Better

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Lately, I’ve been more proactive about keeping myself healthy and happy. I’ve struggled for about 6 months, and frankly, I just got tired of it. For the last week, I’ve been journaling, meal planning, keeping a gratitude list, keeping a daily yoga practice, counting calories, and hitting my step goal. It has done wonders for my anxiety and my motivation, and I feel like I’m in a better place than I have been in months, maybe even up to a year or so. It makes me want to pick up my camera, eat healthily and drop the weight I’ve gained, and I don’t feel like going to work is going to kill me every single day. I just feel good.

I’ve decided to still go to the doctor to talk about my anxiety because I know no matter how well I take care of myself, panic attacks still happen, and I want to figure out a better way to deal with it, but I’m also learning to deal with it on small levels.

I’m not sure why I’m writing all of this here, but I feel some need to put this out into the universe other than just in my journal. I was beginning to feel like I was getting worse and I would never get better, but here I am. I’m happy and I’m positive and I’m healthy. I’m alive, and I want to be. I want to remember that things get better if, in the future, I find myself back in that dark place.

Good Morning, Dear

Let me set the scene:

I’m sitting on the front porch in our rocking chair, drinking my coffee, keeping an eye on my little dog wandering around the yard. I look at the beautiful morning light, the fall flowers in the porch pots, the cute little pumpkins. I take in the chilly morning and I’m just falling in love with autumn.

So, I think about how cute my little coffee mug would be right on the corner of the flower pot. I go get my camera.

I’m kneeling on the front porch, camera in hand, coffee cup perched by the flowers, feet with Christmas slippers on them tucked under me, snapping away.

I mean, can you picture it? Luckily, we don’t have neighbors that close, but if anyone driving down the highway glanced over…

No bother.

This is the result:

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My very own “autumn” Instagram type picture. I could put a cute quote on it, and maybe I’d even go viral!

Ok, maybe not, but I think it’s cute.

So, I also thought maybe I’d start including the “specs” of my photos in these posts? For anyone curious. Here we are: Shot using a Canon Rebel XSi with a 50mm f/1.8 lens. My aperture was f/2.5, shutter speed 1/320, and ISO 100; no flash. I have my photos posted to Flickr as well, now, and the specs are always included there if I forget to ever do this again (visit it here).

Fall Spirit

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It’s finally about to start feeling like fall and staying that way.

I’ve been looking at pumpkins and Halloween decorations all month, but living in the south, fall-like days have been few and far between.

So today we are praising the storms coming through, bringing weather in the 50s and 60s, and staring longingly outside at the pumpkins and leaves on the ground.

(At least, I’m pretending that’s what Bella is doing – more likely, she was just waiting for my dad to get back home from the store.)

Anxiety

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Anxiety has been hard and cruel to me, lately. I’m struggling to feel wanted, worthwhile, and useful. But I refuse to let my anxiety hide the beauty around me for too long because I never want to forget that I am alive, even when I don’t feel like I am or like I want to be.

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So here I am, reaffirming to myself that I am alive. I am trying, and it doesn’t matter if where I end up is not as far as where someone else ended up. My life is not their life, and my path is only created and set out for my own happiness. So if success to me means going outside with my camera for the first time in a long time, then so be it. It doesn’t make anyone else’s success any more or any less, it just means we’re all happy with where we are, hopefully. But this is life, and we’re human, and it won’t ever be perfect or understandable or simple.

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All I can hope for is that every time I find myself falling, I can remember that happiness will be found again, soon.

Passion

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Art has always been my thing. I love to create, and I love putting my imagination to use, and I’m pretty good at it.

When I started painting, though, I found a passion deeper than I had ever explored before. I love photography, I love writing, and I love drawing, but nothing ever felt like it was something I wanted to do every day for the rest of my life. They’re hobbies, ways to occupy my mind when it’s running wild in a dark place, and I always knew I could do a decent enough job, but I never felt like that was the art I was really put here to pursue.

But I started painting, and I feel as if I’ve tapped into a part of my soul that was just yearning to come out. When I’m working, I’m thinking about painting. When I’m painting, I’m not thinking about anything else. I don’t get frustrated, I don’t get impatient. Every line is a beautiful little detail that deserves all my love and attention. I don’t mind taking a break and going back to a painting later with a new idea. I don’t mind that I’m overworking my Amazon Prime on art supplies. It’s such a joy to paint, and I only wish I had overcome my fear of starting a long time ago, but maybe it wouldn’t have clicked like it did, because I feel like I’ve done a lot of self-exploration and discovery and improvement in the last few months, even years. I have led myself down a path of self-love and happiness; of course, I’m still working on it, but painting was the next step in my path. I wouldn’t have been able to give my paintings the love they deserve a few months ago, though, and I feel as if I’m in exactly the right spot for me and my paintings to benefit from each other in this journey.

So for me, painting has not been just a hobby. It’s been an extension of self-exploration and self-love. I’ve learned from my paintings and I’m taking things away from the tutorials and videos I’ve watched and away from the practice I’ve gotten and it’s not affecting just my craft, it’s affecting my whole life.

And maybe I just sound a little weird. But, I’m an artist.