Wednesday, January 21, 2015

SHAKING IT OFF

Um, yeah I'm still here. Sorry that I haven't been posting much but....
I've been....
Depressed.
I hate to use the word but I can't think of anything else to describe my feelings.
I hate it.
I've tried to think about my favorites things.
I've tried to think about all that I'm grateful for.
I mean, who am I to be depressed?!
There are so many people in this world who have it so much worse than I.
I need to work on my Art.
Art Saves, right?
But I couldn't even think, to focus, let alone think creatively.
And writing?
How can I "write" when I can't even write a blog post?
I came home at night and did - nothing.
Truly, nothing except feed and pick up after my pets and do laundry and then... 
Nothing.
A week ago Tuesday, after our staff meeting I went back to my boarding area and cried 
and cried. I was on the verge of hysteria but then I had to run a dog up front 
and then bring back a couple and then I had two different people who stopped by 
to visit with some of the long term boarders. 
I was gulping in air and splashing cold water on my wrists and pressed cold paper towels to the back of my neck.
Then I stepped outside and took in a deep breath of air and pretended to be OK.
Meryl Streep watch out!
That night I came home, let the dogs out to potty and let them back in and sat down in my big chair
and fell asleep for two hours with my coat and shoes on.
I hadn't even fed the dogs yet!
Sigh.

It's best that I not discuss the exact source of my angst but .....
Maybe I'm too emotional and sensitive.
Maybe I should just not give a shit.
Maybe I need more SUNLIGHT.

No...it's more than that...

And yes, I have friends, both here and in the blog world who are there for me
to encourage me and tell me to
"Work on your book!"
But I was feeling beaten down and trivialized which left me
void of the ability to do anything more than exist.

There's a whole lot that I'm leaving out, but I must.
It's not that I'm trying to be mysterious.
I just trying to convey why my head and heart has been so messed up without actually giving the details.
Those of you that have been here for a while most likely can fill in the blanks anyway...
So there's where I've been
STUCK

and also two of my longtime boarding dogs,
dogs that I've taken care of for YEARS
passed away this month....so yeah, there was that too.


But I must say, Thank god for friends and the Internet
It  really helps my heart to read blog posts and escape from my own little part of the world.

I was finally able to shake it off a bit last weekend and focus a tiny bit on my Kanga book

I have it all roughly sketched out and I had someone who is an English teacher and
who wants to write her own book about grammar and punctuation, go over what I had written.
I chewed on my pinky nail and paced behind her.
I stopped each time when she uttered an "Ohhh, that's sweet".
She said she really liked my story and she only had to add a few commas. 
That made me so bold as to share some of my ideas about my illustrations and said she thought they sounded "cool".
That helped my psyche some.


and then I got some nudges from a dear friend that I have never met and
I worked on it some more.
I've been trying to be upbeat and focused
and then one of my close friends had one of her dogs have a major health emergency.
It's still not certain how things will go, it's kinda of a wait and see and pray thing.
So I need to be grateful for the health of my gang
and not let people wound me so deeply and not worry so much. 


Then today I had breakfast with my very bestest of friends.

She is like a sister to me and her eyes filled with tears to hear how down I've been.
We talked about so many things and she knows me so well.
She helped me figure out what to let go,
what not to pursue and
what to pursue with all my heart.

She had just returned from a big buying trip at the Atlanta Home, Gift, Apparel Trade show
and she said as she was being shown things by vendors she kept thinking of me.
She said it reminded her of my work and she wished she was buying my creations.
So I asked her if she thought I should make this or that or....
She interrupted and said she thought I should create whatever made me happy.

Then told her that I think I know what was blocking me from finishing this book.
I think it's because I so badly want this to be the answer to my problems
and if I finish it and then it flops ....well, there goes what could be,
my only hope.
She just smiled and said "You can do it".
I told her that I have blogger friends that have been encouraging me and have faith in me
and several co-workers have been cheering me on and she said
"You can do it"
and damn it, I will!

21 comments:

Vicki said...

Oh Cindi. Wish I could give you a great big comforting hug right now.
I know that mud hole - I've been stuck in there more times than I can count. We may have even shared it at the same time without even knowing it :)

I'm so sorry to read about how down you've been. Some times, all you want to do is curl up into a ball and wish the world away.
But, the world pokes and prods us to get up and do what we have to do. It can take every last ounce of (mental) strength to put one foot in front of the other and carry on.
It's so important at these times to surround ourselves with supportive friends and family. They can give strength - just as you do when others are down.

I am very saddened to read about the passing of wonderful dogs you've known and loved. And, I send healing wishes out to your friend's dog whose health took a major turn.
It makes one hug our furbabes even closer, as they are so precious.

I too believe in you, Cindi. You can do it!
You're an incredibly strong girl with love, compassion and talent.

I am all too familiar with the see-saw emotions that puts us artists through the wringer.
And, when external influences affect us, our creative inner fires can burn low.

But, that fire is there in our bellies. Ever burning - it's what keeps us up at night and what inspires us at any time of the day.

Even if you put something on the backburner (briefly) while you attend to life stuff, you must always believe that there is that "something" to return to.

Believe. Believe in you.
It has to start with you, and radiate out from there.

It starts with tiny steps...

Perhaps you could write/illustrate a small “zine” in the meantime?
I can see in my mind a little book on how a sweet “lost/shelter dog” helped save a "lost girl" from depression.
Your wonderful illustrations can touch the heart of many of us who suffer from these debilitating periods.

It doesn't have to be a huge novel, but a simple, short (tail) tale which can touch the hearts of many.
That’s the beauty of zines. They’re fabulous short self publications which are popular – not just with the younger set.
They’re not for making the big bucks, but are great for dipping toes into self publications, and just getting your work “out there” and giving confidence.

You could maybe distribute some (freely) to doctors’ surgeries, cafes or other public places where they can be picked up and read by anyone who might’ve needed it most - just at the right time in their life.
And for a few dollars, you can sell them at some zine bookshops and even at Etsy. I’ve put some links below for inspiration.

I can imagine right now, your little book being read on trains and buses. Perfectly short, but powerful in intent.

Here’s some info links -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zine
https://www.etsy.com/au/browse/home-garden/books-music-media/zines-comics
http://www.zinebook.com/directory/zine-catalogs.html
http://www.quimbys.com/consignment


There are heaps of online ideas on how to make a zine.

Whatever you do, just remember to keep creating and stoke that fire inside.
You can do it! Believe it!
Love to you dear Cindi.
xxxx

Anonymous said...

Dear Cynthia,

I've been reading your blog for a few months now and your latest entry made me feel compelled to comment. First of all, I have to say I love your writing. I also love your drawings of your animals - so much of your personality and theirs comes through in your art.

I'm sorry you've been struggling lately. This post, especially, made a big impression on me because I've been a little depressed myself lately. I know the source of my depression though - one of my dogs passed away the week before Christmas. I've been through this sort of painful loss before and I know it will just take some time to get past it. But it's one of those things that just can't be rushed no matter how many times you've experienced it in the past.

I can also completely relate to this: <>

I am always having to remind myself that no ONE thing can really be the answer to all my problems. When I look back on my life, it's never been just one thing that turned things around for me. It's always a series of small things that happen and at the time that they are happening I am not even aware of how important they will be. What I mean is that you shouldn't put so much pressure on yourself when you think about working on your book. Like the person who wrote the first comment above, I think that taking things in smaller steps would be less intimidating and just as satisfying to accomplish.

Anyway, again, I love your writing and I hope you keep it up. You have a special gift for expressing yourself and I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks so. : )

Anonymous said...

Oops -- sorry. The quote I was trying to highlight in my comment above was this one:

"Then told her that I think I know what was blocking me from finishing this book.

I think it's because I so badly want this to be the answer to my problems

and if I finish it and then it flops ....well, there goes what could be,

my only hope."

Cynthia Myers said...

Whoa Vicki!
I'm blown away.
I received your and Anonymous's comments while at work today and posted them but of course was unable to comment until I got home.
Truly I had tears in my eyes as I read your words and it wasn't because I was standing outside in the freezing cold squinting at my phone while waiting for a boarder to "poop"!
No, it's because I only have a couple of people in my "real" life that do more than listen. The fact that you took the time to be there for me and to give me ideas and information! I laughed when I opened the last link you provided and saw that it was in Chicago. Chicago isn't next door but it's driveable. You just stunned me that you gave it so much thought. Crap, now I'm tearing up again.
Thank you so much for your words to let me know that you've been there and I'm not just losing it.
xoxoxo
I do remember watching a YouTube about how Dallas Clayton started by making Zines. I wasn't sure what he was talking about in the video but now I get it. I like that idea!
I'm going to work on opening my Etsy shop. I made an account a VERY long time ago, about the time I started blogging and never did anything with it. I want to get that going.
I also have a few other ideas that I will share later but one of them is to create some ACEO's and list them on eBay and also to start making some of my little cat dolls again. I used to make them out of cloth and paint and those sold but I never had much luck with the paperclay ones. I also sold SMALL paintings and had a little following for a while.
Yep. That's how I think I will get my creative ball rolling again.
and TRULY....you will never know how much your comment meant to me.
Thank you SO MUCH my friend that I have never met.
XOXO

Cynthia Myers said...

Anonymous,
Thank you SO SO much for commenting!
First, let me offer my deepest sympathies to you. I know that I have and had many pets but each one of them takes a chunk of your heart with them.
It's been 12 years (it was this time of year too) when I lost my Golden Maddie and I still get weeping thinking about her. And of course my Ruby this last year was a very hard one too. You are so right about how the healing process can't be rushed but still, I hope for happier days for you soon.
xoxo
Thank you for your wise words.
You are so right that life is made of small little pieces to form into something special and yet each little step needs to be appreciated.
I guess that lately I feel like I'm walking a tightrope and I have "someone" bouncing on the end of it, trying to make me fall and I wouldn't be is terrified if I had a safety net...but I don't.
Sigh, OK! shaking that thought from my head! Onward to creating and making what makes me happy and not wasting time on things that aren't right for me.
But again, THANK YOU so much for taking the time to be there.
It truly means a lot.

Vicki said...

Huge hugs, Cindi :)

And cards!!! Yes, make cards!
Cards that say "thank you". Cards that say "thinking of you". Cards that say "Happy Birthday".
Anniversary cards. Valentines Day cards. Christmas cards. Blank cards for those other occasions...

And many people will choose personal cards rather than those mass produced Hallmark ones.
With your heartwarming illustrations, well, the sky's the limit!

And one day, when you get the hang of the cards - maybe next year... a calendar!
Days in the Life of Big Hearted Blue.

Many people create their own cards and calendars - often with photos of their families and kids etc.
Imagine your artwork out there...
all very do-able with a little research.
Oh, my mind tumbles with the possibilities!

You can do it Cindi!! You can :))
XXX




Cynthia Myers said...

Vicki,
LOL!
xoxo

CheerfulMonk said...

I wish I could give you a big hug right now! I'm sorry you have to go through this, but I'm so happy you have the support of and suggestions from your loving friends.

Thank you so much for this blog.

Cynthia Myers said...

Thank you Jean.
I am indeed very lucky to have such wonderful friends!
That is something I must concentrate on when life is hard to deal with.
I was very hesitant to write down how I've been feeling but now I'm so glad that I have.
:)
Truly, it touches my heart and I can feel the virtual hugs.
XOXOXO

tammy j said...

my god.
if you can write this kind of post when you are spent of all energy and desire to go on . . .
to find the PERFECT pictures to go with what you feel . . .
i am gobsmacked.
blown away.
in awe.
saddened for you to the point of tears.
and yet excited as if you're on the brink.
BLESS YOU! bless you real good.
you are a keeper.
you're a gift in a person's life.
and all our lives now because of this crazy thing called blog land.
i'm so glad to know you're out there.
struggle. succeed. give'em hell.
and i mean it in the best and biggest sense of the word!!!!
either that or IGNORE them.
that really will piss them off.
LOLOLOL!!!!
my heart to yours darling bean.
XOXOXOXOXOXO♥♥♥♥

Cynthia Myers said...

Tammy,
Thank you for your sweet words!
XOXOXOXO
I am so happy to have my blogger friends, people who take time out of their day to come over and check on my little part of the world. I still find it amazing.
I'm ever so grateful for these friendships. Friendships that are many times more special than those from "real" life.
More REAL than real life.
These comments have lifted me up when I need it most.
Everyone has been so kind and supportive and I definitely am feeling creative again.
I want to get to work on some of my ideas and I'm finally feeling that excitement again.
Truly, with all of you behind me, I feel like I can see that light at the end of the tunnel.
Thank you Tammy for being such a great friend. XOXOXO

Nita Stacy said...

Good for you! I'm out of sorts cause I haven't been able to read many posts much less post. I'm getting depressed cause I haven't had time to be creative. Every week I say on my two days off that aren't together...I'll create something and then something ALWAYS seems to come up that keeps me from doing what i want to do. Lack of sunshine has affected me to. If you hang in there and keep trying..I will too!

Cynthia Myers said...

Nita,
I knew you had to be busy because I have noticed that you've been posting less. I've missed your posts.
:)
But I totally understand how life gets in the way.
And YES! I do so much better when I have two days off together. I love to work on something until it gets late, then go to bed and wake up and start again. But when you have to keep thinking about what time it is at night and how you need to get in a few hours of sleep... well, that does stifle the creative juices, at least for me.
I've read were people set aside an hour a day or maybe even only a half hour and work on creating but for me, once I actually start then it's hard to stop. So I don't even start.
:(
Sigh, it would be so nice not to worry about that damn clock!
Oh well! It is what it is.
:)
and I too am wishing for sunshine, although once it gets nice outside, then I want to be out there gardening! LOL!
Thanks for stopping by Nita, and remember that I'm hanging on and you must too!
XOXOXOXO

Hartwood Roses said...

Without knowing exactly what's going on, I feel compelled to make sure you know that all of us have 'been there', and we are wishing you the very best as you work through all the stuff. It takes time and thought to decide what's important, what deserves our energy and what doesn't, what to concentrate on and what to discard. Sometimes the discards include people, and that's okay (did a bit of that myself last year, and I'm better for it.) Remember to take time to appreciate what you have that you love most, and the rest of it will begin to fall into place. Above all, don't expect too much and don't beat yourself up.

Cynthia Myers said...

Connie,
Thank you.
I hate being so vague but I do know that some people from my "real" life read my blog and I must be careful as not shine the light too brightly in any particular direction.
Sigh...it's just exhausting mentally and physically. I do feel unappreciated and disrespected although I constantly hear otherwise, the actions speak for themselves.
But, I will push that from my mind and focus on my pets and other peoples pets who I also dearly love.
I will come home and be grateful that I have a home and that it's filled with furry love.
I will concentrate on Writing and Art.
I will crave out time to just "enjoy life".
I have already discarded toxic people years ago from my life except for those that I must deal with such as relatives by marriage and co-workers! LOL!
and I will cherish the friendships that I have here in Blog World.
Thanks again for your wise words and taking the time to leave this comment.
xoxo

tammy j said...

i'll buy cards cindi!!!
YOUR cards in your etsy shop!
I LOVE cards!
and just reading Vicki's comment got me all excited!
LOLOL.
creativity is catching.
and she's a past master at it.
and SO are you dear friend.
i've had more wonderful friendships on this internet than i have in real life.
holy moly. wonder what that says about me? oh well.
don't count the meanies as part of your life. they're NOT.
we are! and we are here for you... if only in print! LOLOL.
♥ ps...
isn't that zine thing fantastic!

Cynthia Myers said...

Oh Tammy you are so sweet!
LOL!
I'm going to have to figure out how to set up my Etsy shop! Hahaha!
I agree, Vicki has really got me thinking and wanting to create all sorts of things.
And my friendships here might be in print but they are just as real.
:D
and maybe, hopefully there will come a day where I won't have to worry about meanies.
XOXO
Thanks for stopping by and checking in on me again.
I'm off to try to get some things done so that I can post about them soon.
Thanks again! You are just the best!

Christer. said...

If it just was that easy to get rid of a depression, a bit of happy thinking, being grateful for what one has or some sunshine. But it isn't unfortunately.

A sunny day do help while it lasts though :-) St. John's Wort can actually help and there are different things with it in health cost stores you can use but not if You take different medications because it can stop those other medications to work.

Take it easy, there's no use in doing a lot of things just because You feel You must, there are only two things we must do in life, to choose and to die, everything else is optional :-)

Well paying bills isn't that optional if one wants to stay in ones home :-) but You know what I mean. Take time to relax and breathe, problems are always easier to solve if one is relaxed and in peace with one self.

Take care!
Christer.

Cynthia Myers said...

Christer,
Thank you.
You are right.
I'm trying to "breathe" and be calm.
I suppose that if my problems weren't so tied up with my ability to pay my bills, I would be able to relax more.
I'm going to work on blocking things out and not being too sensitive about my feelings and
FOCUS, focus on things that are important to me.
Thank you again!
;)

Vicki said...

I'm thinking of re-opening my Etsy shop sometime in the future, and while mooching on the net earlier today, I found an article about helpful tips for Etsy sellers.
I thought you might find it useful too, so here's a link...

http://www.handmadeology.com/10-real-tips-for-successfully-selling-on-etsy/

Hugs xxx

Cynthia Myers said...

Wow Vicki!
Thanks!
I have a book that I'm reading that's all about Etsy and I think this article might just have more information than the book!
:)
You're the best!
xoxo

(and I saw these people who have #10 on Shark Tank! LOL!)