I am super hard on myself when it comes to being productive every day. If I don't complete a few tasks a day I start to feel like I am not using my full given potential... Yes, even after one day. It's not always easy being a doer. It's really hard to relax sometimes and to really enjoy the essence of nothing. If I were to describe myself without knowing myself based off my Instagram [yea I said it] I'd say I was obsessed with my dog and going on hikes. Although this IS true...Instagram only tells the story that we want to tell. I'd like to think I was comfortable with doing just those things but during the rest of my day, I am definitely not able to sit down peacefully thinking I contributed enough.
I had this realization recently. I think a secret reason why I enjoy doing so much is that I am just someone who enjoys being creative in more than one outlet. Yes, I LOVE to paint and I LOVE to make visual art, however, some days that may not be the way I create art. Before I had this realization I was a little harder on myself to create more paintings because I felt that was my ONLY outlet and my ONLY source of branching out my brand.
Outlets such as cooking, hiking and photography. Yes, I'll even consider taking photos with your phone is a source of photography. Even further than that, I'd go as far as saying how you fold your laundry is a form of creative expression, how you make your coffee in the morning, what your EAT that day. Why do I think it's creative? I think everything has to have been created therefore I believe we can live with the impression that we ARE constantly creating our day. How much effort will we put in our daily activities? Well that's how much creativity too. Not everyone is going to have a double shot espresso in the morning paired with goat cheese & wild berry toast [insert nail polish emoji]. OR not everyone will have a very balanced workout routine that expresses their passion for health and fitness.
SO EVERYONE IS CREATIVE?
Somewhat, yeah! Fishing for instance. If you think about it, the more effort I would put into learning how to fish, the more of an art it would become for me. I think the more "things" we allow ourselves to be taught, the more creative we allow ourselves to be. Then there is also the rule that believing that there's an ART to everything you do. So it all comes back to perspective and if you have a healthy perspective on the effort you put into your daily routine, the more accomplished you may feel in the end.
IS THIS JUST ME?
Have you ever felt like you weren't "doing" enough? Even working a fulltime job, kids and many responsibilities?
The way our eyes see things may change
Our bodies they strengthen and weaken
Fear builds and releases
Trauma stakes its place but shapes our new path
We see our friends differently
Or maybe even the people we called
We're in a good place at a bad time
Or having a bad time in a good place
These things we cannot or feel we cannot control
control us or sway us the way it was supposed to go
Theres a lot that changes all at once
or all at once within our whole lives
Our time confuses us
Planning is a waste when we cannot outrun possibility
I think we are just in the midst of constant motion
The generation of repeated thoughts and feelings
A whirl of strained emotions, blind risks and maybes
We say we love the unknown but we have no idea what the unknown is
The unknown which we are slowly passing through as we are
If I reflect anymore I think I could just be doing loops
Because it'll change no matter what, still or not
I can be a product of change
Or I can be a brick that holds up a step for someone elses possibility
Either way, through time I am apart of change
Therefore it is impossible to live in the moment
But here in the moment I revel
Before you read this just remember that this is not about mental illness. I do realize mental illnesses are real and I am writing based off of my experiences with loneliness. This is my platform for writing my experiences and perspectives. Please do not take this too seriously.
I use to feel lonely, even when I was surrounded by even the best of company. This might be surprising to those who know me pretty well? I realize its safe to assume that everybody has or does feel lonely in their life at least once. Loneliness feels like maybe slightly anxious or just an overall sadness. I don't really know if I have experienced anxiety enough to know that it is what I was feeling but either way- not a good feeling. Its very hard to explain, usually people will judge you, especially if they are trying to keep you company. Some of the things I would think:
-I don't feel like I have true friends, or non that listen to me or relate to me
-I don't feel like I am normal. Why do I feel like I am doing things wrong even if it makes me happy?
-Everybody has too many opinions and mine now does not matter
-Everybody in my immediate family has their own issues - mine are pushed aside or seen as dramatic or "extra"
people would say to me :
-"Your so talented and you have so much going for you! You've got so much to do in your free time. You don't need to have lots of friends."
-"You've had everything given to you. Why would you experience sadness. Why would you feel unsatisfied?"
"Everybody is lonely. You just gotta get yourself out of it."
Friends and family (usually) feel this natural obligation to give you attention positive/negative if they notice you sort of fading or distancing. It's difficult for them to understand your loneliness and because they feel there is not reason to feel that way and it feels like your not valuing their time with you. They take it on as their responsibility to show you your not alone. Sometimes not one single human being can change that for you. Unfortunately nobody possesses that power even if it FEELS like they do.
If I am honest.... sometimes were quick to say were depressed, anxious, lonely people and that is why we hide away. I really can't say that I've met someone who hasn't experienced anxiety or depression. It can be a label on the reason for why we just CAN'T get out of it. I am not dismissing mental illness and it is a very real thing. This pertains more to just like flip flopping, usually these common issues as just temporary fillers for why we can't feel truly connected to people.
Ok. So what did I do to actually FEEL less lonely? Well first I realized that I am loved by God who never fails me the way humans do everyday. I realized I am enough and that nobody has to like me, or like what I stand for.
- I have embraced the joy I get from loving a friend and a family member when they seemed unlovable. Then in return helping them come to a better place too.
- I have taken EVERY opportunity that has come into my path- just in case it DOES go somewhere.
- I am trying to be as kind as possible with the mindset that if I AM KIND it will spread like wildfire
- I have learnt when I should be alone and silent. That too is important. Being alone now for me is bliss. It's my time with my GOOD thoughts and my prayers.
How did I start to value my time with people more?
When I realized that I need them as much as they need me. In the start of 2018 my attitude as more like "This year is for me and only me, I am taking on this year selfishly because I deserve it.".... IF I play it over in my head a bunch of times it really just sounds empty and lonely. I don't want to be selfish! I want to be selfless, I want this year to be me finding myself in the reflection of others. I already KNOW who I am because I have a God that assures me I am enough... So really I am already set to spread that unto others. Those who ARE lost like I have been before... and still battle bits here and there.
Specifically, because it pertains to my past/present, GIRLS- be honest with your girlfriends. I have lost A LOT of friendships because nobody was willing to be transparent. Nobody would say what the issue was or if there was one at all. Tell your best friend shes being a dick for making up excuses. Just say "Hey!!! I don't feel like it today." and then PLAN another time. Literally set a date. We all work on schedules. Were all adults here. You can probably count the friendships lost on your two hands over this simple issue. Forgive your friends. Even if you don't get to say it to their face and next time you see them just let it go - love em anyways.
Ok ... back to my main point
Timing has a lot to do with how this all changed for me....
I didn't have any idea I would even acknowledge lonely feelings. The only reason for how I knew that is what I felt because I I feel way BETTER now. I feel like my friendships mean more now. My family relationships MEAN more. Because I have put aside my loneliness and my feelings of "How can you help me". Now I'm like how can I be there for you? Or sometimes I simply just let it be in God's hands and I say a quick prayer for them if I know its outta my control.
It's just the beginning and man there are more than a few connections I have cut off because of my fear of how I would feel. Being let down and just being afraid of rejections. This year is year to dig out of that. Stop being ashamed of who I am as a daughter.
PS. Just a big thank you to all those who stuck with me through my worst. Who listened to me complain over and again about feeling sad for myself.....
Fresh out of REM sleep and radiating in happiness from what could only be from a successful lucid dream.
I was on some sort of island and it was incredibly vivid. The brightest dream I have had in SO long. The colours all looked like they were glowing off a high definition screen. The grass was a lime green with speckles of hot pink and other neon colours and these glittery glowing dots. There were mountains ( like the one my mom painted at my last class ). It was both dark and ominous but beautiful and bright. I had no idea where I was but there were people on this island, non of them I could recognize. It didn't really matter, they were really nice and somehow they knew I wanted to leave and explore so they were telling me to stay. For whatever reason they wanted me to stay there on this island with them but I felt like I would't have any fun with them. Lol. So funny. I remember thinking man its going to be so cool when take off to fly in front of these people, they're going to think I'm a superhero or some angel or something. All the while knowing this is purely a dream and these people don't exist. So I muster up all my energy and my "flying ignition" and I push myself off the ground with one flap of my arms and It takes me soaring up so high. I actually get scared of the height. That is how real the feeling is. However I have to calm myself by knowing it is JUST a dream and to enjoy my time in it. So I explore the land from a birds eye view. I don't have to really move my arms too often, once in a while I push myself up a bit more. I am also able to direct my body looking down towards the land and descend very fast towards the land. This feels like i'm falling. Its totally exhilarating and no shame but it makes me want to pee my pants in real life. lol. Just trying to give you an idea of the effect the dream has on me. I can see water, it changes shades from dark blue to turquoise, I can smell the air. Its like when you just first get out of an airplane that you've been in for so long. It's just a new air and somewhat refreshing but kinda humid. If I try enough I can change what I smell by imagining flowers somewhere. It also helps to have my diffuser on with essential oils while sleeping. ... I visited a lot of islands. I went to what I thought was greece. I could go on and on. An who knows this could've all just happened within a span of 10 minutes! I feel like it happened between my micro-awakenings but it's hard to tell.
I took a psychology course in college while studying graphic design where we touched on the topic of sleep. I already had a growing interest and common knowledge of sleep patterns and bio clocks but school confirmed my understandings (the science of sleep)... I know that those of us sane individuals have REM but don't always remember or can control dreams during this time.. I know that there is a huge mystery with sleep and why we need sleep or why we need dreams. In my own convictions I believe sleep is a very spiritual gift if we let it be.
I remember when I was logging my dreams in my "Dream Journal" it totally lifting my ability to lucid dream. Somehow logging my dreams (that at the time were highly spiritual) enabled me to open up into those dreams when I wanted to and grow through them. I could connect the stories. I remember I couldn't always control the way I was approached with crazy situations but I could control how I reacted to them. This was a lot of work though because I had to try very hard during my sleep to remember my surroundings, smells, colours and textures. This helped with the logging , the more detailed I could jot down my subconscious surroundings the stronger my memory would be for future dreams. I know this sounds crazy but it is really true, we don't give our minds enough room to build our own perspectives even in our sleep! I mean a third of our life is spent in sleep yet we don't cherish it deeply like we would a spiritual experience in person.
In ALL of my dreams I have the ability to fly. Some people believe flying in your dreams always has some sort of meaning to it or reflection of what we experience in consciousness. I don't believe that. I think flying is just a sleeping sense of ours that we can grow. Once we learn to fly and we learn how to control where we want to fly its the most incredible feeling.
I found this link that gives tips on practicing lucid dreaming if anyone is interested...
eThis is for all those who wonder why I am the way I am sometimes)
I need to eat.
When I am hungry it is as if I am no longer Rylee. Is this a medical thing? I know this hanger thing has become a popular term now but I feel I am dealing with something pretty critical here. I look back at the things I have said and done when I was hungry and have ....the slightest regret. Its crazy because I don't even let myself get that hungry! I dont. I would never. I bring snacks everywhere.
There are many instances I can look back on and identify my behaviour as nothing other than -
Tip - artist to artists .. Don't paint hungry. You may end up throwing your painting in the sink and aggressively start cleaning around your house with a sponge. . And refusing any offer of food by your loved one because your already too hungry to be accepting.
When I am hungry I get quiet. Like when your playing mind games with someone and you want them to ask you whats wrong. I am not even trying to get your attention, I just cannot even function properly enough to tell you that I'm starving.
You know you've got a thing with food when the first thing your dad mentions about his daughter to his friends is that " She can EAT!" I know that most people who haven't seen me but heard of me through my dad think that I am well over 140 pounds. I don't mind... Hes proud. Were good.
I am not sure I will ever be able to properly monitor my eating habits. I never have had to really. I eat when I start to ignore people and that seems to work for me so far! No health problems as it stands! Maybe just a few broken friendships. Well shit. Life goes on.
And to wrap this up I will get ready because at 7 PM tonight I will be going out to eat.... with my dad.
I'm thinking......... Some sort of sandwich. wowwoo
Looking for something new to do this season? Have a birthday coming up? Just started dating that girl/boy of your dreams and you want to do something completely out of the box for them?
To everyone who has ever said they cannot paint, this is for you !
This spring a fellow friend Lilly from the gallery Gallery On the 12 - the same space I had a show at in the winter will be hosting these unique art events. (link coming soon) The space is incredible. In the summer imagine painting on a large balcony overlooking the beautiful hidden parts of downtown St.Catharines? All the while mingling, tasting apps and wine?!
I am proud to announce I will be an art instructor for "Art & Apps" this spring! Buy your tickets now!! Before spots fill up
My first theme for the spring will be "Plant Life" which will be several different paintings in different decor-life styles to brighten up your space at home!
To the ones who admit somedays they don't know what they want
Yet somedays they're way over their head
To the ones who can surrender it all and
Unbind their woven bodies
Set fire to their hearts
They can't pick a mood they want to live in
Messy creative wanderers
To ones who say sorry when they don't have to
Slipping on their own spilt milk
Saying some really awkward things
Breaking that great smile
Knowing this is not supposed to be serious
Well that was just what I needed.
A few months ago I found myself drifting a lot. I would be present and appear to be healthy as normal but I was artistically frustrated. All my creative edge and juice hid from me, I found myself to be internally dull, weak and lost in routine. I needed a new project but at the time didn't realize what sort of project I needed. I started doing these wacky digital portraits in the hopes of feeling a connection to people. I did of course feel a connection but I didn't realize the importance of physical presence and living conversation. I am happy it lead to me my next realization.
Hidden. I have always wanted to do a personal show, displaying only my own artwork but first time around I wanted to have an art community. I don't really have a large art family so I felt I wanted to bring one together so I called on a few friends. Some college friends, high school and those I admire. I love bringing people together, no matter their differences.
Having the show was really emotional for me. I almost burst into tears a number of times. I know I'm weird, it doesn't take much, anything that makes me way to happy makes me want to sob. It was really encouraging for me that so many people came to see my show, it was bigger than any amount of likes I could ever get with a portrait. I should say it was essential to my entire life's purpose. Everyone got to really be with me and what I love to do.
The #Hiddenshow was an artist collaboration revealing nature in all it's majestic forms. In most of my work I reflected my excitement of the forests and landscapes up north. Hidden was a perfect fit for a gallery in the heart of a city but yet at the edges of a creek. Even though the show was mainly aimed at the beauty of nature I feel there was a strong relationship to the artists stories. Hidden in our own ways and lives and just making efforts in every which way we can to feel seen and loved. Or to see others. Community.
A bit about the owners. Two lovely people. Steve and Lily. Two complete strangers to me at first, trusting me with their newly built gallery. Lily has been printing my canvased portraits in her workshop located where the gallery is. When I would go to pick up my prints I would see their building and lurk around and admire her fathers hung artwork. She mentioned their future plans of putting on shows but I don't think they expected I would later ask to do a show in december. Me, some stranger, asking to do a birthday show a month from then. I figured why not, I really need something to look forward to, a new project and purpose for this month. She replied with a kind "yes!" she was very excited. Things took off from there. Steve and Lily were so great to me, my family and friends. It goes to show the power of asking. Which always falls into the irony that I had been listening to the audio version of
"the Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer" while tending to plants all day during the week at the greenhouse and planning my show.
A great read/listen for anyone. ever.
To conclude my thoughts about this recent endeavour I would just like to acknowledge my freshly strengthened trust in people. How I just admire anyone ever that has made me feel special. Or just simply anyone who has been truly kind and can really put themselves aside for others. Thankfulness for everything that connects and projects kindness.