eventually I came across some truly sad news, news that I had to research on the internet (more data used) to believe. Robin Willams, a man who always made me smile, and was truly talented was dead. I sat in silence, this couldn’t be happening… I was finally getting my life back on track, I was moving somewhere warm and had a new job. How, when everything was going so right, could something go so wrong. I sat there and watched the sad remarks about Mr. Williams passing grow on FB, the more remarks I saw, the more I tears welled up in my eyes.

Eventually I got up the nerve to tell my sister and her husband (god that’s still strange to say), they were both sad to hear the news. But they didn’t seem to be nearly as distraught as I was. I sat in the car as it rained and thought it was ironic that the sky was crying for another lost soul.

Over the next few days social media was flooded with mournful posts about Williams passing and inspiring quotes with his picture. His life, and what brought about his untimely death was all over the news. And I’m fairly sure his passing was the hot topic of conversation. For as much of a big deal as Williams passing was made out to be at the time, why is it still not a hot topic now? Because in this day and age we move on too quickly; there is always some new scandal or death or birth to talk about. We need to slow down and take time to remember things. I will always remember Robin Williams, and I will always remember what lead to his death.

Wind, Bikes, and Netflix

Today was the first Sunday I’ve had off in a long time, so I was torn between doing nothing and going off on an adventure. For some unknown reason I woke up early. I lay in bed, cursing the gods for a while and then decided maybe some TV would put me back to sleep. It did not, so I decided instead of spending the day watching TV I should go to the beach. Maybe I would luck out and see a turtle.

I rode my bike down to all but empty beach. The wind was strong and the  waves were rather impressive, so I decided against swimming. Instead I went for a walk up and down the beach. Ocean spray and sand were everywhere (I guess windy days will do that). The walk was peaceful, though I felt a bit like a tourist carrying my towel around in my arms. After a while I decided maybe this blustery day was best suited to activates, something that didn’t involve sand. I went home, refilled my water, brushed off some sand and changed. Then I was off on my bike again, this time I headed south. As I rode I took in the scenery, it’s very different from what I’m used to. Palm trees are everywhere, and flowers are still in bloom (its November and there are flowers?!), and the houses… I’m not sure how to describe them, but they are different. As I continued my journey I kept finding I had to remind myself I was still in the United States. I guess I still think I’ve been plopped into some tropical foreign country. Eventually I reached a gated community and was forced to turn around. No, no one told me to turn around, I just saw the gates and decided maybe I should head home.

Once home the TV (as always) got turned on. I went through my normal line up, watched something on Hulu, watched something on CW, and last but not least Netflix. I honestly think some days I would be lost without Netflix, no I am not proud to say that, but its true. It may take me a while, but I always find something on there to watch. Today it took me a little longer than normal. I was sick of the shows I was watching and I wanted to find something new, preferably a move, so I wouldn’t get sucked into another TV show. (I think there about a dozen shows that I am currently watching, and the idea of adding another was daunting.) I flipped through action, adventure, thriller, anime, drama, and decided to stick with comedy. I scrolled through the options several times before I decided on a film I had never heard of.

I am currently about 40 minutes into Liberal Arts, and I am in love. Okay, maybe love isn’t the right word, happily surprised would be a better way to put it. So far the film hits home, in many ways. It takes place in Ohio and New York. The main character is in his 30’s. And he nostalgic about his time in college. Classical music makes him look at life differently. All of these are things that I, as someone in my 30’s can and do relate to. I can’t wait to see what happens in the rest of the film! I’m sure you will hear my thoughts about the film as a whole in the next few days.

Inner Demons (I know it’s so unoriginal)

What will follow is more personal than I probably should be. But what the hell, it’s on my mind and I haven’t written in ages. Okay, maybe not ages, but seeing as my writing is how I want to make a living it’s been far to long.

For a year now my depression has been getting the better of me. It’s hampered my education, my finances, my social life… and well just about everything. This spring, after a few really frustrating and hurtful events I came to the conclusion that I was losing my battle to depression, and that I needed to do something about it. I started looking online at treatments for depression, and of course all suggestions pointed to meds and therapy. As I rule I hate taking meds (yes I know they can be beneficial). I look at all the side effects and wonder how much good they will actually do. Case in point, with my ADHD meds I could concentrate but I wasn’t hungry, so I didn’t eat. I lost a lot of weight and everyone I knew worried and had to remind me to/make me eat. I didn’t want to take meds for depression (maybe I was in denial of how bad it was, or I didn’t want to face the negative stigma associated with depression) and I sure as hell didn’t have money for therapy. So I tried looking into free counseling, with no luck. So for a few more months I spiraled further down the rabbit hole. Things got so bad that I considered checking myself into a facility.

Eventually my parents came back and their concern for my well-being was at the forefront of our conversations. I told them how I was considering inpatient programs, and they were all for it, but thought meds and therapy would do the trick. I mentioned my financial concerns (aka my lack of income) and they offered to help. I got in to see my old therapist and she, as always worked wonders. Getting meds on the other hand was a nightmare. I was going to have wait over a month to see someone who could prescribe me medication. Lucky for me (or rather not) I was in such bad shape that my family doctor took pity, on me and gave me a refill of the antidepressant prescription I had in high school. So by the middle of June I started therapy and was on meds two weeks later.

In therapy we talked a lot about how I hold very high and unrealistic expectations for myself, and my need for approval. In a few short weeks I made tons of progress. I started to feel more like myself again, and with help was finding the desire to move forward with my life. I started to work on my thesis again, in tiny bits and pieces (though it is still far from complete). And I began to look into moving and finding a new job.

The desire to get out of my parents place, and move forward with my life lead me here to Hawaii. Which everyone, including my therapist, said would be a good change. And though there have been some tough times, where I wanted to toss in the towel and go home I have persevered (with help from a few kind souls and my trusty green capsule). I have a new job, and probably have few new other side jobs on the way as well. Life isn’t perfect and I still struggle on a daily basis with how I’m feeling and the unrealistic expectations I place on myself. But I’m learning to put myself first, spending lots of time outside, and going on new and exciting adventures. I love being so close to the ocean and the mountains, it makes me feel like I’m in a Miyazaki film (which makes me grin and puts me at peace).

Yes I know most of this was a downer, sorry! Grr… no, I have got to stop apologizing, I do that too much. I want to assure you readers, that though I still struggle, I am making lots of progress and things here are going pretty well and I know they are only going to get better.

All my love!

Busy Busy

A month ago I apologized for not writing as much as I said I would. Today I apologize again. The month of July was busy at the gallery and for me personally. Summers up north are always busy, family and friends visit. And some of us still work, so before you know it, August is here and people are going back to school. I’m still not done with my masters thesis, so I’m still technically in school, but I don’t have classes to go to.

I am however in the process of gearing up for my next big adventure. In less than a week I will be moving to Maui. The whole process of this move started maybe a month ago when a well tanned, happy woman came into the gallery. Maybe 5 minutes before she showed up I was talking to a co-worker about wanting to move.

Why you ask? Well I’m sick of living in Northern Michigan. Yes it’s beautiful, safe, artsy and quaint. But for a 30 single liberal woman, it’s rather boring. 

When the woman came in we got to talking about jewelry and where she lives. I mentioned how I’ve always wanted to visit Hawaii, but hadn’t been able to go yet. She joked about how she normally brings people back from the mainland to work. Both my co-worker and I said I could do that. At that point the conversation got a little more serious and I got some contact information from her. 

In the next two weeks I got in touch with the woman who is going to be my new employer. The information gathering, interview process, and decision making process only took about two weeks. All of this happened so fast my heads still spinning. And probably will continue to do so for the next 5 days as I finish packing and move to Lahaina, HI. 

I will try to finish my list of things to do in Petoskey before I take off, if not maybe I will get it done after the move. I will share stories about my move and my new life in Hawaii as I find the time. 🙂 

Your summer reading list: Rashida Jones, Elizabeth Gilbert, Bill and Melinda Gates and many more share their book recommendations

Your summer reading list: Rashida Jones, Elizabeth Gilbert, Bill and Melinda Gates and many more share their book recommendations

A very good list if you need a few reading ideas.

TED Blog

Books - vector illustration

Summer: the season for cracking open a good book under the shade of a tree. Below, we’ve compiled about 70 stellar book recommendations from members of the TED community. Warning: not all of these books can be classified as beach reads. And we think that is a good thing.

books-Elizabeth-GilbertPicks from Elizabeth Gilbert, author 

The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman. “The only book I have ever bought by the crate-load. I give copies of this sumptuous masterpiece to everyone I care about. I could try to describe it further, but … it would be more efficient if you just read it yourself. (Watch Maira Kalman’s TED Talk, “The illustrated woman.”)

Age of Wonder: The Romantic Generation and the Discovery of the Beauty and Terror in Science by Richard Holmes. “I just finished writing a novel about
18th- and 19th-century scientific exploration, and this engaging book was a…

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Maya Angelou Recites Still I Rise

Because someone else always says it better. Thanks Bex!

The Feminine Miss Geek

Maya Angelou, poet and author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, died today at age 86. She was also a civil rights leader, journalist, and actress. She was also one of my favorite poets, and while I am saddened by her passing, I’m thankful that all her powerful, moving words will live on. Transcript of Still I Rise is below the jump.

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