& how does that make you feel?

so i had a dream this morning about my teenage heartthrob of choice, adam ant.
he was at my house…the kids were away…it was the perfect recipe for mischief.
why was he at my house? i don’t remember that part of the dream.
i do remember him coming on strong.
but i wasn’t in the mood
& he was being annoying
so annoying that
i took him by the shoulders & said to him, “i would be the best you have ever had, but you would just remind me of my ex-husband.”
because he already reminding me of my ex-husband
clingy & annoying
but i consented to a kiss…i knew i was a good kisser, but i was having my doubts about him
i went in all gentle & sexy only to get viciously probed by a pointy little tongue
so i stopped, pushed his tongue back in his mouth & told him
“knock it off.”
but he didn’t…so the kissing stopped
then the kids came home so i figured that was that
i offered to show him the posters i had of him from when i was a kid.
he was game
i found the posters, but only one was of him, the rest had changed to me
posters of me
i said, “the posters have changed–like they would if i were dreaming.”
then he came at me with a back rub…the foreplay technique that has, historically, relaxed me into many a tight spot….
so i said, “fine.” & started figuring out where we could sneak off to.
he asked if my bed was clean & i said,
“i gave birth in that bed!”
i asked him if he had protection, & he just shrugged
i was a bit worried about where he has been
i knew i had condoms but i didn’t tell him that
i did start working out a cover story to tell the kids
& readying a room for us….

if you made it this far, that’s where i was woken up by feisty morning minions. i have heard said that no one is interested in your dreams…but this one was so empowering & entertaining for me, that i just had to share.
seemingly laden with messages.
i haven’t quite worked it all out yet, but the dream seems to be
all
about
me.

ps. the image is from an old journal page showing 20-something me & my therapist.
lately i am really missing making comics.
i might be headed back to comics…..

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yellow brick road

okay
change of narrative
y’all
turns out
i’m so totally the cowardly lion
as glinda
materializes
to say in that 
trilling voice of hers
“but, emje, you have had confidence
all along.”
durp.
i recognized
plenty of times
my inner strength
but dismissed it as not being
also
in equal measures
confidence
but just now
listing in my head
(while taking a shower
of course)
all the times
in my life
i have 
shown
confidence
true
confidence
i’m all
what the fuck, lady?
let’s get this party 
started.

the cowardly lion has always been my favorite of the wizard of oz characters. i never really knew why. but now i have some suspicions. i was totally going to do me as dorothy, but i actually look a lot like dorothy in real life. so i chose to be glinda, because–as it turns out–i am both the good witch & the cowardly lion in my own story of oz. 

also, check it out, here is the list (so far!) that i started while taking a shower. well, in my head…later writing it down when there was less chance of my getting drippy all over my journal….
check it out. 


i am so totally a super hero.
or, at least, not cowardly. definitely not cowardly.

no man’s land

what if
what if i actually
do own
that ever elusive
confidence
i constantly chase
& dream
of catching
what if
i dismiss 
my confidence
as selfishness
as self-indulgence
as bad
manners
like
one time i walked
into a pitch black room
as i was saying,
“i can’t go in there
i’m afraid of the dark.”
only realizing
once inside
that the story i had been telling
myself
had ended
happily
ever 
after
i was no longer
afraid.
now i have grown
so used to explaining
my lack of confidence
that i have never bothered
to notice
i have grown
some confidence
after all.

“no man is an island,” my mother used to say to me. 
“i’m a peninsula, ma,” i responded.
(have i told you that one already?)
so this happened while some 22 year old was telling me how sexy i was???? weirdo… so i was trying to explain to him my lack of confidence when i started to realize…wait…but…do i have confidence?
i mean, 
i told my abusive ex-husband to fuck the fuck off, choosing to raise four kids by myself in rural illinois. what the fuck does that take if not a big old set of balls?
then i went on to make a list of all the evidence i could think of to prove to myself that i actually do have confidence AND that i have had it all along. like forever. despite the cruel & unsupportive & invalidating natures of my parents & the majority of my relationships. in fact, my survival despite that overwhelming lack of support from my closest relationship proves i have to have had confidence.
so there, self. take that. 
you actually don’t suck.

phoenix rising

i realized something today
i am pretty fucking awesome
whether i’ve had
a beer…or two
or
am stone cold sober
whether my bathroom is clean
or the scene
of a toxic event
i am pretty fucking awesome
warts & all
literal & figurative
losing my mind
or all fucking zen
i am incredible
fantastic
amazing
think what you will
of me
but i am the only
one
who
knows for sure
i am
totally
fucking awesome.

after 250 self-portrait art journal pages (this is #251) in the past eleven months…it was bound to happen.
i felt good writing this…it was a bit harder to post as i am all, “what if i’m wrong? what if i suck?” but i totally felt it as i was writing it.
confidence.
belief in myself.
and it felt good.

dare me?

i am thinking
of venturing out of my house
and down the road
and into the horizon
to find a venue
a cafe or a gallery
who thinks my art
just might
hang
on
a
wall.
maybe make me
a buck or two
get the name
emje
out there
and into ears
&
onto lips
or
at least
get me
adventuring
out of my house
& down the road.

so i have some art i think i could display…like in a public place. i have my series of “whimsical inkings
and i also have the starts of a self-portrait series on water color paper (does anyone know the world’s record for self-portraits?)

 

plus the ink on canvas self-portraits i have been accumulating…i think i have a show-ish.

so that’s my plans for the beginning of the month. maybe hit first friday…maybe rub elbows with some art lovers. maybe make some connections/set up a showing?

in other news…
my terrible funk seems to be lifting and i am no longer imaging my life as anna karenina vs. the train.
so that’s nice.
my house is infested with fleas & i lost a beehive to a massive wax moth infestation…but i am squinting and maybe? maybe see a light at the end of the tunnel?
my mindset is slowly shifting back from “holy fuck why is my life so weird?” to “i love my weird-ass life.”

i am deciding what extra weight needs to be thrown to keep the ship from sinking…but i think i may have successfully deterred any upcoming visits from diabolical parents…so i might not have to pack up so soon?

everything is in flux right now.
everything.
but i am slowly transitioning back from severe motion sickness to enjoying the ride…so…hold on y’all.

would i read this book…?

you know how your own voice
sounds so fucking weird
when you hear it recorded
and played back to you?
my art sometimes
hits my ear that way
i hear my speaking
and it is irritating
and i wish my voice were huskier
and more
melodic
i want my art to sing to me
like tina turner
but
instead
it is off tune and without soul

when i check out picture books for my kids–or look at graphic novels, i almost totally choose stories based on their illustrations.
you can see me in the library pull a book off of the shelf, open it up, blurt “ew!” and quickly re-shelf it with a wince.
so as i am making illustrations for my friend’s story, i keep wondering, would i choose this book?
except it’s difficult. like looking at your own face in the mirror and trying to figure out if you are pretty. what do other people see when they look at you because all you can see is that one eyebrow is higher than the other and your nose is asymmetrical.
ack!
so i don’t know if this is actually a finished page…or just one more step towards getting it almost right…
close enough that i’m not embarrassed by it, at least.

on a side note, i think my inner catholic is peeking out again as i try to illustrate this story.

update: i literally just started this inking, but i already like the sound of its voice better….

mom (2)

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