just stretching my fingers

Has it been two months? Oops. The excuse this time is simultaneously pathetic and wonderful. I lost myself in my work (work-work, y’know) and abandoned all semblance of time management in my personal/creative life…but I secured the job! They’re going to keep me as a full-time hire, so I will no longer be an outside contractor. Have I finished reading a book since September? No! I don’t care. Honestly. If I had to use all of my tentacles to desperately clutch only one thing for the past few months, this was the right choice.

I’m attempting to reintroduce balance going into 2020. We know I love a list, but my 2020 list (which is not yet complete) features more broad intentions this year that I think will lead me to develop some new and improved habits. Sure, there’s a dash of the classic “go to the gym!” and “make more art!” but the approach is a bit different this time. There’s less rigidity this year. I don’t want to fall into any “all or nothing” traps that I’ve set for myself, so I’m not setting them. With regard to my personal projects, I’m keeping some Austin Kleon quotes (from “Show Your Work!”) in mind:

  • “You don’t find an audience for your work – they find you.”
  • “Think about your work as a never-ending process.”
  • “Amateur – an enthusiast who encourages her work in the spirit of love.”
  • “Be on the lookout for voids that you can fill with your own efforts.”
  • “Forget about being an expert or a professional, and wear your amateurism on your sleeve.”
  • “Be a documentarian of what you do.”
  • “Focus on days.”
  • “Don’t let sharing your work take precedence over actually doing your work.”

So I should document and share what I do, but not let sharing overshadow the doing. Which means establishing some discipline in my art life – not in what’s being done, but just that I do it…at all…

…I think this is the right time to tell you that (at the time of writing) I’m the only person in this coffee shop at 10:00am on the Saturday before New Year’s, and the managers are 100% looking at me from around the corner with expressions that say “how nice that we’re remaining open for this one chick to sip a latte for an hour and stare at a wall.”

There will undoubtedly be some changes coming with this website and ideally with my engagement with others on it, as well. I’m excited. I’m still mapping out what I want to achieve, but it’s a very ongoing variety of work and in the meantime I just wanted to pop in and say hello, I’m still here.

One other timely thing I wanted to bring up: it’s that time of year when Instagram encourages you to share your “Top 9” (top nine most liked posts) from the year as sort of a “these were my best moments of 2019” tribute. Instagram’s algorithm allowed me to notice that Nina Agdal, a professional model with over 1 million followers, posted the following on the subject:

“I’m not gonna let Instagram tell me what my top 9 of 2019 is gonna be cus i know it would just be pics of my tits and ass so i made my own.” – @ninaagdal

Nina then included a self-made picture collage featuring shots of her holding her new nephew, a screenshot of a personal best on a run, and a selfie after getting her driver’s license, among others.

…I love this idea? I don’t know if she originated it, but big shout-out to you, Nina. I really doubt anyone’s most-liked posts truly reflect who they are and the most special moments of their year. Unless…no, I can’t come up with an exemption. So here’s my top 9 of 2019! Safe celebrating to all and to all a hopeful, fresh start. 🙂

2019 featuring a very well-executed surprise birthday party, my first sloth experience, moving in with Sean and starting our garden, exposing my blog on Instagram and being blown away by the response, acting alongside some of my favorite actors and TV characters, publicly posting poetry despite being terrified, getting my current job and 24/7 access to free coffee, standing up for a cause I love, and wrapping it all up at home & with family (and delightfully ugly sweaters).

spring meltdown

hellooo!

Two things. That’s all. I’m heading back home tonight in preparation for my venogram tomorrow morning, where I’ll find out what’s going on with this potential Nutcracker syndrome of mine (or not of mine). I feel like I’ve been spinning in place from my last appointment in February until now. Not knowing if I’ll need surgery has made it difficult to move forward, especially when it comes to job searching.

Thankfully, I lucked out big time with some acting work in the past few weeks that not only brought in a little income, but gave me the sense of productivity and of being a real person that I’ve been craving. I’ve also had distractions, the very good kind, in the way of a surprise birthday party and some unexpected time spent with people I highly enjoy. I did have some minor panic moments here and there and, in a sort of “grande finale”, I completely fell into the abyss on Sunday.

Sunday afternoon, I was ready to delete all traces of my life and move into an apartment in some town where I would just work and sleep and have no relationships or life goals. Because that’s not dramatic. Seriously though, I can poke fun now, but in the moment that always seems like what I have to do. I’m lucky that I wasn’t home and didn’t have access to a computer because I wanted to delete this blog…and everything else. I find it interesting that despite being aware that it’s not really me behind the wheel in those moments, I still believe that version of myself’s truths to be real. By Sunday night, however, my normal brain and my funky brain had reached somewhat of a compromise and decided on something that would actually help:

…s i m p l i f y.

I didn’t delete everything, but I deleted some things.

I’m not anti-social media because it has the potential to be used for good, but I do know that it can affect people very differently. At my most healthy, mentally, certain apps are nothing more than a huge distraction. When I’m in a different mental place, browsing through social media can be like throwing gas on the fire. I love to record moments of my life, and sometimes it feels like “what’s the point of recording these memories if I don’t share them?” I think we’ve forgotten how normal it is to share moments with our friends and family and not the whole world. My home growing up was full of photo albums, which were treasures and would never be as special to strangers as they were to my family. This is not at all to say that publicly sharing snapshots of your life is wrong or bad, but I personally fell into that inaccurate mentality of “the more people that see these portraits of your life, the better your life must be.” If I was using other apps for the same purpose that this blog exists, that would be a different story. But I was not. I was mostly:

  1. reliving my past through the posts of people I still follow
  2. feeling inadequate because I can’t afford the adventures or clothing or food that I see people posting about, &
  3. stressing over what/when to post to make people feel a certain way about me.

Anyway, that was a long road to get to the point that I got rid of Instagram and Snapchat. Insta, Snap…it’s not you guys, it’s me. Well, it’s also a little bit what you’ve turned into. But I respect you. I’m just terrified of you and what you do to me. Will I come back? Maybe, when I think I can handle it. I’m just a little too distract-able and impressionable right now, that’s all.

I kept Tumblr, who has never done me wrong.

I brought this up in my last post (I think?) when I wrote about having a kit for the bad days. I’m a very visual person, and for seven years I’ve had a Tumblr account where I’ve collected things that catch my eye and attention. It’s never been a competitive thing for me, and that’s been really nice to have. It’s full of pictures of old buildings, artwork, fashion photography, cups of coffee, FOOD, animals doing things, quotes, poems, the occasional PSA, really weird meme videos that no one ever reacts well to…anything that gives my brain a little happy spark, or that I find really important.

So I did a thing. I re-vamped my Tumblr, making it a sidekick to this blog. They were already working together to achieve the same sort of goals, in a way, so it makes sense to share the page with you.

…but of course, when I changed my Tumblr name the url “saorza” was already taken, so if you come across that one, it is NOT ME!

It’s called calm & collection and because I redid the whole thing, there’s not a ton there – yet. I’m not doing anything differently compared to how I managed the page before…it’s still my collection of doodads, gathered together for myself above all else. Give the page a glance, or don’t, but I want to give credit where credit is due: thank you to Tumblr for simply being there, and to everyone who uses it to take care of themselves & others.

One more time, I’m giving the link its own block:

calmandcollection.tumblr.com

And now, I leave you with some pictures from March so far. See you on the other side of the venogram.