May 28, 2010

Lately this blog seems pointless. I really wanted to start it in order to get my experiences with my social anxiety out into the ether and to have a place to talk about my art, but lately I’m not using it for either.

I recently joined a forum called SocialPhobiaWorld. com. I’ve been writing on it a lot and I was really enjoying it. I was doing what I do best which is giving advice and trying to help people. It was going well and I even got a bit of inspiration from reading other people’s stories. But the other day, I replied to a thread called “Why can’t I talk about myself” where I voiced that the reason I spend all my time on the forum giving advice and not talking about my deep-seeded issues is because I feel that no one wants to listen. I had just written on another thread where I had said something extremely personal and intense. It was a rarity for me, I usually don’t do that, but I was really feeling like this forum actually WAS some sort of community for me. The problem is, after I bared my soul, everyone who had been writing back and forth stopped. Then when I wrote about it on the “why can’t I talk about myself” thread, the conversation there also stopped. I keep trying to tell myself that I’m expecting too much from this internet “community”, but I can’t help but feel hurt and angry.

My whole life, I’ve always had trouble finding people who actually will listen to me, when I’m not giving advice. I’ve had one friend after another, from middle school all the way through my adult life who would rather turn the conversation around to themselves or hang up the phone rather than hear what is bothering ME. Because of this, I stopped talking about me. Now, I actually HAVE people who want to listen. My boyfriend, my sister, my friend who I lived with two years ago but I don’t talk to them. Now this aversion to speaking my heart has become a habit. It’s so hard to be real with people because somewhere inside me I feel that they don’t actually care, even when they say they do.

Right now, I am angry. I don’t want to tell anyone anything ever again. I am so mad at all the world for being so selfish. I am so frustrated that I actually trusted random strangers on the internet to listen to me, when I couldn’t even get it from people I called my friends. I am so full of rage, I keep lashing out at Joe and Sarah. I don’t know what to do with myself. I have no desire to make art, no desire to do anything. I’m just angry. And I’m definitely not going to write on that forum anymore. It makes me feel so used when everyone loves to listen to me talk about them, but they wont even respond when I talk about myself.

I’m pretty sure I antidoted my remedy, and I hope that I feel better when I take it again. I know that anger is a huge step up from how I usually feel without it, which is depressed and unmotivated, but anger feels so awful. I don’t want to feel like this anymore, it’s so painful.

So I wonder what the point is of this blog? I have 9 subscribers and at least three of them are family. Who am I even talking to? Who is listening? Who cares? It seems pointless to keep it up when I don’t even know if anyone is reading. And it’s been so long since I made any art… I don’t even have pictures for my posts right now… And I don’t care enough to find any. I just don’t care. So maybe I’ll keep writing, maybe I wont. I guess the only way I’m going to keep this up is if I care enough, because I’m not going to sit around waiting for other people to.

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A bit of a wreck…

May 27, 2010

I’m not doing so well right now. It’s been raining for a week and a half, I think I antidoted my remedy and now I’m just angry at everyone and everything, and my studio still isn’t done. Apparently, the landlord never okayed the whole covering-the-walls-in-cardboard-boxes thing, so now we’ve got to take it all out and put in drywall (which we can’t really afford). I wouldn’t really care except that I am just so miserable right now.

I really just want to spend the next week hiding in there, but I don’t have a computer in there yet (which is music and radio and email and everything),  and it’s just so messy and unwelcoming and I can’t really finish setting it up! One of the reasons I haven’t written in so long is because I haven’t been able to take any good photos… Between rain and my ugly garage that wishes it was an art studio, there’s nothing worth taking photos of.

So all my money is now gone. Between all the initial payments to rent this house and insulating the garage, I now have no savings so buy a new camera. It’s sort of depressing, but that doesn’t really last once I see what I’ve gotten out of it all! I now live in a beautiful house with an amazing, sunny, private yard and soon I’ll have a humongous studio to boot. Plus, Sarah and Joe will be reimbursing me for some of the costs of it all, so I only have to save $700 in order to have as much as I previously had saved away for my dream camera.

The past few days have been the most intense and exhausting days I’ve experienced in probably over a year. Actually, ever since we moved I’ve only had a couple of days of laying about. It’s been really nice to be outside and finally get exercise, but I am so tired and stiff! My body is definitely not used to this, but it will be soon! It will be nice when I finally have my stamina back, at this point I feel like I’m shutting down around 5 and I can’t really function after that. But I’ve still gotten so much done!

First off, I built a compost! Okay, so maybe this isn’t that exciting for anyone else, but for me it’s like an incredible feat! I don’t think I’ve ever built anything on my own before! It seems like I must have, but I really can’t remember anything… So lets just say this is my first. It’s really simple, just five pallets with chicken wire and held together with baling wire and some hooks on the front so it comes off (easy access compost). It didn’t take me that long, either, but I felt so accomplished afterwards!

I think it might be hard for people who’ve never had serious social anxieties to understand how totally amazing this is. I haven’t gone past my own front porch in a year! (except to be shuffled into a car) So to be somewhere I can feel safe walking around alone and even go off into the woods and build something big and complicated (a year ago, I would have also been to overwhelmed by the process, crying and panicking every time I thought I did something wrong) This is so amazing for me and I am so proud and happy!! ^.^

So THEN, after that was done, we started working on my new studio. It never would have happened so quickly without Joe, if it happened at all. Joe is the most wonderful and amazing man on earth! He worked constantly for three days to make my studio a reality and not just a garage. I don’t know what I’d do without him. I know that he worked so hard because he wants me to be happy, and he knows that without my studio I’ll go mad (all my art supplies are still in boxes in the living room, it’s the only thing left to unpack) so I just want to say that I am the luckiest woman alive ^-^

Joe was trying to leave at 5 for the long drive down to Eugene, and when I told him it was 6:30, this was his reaction. But he kept working until it was all done!! So I made a lovely dinner for us all.

So now the garage looks, from the inside, like a giant cardboard box. We didn’t have much money to spend on it and it’s such a huge space! So what we did was buy fiberglass (yuck!) and put it in the walls and ceiling with a patchwork of cardboard and duct tape over top to keep it in. It looks so janky, but I think it’ll work! The most expensive part of the job was the floor, which is just plywood, but plywood’s expensive!

So I spent about two days cutting open cardboard boxes and duct taping all the holes and the flaps so that Sarah and Joe could tack them up on the walls. When I say it, it doesn’t sound like work at all! Maybe I’m just so stiff and wiped out from moving that it felt like work. Or maybe my body is just so deteriorated from not leaving the house or getting much exercise that I’m a total wuss! That sounds more likely.

With all the big, messy stuff done (putting in the insulation and cutting the plywood) Joe’s gone off to Oregon to practice with his band and visit family and me and Sarah are finishing up the job. All that’s left (pretty much) is to paint the floor so that it doesn’t splinter. I put on a coat yesterday, it was so much harder than I thought it would be! Getting the paint in all those little grooves and things. I used a whole gallon on the floor, that’s how big it is! The paint I used yesterday was sort of a dark gray, but today our paint is light purple… I have no idea what the result of that will turn out to be, but that’s what you get when you’re buying the miss-mixed paint, it’s cheap but not always pretty. Although purple on gray sounds nice…

Tomorrow is my birthday. Well, officially, but since Sarah and Joe are both working we’re celebrating it on Monday, with a lovely Sushi picnic! I’m so excited for that, but I am a bit weirded-out by my birthday. It just seemed to come so suddenly! And I keep forgetting how old I am, I’m never sure if I’m turning 26 or 27… :/ But I’m really excited because for my birthday I’m buying myself a fig tree ^-^ It will be so wonderful! It can grow in a pot forever, I can bring it with me whenever I move and in a few years, I’ll have fresh figs in the summer time!!! Yumm…. figs….

Hooray for Mamas!!!

May 9, 2010

Happy happy mothers day! I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to pay a little tribute to my mama, who is amazing and wonderful and who I miss very much.

My mom is from Vermont. When I was growing up in Massachusetts every time she would see a Vermont license plate she would exclaim “look, a Vermonter!” I like to think that I am more of a Vermonter, too, and less of a Masshole. My mom has always loved the woods and nature, and easily passed that on to me and my sister. We grew up in a big old farm house on 4 acres  surrounded on three sides by woods where my parents grew sunflowers, corn, pole beans, tomatoes and more. I always loved being in the garden. I remember walking through, picking vegetables and collecting them in my skirt then settling down amidst the corn stalks to munch on my little raw veggie horde.

My mother really encouraged me and my sister to make art. People think that you’re born with artistic talent, which may be true to some degree, but I believe that inherited “talent” means nothing without practice and exposure. I love watching home videos from my childhood, they’re all so interesting! (My mother has a knack for editing the boring parts out) There are a few of me and Sarah sculpting with salt dough at the kitchen table. My mother asking us what we’ve made, we respond with, “it’s a lady” or “a birthday cake” to our lumpy creations. Later, my mother set up an art room for us where we did everything from paint and draw to sculpting with polymer clays. As my artistic abilities progressed, my mother taught me to add depth and shade to my work, to create realistic images of people. Once she sat for me while I drew a giant picture of her eye. I’ll always remember that because ever since then, eyes have been one of the easiest things for me to draw.

My mother was and is my best friend. When I was young and Sarah didn’t want to be burdened by an annoying little sister, my mom would sit with me in my room while I cried and complained. She would promise me that some day me and Sarah would be friends and she would stay with me until Sarah got jealous and knocked on the wall to get mom to come and hang out with her.

My mother tried not to give us much sugar. No sugary cereals or tons of cookies. We ate vegetables and didn’t drink soda. We weren’t allowed to watch much Tv (though I agree that this was for the best, I’ll always feel like I should have been allowed to watch Punky Brewster, which I would try to watch when she wasn’t in the room) We played outside all the time and went for walks in the woods to the creek near our house. Looking back it seems like we had a lot of rules (rules which I would impose on my own children, if I had them) but when I got to a point where I started to rebel, my mother let go. I was a very stubborn and hard-headed child and my mother knew that if she continued to deny me certain things, I would do them behind her back instead. Rather than create a rift between us, she allowed me to watch Tv and wear make-up, and our friendship endured.

I often brag about my mother. I’m so proud of how understanding and supporting she was and is. She is a constant source of inspiration to me. So here’s a word for my mama.

Mom, I love you! You are the strongest, most independent woman I know. I know you don’t think you are, but you are. No matter what goes wrong, you always find a way through it. You inspire me to be a stronger woman and to do what I believe in. You taught me that I could do whatever I set my mind to, and that has given me the strength to achieve what I have in my life. You taught me to follow my dreams and do what makes me happy. I’m constantly in awe of you and how you’ve lived through such hard times but rather than complaining and lying down, you’ve made it work. No matter what the obsticle, you find a way. You’ve put up with a lot and kept going no matter how unhappy a situation made you. That is amazing to me, who, when things are difficult runs the other way. I strive to be like you. To be strong in the face of hard-times, to be humble and understanding.

You were always there for me. No matter what, you were there for me. Now that I’m an adult, I know how hard those years were for you. You were so depressed and so unhappy in your marraige, getting very little (if any) support from my father. Yet through all those hard times, you never once displayed those feelings where we could see them. You were always happy and supportive and kind. You devoted your life to us, me and Sarah, and I am so grateful for that. In this age where most parents both work and kids are babysat by the Tv, you never let that happen to us. You constantly engaged us, found exciting things for us to do, and mediated our arguments. I know all that is in me that makes me kind, caring, compassionate, intuitive, and helpful comes from you. And without you in my life, I wouldn’t have had the constant unconditional love that all children deserve.

I hope to have children one day, as you know. The main thing that frightens me about it is that I’ll end up more like my father than you! I’m so afraid that I’ll be overwhelmed by my own responsibilities as a parent and “step out” in the same way my father did. I don’t have the incredible, dedicated and all-encompassing work-ethic that you do. I want to, but unfortunately that doesn’t come as easily to me as other things. I know that I will love my children as you loved us, but I want to be THERE. All the time. I want to want their company, the way you wanted ours. I hope that I can live up to the high standard of motherhood that you’ve set for me and I will try my very hardest to do it.

I love that I am becoming more and more like you every day. In my love for gardening, watching the birds, going for long walks, even my taste in music often leans in your direction these days (I’m listening to this amazing piano music right now that you would LOVE). I only hope that I can also develop the inner peace you seem to have, sitting alone in your garden, enjoying the quiet. I’ve watched you grow immensely as a person over these past years and I strive to grow in the same ways. To be able to say how I feel, even when I’m angry or upset, without yelling (not that you EVER yelled, but I wish I could stay calm the way you do). To just be able to state my needs and feelings with such clarity. I’m so proud of you for how far you’ve come and I am trying to follow in your footsteps.

I LOVE YOU!!!

YAY!! New house ♥

May 5, 2010

So we’re pretty much all moved in! I’ve been on overdrive for days. My whole body is sore and I feel like I haven’t stopped moving in so long.

Our new living room view

Our new house is in such a beautiful place, the yard is so lovely with the garden beds and lots of birds and trees. I wish the weather wasn’t so cold and yucky! I want to be outside all the time! I want to roll around in the grass and fall asleep in the sunshine. But I have to wait until there actually IS sunshine.

Just a tiny portion of our yard

My studio is crazy! It’s gonna need some work before it can really be considered my studio, right now it’s really just a garage. We need to put up insulation and to put in a floor (probably just plywood) so it will be warmer. The landlord said it was okay to install a pellet stove, too, so it’ll be a toasty little house for me! It really is more like a house than a room. It’s so big! It’s really hard to see from the photos, but it’s absolutely massive! It’s making my head spin with giant art project ideas… Oh the things I could do, now I just need to get over my compulsion to make such teeny tiny art.

Here's the inside of my new studio. It's hard to tell how big it is, but that slatted thing that looks like a dressing screen is a futon frame and the desk took up my WHOLE ROOM at the old house.

So that’s all the things that make this place awesome, and I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I haven’t said anything about the actual house… That’s because the house is just weird. It’s one of those “modular homes”, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen in person until now. It’s like living in a giant play house. I keep imagining that it was made in a factory where they have giant molds shaped like a house frame and they fill it with plastic. I can’t understand why anyone would ever build or buy a house like this willingly! It’s so cheap and crappy! The cabinets have weird laminate over them that’s coming off, the bathtubs are shallow with no overfill drains (odd.) the cupboards in the kitchen are a bit lacking, there’s really not that much space and only two drawers! And there are no closets in the main house, no place to put a broom or a vacuum or coats. And the worst part, we can’t put tacks or nails in the walls!! The landlord said the walls are coated with vinyl and if you put little holes in them, you can’t spackle them, you have to just replace the whole wall! We’re going to have to get creative to cover all the ugly white walls and the ridiculously large mirror in the kitchen.

This house is just silly. It’s not very well designed and it’s ugly. But I don’t care!! It’s a house! And it’ll totally work for the next year. Plus, I’ll have my studio and that’s all I really care about. That and the gardening space. I have my studio, and a lovely, sunny yard to garden in. Joe has his music room. Sarah has her own big bedroom and me and Joe have our own little bedroom. I have my kitties and my pooch, and it’s starting to look like home ^.^

S.D., lost in the moving mess

WE ARE MOVING!!!!!!

May 1, 2010

Oh, I am so happy, we found a house!! Finally! It’s not perfect, mostly because it’s super far away and the landlord is trying to sell it, so we may only live there for a year, but regardless, we have a home to go to! Hooray! HOoray!!!! (you can’t see me but I’m bouncing up and down a lot with excitement)

Me and Sarah had this big long talk yesterday where we were entertaining the idea of moving down to Eugene, where Joe’s family is. We’re really worried about him cause he’s just so burnt out on my whole social phobia issue. I like to think that I don’t ask much of him anymore, but that’s really not true. Sometimes I get upset in the middle of the night (usually when he has to wake up super early and then work for 10 hours) and Joe wakes up and talks me down for hours. Whenever I get upset, he’s there. He’s always there for me when I need him and I can see the strain. So me and Sarah thought maybe if we moved down to where he wants to be, he’d have his family’s support and he’d feel better. But neither me nor Sarah actually wants to move down there. Where we live now is like a magical wonderland, how could we leave it?? This town is just so lovely and peaceful and beautiful… And to try to find a house that far away would be grueling. What if we couldn’t find one, what then? And Joe and Sarah would have to get new jobs and all the logistics just make it sound like such a bad idea. We decided that if we didn’t get the house we had just applied for, we’d take it as a sign that we should move to Oregon.

Less than an hour later, Sarah wrote me to say that we got the house! So I guess we’ll stay another year ^.^ We wont actually be in Port Townsend any more, we’ll be in Chimacum, the next town over. But none of us really mind. I know Sarah will really miss being able to ride her bike everywhere, but we can have a garden and we’ll have a big, private, sunny yard for a whole year, so it’s worth it. We’ll probably move back here after that, unless we move to Oregon.

So almost as soon as Sarah told me about the house, she went to Safeway and got some boxes, then more boxes. And I filled them up with stuff in record time. I’ve already packed all my art stuff, all our books, most of the pictures and fabrics off the walls, and a good deal of kitchen stuff. Right now Sarah’s at work and Joe’s in Portland. I’m not sure when either of them will be home but it’s sort of torturous to sit and wait with no more boxes to fill… I could pack this whole house in two days if I had all the boxes I need….

I’m so excited and I have nothing to do!!! I need to jump up and down or run around in circles or something! WE’RE MOVING OH MY GOD I’M SO EXCITED AAAAHHHH!!!!!