Overwhelmed.

“I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed,
but can you ever just be whelmed?”
10 Things I Hate About You

 I have been very absent from my blog lately, due to having just too many thoughts going through my head lately and not wanting to bog this blog down with heavy stuff.

But, as you may have guessed from the title and the quote – I am overwhelmed. There is just too much going on right now.

The Boy and I are in the process of trying to find a cheaper apartment, to save money for wedding; I’m trying to plan said wedding; I’ve taken on some freelance, to earn some extra money, but it means I have no free time. And then there’s general life things that keep cropping up and I just can’t seem to catch a break – or my breath – lately.

It’s hard to find somewhere to move when you’ve lived in the same place for nearly 6 years. Almost our entire relationship has taken place in this apartment, it’s hard to let go of all the memories here. We’re also faced with the fact that downsizing and saving means going for somewhere that may not be entirely fantastic. We currently live in a really nice apartment, but we’re also paying for that niceness. At this point in our relationship, I’d like to be moving up – possibly to a house – but the reality is, to save money we’ll need to move down on the apartment ladder. Give up some luxuries, give up the extra space. And it’s hard to do that, while still finding somewhere we can be comfortable in for the next year or two.

All I want is a home with hardwood floors, a porch and a fenced in backyard for Ghost to play in. Is that too much for a girl to ask?

At least, among all the stress, we took some time to spend the evening together on Valentine’s Day. I’m not too keen on the holiday. I’m not one of those people who reject it or bash it for all that it stands for and I’m also not someone who’s going to get upset if I come home to discover my significant other hasn’t set up a city-wide treasure hunt with clues of poetry, ending in a pot of chocolates and roses. We had thought to go see The Lego Movie, to be honest.

Buuuut… we got our second flat tire in two weeks, so instead we spent money to repair that.. again. Thank you, Penn Dot. So we stayed in. We ordered Chinese, drank wine and watched a “Love” movie marathon in our PJs. He had never seen Moulin Rouge, so we watched that – and he loved it. Then we watched The Fountain, a personal favorite of ours from our very first months of dating. And I admit.. I made him watch an episode or two of my favorite Doctor Who. Okay, so we like tragic love stories. We had planned to watch more (Baz Luhrman’s Romeo + Juliet!) but me + wine after a work day = sleep by 1am.

Unfortunately, I do not have the holiday off tomorrow. But I believe my clients do, so at least it’ll be a slow day at work, which can sometimes be a bad thing, but I will just try and make the most of it. Then again, maybe I’ll sneak my e-reader in…..

Resolutions.

So far into the new year, I have been terrible at keeping my not-officially-resolutions resolutions.

That whole getting into shape thing and being healthier was severely thwarted by me being super sick for over a week. I am finally feeling mostly better, but still have a lingering cough. Regardless, I am going to try and get back to working out tomorrow anyway – here’s hoping I can breathe long enough to get a good workout in. In lieu of being able to be physically active, I thought I could eat healthy – well, that was also thwarted last night when I tried to make a healthy smoothie and the blender wouldn’t work. So I tried to pop healthy popcorn in the microwave, and either it or the microwave decided to catch on fire (I was in the bathroom peeing – I returned to smoke pouring out of all sides of the microwave). So, I had a banana for a post-dinner snack. Boring, but healthy. And the apartment did not burn down.

The creativity side of my not-officially-resolutions resolutions has also not been going so well. I did get a new Etsy order, so I worked on that, but again – being sick not only wiped me out physically but also mentally. I haven’t been capable of doing much but staring at a TV or a book.

Aaand as you can guess, the whole “I want to do more!” resolution was also totally shot down by my being sick. Whatever I had, it was brutal and so I didn’t want to subject anyone else to my germs. I’ve pretty much spent every week night and weekend on the couch so far in 2014. Boo.

But it’s a new week! I haven’t failed. Yet.

I am going to try and make Sunday my official creative days – so keep an eye out for future Sunday postings of drawings. I can’t promise masterpieces every Sunday, but I can definitely do sketches at least once a week. And hopefully, in time, that can become a more frequent activity throughout the week. Like it used to be.

I’m not giving up yet, 2014!

New Year, New Resolutions

I have been avoiding making any sort of resolutions this year.

I just think that, from my track record, I set myself up for failure when I make resolutions. So I didn’t want to make any this year, I just wanted to go with the flow. But then I find myself subconsciously making efforts to change things. And realized I was making resolutions, even if I wasn’t admitting it to myself. So in the light of that, I put together a short, general list of things I’d like to accomplish this year:

1) Feel better about myself. This is a big one for me. I’m getting married sometime in the next year or so, I want to be happy with myself on my wedding. I don’t have a number in mind, or a shape, I just want to feel better. I will be trying to eat healthier and working out to give myself more natural energy, but it’s mostly a mental thing of learning to be happy with myself. That being said, the lowest number I ever weighed was 130. That’s not horribly skinny, especially for someone of my lack-of-height at 5’3.5″. In fact, at the time, I wasn’t even happy with that. It’s only after I look back on pictures of that time that I realize I was as small as I was. I’m not going to obsess over that number, but it would be nice if – through the course of things – I could reach that again.

2) Be more creative. This applies to both my personal and professional life. I am fortunate enough to do what I love for a living, but I want to be more creative in my own personal time. I want to do art for the sake of doing art, play my piano and violin more often, sing again without being afraid the neighbors can hear me, write more stories and lose myself in them.

3) Do more. This is a very general goal, I realize, but it what it means is exactly that – I want to do more. Travel. Leave the house. Go for walks, look at the stars, have adventures. I enjoy a lazy weekend as much, if not more, than the average person but I am beginning to realize how much I’m missing out on by spending every weekend in doors, relaxing. I want to take extracurricular activities and make friends to do these things with.

In light of these, I brought out my 100 Things to Do Before I Die list and dusted it off. I completed the 7 items I was missing and I am ready to start chasing those goals, as well. Some of them I have already completed in the time since writing that list. I got a strange sense of satisfaction when writing the list that there were thing I would have put on there, a few years back, but that I’ve already done. I’ve been to Ireland, a goal of mine since I was a child. I went to Stonehenge. I’ve swam with stingrays in the Caribbean, I also went snorkeling over the coral reef. I’ve taken a train ride across half the country. I’ve taken multiple road trips  by myself. I’ve been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I’ve gotten tattoos, I’ve danced in the rain, I’ve had my design work published. It was a bit of a morale boost, when reading this list and realizing that I was already living my life as though I was checking off those goals.

It’s time to get back to that. It’s time to be happier with the now.

2013 was a great year for meeting milestones. 2014 will be the year of adventures.

How to be a Mentally Strong Person.

As I sit here awake at 1:30 in the morning, unable to sleep despite having to wake up in 5 hours for work, I’m dwelling on a lot of things that have been going on in my life personally. Mostly family stuff.

I did what I’m sure any person awake at 1:30 in the morning and on the computer would do, and I checked into Facebook. A friend had posted an article on Forbes, titled, “Mentally Strong People: The 13 Things They Avoid”. I scrolled past it, not really interested in reading anything in depth, but then changed my mind and went back to it. I’m glad I did.

You can read the whole article here, but I wanted to share the keypoints:

13 Things Mentally Strong People Do Not Do:

  1. Waste time feeling sorry for themselves.
  2. Give away their power.
  3. Shy away from change.
  4. Waste energy on things they can’t control.
  5. Worry about pleasing others.
  6. Fear taking calculated risks.
  7. Dwell on the past.
  8. Make the same mistakes over and over.
  9. Resent other people’s success.
  10. Give up after failure.
  11. Fear alone time.
  12. Feel the world owes them anything.
  13. Expect immediate results.

I am not saying, by any means, that I am these things. The reason I’m sharing this is because I struggle with almost all of these things, but it gave me something to think about in the face of a lot of grief recently over events that are out of my control. Number 4 and 5 in particular. I may need to get these two tattooed on the inside of my wrists, so that I can be reminded of them every day and try to be a mentally stronger person.

Now if only I could be an emotionally stronger person.

 

I’m not dead, yet.

I promise. I’m still alive.

I do have an excuse or two for why I have been completely absent from my blog.

I will keep it short and sweet. Or as much as I can.

1) On October 31st, my boyfriend of 5.5 years proposed to me. It was very sweet, and very low key. It was just us, in the privacy of our own home. We were lying in bed together, talking about when we first met. It was at a Halloween party, in my old apartment with my all-male roommates, who had gone to school with him. He was dressed as the Punisher and I was a half-assed pirate. We drank a lot and spent the evening seated on the back of the couch, lost in a conversation with each other. There are even photos of us together that night.

Me being the brilliant one that I am, I didn’t realize the significance of the date until a family member mentioned to me that she thought it was sweet, when he told her the story of our first Halloween. And THEN it dawned on me. I was going to save it for our wedding vows, but I wanted him to hear it that night he proposed. So I read to him from my journal that I wrote in that first Halloween night, proof that love at sort-of-first-sight does exist. I – drunkenly – wrote about how I “met someone” and we had an amazing conversation. I wrote that I wasn’t sure what but “something happened tonight.” I proceeded to write about him, how I was very intrigued by him, and I concluded the 3 a.m. entry with, “I could fall in love with someone like him.” And I did. It hasn’t been a Disney fairytale, it didn’t happen over night, and we haven’t led a charmed life – but we have done it side-by-side, and although our story may not be perfect, it is what I like to call an “epic love”.

2) I got a job! I am now an art director at an agency here in Pittsburgh. I work a 15-20 minute walk from my apartment. Amazing? It gets better. It was the very first place that I interviewed with, the Monday after I graduated. It took them about a month to call me back, but well worth the wait! I am working with a very prominent client in New York City, I am published in the New York Times, I have banner ads on Ebay, I have work hanging in NYC. I may even have a freelancing opportunity with a prominent car company, which I’m keeping on the down-low until it’s confirmed!

Life is not too shabby.

Apart from work and trying to figure out where to start with planning a wedding, my Etsy is doing decently! Christmas is coming, so people want nerdy ornaments. It’s a lot of work, it takes up pretty much all of my free time, but it’s fun and I get to create things! I am currently working on some prints to put up, related to the figures I make.

In the mean time, enjoy some photos of my figures! And head on over to my Etsy to shop for your own and to see even more characters! I have more in the making, just have to find the time, so keep an eye out for even MORE of your favorite fictional people!

Figurines
© Konfusedfae 2013

Status: Silk Lamination

I am a mere four weeks away from graduation.

It has been so hectic this quarter that I have hardly had time to sit and think about what exactly that means to me. I’ve been more focused on what that means for my To Do list. Until I signed onto Primo Cards to check the status of my business cards order and saw the words, “Status: Silk Lamination”.

Then it all felt real. My business cards were being laminated, ready to send. By this point, they have been mailed and are set to arrive on Wednesday. My portfolio book is ordered and should be on my doorstep, and in my eagerly awaiting hands, on Monday. Up until this point I have been second guessing everything I’m doing, thinking that I am not doing it “right” or that there is some “better” way to do it.

Until I realized I could spend my whole life chasing that elusive “right” way.

Design is art, it is not math. There is no all essential answer.

There is no right, there is only what feels right. And so I decided to start trusting myself to know me, to know how to present my own brand, and to just go with it. Since I made that decision, I feel I have moved beyond the in progress status and into the silk lamination stage. There is still a lot to do but as long as I can stay focused (which is very hard to do in this beautiful 68 degree weather), I am in great shape.

Graduation is just around the corner. I have been in and out of college since I was 17-years-old. Two weeks after graduation, I will turn 27. It’s been nearly a decade since I started college (granted, I took a number of years off in the middle there) and there’s not a person who can say that I haven’t worked hard for it.

Now I just have to try not to cry at graduation.

And try not to sleep away the entire week and a half of vacation I have already pre-booked for after graduation.