INKtober twelfth (beached)

i am paralyzed
no matter which way i go
i am certain
i will fuck
it
up
i am trapped
my life
a torture chamber of indecision
i want to go
i just want to take off
run away
say “fuck it”
& start all over…
but if i do
will i soon regret it?
will i always
always regret it?
i don’t want to be
alone
anymore
but i will
surely
choose
the wrong company
the wrong companion
&
i will
find
myself
missing my solitude…
there is nothing
nothing
i can do
right
i am frozen
frozen
in fear
of
being
me.

so the official inktober prompt of the day (which i am by no means required to use in order to participate in inktober) is “whale.”
while i love drawing whales & am especially fond of humpback whales…it seemed more suitable for me to beach myself.
so this is me
beached.

on a similar note–i realized today that i have no idea how to spell “12th” as a word…good thing my 12 year old knew…(wait–i think i see a pattern)

& i am going through a rough patch. i find myself thinking i should quit the homestead adventure…or, at least, curtail it…. i also want to quit illinois & head back north/northwest (not in a hitchcock way.)
but all this is waaaaaaaaaaay easier said than done when one is broke but with a yard full of livestock living rent-free.
also
i want to be closer to my ex-husband…in more ways than one…& history shows that to be a bad idea…but i am notoriously bad about history.
both of these things are weighing heavily on me. resulting in mental exhaustion & severe bouts of crying as i question every motive i have and every bad decision i have ever made.
it super sucks.
i’m not sure i want to be me right now. i feel like i’m just a complete fuck up waiting for my next fuck up.

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status update: overwhelmed

the minions returned on tuesday–i drive & meet dusty half-way to wisconsin. usually we do the swap at a rest area, but dusty volunteered to meet at culver’s & have a birthday dinner for misha (for anyone not in the midwest of the u.s., culver’s is a wisconsin based hamburger chain–the only chain restaurant i willingly eat at.)
so i spent too much time with dusty for my own good–upcoming pages on that!
and i got my four wild children back for the rest of the month.
add on to that an explosion of ducklings. my muscovies enjoy hatching eggs, but then they abandon the babies leaving me to find duckling bits around the yard. if i am lucky, i find them before they are dead, but it’s about 50/50 at this point.
additionally,
my brain is not able to completely come to terms with life & death on the farm & instead of staying up nights stressing about having to butcher lambs, i decided to get rid of my ram (so no more pregnant ewes) & to just have some fat, happy ewes eating grass. someone offered to buy my ram–luke (pictured above after a horn injury.) luke is a sweet ram & iggy (my child who is convinced i don’t love him–or so he says) is very attached to him. so there is a lot of drama over his leaving. we are all very sad. plus, the couple buying him wanted a ewe to go with him so they could start breeding. so we had to send our beautiful buttercup with him. which is also sad. plus buttercup left behind the other ewe & buttercup’s six month old lamb. so everyone, me–iggy–& all the sheep–have been crying since yesterday when luke & buttercup left.
good news. they are going to live on pasture of a small farm & get to have babies. the other options for sheep aren’t as nice. so i am happy they are going somewhere nice…but feel like a penniless jerk because i am unable to give them a home–forcing them into the scary move & causing all the other sheep (& iggy) to be sad.
but i keep thinking of winter & all the hay i need to buy…plus not wanting to “deal” with lambs when they get to a certain age & i can no longer put off the inevitable….
i’m just in over my head.
seriously.
with four very demanding minions & a yard full of animals to take care of….
it’s overwhelming.
i’m exhausted.

i have pages written & two more canvas ideas…plus! one night while unable to sleep–i started writing more moses jones!! i have been stalled on that since, what, april?
so i’m taking my journal with me to a car maintenance appointment & will try to get pages done/mojo plot written.

my guardian dear

i felt myself
replacing
trading
one obsession
for another
stories to tell myself
at night
to keep me from studying
eternity
& collapsing
into my own
anxiety
i tell myself stories
about someone
that someone
who will love me
no matter what
classic coping mechinism
a therapist might say
sexual addict
my therapist did say
except
this time
i let it go
i let it go
my new obsession
the one to rock me to sleep
at night
i let it go
& i felt
my heart
relax
with a soft
sigh.

i am not sure i said what i wanted to say. i may have to play with this one a lot before i am happy with it. and i have artist’s block. after drawing myself so so so many times (by the way–i put up a new page of my latest self portraits–in the menu above…it’s like over 50 self-portraits…holy fuck, right??) i just don’t know what to do with myself anymore.
plus
in my art journal
the two pages before this one were (ick!) love poems to the person i was using as my new obsession. i did draw pictures for them. one sucked but the other wasn’t half bad…except…ew…love poems. so i am not posting them. because it is just dumb. dumb for me to think about love.
christ, i feel old today. & stupid. am i going to ever learn?
but, yes, i did quit the obsession. i did decide i didn’t feel like having a new person ignore me.
so i am quite quite quite
alone.
even in my imagination.

ps. the title today comes from the prayer i would say at night when i was terrified i was going to die during the night. it’s called “angel of god” i think.

angel of god, my guardian dear,
to whom god’s love commits me here,
ever this day, be at my side,
to light and guard,
to rule and guide.

a smell of hope in the wind

today
i let the wind
blow
my anxiety away
today
i let myself
feel
the happiness that resides inside
me
today
i let myself know
hope.

a quick smattering of words. a quick sketch. i don’t even remember writing this one little page of hope amidst mine troubled pages. but i do remember the feeling.
or, rather, i know the feeling.
when i was in my early twenties, i was in therapy. i know, right–me? in therapy? anyhoo. i had this awesome therapist who wouldn’t let me cut corners. she was tough.
and one day, i had a breakthrough.
honestly, the stuff of movies & novels.
i went from being terrified of the dark, to not fearing anything. i went from never knowing happiness, to having a glowing spot of joy in my heart.
i could feel it.
i could feel it in my heart. and i was terrified of losing it. i told my therapist this. i said it would be like flowers for algernon and i would lose my joy & know i was losing it because i had gotten to feel what it felt like. after a childhood of fear & unhappiness. it would be cruel.
my therapist assured me i was crazy & that i had the happy now in my heart & forever in my heart.
she was right. i check sometimes when things seem darker than than anything a person could survive…and the little glowing spot in my heart is still there.

when i want to feel it strong & bold, all i have to do is stand in the sunshine, watch the fluff of the clouds, and feel the wind blow over me.

maybe that’s why i am still here today.

performance anxiety & high school reunions

emails from ex-cheerleaders
high school reunion
for this small town freak
i was going to be famous
by now
i was going to be
bigger than the beatles
but
you know
life got in the way
now i am a single mom
an unknown
just another cog
turning circles around
social media
but going nowhere
really.

so if anyone is looking for a good time, i have an invite to my 30 year high school reunion….
i wasn’t invited to my 20 year…the only time i actually was in a relationship. granted it was with dusty…but he’s charming & easy on the eyes. he might have been a good date….
my 10 year i was invited to…and i found a date…but then i ended up deciding it would be more fun just to get laid & skip the reunion.
that was pretty much how a lot of my decision making was done when i was in my 20s.

i have been depressed ever since i got the invite.
plus i had to see dusty to pick up the kids yesterday.
plus every song is still reminding me of seymour as he continues to ignore me….

in other news!

i was invited to join the literati mafia!!! so my imposter’s syndrome and anxiety about anyone noticing me is on full blast.
full blast, y’all.
and i am working on a post for them. which, of course, i am worried will not be good enough…but in my head it is an awesome response to the invite to my high school reunion/another obsessive piece about seymour.

so stay tuned!

(the illustration today is my practicing my figure drawing. lots of nipples & cooch in figure drawing, as it turns out.)

ps. i posted my memoir, in full without illustrations over on medium.

never surrender

it occurred to me today
that if i never
put myself out there
if i never take a chance
i won’t have to be
rejected
criticized
ignored
pushed away
i can live a quiet life
just make art
for me
never
expose
my heart
my self
to another person ready
to break me
never stand up
to be pushed down again
i can keep myself
safe
this thought
felt like relief
for just a moment
& then
i found myself
crying
why does keeping
my heart safe
feel like giving up?

exposed

how much do i hide
how much do i reveal
is too much of me
showing
am i scaring you
do you feel uncomfortable?
is that a good thing
or a bad one?
i want your attention
look at me
look at me
look at me now
oh
wait
now i’m scared
now i’m uncomfortable…
(is that a good thing
or a bad one?)

it’s this dance i do. ever since i was a kid. dressing weird, cutting off all my hair, being different…and then hiding in a corner.
angry at the world for not seeing me…but terrified that they would notice.
a fucking goofy-ass dance.
why?
why am i like this? i am the invisible girl…splashing paint on myself.

is there anything more ridiculous than me?