Saturday, May 20, 2017

A day in the life of you

hello everyone.
I've probably already told you this,
but i LOVE this quote by Anaïs Nin.

I said no to an office job a few weeks ago
because i felt that saying 'yes' 
would keep me tight in a bud.

So now, let's blossom!
I've done nothing different this week
than any other week,
but somehow, it feels lighter.

I know it has everything to do
with my decision not to return
to an office environment.

I feel less frustrated.
I feel less afraid.
I feel more focused.
Even if I still have no idea
how this is all gonna work out (financially).
I'm proud of myself
for having dared to go
a little further than before.

For having stepped outside of
the goddamn box for a change.

We fill ourselves with fear sometimes
for absolutely no reason.
If this doesn't pan out for me,
and I'm not able to make at least
a bit of money by teaching e-courses,
I'll do something else.

My art changes, depending on how I feel
and over the past while, 
I've been doing a lot more 'illustrated journaling'
than actual painting.
Maybe because this feels like
the beginning of a new story for me.
Friends of mine went on a 3 week trip 
to Europe about a month ago
and brought me back a few nice surprises.
(hint: Belgian chocolate was involved). ;)
Merci Aline & Renée!
In 20 years from now,
the memory of these little surprises
may be long gone from my mind (or at least murky)
so I did this little collage,
not to forget.
Plus, it's so much fun to do!
This is why I love illustrated journals/collage so much.
It's *a day in the life*
and sometimes, when I look back
at some things I did from years ago,
I remember it as if it were yesterday.
It's not important that the art be perfect.
It's not important that it makes sense
to everyone.
Just to you.
It's not a masterpiece.
It's a day in your life
that you may look back on
with more fondness than you think
in 5 or 10 or 20 years from now.
It doesn't need to be a day
filled with activity & outings.
Sometimes, the simple days
are the best.

Thanks for hanging out with me.
Have a great long weekend!

Friday, May 12, 2017

the shackles are gone...

hello friends!
A lot has happened this week,
but it's been more about internal shifts
than anything external.
Although an external decision had to be made
in order for the internal to change and feel lighter. 
I had a decision to make this week
that I've been putting off for years now.
I've been going back to an office job
on a part time basis for about 4 years.
It worked for me in the beginning,
but hasn't worked for me in a while
and I knew a decision had to be made eventually.
I just kept putting it off.
I doodled about it.
I wrote about it.
I journaled and painted
and thought about it.

Circumstances and life choices sometimes
force us to make decisions based on
what's necessary at the time,
rather than what we want.
Based on what our MIND wants
rather than what our heart wants.
The best decisions are always those
made from the heart, for the heart.
So this week,
when I got the phone call,
I said no.
I made the decision to say no to something
that was no longer fulfilling me,
so that I could say YES
to something that does.
And I am ecstatic.
I literally felt a shift within me
as soon as I got off the phone
that brought me back to that quiet place within
that we so often forget is there is along.

Especially when things get antsy and rushed
and chaotic and crazy.
I feel such a sense of relief.
The floodgates have now opened
for bigger and better things.
Making room for the e-course I want to teach.
Making room for art and books and writing.
Making room for so many projects
I've had on the back burner,
because of that dreaded phone call
I knew would come, asking me to return.

It wasn't easy to say no to this job
but it felt necessary to say no.

Do you ever feel that way about something?

Like you KNOW with every bone in your body
what you should do,
but you do the opposite,
because it's what normal people do.

Because it's what's expected of you.

Because you have bills to pay.

Because you're afraid.

Because you just HAVE to, otherwise,
people would think you've lost your mind.
I chose to listen to myself this time.
I know many people who will think
But the few people who matter to me
are already proud of my decision,
even if there are still so many unknowns.
The few people I care about
are happy for me already.
Those are the only ones
I'm listening to these days. :)

How can I preach about courage
if I am not courageous myself?
How can I teach others
to listen to that quiet space within them
if I don't do it myself?

Already, I feel a 200lb weight
lifted from my shoulders,
and I feel more hopeful about tomorrow
than I've felt in a long time.
I feel energized and inspired
and full of so many ideas
that I cannot wait to share with all of you.

The 1st sign of having made
the right decision.

I'll keep you all posted as I go along.
Who knows... I may be crying in my beer by next week,
but I doubt it.
It all feels too right to be wrong.

I'll close with this... it cracked me up,
probably because we now have
a furry little addition in the family too -
although not quite as white as this one. :)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

are we there yet?

hello world.
I’ve been thinking a lot about women lately.
About us.
About my mom.
And my grandmother…

I’ve been thinking about how far we’ve come
and how far we still have to go.

Since Trump became POTUS,
I’ve become far more cynical,
far less trusting,
far more awake,
far more determined
to take my place in this world
and to speak against injustice.
I’ve also become more angry.
But it’s a good kind of anger.
(yes, there is such a thing).
Years ago, in my early 20’s,
I bought myself a car -
an Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme.
Kinda like this one.
Does this look like the kind of car
a young, 5' woman
would want to drive?
No. I didn't think so either.
I was so proud of the fact
that I was making my own payments
and that eventually,
the car would be mine.
But more than anything,
I knew my dad would love the car,
so in reality - I bought the car partly to please him.

We had an outdoor gathering that summer,
and after I had parked the car there,
with my then boyfriend in the passenger seat,
I stepped out of the car,
and heard an older woman there ask me:

“why are you driving instead of your boyfriend?”

The question sounded so strange to me.

Why is he not driving?

Um, maybe because it’s MY FUCKING CAR?
(I didn't actually say this, but I thought it)

Why would I NOT be driving my own car?

She was from a generation of women
who gave their husbands the wheel
in more ways than one,
so seeing a man in the passenger seat
and a woman driving
made no sense to her.

She was from a generation of women
who let their husbands take charge
and they (the women) were expected
to sit quietly on the sidelines.
This whole Trump thing got me thinking
about how often women are dismissed
as ‘less important’ than men.
It got me thinking about how often
so many of us put up and shut up
rather than stand up and speak out.

It got me thinking about how often
I had to fend off comments of a sexual nature
from my “bosses” in the workplace
when I was in my early 20’s.

It got me thinking about why so many women
keep rape to themselves.
Why would they say anything,
when history has shown,
time and time again,
that the victim becomes the accused,
because she was wearing a skimpy skirt,
or because she drank too much,
or because she was asking for it,
and the accused is so often set free?
Then I saw the movie Maudie in theatres
a few weekends ago, and again,
I thought about how many women
had learned to stand in the shadows
of their husbands -
because they were taught to believe
that they belonged there.

They were taught to believe
that they themselves had no right
to stand in their own light.
And how this feeling of being treated
as less than another
gave birth to stronger women,

with soaring spirits,

and determined minds,

and a relentless and persistent
quest for truth and fairness.

This whole Trump thing has made me 
more of a feminist than ever before.

In a good way. :)
This is my grandmother (mom's mother).
Eva Doiron.
A colored pencil drawing I did of her years ago.

She raised 13 children
while she kept the home
and baked bread & cookies early in the morning.
She loved conversation and politics.
She may have dreamed of a different life,
but this is the one she lived.

And she did so with a smile on her face
and lots of love in her heart,
especially for children and the poor.

I'm willing to bet it wasn't always easy for her either.

And on that note, I'll leave you
with the trailer for another strong woman: