Thursday, December 5, 2013


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Today's KIOS prompt is 
Tell Us 10 Things About You.

So, here we go...

I love words.  I don't read as much as I used to, but reading and writing were my first loves.  I even have a poetry blog, which I haven't updated in a LONG time.  (I'm a binge poet...nothing, nothing, nothing and then a solid month of writing.)  I used to write poetry to work through emotional stuff, but I think my art journals are filling that void now.  Like I said, I haven't put up anything new for a while, but you can, if you are so inclined, read my poetry HERE.  ...some of them are not too shabby!  

I have a ridiculous fear of space aliens.  The worst part is that I don't even think they're real.  But I am freaked out by them to an insane degree.  I'm not scared of snakes, spiders, axe know, things that exist in reality and could, in theory, actually hurt/kill me...but show me a picture of a little green man and I am so unnerved about the whole thing that I will make the dog follow me around the house for a week straight (for protection purposes...).  I understand that this is a completely irrational fear, but I am nevertheless getting the heebie jeebies just talking about them.

I've talked a lot about my love for and collection of random weird things, but I also have a deep love of plates and dishes and the like.  I think I inherited this love from my grandma, who had a huge amount of mismatched dishes in her cabinets.  When I find a cool plate, I HAVE to buy it!  None of my dishes match, and I hope they never do!

Semi-related to number 3, one of my most prized possessions is an old green crock pot that was my mom's... (she might want to have it back, but it ain't gonna happen!)  It's been used to hold wood spoons and spatulas and whisks since before I was born, and that's the place of honor it holds in my house as well.  If my house ever catches fire, that crock pot would be what I grabbed on my way out the door.

My family moved a lot when I was growing up.  If need be (and you could entertain my husband for while I was doing it...he'd just get in the way), I could have my entire house full of stuff packed up and be on the road in one day.  I used to take pride in the fact that everything I owned except my bed could fit into three Rubbermaid totes.  Since I've gotten married, that's no longer true (because my husband is the king of all hoarders...and to a lesser extent because I have discovered art supplies...), but I could still pack up and leave in 24 hours or less.

I haven't bought clothes in about three years.  And if we're talking major clothing purchases, we could add at least another three years to that.  I hate going shopping (for anything except art supplies) and I always feel like buying clothes is wasting money.  Although I'm going to have to cave in and do it soon...I'm more than a little threadbare, and no one wants me to become a nudist.  They'd frown on that at work for sure.

I have two tattoos, a turtle on my back and rats around my ankle.  The turtle is for my mom (that's what she's called me ever since I was a little kid) and the rats are for my husband (Rat was his nickname when I met him...although I never called him that...I call him, among other things, Stink Face.  It is a term of endearment in my house.)  People always think the rats are some variation of Dead Head Bears, maybe because they are each a different color...but that is in no way true.  I just wanted a bunch of bright colors.  Also in relation to tattoos, I would get more of them if it weren't for my husband, who says two is more than enough.  (But I bet I end up with at least one more...eventually.)

I hate sauerkraut.  I don't even want to be near it, that's how much I hate it.  If I can smell it or if a piece gets on my skin (the rest of my family loves it and I would have to wash dishes sometimes when they made it...ugh...), I start dry heaving.  I hate it so much that if I was starving and it came down to eating sauerkraut or maggots, I would eat the maggots.  I'm not joking.  I wouldn't even have to think twice.  

I don't like/know how to respond when people compliment me about my looks, specifically in person.  Honestly, I find myself waiting for the punch line when someone compliments me.  And it makes me feel super awkward.  You'd think it would be easy to just accept a compliment with a 'Thank you!' and be on my way...but it's not for me.  I don't think I'm a hideous beast monster or anything, but I'm also realistic about my looks...and I'd much rather be complimented about something I have control over, like the fact that I am hilarious or smart or kind or that my shirt is cool.  Aside from making sure there's no food smeared on my face and no boogers are hanging out of my nose, I have very little control over my when someone compliments me, I just pretend they're saying "Good job at showering today."  ...because I can totally say thank you to that...

You probably know this one by now, but I love art.  I love my art journals.  I cherish my art supplies.  I honestly think that art has, in some ways, saved my life.  

I don't show my emotions.  For a long time, I was convinced I didn't even have them.  If you've ever known someone who is bipolar, you know that their mood will swing from one extreme to another.  I used to be like that, except for I was always on the upswing...always a disturbing degree.  You'd think that it's a good thing to always be happy, but there are times in life that you should feel sadness or anger or love even.  I didn't.  I understood those things in theory, but didn't feel them myself.  

One day, I met a man who made me feel love very strongly...something that I had not felt before...instead of just feigning it, I actually felt it.  Not going into too much detail, I got to have him in my life for several years, and then he killed himself.  When that happened, I was crushed.  That's a normal reaction.  But for me, because I didn't have experience dealing with sadness, it was more than even being crushed.  The only thing that I can try to compare it to is a roller coaster with a very large drop.  One minute you're at the peak, and the next minute you are hurtling downward so fast and then you get to a point where you level out and the ride's over.  But in my case, I couldn't stop the going downhill part...I crashed right through the ground and kept going down, down, down.  When he died, it was like everything that had ever happened to me in my life, all the things that I never felt emotion about before, suddenly filled my brain.  I don't think that the people around me knew the extent of what was happening.  They knew it was bad of course, but not how bad it really was.  

I had so much going on internally that I didn't know how to cope with.  Things would circle around and around in my head and I didn't know how to make them stop.  Looking back, I was probably on the road to going crazy...and not the fun kind of crazy.  I couldn't separate the death of my friend, which was bad enough on it's own, from childhood abuse, or from arguments that had happened years before, or from feelings of rejection and worthlessness, or even from happy things like love and other good things that I never fully understood.  I was a mess, and I felt like I couldn't even let myself show it to anyone, let alone ask for help.

And that's when I discovered art...or art as it applied to me.  

And, slowly, I learned that I could put each thought in my head onto paper, and it actually let my brain have some peace.  I could look at each thing individually and analyze it, understand it, work through it.  Art let me breathe again.

And so my art might not be the most beautiful or the most impressive or the most technically correct out there...but it's important to me.  

In the beginning, it was a way to have a space to work things out.  It still is.  But I also found out along the way that art is fun.  I got better at making 'pretty' things too...cause trust me, there were a whole lot of extremely ugly pages that happened (there still are sometimes!)  I practice every day, both at making better art, and at dealing with emotions in a healthy, (my version of) normal way.

So when you look at the bunny below, know that he is just a meaningless bunny...

...but that he's also the product of a lot of personal growth and a sign of better mental health...he's a bit of a celebration rabbit, I suppose, and a bit of a life saver.


  1. Wow. I was going to comment something about sauerkraut and something else about space aliens, but your tale about how art has helped you so much hit close to home. Your story is amazing. Heart-breaking on the one hand, and uplifting on the other. I'm glad to hear that art is helping you so much. I think I'd be lost if I was told I could no longer express myself artistically.

    *deep breath*

    So anyway: Sauerkraut - You'd probably enjoy Weird Al Yankovic's song "Albuquerque." It's long, but it's actually abut sauerkraut.

    And last year I wrote a short novel about space aliens attacking earth and enslaving the human race. Don't read it.

    I enjoyed your post!

  2. As above, I was going to talk about your love of mixed dishes (would drive me CRAZY, I like matchy-matchy) and tattoos (I have four, more to come). But was also touched by your courageous sharing of your illness and your love of art as therapy and to share. Thank you so much for sharing! I, too, have had difficulties with mental illness (and still continue most days mostly good). My creative side has also been a shining light for me! Bless you!!

  3. OMGosh, Soul Mate, the little flags of celebration between your bunny's ears... or maybe they struck me as prayer flags, too... just oh my heart. I'm so glad you found heART and heART found you. I always think about that scene in the Harry Potter movies where Dumbledor pulls a thought out of his head and drops it into the Rememberall. I feel that way, too, about the art process... that it lets me take the thought out of my head, gives me space to breathe again. So so so glad you are part of Art-Supply-Anon then because it means you are in your heart with your heART -- if that makes any sense at all!! :)

    And by the way, I feel the same about compliments on appearance, so I'll just say that your #2 and #8 on this list are hilarious!! It left me wondering if space aliens eat sauerkraut? ACK! Oh oh oh and that #3 mug...I may come through the kitchen window to use that for my coffee in the morning, okay?

    Sending lots of supportive vibes and bunny nose twitches!

  4. Sweet, I like your celebration bunny. Your 10 things are very interesting. I'm not a sauerkraut fan either but I might eat it before maggots. I'm so glad you found art. It has helped a lot of us. You are loved by many these days....just sayin'


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