Tag Archives: self-reflection

Wait a second, I don’t have to explain myself…but I’m going to.

Since my mom’s diagnosis, my family and I have had some discussions about things we’ve never talked about before. One of the topics that seems to creep around more often are our personality traits ~ who is more like who, etc. We probably all have some variations of opinions on this, but I’ve expressed to my parents that I feel my sister is more like my dad and that I am more like my mom.

One big difference is that my dad and sister will debate topics, while I have no desire to do so. I bring up this particular personality attribute because it’s been talked about quite a few times now, with me being told by my dad that I tend to get angry at him often when he tries to tell me things. My parents view me as the sensitive child…the weaker one.

I say “weaker” because in a conversation a few months ago about this, my mom expressed concern that I would let my sister bulldoze over me. I personally look at people who allow others to run over them as weak – the word “weak” was not used specifically in this conversation or any others after. My sister’s personality is big and bold – when she walks into the room, people notice her. I also have a big and bold personality, I just choose when and where to showcase it. I don’t view my sister as bulldozer and I don’t see myself as a doormat.

I’ve calmed down in my 30’s. There are a lot of things – ideas, opinions – that I realized I had spent too much time on. I had too much emotional energy directed toward things and people that really didn’t matter. I feel I was more sensitive then – I cared more about others, I cared more about being right, about being seen and heard; cared more about what others thought.

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Life kicked me in the pants in my early 30’s and I realized that, even by caring what others thought, people were going to think whatever they wanted to anyway. They were going to gossip; they were going to go about their lives in the way they saw fit, no matter what I said or did. So why was I caring so much? Why was I wasting energy I could use to focus on bigger and better things on things I could not change? Things that weren’t my job to change? Those things were unnecessary speedbumps in my life and I was sick of having to constantly replace the tires and wheels of my car.

So, no, I don’t debate. If you feel a certain kind of way, I will listen (as long as it’s not super unproductive, hateful or ridiculous), but it isn’t my job to tell you if you’re wrong. Life has a way of doing that to people; it certainly did for me.

I spend my free time trying to do things that bring me peace; no where in any of that is confrontation, conflict, or bad-feelings.

Is it perfect? No; life is not easy, but I think I have the energy to tackle it because I spend way less time on things I used to that created feelings of unhappiness and unease in my life. People have told me over the years that they wished they had the energy and motivation that I appear to haveThis may be why – it’s the road I chose and the one that works best for me. I think that when we find the right path in our lives, we care less about the thoughts and opinions of others. We become less volatile and more evenly-balanced. At least until it’s time for the path to change.

It is just strange to me that I would be viewed as sensitive and/or weak by those close to me simply because I often choose not to engage and that my choice to not engage and create a distance is viewed as “anger”. It isn’t anger and it’s not complete detachment either. Sometimes it’s disappointment; sometimes it’s a little bit of sadness for the person. I’d just rather walk away in some situations than argue through them; I’d rather preserve my inner peace and move on with my life. But I suppose I’m falling into an old bad habit here – caring what others think of who I am and feeling that it needs an explanation. It doesn’t.

So, where does my mom’s personality fall in all of this?

I see her in the woman I’ve been becoming in my 30’s. Content to let you think what you want without becoming attached to it; content to be quiet and have quiet hobbies. No real desire to argue or debate unless it’s truly of importance. More inclined to listen than speak. I see this in my sister, too.

But my analysis of things comes from my dad, I think. My dad’s personality traits in me created this blog post and likely all of my blogs in general.

I fear being ordinary.

I fear being normal.

I fear being forgettable.

I fear not causing a ripple whatsoever…it all makes me squeamish. I don’t want to be unremarkable.

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But there is beauty to ordinary things – the things we look over; too focused on the bigger picture or what’s being painted on the canvas in the background.

While I may sometimes feel as interesting as a dull penny, I know that to my dog, I am someone super amazing and important.

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I am the provider of a million kisses, tennis balls for fetching, and the best neck scratches on the planet.

There is nothing wrong with being the solid foundation of a life instead of the glittery decoration at the top. The world needs all kinds to run.

I am over this season and how it has me, at times, too much inside my own head and not enough outside in the real world. Sometimes I feel like I’ve shrunk so small – that I’m almost invisible – and then the world brings me right on back in with an unexpected conversation with a stranger. Thank you, Erica, from Nini’s Gourmet Paninis. I snuck out of my office like a ghost to have lunch amongst a hungry, busy group of strangers. It was refreshing to be seen amongst the mass of digesting 9-to-5ers; I didn’t even know that is what I needed.

>>View my Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/WeirdGlassArt

>>Follow me on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/WeirdGlassArtStudio/

 

Loving yourself in a difficult world

There are obstacles everywhere and it feels super defeating to keep running into the same one repeatedly. My persistent obstacle is letting my guard down and feeling comfortable enough with someone to show them who I really am. Everyone wants to be friends with Positive Patty, but not always Honest Hannah. When Serious Stacey comes out to play, people try and leave the playground.

No matter where you are in life, I think it is important to be honest with yourself. So, I am being honest with myself in saying that I am pushy and stubborn when it comes to improvement. I believe honesty is a form of love.

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Duh!

This doggedness in my personality, this constant drive to keep moving forward, making progress, getting better – I imagine, can be easily seen as criticism and judgment. Mistaken for inflexibility and lack of empathy. I am neither inflexible or unempathetic. I’m constantly making do with life circumstances and I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. Just because I put aside the fluffy mask every once in a while to show the serious drive underneath does not make me heartless. It means I’m trying to get shit done.

The issue is we’ve become such a sensitive society that we only want to take on the good stuff – not the bad. Good vibes only, right? Wrong. It’s the obstacles that help us grow into (hopefully) better people. It’s the criticism that gets us to change gears. It’s having someone call us on our bullshit every once in a while. Those obstacles, those problems? They’re opportunities to learn and grow – to learn to do better. We do not improve by receiving praise only; there is no motivation from that to continue to work hard.

I accept myself for who I am and I accept that others won’t always vibe with that. That’s okay – the right people will and do. That is what I wish for you, reader, as well. Be authentic.

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This vase (which is upside down for painting purposes) is my latest work in progress. I’m having a lot of fun exploring the process of this. I may not ever sell a single thing – as much as I’d love to – but not everyone embraces the same weird I do. It may take a while to find my niche in the Etsy market. It’s no different than finding your place in real life, but I think the best way to find that place is to just be you.

 

——->A link to my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/WeirdGlassArtStudio

Productivity is for losers and today I am not a loser.

I had great dreams about today ~ I mean, I started off strong!

My alarm went off at 7:30 and I had no idea where I was and where the noise was coming from…you know that kind of sleep. So deep that you aren’t even sure what year it is anymore. I ended up hitting snooze a bunch of times, only to realize it was 8:15 and I had to be across town for a fitness class at 9. Oh yeah, and I thought about bailing on it but since I allowed myself to bail yesterday, I was not going to do that two days in a row.

I went and punched and kicked the air with a group of strangers, burning over 400 calories in the process. I felt revved up and not as silly as I did the other day. I am finding a rhythm with BodyCombat some ~ it’s just hard to not be able to consider my form during certain moves because they are meant to be fast, not perfect.

Then I went grocery shopping, totally riding the endorphin wave and feelin’ like a rockstar with a cart full of healthy stuffs. I came home, put it all away and then made myself 3 scrambled eggs with half of an avocado. It’s such a simple breakfast but just so tasty and satisfying. My whole morning felt satisfying…

Until the sugar withdrawals started kicking in. I’ve had this headache around my eyes and forehead for most of my day now and, as I type, I’m sitting in front of two fistfuls of chocolates from my Christmas stocking. I have not touched any of it because, to be quite honest, if this is how it feels to be cutting it out – that shit isn’t worth it. So what, it tastes awesome…is it worth how it bites back when you don’t eat it?

What were my big plans for today? Spending it in my craft room. I just can’t focus so, instead of creating, I put a couple of new items up for sale in my Etsy shop. Items I had up for sale previously but haven’t yet sold. I’m ready to get rid of some of this excess in my life so I priced them very inexpensively.

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Set of 3 LOVE vases – Can be purchased HERE.

 

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Home Sweet Home set of 3 glass vases – Can be purchased HERE.

I remember when I started making crafts “more seriously” a couple of years ago, I thought I knew it all. I’m like “Oh yeah, I know how to market! I’ve been marketing for [a former job] for years now!” I had a very rude awakening with that, once my “celebrity star” faded and I realized that I can excel at what I’m told to do ~ given direction to do ~ not necessarily taking lead myself because I lack the true knowledge and understanding of it. Yes, I’ve had successful shows and I’ve sold items online via other names, but I’ve also had months where I struggled to sell a single thing. I’ve had a craft show or two where I lost money. It can be very discouraging.

Sometimes I wonder why I even bother; I have so much stuff in inventory still that it just feels like excess clutter. The thing is though that I don’t always craft with the intention of selling. Sometimes the act of creating is a balm for whatever I may be feeling at the time. It’s a way for me to allow my brain to function differently, out of the routine of my busy life. So, really, it isn’t always about the sale, it’s about the process, and I can tell you the mood I was in when I created certain things. For example – the “Love” bottles. I was going through a divorce – not just from my husband, but from fake friends and a life that I had grown comfortable with. I personally wasn’t feeling a lot of love but I really wanted to. The “Home Sweet Home” vases – I was living in an apartment and I craved living in a place that felt like a home again. I was anxious to begin looking for another house to buy so I could put down roots again and feel like my place in the world wasn’t so temporary, so fleeting.

But back to being productive – I wish I felt more productive today but it just isn’t in the cards. I suppose though that the act of this sugar detoxification I’m currently suffering though is productive in its own way and I need to give credit to that. I did list those two new items on Etsy – that’s productive. I also bought groceries to set myself up for eating success this week, did a load of laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and took the time to write this blog. I guess I am a productive “loser” after all. 🙂

 

Wanna ride on my mood swing?

This has to be one of my favorite memes ever:

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I hate feeling out of control with my own mood swings. I know when I’m not myself and there isn’t really anything I can do but ride the wave and know better will come along because it always does.

Christmas Eve I went from fine to terribly sad in the span of around 15 minutes. Nothing monumental happened; all we did was go from one party to another. I found myself in a dark place – feeling like no one cared that I was there or alive. I felt like I was invisible. I was in someone else’s home and I knew very few people there. The hosts were too busy for introductions and the party had already been underway for a couple of hours by the time we arrived. It’s one thing to be a content wallflower, it’s another to feel like a ghost around the vibrantly alive and bustling busy-ness. So I got quiet and very much into my own thoughts, feeling very much like I was in the wrong place at the wrong time – the wrong life at the wrong time.

Because I’m one that needs to be able to pinpoint why I feel the way I do at certain times, I can only contribute it to the chaos of the holidays when it comes to visiting and trying to please everyone, the pressure of trying to get it all done, my medication, PMS, need for sleep, and junk food. I like trying to trace the “why” when it comes to my emotions and reactions in order to try to learn from them; I try to discern patterns and see where I can try to “let go” of either unrealistic expectations of myself or others. But sometimes a good, cleansing cry is needed without the worry of judgment from anyone. So that is what I gave myself when I got home – a good, ugly cry.

After I cleared that all out, Theresa and I put all the gifts under the tree and I had a little fun on Jake’s little electric 4-wheeler. Because that’s what you do when you have kids – you let out whatever it is in private so you don’t scare them and then you get your shit together to make sure they have a nice Christmas.

I personally think my fleece snazzy Christmas pants make my interpretation a little bit better than the original.

In summation, I wonder if sometimes I don’t, if we don’t, try to stifle our emotions in order to appear like we are on an even, steady keel. I don’t know how many times I have heard judgments from people (behind my back, of course!) about how I’m “all over the place” when it comes to my lifestyle and my hobbies. If I’m faced with judgment for those things, you’re damned certain the thought flickers across my mind when I show an emotion that varies from your basic happy or content. I don’t let myself get too involved with perceptions of me but it is a thought that races by when I have a bad day and want to throw a tantrum. Oh, gosh – what will they think of me? Will they think I’m unhinged? 

Who cares. We’re all a bit unhinged – some of us just let it all out and move on, while others hold it in and eventually explode.

 

 

Things change when you get older.

Looking back to, say, 15 years ago (let’s get real, I didn’t get my shit together until I was about 27 or 28) ~ I was loud and probably obnoxious to most people. I wore bright, flashy clothing and sky-high heels. (The more those heels resembled a pair a stripper might wear at work, the better!) I was rude, quite judgmental, and thought I knew everything. Everything about me was loud and screamed ignorance. One of the attorneys at my job, Claude, uses the word “vituperative” and that word not only sounds really awesome, it would be a word that would have accurately described me back in the day when I was apparently determined to be an asshat.

Fast forward ~ I’m 35 now. I’ve noticed some changes in me in the past number of years, especially the last two or three.

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I prefer nights in over nights out. I don’t bother with most people beyond politeness. My circle of friends is tight-knit and small; I don’t mess with people who have ulterior motives or who simply speak to me out of convenience. My life is very busy and full but I’ve calmed down so much. My life has been revved up but I feel more at peace. My nails have chilled out, too, for example. I went from doing whatever I could to stand out cosmetically to wanting my personality and my talents speak for me instead.

I don’t need to be the center of attention. Honestly, I’d prefer not to be. I don’t need to carry the weight of a conversation ~ I’m comfortable with silence. I don’t need to force relationships with people and I find myself less emotionally tied up when things don’t go my way. Instead of feeling like I know it all, I feel like the older I get the less I really do know and what right do I have to pass a lot of judgment? I don’t need to always be connected to someone or something. It’s okay to “miss out”. I don’t need to absorb the baggage of another person’s emotional well-being and/or their behavior. I can’t control anyone else; I can only control me.

A place in the background feels honestly perfect. It’s a great spot to grab a bag of popcorn and watch others flit about, figuring their lives out. It’s the perfect spot to see who the loudest person is – because I know from experience – usually the loudest person in the room is the one who feels the most insecure.

‘Bye Feli…Facebook!

A few days ago I deactivated my Facebook account. I deactivated it because I didn’t want to lose Messenger ~ plus, I’m not 100% sure I will be off of Facebook forever. I completely deleted my last account when I changed careers and I wish now I had simply deactivated it; I had a lot of photos on there that I should have been more careful saving.

Live and learn.

I decided to deactivate it for a week, out of frustration, for a few reasons:

The amount of posts simply being shared, as opposed to real updates to people’s lives. I remember the days of Facebook where people wrote statuses about their days – longer than a Twitter post but shorter than a blog. I feel most of the content is just compulsively regurgitated. It just feels like a loss of connection.

If I post a picture of something that I made; something I’m proud of, nobody cares. If I post something fitness or food-related, everyone’s all over it because that’s all everyone talks about now. Self-betterment, fitness goals, their oh-so-amazing lunch salad complete with 1,000 pictures. #Goals #GoalDigger #EatClean #FitLyfe4LyfeForgetCheeseburgers4Evr

Also, the holiday season feels too busy to be mindlessly scrolling during what should be a mental break. If I need a break, why not read a book? Write a blog? Pet my dog?

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I mean, he’s a great boy – he deserves all the pets.

I’m not throwing shade at people who are on their journeys to becoming a better them. I do enjoy some fitness posts and I follow some fitness peeps on Instagram because it’s inspiring to me and I like to see people succeed. But I know that my life is so much more than just ONE thing and it feels frustrating to be seen as just ONE thing. To feel a bit pigeon-holed in what I may share on social media that resonates with someone. I’m more than just fitness, more than just crafts, more than just pictures of my adorable dog. I like awkward, difficult conversations about topics that are close to the heart. I like analyzing reactions to situations so I can learn more about myself and those around me. I love to write. I love art. I love choreographed dance routines and cheerleading competitions. I love seeing mountains in the distance because it reminds me of my hometown. I love going to my hometown, although I don’t make it there often. I love feeling nostalgic about things; I love 90’s fashion, vintage jewelry, and second-hand clothing. I’m fascinated with tiny-houses and minimalist lifestyles. I love the idea of making the least amount of an environmental impact as possible. I think the sound of the Battenkill River flowing over the rocks is amazing and the quiet at my friend’s camp on Ragged Lake is like nothing I’ve ever heard before ~ I wish I could bottle it and take it with me.

And nobody cares but me. Facebook has become less about connecting and more about self-advertisement. No thank you. Count me out for the near future so that I can work on forging authentic connections with those around me in real life.

 

‘Tis the most stressful time of the year.

I just had a conversation with another paralegal in my office, Jen, that evolved into some insights into the holiday season, the stress it causes us, and perhaps some of the cause of my own personal stress and anxiety.

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As soon as snow hits…I am ALL about Christmas. Even if it’s before Thanksgiving – my mind begins turning. Worse so, when I begin seeing social media posts about how many Fridays there are until Christmas. Up goes the anxiety.

I want to say that I’m all peace, love, and fresh-baked cookies around the holidays, but I am not. I get excited to put up a Christmas tree only to be immediately reminded that the needles fall and it has to be watered frequently, not to mention all of the holiday decorations have to come out in boxes and totes to live in my living room for an unknown period of time.

Clutter makes me crazy. I had a mini breakdown about it last night – I just cannot think straight, relax, or feel like I can even breathe freely if there is too much clutter around me. The idea of all the Christmas wrappings strewn over the floor on Christmas day makes me twitchy, despite knowing it’s just one day – one magical day.

When you have kids, the holiday feels like it needs to be hyped up and made super special for them. Letters to Santa, decorating the house, Christmas crafts, circling toys and creating wish-lists…are parents putting too much pressure on themselves?

The holiday season also makes me reflect on what I’ve accomplished during the year and if I am where I want to be – where I should be. What do I want to get done next year? How can I make it happen?

It’s just the end of the year ~ 2018 is winding down. It’s frigid in Upstate New York and we’ve had more rain and dark skies this season than I think we ever have. Perhaps that’s why it feels like my depression medicine isn’t working lately. I could use more outdoor time – time in the sun (even if it’s cold). Likely we all could.