New pedals(aka my saviors); new me!

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Last Tuesday, I finally received my pedals! I had been eyeing them for a couple months now, carefully researching if they were indeed the best for me and which ones would be the best to kickstart my heart. So after having saved enough, I ordered them this month and in spite of a little delay caused by them running out of stock of the chorus pedal, I received them pretty quickly!

For around 201€ (including shipping), I got four pedals! Distortion, chorus, reverb and tremolo. AND, with Andertons Music Co. if you order two pedals, you get a free power supply as well as one of those little snakes that allows you to power up to five pedals at once! This is very practical since the Tone City pedals are very small and cannot be battery powered! And so I got not one but TWO sets of those free goodies!

Getting those pedals obviously took all my money! But I was very desperate and, it was all worth it!! I’ve been trying to save money this summer, but this wasn’t an opportunity I could pass! And also, since I met Maria and we’ve been going on adventures so that ‘s taken some money as well! But as soon as school starts I’ll start saving again! Hopefully!

I am not qualified enough to provide you with proper reviews of the pedals. But what I can assure you is that they are really good! They’re really pretty as well! The trem pedal, Tremble, has this nice little sparly-ish red color and it’s the most beautiful pedal I ever held in my hands! They’re perfect for me. I’d encourage you to take a look at the videos on Anderton’s YouTube channel to get a nice idea of them.

I don’t know much about anything but I can assure you that I’m in love!

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So, remember the break I took last week? Well, it’s all in the past now. Last Monday I jumped back in the open mic life and went to sing at the pub. And well, it was horrible…

I guess I was very rusty! Which made my already sensitive state worse. I just couldn’t handle anything to be honest! haha I got upset by every teeny mistake as well as the audience that night just not paying attention. And I know these are things I should play through and get used to. Usually I do. But I guess after a full week of not doing anything, I was a little too fragile!

Last Friday though, I went and sung at a new venue! And it went okay! I had a bit of a dry throat as I got onto the stage and my voice just didn’t have any power to it, I was struggling so bad to keep it up. But as I came off stage all my friends were telling me how good I was and how this was actually my best performance so far! Ha ha

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Now, the truth about that break is that is was far from being an actual break! Sure I didn’t do anything music related at all, really taking all the pressure off. But it was such an emotional roller-coaster!

One thing that I don’t I mentioned in my previous post is that one of the main reason I was so overwhelmed was for having played right-handed for all these weeks! That was draining me! And once again, my anxiety was actually just trying to warn me that I was doing something that I did not love!

Why keep playing the host guitar then instead of bringing good ol’ Nostrum with ye? Well, let me tell you why.

At my second open mic, all the way back in July, I had indeed brought Nostrum with me and played What are you without me? + What you are without me. But the sound was terrible. It being an open mic, you know, you can’t be too fussy about the set up. So, as much as you could hear everything alright, my guitar was coming out soulless. And I hated it because my favorite songs couldn’t shine bright!

Which has us circling back to the pedals: they were my only hope. I sat down on my bed that night and I was like, we can’t keep that up! The only solution I could see was to get some pedals so that, even if it’s still not an optimal sound, my guitar will at least give out some soul when I’m up there pouring out my heart! And so, I saved, then ordered, and you know the story.

But as I was waiting for them, I had to keep playing the right-handed host guitar. And, as much as I could handle it — I even got really good at the acoustic now with all that practice! — it was killing me, slowly, oh ever so slowly. It was like sugarcoated torture! I still enjoyed it but it felt wrong.

I knew that each night that I would play right-handed will take away some of my left-handed abilities as I would practice less with Nostrum… And so it did. And everytime I would pick my guitar up again, I’d be so bad at it. So, I was like shit now I have to work even harder! Which I guess only added to the pressure, which led to the anxiety fits. It was a nightmare!

On top of that, it just weakened my spirit so badly! I felt like I couldn’t be me fully not only because I cannot play all the songs I know as a right-handed, just a couple! But just because this isn’t me! Yet, everynight, I would get up on the stage and do it because I know that I need to be there a lot, to make connections and gain experience. But that was literally just killing me to have to be that weird mirror version of me with everything backwards. (By the way, I wrote a song about it! Which I haven’t posted anywhere just yet but I will, eventually!)

But it’s all over now! I’ve got the pedals and I’m feeling so much better already! I can breathe again thinking of the next open mics where I’ll get to be me, fully, again and sound somewhat okay! And it’s a big relief. These pedals are lifesavers and I will cherish them.

Now though, I have to work really hard to get my voice back on top and guitar-wise as well, I’m very far behind! I have to build up so much power, endurance, control and energy! But I’ll get there! School is back pretty soon which means I’ll get more practice time and I cannot wait!

This summer has presented me with so many challenges and boy did life slap me in the face!! I’ve learnt a lot! I’ve fallen quite a couple times as well. But I’m standing now, once more. And although I do feel very fragile, I am ready for all that’s to come! A little scared and tired, to be honest, but bring it on, anyways! I’ve got hopes, plans, and a little fire waiting to be fueled!

Until next post, remember that you got this! ❤

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My art journey so far…

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Hi everyone! Story time!

It all started back in January 2016…

That’s the month I decided to start getting serious about life and start doing the things that I’ve always wanted to do. University was making me miserable and eventually, four months in, it finally pushed me towards where my heart was this whole time.

It’s kind of crazy that I had to wear myself out doing things that I didn’t care about in order to open a door which wasn’t even locked in the first place. In fact, there wasn’t even a door. It was just literally right next to me. I just preferred touching the things that were further away and not even real. All the while being fully aware that it was next to me and that I should have been giving my heart to it and nothing else. It is pretty silly, but I guess sometimes it takes what it takes…

So, I started a blog, I bought a sketchbook and all sorts of art supplies that looked appealing. And it’s also the month I bought my first left-handed guitar and started a healthier music journey.

Here is my very first sketchbook which I bought from a very French shop in Lille:

 

 

And I customized it as best as I could, dressing it up in my favorite people’s favorite quotes. (By the way, these Lynz quotes are like, so important!) And, I swear, everytime I would open it, it felt like I was opening a window on such a bright horizon!

And then, the magic happened…

I still remember the first time I attempted drawing anything, which was in fact, in a different sketchbook, and how it blew me away.

See, the thing is, I had always kept in mind this idea that I was simply really bad at drawing and kind of accepted it as my universal truth. When I decided to get serious at it, I was ready for all the hard work it would take me to get to a fairly decent level because I knew that I was starting really low..

So, when I put my pencil on the page and these happened:

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I couldn’t believe it. At first.

Then, I could totally believe it. And maybe it filled me with a little too much confidence which led to some disappointment when I tried out drawing again the following days and I was not creating masterpieces.

It was only a test to see how well I could follow a simple tutorial, and even my preliminary lines were a perfect match to the tutorial! Which I had certainly not expected since I had never been good at copying things. And I nailed it. So, I expected to nail everything from then on, which of course, was purely a fantasy…

However, from that moment on, I progressed on and on and faster than I ever thought was possible! Things just clicked so easily and I unlocked brand new patience slots every single day, I forgot the meaning of “impossible”!

The amazing thing is that, all the things in the first part of that sketchbook, even the most mediocre sketches are still so many levels higher than what I thought I was capable of at the time! The last time I had actually drawn anything before that was for my highschool drama group and it was far from that quality!

As I said in the video, it’s like my decision to dedicate myself to art pushed open a door from which skills just came pouring out, as if they had been held back this whole time, but never locked away.

I like to joke that it all just fell from the sky and hit me in the face. But I don’t believe this sort of things can happen that way. It had to be here all along, laying silently, patiently, waiting for me to call…

An incomplete tour of that 2016-2018 sketchbook:

 

 

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At the end of it, I wrote a little looking back note, which I read in my video. That was back in last December, which is when I finally finished this sketchbook! Phew!!!!

And that was a big relief, finishing it! Because I started it so long ago and it held with it not only the memories of all the places I went to and carried it with me, but also all of the storms that I had to keep running through. Which is both a good thing and a hard one. But I think that’s what makes it so precious… As you flip the pages, you can see the evolution of both, my mind and art skills. It’s the perfect document of my journey from & through Lille to Ireland.

I’ll hang on to this sketchbook for as long as I can, not because I need a reminder of where I started from so I can fully celebrate my growth, I’m not gonna lie. I think it is mostly because, as much as it hurts, these are parts of the past that I can’t let go of.

At least not yet.

Oh, how I’ve grown!

It started with a spark. Which didn’t come out of nowhere but from the depths of me. And I’ve been burning ever since. Different intensities, different colors. But, burning on!

Here’s a little side by side of “firsts” from that period and latests:

 

Both as an artist and a person, I’m in a much better place now. I am capable of more and willing to try harder. I’m happier and healthier! I’m stronger, more determined, more dedicated and focused. And, man, have you seen my last painting???

The road was long and dark and bumpy to get here. But I wouldn’t change a thing. I learned a lot about myself and the world. It sure hurt me, but it also forced the best out of me. Gotta learn the hard way when you’re born to be wild! hehehe

Now, I’m looking forward to all that’s to come. All the lessons and the learning. The new skills and the acquisition of all the knowledge. The creations and discoveries. The people and the things. The places and the moments. The smiles and the tears.

I’m grateful for all that’s past and all that is present. And I’m looking forward to more life.

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Literally best selfie of the day. He he. Looking forward!

And, I think that’s it! Proud of my progress and looking forward to more! Because there’s nothing like getting more and more comfortable in your own little universe. Being able to fly freely-ish in my music and art is a big goal! 😉

Until next post, keep working and keep believing! ❤

Pastel winter landscape, 02.01.18

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Back in February I followed a pastel tutorial and managed to create a very good landscape:

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I’m not so very used to using pastel, which is why I followed the tutorial in the first place, but so far, all I’ve made with that media have been okay! This and also the Bob Ross one!

I’ve learned a couple of things following this tutorial which I’ll link here if you want to try it out for yourself! And well, just like with everything, mastery comes with practice.

I kinda wish this was actually a creation of my own because it is beautiful, only, in the end it is just a frail copy of somebody else’s work. I hope I can one day create something as wonderful as this and Change of Season on my own!

I’m still very proud of it though! It was a first try so sure, it is a little wobbly here and there! But I still love it! The colors are vibrant and that big tree in the foreground is very close to being magnificent. There’s room for improvement (thank God) but there’s also room for praise. So let’s do both, alright? Keep working hard and keep celebrating those baby steps!

Until next post, keep reaching for those dreams! ❤

P.S.: I’ve made another pastel drawing last week actually but I will post it on Friday so as to let my blog breathe a bit, hehe this one is almost two months late so, can’t complain… 😛

Make sure you can count on yourself.

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Hi! I’m tired and my eyes are struggling to stay open as I type this. But I have to get it out so bear with me, this is a good one, I promise!

I had a small talk with my best friend earlier about how I’m uncovering wounds that have yet to heal but never stung enough for me to notice them. I have indeed, in the past few days, became aware of a couple of issues and mental/emotional blocks and also realized where a few of them originate from. And I was telling her a bit about them and how I was feeling, how crazy it is the impact that other people and their words, no matter the levity they be spoken in, can have on one tiny person.

She, of course, agreed and worked her best friend magic on me. But there’s one thing she said… She told me we’d work through it together ( ❤ ) and it would take time, loads of precious time, but we’ll get there eventually. Which was sweet. Then she went on giving me the “love yourself” talk and I had to stop her.

Sure, we all need some pep talk every now and then and reminders to love ourselves through our flaws and darkest moments, yadi yada yada. But, that seems to be a big misconception a lot people tend to have about me so I had to write this down to set the record straight(and also, maybe, possibly, make sure I remember what’s true). Sure, I’m definitely all about self-depreciating jokes and I don’t radiate confidence like my ego was the fucking sun, but I do love me.

I am not going to lie, I have insecurities, doubts and on some days I really can beat myself up about a tiny detail on my body/mind. Of course! We all do. But I still love myself. Then again, to keep in the same line of my previous post, my way of loving me might not earn one too many ticks on your own “check-list of self-love”. But believe me, if there’s someone that loves me, it’s me. I know myself like no one else and my darkness, and all those ugly corners, I know them, I accept them and I wouldn’t trade them.

Love is not an acquired skill or a prized possession or whatever you wanna make it. It’s a work in progress, a continuous lesson. You keep learning and it keeps growing and changing shape and moving and burning… And you have to take care of it just like a garden filled with stuff(to be very unoriginal). But it’s something you work on and something that works within you also. You care for it and it cares for you.

Also, I was telling her how overly dramatic my little self has been reacting to minor inconveniences in the past few months. Like, a tiny thing would happen (maybe just in my mind), and I’d go “Alright so… You can’t count on anyone at all. I better just focus on my work and build myself a career or something. That won’t let me down.” And I was just laughing about it. Like today, nothing at all happened; I just misinterpreted a thing and then my brain turned it instantly into a full-blown drama and I picked my guitar up and I could hear those words in my head. I had to stop and laugh it out. Because it is super silly.

One thing, though, that I have to save from this funny newly added feature in my tragedy-orientated mind, is “you can only count on yourself”. Which might be an overstatement, but I think the core of it is true. No matter how many love you, how many you can trust and turn to, at the end of the day, you’re always the one that’s here, all the time, and the only one that can always be there. And that’s a relationship you definitely have to look out for and make sure it is healthy, non-toxic, balanced and just.

Compassion, empathy, love, little attentions, etc; all of these are actually pretty easy to give, give, give away to all you love. But it’s sometimes harder to give it to yourself. We tend to be harder on ourselves than we are with others and I’m like, why? I know I do it too! I’m all about love and forgiveness for all. Accept all their flaws and understand them, be patient and caring. But I’m the first one brandishing a belt ready to beat my own self up over any tiny detail. If I think everyone is deserving of love and forgiveness and should be treated with kindness always, then why should that be any different for me? Let’s not go there today, though haha

And I know I’m not perfect. And I know that sometimes I fail at loving and caring for myself when faced with frustration and broken expectations. And I know I break my heart a lot and don’t always do what I want me to do. But at the end of the day, I still love me and I know I can count on me.

I’ve been acknowledging the fire in me a lot more lately, especially ever since I let go of all the toxicity (relationships and environment) in my life. I’ve gotten over a lot of things and struggled, survived and am still working through it. I have been faced with a small portion of my own strength and now know for sure that I am capable of much much more! I have trust in me and in my potential.

I’m enjoying time on my own more and am becoming more & more okay with the idea of standing alone. I can acknowledge (okay, it’s pretty hard to admit sometimes but I can do it) my beauty, both inside and out. And I don’t take my flaws as flaws although I can recognize those that definitely need to be worked on. My anxiety had managed to convince me last year that I definitely wasn’t anything at all on my own. But I’ve proved that b*tch(and the other ones too) super wrong, haven’t I?

We all need people. People to love us and support us. I do. I need that. A lot. But it’s important to remember that you are your own person also and you definitely are still valid and awesome without these people. It’s important to be able to exist without them and rely on yourself. You gotta make sure that you are here. Be okay with having to hold your own hand through dark times and carry your own tired body on your back to get through those long dull alleys of life. Make sure that when all else fails, you’ll still be there.

You’re the foundations of this big house, your whole universe revolves around you. People don’t make you you, you do. People don’t make your strength, your worth; you are strong and valuable on your own. Love can add on to the strength and make things look more meaningful. But I promise you, you are already so much more on your own! Trust in that. Skies get dark and nights get long, but there is comfort to be found in your own warmth on those lonely winter nights.

I know sometimes the idea of having only your own hand to hold through a hard day is not exactly a very comforting thought. But that is the beginning of it all. Once you realize that you are here and you are someone to fall back on, you’ll get a better grasp of the words “you’re not alone”. You might have friends, you might have family, you might have pets, you might have hobbies or weird fetishes or whatever floats your boat. But you also have you, and that, lads, is actually such a stupid beautiful thing.

I’ll just end this here. I love me and am happy to know that I’m someone to fall back on. I apologize to my hands for looking down on them sometimes when I’m drowning in myself and they’re the only ones I can reach. I am thankful for them. I am thankful for the fire in me and the neverending strength the Earth keeps on feeding me. And I am also thankful for all the outside love that I receive through my friends and family and the whole Universe, because that is also an important piece of the puzzle!

Until next post, just, send yourself some flowers or something. You’re beautiful and you deserve all the love. ❤

On my own is good too!

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I’m all tucked in bed as I type this from my smartphone. That’s a first! Haha I don’t really like typing on a phone; it doesn’t feel as familiar as with a computer and I like to go super fast.

This is just a small post I feel the need to put out right now, straight from under the covers and before I fall asleep.

I just came home from an art exhibition to which I went on my own. I had a good time and am really proud of myself! And I think that I need to acknowledge it in a blog post.

I took the taxi on my own. I survived. I went to the exhibition alone and I remained that way. I survived. I had a good time.

Before I left for the exhibition, my host dad was telling me that I should try to talk to 5 strangers. Setting up small goals to help me “put myself out there”, or simply be a normal human, a social creature and also spit on Anxiety’s grave. I spoke to my taximen with complete ease; so that counts as 2? Not really. While in the warehouse, I only spoke to three people and it wasn’t really talking. But my host dad told me it was still something.

While I was there and standing in a dark corner where I was sure no one would see me (except that one guy at one moment which was super weird), I started questioning myself. But once I got home and had a small talk with my host parents, I realized that I did have a good time. And also, I did manage to talk to people even if just a simple ” hi”. And most importantly, I enjoyed the art.

I love talking to them because they do that parent thing where they reassure me and they chase away my foolish doubts and self-whacks(yes). They help me feel better about the babysteps I’m taking. And also support me so well! And we were talking about my Xmas present and about going out one night the three of us to an open mic so they could cheer for me to go on stage! I love them so much.

Sure, I was alone and did spend a good twenty minutes standing in an out-of-sight dark corner and didn’t make instant magic friendship. But I had a good time. And I survived. I did all of it on my own and that’s a pretty big thing if you ask me!

I’ll obviously keep going to the events. (I got my membership card today and it made me feel like an important person hehe) And I believe that eventually, after times and times of seeing the same faces, I’ll manage to talk to someone eventually or I’ll pick someone’s interest enough so they’ll attempt a dialogue with me. Maybe next time. Maybe the time after. Maybe later. We’ll see. But it’ll happen. In time.

IMG_20171208_151625.jpgI think it is really important to acknowledge the fact that I did all of that on my own. And that I can do things on my own and have been doing that a lot for the past eight months.

My toxic relationships had me believing that I was a mediocre friend with zero social skills and also a dependant piece of crap that had no value on her own. But I know that’s not true. And I keep proving it to myself, especially lately.

I’m a good friend. A super good one for that matter. And I can stand alone. I don’t need people to have a good time. And I can do things on my own. I can stand, I can run, I can dance on my own. I am the fire and the one I need the most. I am someone to fall back on not only to all I love but to myself also!

I love being with my friends and doing things with them. But on my own is good too. And I can do all of these things alone.

[[Now I can be even wiser about the people I choose as friends. I know my approximate own worth, or at least I know better than to let toxicity back in the form of hollow relationships(rottenships), and I’m not afraid of cutting ties and throwing you out. I still give my all and very quickly and easily to the people I meet and care exaggeratedly about. But I’ve gotten better at closing the door on you if you turn out to be a ****! Not without a pinch in my heart cos I expected more but I need to make room for more love in my life and you made me miserable so you and my foolish hopes can fuck off. Ha!]]

I’m proud of myself for going to that art exhibition tonight and I’m looking forward to more. Now I’m off to sleep! Tomorrow I’ll be doing more stuff on my own but also meet up with Esther, whom I love, and I hope I can be a good friend to her and give her just what she needs.

Until next post, don’t beat yourself up and enjoy your own company. You’re strong and definitely good enough! ❤

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My three months as an au pair

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Today, November 25th, at 4:40PM (Irish time!) precisely, marks my THREE months being in Ireland!

Time flies…

…but in that weird way where it all happens so fast yet the days seem to drag with every breath you take. Only a week in, I felt like I had been there for twice as long but the week had went by so fast it almost slipped out of my hands. And now, three months in, I feel like I’ve spent over a year with my family and at the same time, I realize it’s been so little, but the days just fade fast. Maybe that’s what settling in feels like?

All that means is just, I guess, that I’m very lost in the now, which is a good thing. It means that I’m so absorbed by what I’m doing that I can’t quite grasp the passing of time. Which doesn’t mean that my days and weeks don’t get long or anything; not at all. It just happens so fast no matter how slow it gets. And sometimes, it leaves me with such an overwhelming feeling of helplessness which strips me of all pressure.

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Naked trees inspire me

When that solid thought hits me that Time just glides on me and I’m simply fading fast through life, I feel so… Lightweight. Like I’m just floating through life, never grabbing onto anything heavy enough nor going to any solid shelter. Like I’m just a candle burning away and my flame will die, sooner than later and I won’t even see it coming, and I’m fine with it. Like opening my eyes only to realize that my body is free falling and closing them again, accepting my impending fate and smiling to the thought of it. Sometimes, I give myself up completely to the insane flow of life and Time thinks, for a second, that it’s won. But it’s not and it won’t get the best of me.

Sometimes I feel so small and I feel lost, but I’m not losing. I’m learning and growing. And although it doesn’t always look like it, I’m not just fading through life. I’m leaving a mark everywhere, my soul-prints are everywhere. Even when I’m just running my fingers along the walls as I float by, I’m still leaving traces. Even when I’m not being productive, working hard enough on things that are dear to me, I’m still existing and I still mean something. Because there is more to life than purpose and solid things.

Life is an experience and being human revolves a lot around your senses and feelings. Maybe the real purpose of life is life? It’s to just learn to appreciate it, ups and downs, scars and smiles, blood and light, and go through it with an open heart, let it fill you?? I wouldn’t know, I’m just a kid after all..

Time flies but my broken wings can still carry me; I’ll run, faster.

The road so far!

I think I only have five medium-sized “buckets of thoughts” to share about my experience so far. I’ve been trying to write this post since last weekend, in the hopes of scheduling it for today but it was all just a big struggle and so I end up only finishing today. Some thoughts just weren’t ripe enough to be written out so I kept them for another post and we’ll focus on things I can actually put into words right now.

 I found a home here. I am filled with love.

The parents, kids and I all adapted to each other almost instantly. I feel like we were meant to be. It’s only been three months but there’s so much love, trust and happiness going on.  We know each other and we can be real together, you know what I mean? It’s all so natural. I feel like an actual part of the family; it’s a lovely feeling.

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Tiny blurry family in the woods

We were comfortable from the get-go and only grew closer by the day. We had this instant connection. Especially with the kids! I thought it would take them a while to open up and get used to me and accept me as a new part of their life but not at all. We’re super buddies now and they give me so much love sometimes I don’t even know what to do with it. Ha ha!
Although we don’t spend as much time together as I do with the kids, my host parents and I are pretty close and we know we can count on each other and it is all oh so very beautiful. I can have really deep and sincere conversations with them, wear my heart on my sleeve and it’s mutual. They confide in me sometimes, no questions asked; just come to me after a weird day and tell me what’s on their minds. We can also be silly-goofs together and joke about the hard times. And they’re also really supportive and encouraging of me and honestly, how did I ever get in such a good home?
Simply put: we’re the perfect match and life is awesome.

I went to evening art classes at the community school…

Which was okay. But I’m not going anymore because it is not teaching me anything and, although it is a cool place to be, I don’t want to invest any more time in it since it doesn’t bring nothing much into my life.IMG_20171116_220949_329.jpg

I didn’t make friends but I think it was still a nice experience somehow. I got to focus completely (well, 90% at least since, you know, my mind is always roaming and am always obsessing over several different things) on making a thing for two hours one night every week and it felt really good. Sure, I never once finished one thing in class since I’m an art-snail but I finished them at home anyways. I made things and it was cool. But, no more. I think my time should be invested on something else.

I’m rediscovering the joy of friendship and simple acquaintances!

I’ve met with other au pairs and while some of them have become really good friends, others are just these familiar faces added to this very new environment of mine!

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Esther, Aidana and I

With my new friends, we do things together and it feels good to have people other than my Irish family to turn to and make new memories with. I’m so thankful that I met them because they are lovely people. We get to hang out on the weekends and sometimes even during the week if we’re lucky. And it feels good, you know, to just know that you don’t have to go alone to that art exhibition or you can definitely go grab a coffee when you’re a little blue and need some company.
With my past being what it was, I had almost forgotten how good it felt to hang out with people. Just going out for a drink or simply hanging out; going shopping together, being silly together and exploring together. Just last weekend I went to the art gallery with Esther and I had an amazing time!

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“fish alcohol” ewww

And the start of a friendship is such a beautiful thing by the way. Getting to experience all of these feelings feels like a first time again; it is scary but enjoyable. After all, this is a fresh start for me, and, maybe not a new life, but a new chapter and I have a better grip on my story. Forever afraid to be loved but, remember what I say guys, use the fear as a fuel, don’t let it consume you. I’m learning to walk with my shaky legs and go through life again, even if I’ve been burned in the past. Learning to give second chances to everyone and myself.
I am so happy to have people I can call friends already! I just can’t wait to get to know them a little bit more and do more things together. Just be friends!

Everything is routine.

The kids are going to school after all, so it is normal for life to follow a very repetitive schedule which doesn’t make it any less fun. During the afternoons, after homework, sometimes we make art together or music or they just go outside play with their friends and I sit on my lonely ass and watch haha But having that structure is actually really helpful to get your shit together and build your own scheduled life around it and get to do your own things too.

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I will fully place my heart in these tiny hands.

I still struggle to wake up in the morning. I’d like to wake up at six so I can get a few things done before I wake the kids up. So far, I’ve only failed. But, I’m getting there. I usually wake up with my alarm but snooze until at least half past and sometimes all the way to ten to.
I’m doing my best, for once in my life, to lead a more organized existence. I’m not one for plans because WHY? and also because they aren’t compatible with the way my mind works. But, I’ve got goals and loads of things that I want to work on while I’m living the good life with my lovely Irish family. There are simple things I can do to make sure I can fit all of my hard work in my free time and not let my dreams sink instead of just giving into the laziness and fun side of life.

orca-image-1511381795748.jpg_1511381795920.jpeg*wink wink*

It isn’t that hard to be invested in what you love. As a matter of fact, if you care enough about something/someone, you’ll find the time, energy and motivation for them. You’ll make way for it. Because there is always a way and if you’re not willing to trade some TV time for guitar practice or whatever it is you’re all about, then, maybe it doesn’t mean so much to you after all. You just have to care enough. Think about it like dessert after dinner; sometimes you’re full but you always manage to fit that delicious dessert in, don’t you? 😉
So, I’ve started a bullet journal to help guide me into my weeks and make sure I get work done and also, to keep track of me and see the big picture. So far, this first week of it was a disaster. I was not productive at all although I did get a few tasks done and I’ll blame it on my period, yes. But even though my journal has yet to be the magical cure to getting my shit together, just having a visual representation of all the things I didn’t do is helping me (beat myself up some more). And I definitely think that on the long term it’ll be a great guide and it’ll document my progress as a functioning adult artist.

 

I’m all settled in the school routine now so all I have to do is manage to fit my many passions (not hobbies, actual rocks that make me, my life an actual thing) in there. SQUEEZE THEM IN I don’t care, I have to fit them all someway somehow. And I think the key is to let go of foolish things like snoozing, tv shows and laying around (and only keep these for “lazy days” like Esther would put it 😉 ).

Oh and yeah, I bought my dream guitar ♥♥♥♥ (And there finally is a post about her on my blog here! )

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Dramatically chilling into the night

Therefore I am finally able to work hard on my dreams again and not feel so alone on those bone chilling lonely days.
Haven’t really been working hard, to keep this post honest, but trying! Like I said, I am indeed learning to organize my life and fit everything I do in there, so my hard work agenda has been wibbly wobbly these past few months. But I’m getting there. Step by step.
I have almost regained all the left-handed skills I had! My strumming is finally coming back quite nicely and my fretting hand is doing better by the day too. I’m making a point to practice my scales everyday even if that’s the only thing I pick up my guitar for.

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Eat it maybe?

(Which can get really frustrating sometimes cos I want to play and have fun, not just go through my scales! It isn’t that boring a thing, but you know, it’s like having simply salad for dinner. Doesn’t suck so bad but could’ve used something more…)
I have also gotten back to my music theory study and trying to keep the knowledge in my brain and also translate it through my hands to the guitar/eyes/ears. I’ve been making these little flash cards to quizz myself but I’ve found that it’s not enough to help me digest the knowledge. Or maybe that’s just cause I haven’t been working on it every single day too… hehehe :3 But I’ll study better and harder, promise!

New guitar, muscle memory and brain abs!

Looking forward..

..to life, more days. I’ve had very dark days these past years that were so heavy they left deep marks on my shoulders that have yet to fade. I’ve had days where I was unable to even look forward to my next attack on myself. I’ve had days where I clung onto the tiniest piece of light I had found in the back of a dirty drawer all the while wishing for it to go out. I’ve died a thousand times, like they said, and wished for thousands more.
But I think that at this moment in my life, I can tell that I am in a better place, a better headspace. I am not cured, of course not. My cuts have not healed and my darkness has not just disappeared. But I’ve regained so much of that light I thought for real that I had forever lost.

orca-image-1511295523619.jpg_1511295523859.jpegI’m happy. I’m alive. I’m living and enjoying my every days. Sure sometimes time flies and I feel like I’m so powerless and falling behind. Sometimes the storm sends big waves my way and I have to face them in a very adult way, meaning mostly keeping a face for the kids and keeping a happy house while I crumble inside. Sometimes shit sucks. Sometimes I suck. But I’m happy here. Almost. I’m okay. I’m fine.

I look forward to getting back more seriously into music. Writing songs and trying out open mic nights and maybe even busking! And I’m looking forward to feelings and emotions and connections. I look forward to progress and feeling myself evolve into a better singer/musician//artist.  I know that there’s so much bottled up inside, so many ideas just macerating in dark or dimly lit corners of my mind and I can’t wait to be able to turn them into actual things.

When I look ahead, all I hope to see is a life filled with all arts, human connections, smiles, laughter, friendships, adventures, LOVE and so much more! I can’t wait to create more. I can’t wait to meet more people and allow my current relationships to get deeper and brighter. I can’t wait for new things and feelings too.

I’m just overall excited about life. I guess in a very calm and normal way, which I’ve never been used to. I’m just like “Wow, tomorrow I’m having coffee with Esther; this is AWESOME LIFE IS SO BUSY WOOT WOOT”. Life, guys, life! There’s art, there’s love and there’s darkness too. I’m still me, hey. Looking forward to the light and the darkness; to the love and the heart-rips; to the bigger and still-big-but-less-bigger things.

I’m looking forward to more life, that’s it.

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Emily “found” a flower in her mandarin peel the other day and it was the prettiest thing

So, yeah, three months gone! Living the good life with the loveliest family and making warm memories. Discovering myself and learning on and on. Living and breathing and struggling to reconcile all of what I do with my new lifestyle and happiness. Excited, alive and burning brighter.

I’m trying hard to get things done and build my little empire so that I can work in it in order to build the bigger dream-empire. But, I’ve never learned how to be organized nor productive since school has taught me all the opposite; I’m really good at last-minute-intense-pressure-what-the-fuck-am-i-doing type of scenarios but not so good at spreading things over the week. I’m learning and I’m getting there. Hard to allow organization and a free mind to coexist; one just like to roam and go with the flow, it’ll happen if the feeling is there or not, while the other is all about this-should-be-done-right-now and I already know what we’ll do tomorrow. And, it’s hard. I’m learning.

I am thankful and I am happy. It’s lovely, it’s amazing and I’m glad that I took the leap, that I came here, followed my guts, stuck to my words and I just want more. I love my family, I love my city, I love my few friends and I love life.

Thank You, Universe! And to me too! ❤

Ready to go out by myself and rock my own world?

P.S.:  Tonight I am going to this really cool art-related event and it’s probably going to bring big things into my life so stay tuned, I’ll probably post about it soon!!! 😀 (still leaving some room for disappointment so that if it ends up not becoming too big a thing, my heart will break a little less harder. Just in case. You never know. I believe it’ll happen. But I can’t let myself fall completely into the arms of any fantasy anymore; I don’t want to burn too hard sometimes. Nothing wrong with that. Expect the pain and embrace the surprise of life.)

Oh Deer, let Light and Darkness kiss again!

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 Last week, I unexpectedly joined my family for a picnic in the woods. And, little did I know that it would not only, bring me back on my feet (I had a miserable weekend) but also surprise me in the loveliest possible way: I saw a live deer.23336382_1615479725186097_207816256_o

Growing up on my island, I spent loads of time with my nose stuck in books (mostly about animals or Egypt but honestly, just reading anything I could find lying around the house too haha) and I had never seen many animals which are pretty common in mainland France up until I went to Lille two years ago. Swans, magpies, and even ducks(I only saw a few when I was tiny but man, a long time ago..)!

I only finally saw them for real two years ago. Up until that point, it was all just book pictures in my head. Things I knew of, things I knew to be real but never actually saw with my own two eyes and so I did not have that feeling/relationship(?) with it. They had that mystery to them, some kind of magic that comes from only knowing something the way your imagination can conceive it.

And the first time I saw them, I was struck with awe. It’s almost like seeing my childhood heroes. I remember those long hours spend lying on the floor or on a couch just staring at these glossy pages in the books, examining every inch of each picture just to get a somewhat clear memory of it engraved in my mind.

I am really happy, though, to be able to say that seeing them IRL does not take away the magic but only adds on, and also more frills. Nature is scary beautiful in that fragile-though-almighty way.

When I saw the deer, my brain just went *blop* *happy* and also, many (MANY) flashbacks to the Hannibal tv series… Ha ha! I had a small though intense phase last year where I got a tad bit obsessed with deer and drew loads of them. It was at the time I had started watching Hannibal and was shamelessly embracing my love for horror and disgusting stuff. In midst all the blood and chaos, those deer that I drew brought in some light in my dark room and mind.

I got pictures of all the deer drawings that I did in that short period to display them right here, in this post, and look back with a bittersweet smile on my face.

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I honestly loved the Hannibal show. And I’d have so much to say about it, but I’d rather not enlarge on the matter. What I’m going to say though is that it brought a lot of good out me, a lot of inspiration and reflections on life, and art… And deer!! At that time, I was going through a rough patch and things weren’t really good at all; I was at war with myself and also being sat on fire by other beings whom I thought were worth all the burns (spoiler alert: they weren’t). It was a dark time but weirdly enough(or not at all), I found comfort in this show and it brought loads of good things into my mind.

And as I type this, I’m reminded that my Thomas Harris books stayed at my mom’s house, several thousand kilometers away from me and I’d love to dive back in Red Dragon now. Heartbreaking thought, I must confess. That book was so good! And what a shame I didn’t even have time to read the other two before I had to abandon them in my nest in order to take my leap and fly so far away from it. I’ll probably get mom to send them back to me or something at some point anyway, I just know it.

That deer was beautiful. I’m not going to lie, there was a drop of disappointment as my eyes found their way to the live body of what used to fuel my pencil on my sketchbook months ago. I was delighted to see a deer and really happy. And there was magic. But, the truth is that there is always that drop of disappointment.

Whenever you finally come to face with something you’ve only been dreaming about, reading about, looking at pictures of, it is here, in the back of your mouth or tickling the inside of your eyelids. That tiny drop of disappointment, tightly seated next to the tears of joy and surprise, keeping the back of your throat moist as you scream “Oh God, I’m alive!”. I think it is nearly impossible not to have expectations, as humans, as creatures that dream and hope. And, the longer the road you have to walk between the moment it first captures your attention and monopolizes parts of your mind and heart, the bigger the expectations (no matter how small), and the bitter the drop of disappointment.23269934_1615479551852781_2080742452_o

You will be excited, you will be delighted; happiness, tears, smiles and fire inside. But it’ll be here, whether you feel it or not. Sometimes, even through the happy storm, there will be more than one drop. You might not be able to feel it, but it’ll be here. It might not ruin your happy time, but it’ll be here. And I think it’s important to acknowledge that.

It’s a reminder in a way, isn’t it? That there is never just one emotion, one feeling, one sensation; never just one thing happening at once. Life is plural. There’s always lots happening at once. We’re always feeling so much at once. Different intensities, different temperatures, different shapes, different causes and different spots hit. But at once. And you get to decide where the focus is.

You can focus on the pebble in your shoe. And then, you can shift the focus and go on think about that headache you have now. And you can move that focus as much as you want, as much as your mind is able to before it runs out of energy. Or you can keep the focus on one point tiny as it may be and make it seem bigger than that big bright sun shining out your window. You get to choose. Or, at least you have the possibility to do so. The power is in your hands but I guess the battery can’t always be full enough to enjoy its wide range of possibilities.

I saw that deer and the second I did, as I had a miserable weekend and I still had my negative glasses on, I felt the drop of disappointment. And I swallowed it, and the taste lingered on but I didn’t mind it; I enjoyed it. I let it do its job and I minded my own business, took pictures of the deer and tried to get over the fact that “Wow, there is a real deer in front of me!”.

Trying hard not to make this a generalization but I’ve met quite a few people with a positive outtake on life, those striving for a happy existence, and I always feel like they are missing out on something. I’m not a pessimistic. I’m not an optimistic either. I might actually strongly be both and usually all at the same time because I’m a walking disaster. But I just don’t think that being positive and happy is about rejecting nor ignoring the dark bits, the negative points, the heavy stuff. I think it’s all about accepting light and darkness no matter the amount or diversity of what’s within you. It’s about accepting them as a part of life, as a part of you and dealing with them, and maybe just learning to co-exist again.

19250288_1615479531852783_348158042_oIn my opinion, those people that I’ve met wrongly believe that negative = bad. Sure, negative vibes are definitely bad news and can dismantle the strongest of ships and you don’t want them around. But, think about balance, think about Nature and how everything serves a purpose. Blocking out all sadness, negative thoughts, anything that’s not rainbows and butterflies is going to ruin you on the long run. These things are part of being a human and you can’t just wipe them out of the board because you want things to look neat.

Life is not neat. Humans are not tidy inside. And you have to let it in, let it happen, let it out, let it roll over you…

Some things you have to face and break, some things you just have to throw straightaway and others you just have to sit down and swallow and maybe get some ice cream to let it make its way down your throat. And it’s something you learn to do, like recycling!

You learn where to put the tin cans and the glass bottles and the papers; you learn what can be reused, what just goes to waste and what things don’t go together even though they will serve a similar purpose. And sometimes you don’t want to throw something away although it belongs in the bin but you figure out some clever way to turn it into something useful, something you can still keep in your home and you transform it with your own two hands.

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learning on and on

There’s a required balance in all of that rickety machinery inside. And it doesn’t always make sense. It’s not a simple list of do’s and don’t’s. It’s complex but at the same time, so easy. The darkness is part of life, part of light. There are dark spots in light, and light spots in darkness. And you can’t just try to wipe one side out cos that’ll mess you up. Gotta find the right middle. Equilibrium.

I’ve learned and am still learning that it’s okay not to be okay. And it’s okay to feel down, to feel sad, to feel horrible, even when you’re in a happy place, with happy people and you are happy. Because life is not a monochrome painting. It’s as complex and simple and intense as a five-year-old’s painting. And it’s beautiful.

My darkness keeps getting brighter and my fire finally feels like it’s actually burning. I love sharing and I hope that through my words, music and art(and rare smiles?) I reach some hearts, minds or just the eyes, really and shed some darkness; the good kind. No matter how very few that might be, I hope that some people read me and that it makes them questions things, think, feel or just smile cos I’m so dramatic about everything it’s funny. I hope that whenever my darkness shines and people get a peek inside, I hope that it makes a difference to them, even the tiniest and that somewhere along the way, some way, somehow, it helps them.

Until next post, let yourself learn, and let your darkness shine. ❤