headlights

your love is like
headlights
in the fog
when i’m
standing
in the middle
of the
road.

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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.

 

Eastern Lubber Grasshopper

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One way I’ve found to get over a fear of insects is to appreciate their beauty and learn more about them.

I found out this little (not so little by grasshopper standards) guy is an Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, and he can’t fly. Instead he hops clumsily over grass. He is also very stinky when scared, releasing an irritating and yucky spray, and will hiss quite loudly – I’m very glad he didn’t hiss at me or my camera. They’re common in the southeast, where I live.

I’ve never noticed a bright yellow grasshopper before, especially one quite so large, and I ran to get my camera when I noticed him outside. There’s a smaller one in our kitchen at the moment, mostly black with a yellow stripe, and I think we will just leave him to his own devices, as long as my dog doesn’t try to get a hold of him.

Where one day I would have been terrified of this relatively giant bug, today I appreciate just how gorgeous they are.

Mistakes

I made a blog post on my other blog (it’s a devotional blog, post scheduled for 8/28 on The Hope We Profess) about making mistakes and not getting frustrated and just covering them up. About fixing them, trying again, or making them better.

So today, I practiced what I preached, and when I made a mistake while painting I didn’t get frustrated, paint over the whole thing, and cry. I painted over the mistake, blended it all back into the background, painted what was there back in, and fixed it. And it turned out better than it originally did.

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It’s easy to lose your head and storm away. It takes patience to stay with it and fix it and make it something beautiful, in any situation, not just painting.

Maybe we need to practice that more often.

I know I do.

 

Painting

For a long, long while, I’ve wanted to start painting. I’ve had the supplies to get started, but there was some sort of deep-seated fear preventing me from picking up a brush.

What if I wasn’t very good?
What if I couldn’t paint something I liked?
Would I have the patience to keep trying?
Would it be too expensive to do if I’m not even good at it?

Today, I decided to forget the worries, and just do it. I watched a couple YouTube videos, and picked up what I had and started painting.

It was fun. It was liberating. I learned a lot of things about my hands and the paint and the process and I enjoyed myself entirely.

So I present to you, my very first painting:

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I have to say, I’m incredibly proud of myself and of this painting. It’s not perfect, I know where I made mistakes and where I’d rather it look differently, but I also know this is only the beginning.

There’s never enough ways in the world to express your creativity.

Credit where credit’s due: this is based off a painting tutorial video found on TheArtSherpa’s YouTube channel. I recommend checking her out if you’re wanting to learn to paint!

Little Friend

IMG_1608Found this little praying mantis on one of our tomatoes while in search of ripe ones, today. He was keeping a very close eye on me to make sure my big hands didn’t smoosh his little body.

Yesterday, I found a slug happily snacking on a tomato.

As far as I’m concerned, there’s plenty for all of us.

We have kept these plants mostly insecticide free (my parents can be stubborn sometimes) and they’ve ended up being our most fruitful vines, ever.

And I sure do love finding little friends like this! He even stayed put for me to fetch my camera and snap a few photos.

I hope he enjoys the tomato.

Take a Hike

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Had a lovely hike today at a local state park, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I don’t find myself hiking or enjoying the outdoors nearly as much as I used to, other than while camping.

It was nice to have a little weekend refresh. Granted, I was listening to music most of the time, but it still felt like a good way to spend my Sunday afternoon and I wasn’t listening to the incessant buzzing of mosquitoes or the gunshots from the nearby trap shooting range.

The headphones didn’t keep me from enjoying this creepy little swamp though (it actually felt like the beginning of a really bad horror movie), and I believe it was inhabited by turtles if the amount of bubbles I saw was a good indicator.

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I also looked up near the end of the trail to see a beautiful doe staring right at me. She was quite in the mood for a photoshoot because she barely moved as I took her photo from different angles as the trail winded around where she was standing. I don’t think this was her first encounter with a human with a camera.

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It was beautiful and I’m glad I went, even though I almost changed my mind last minute – it was hot and I wasn’t sure I was up to it, but it cooled off instantly in the woods.

“There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more.”
– Lord Byron

The Face of Betrayal

I present to you: the face of betrayal and disappointment.

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Bath time isn’t a pleasant time for anyone, but those pitiful little eyes, conveying every ill-will she has against me in that moment, are worth enduring for the end result.

A clean, fresh, happy doggo.

She’s been feeling not so great, lately, and it’s amazing what a little soak in the tub can do for her. The zoomies are in full force, and she even wanted to scale the peak of the couch for the first time in months.

And what mom, fur or human, can resist capturing the fateful, miserable moments leading up to such happy moments?

Not me, certainly.

Her Natural Habitat

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Food has always been a very big part of my life. Celebration, comfort, a friend, and a place to go when I’m in need. I’ve spent nearly 3 years trying to normalize my relationship with food to be a positive one. That doesn’t mean I don’t stress eat, but I at least try to not shame myself for anything I eat. Food is wonderful and nourishing and eating doesn’t have to be a miserable or guilty act.

The more time I spend in the kitchen, the less guilt I feel about my eating habits. I spend a lot of time and love creating food, and whether or not it’s labelled healthy or unhealthy, I enjoy every bite. That translates into what I eat when I’m not at home.

So whether I’m washing dishes, baking bread, cooking a frozen pizza, or pretending to do one of the above for a photo, I enjoy every moment I spend in the kitchen and eating, because food is something to be prided.

You Are Enough

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Weight and diet and fitness are hard topics now-a-days because a lot of people turn to shaming rather than acceptance. The body positivity movement is a wonderful one, though, because we are all starting to just love ourselves and love everyone else, without judgement.

Sometimes, though, our biggest judgement comes from ourselves.

And that goes x100 for me.

So this morning, instead of crying over weight gain, I decided to just love myself. My extra belly fat, my extra 15 pounds, my jiggly thighs – because I’m worth loving.

Body positivity needs to be a form of self-care and self-love, too.

So instead off obsessing, I’m just going to do what I need to do to feel good, to feel happy, and to feel healthy, without getting stressed out or carried away.

Because I’m worth taking care of myself.

And so are you.