I feel pretty good today. Not manically good, not hyper-excellent, but just good. Nothing is bothering me or clawing at me. It’s been a while since I painted. I made one piece on the 3rd, but it’s for a record so I’m not able to share it until the release is announced. Still, that was a week ago, so last night I decided to try and paint. Rather than take out a blank canvas, I pulled out one that I had painted a few months back but didn’t really care for. I repainted it and then decided to let what I had dry before I kept going with it. So I pulled out a second piece and repainted that And then decided to let that one dry too. Then I took out a piece that I started when I was sitting on the ledge, looking out over the water, and really having a hard time. I didn’t finish any of them last night.

Today I picked that first one back up and I guess it’s sort of finished now. It doesn’t look quite like my other pieces. Most noticeably, it’s missing any text. Well, it says “OKAY,” but not in any way that most people would spot it. I spent a lot of time on it, but it doesn’t seem quite right. I think that – maybe – I need to move away from paints for a little bit and work with a less fluid medium. And maybe work on some less abstract kinds of projects. I have some cartoons in my head that I’ve been meaning to draw, so it might be a good time to actually put those down on paper.

"Okay." 8/10/13. Acrylics and resin sand on a stretched canvas. 10x13".
“Okay.” August 10th, 2013. Acrylics and resin sand on a stretched canvas. 10×13″.

I reflected on how I’m feeling – on how I’m doing, overall – and I decided that I’m okay. During the painting process, I made myself look at the areas of my life that are… awry – in one sense or another. To see if maybe I could pull that into the painting and work with it. The only thing that came to mind was family. I’m not on speaking terms with two of my three siblings. I’m not on speaking terms with my mom. And the last interaction I had with my dad was earlier in the week, via text, and I told him to “fuck off.” And haven’t talked to him since then.

My dad’s done a lot for me lately, so I feel like I need to take a step to repair that but, at the same time, he said something that upset me. Still, “fuck off” probably wasn’t the correct response to that. I guess if I think about it – in each of these situations – I’m waiting for the other person to make it better when – really – if I want it to be better, I should probably take responsibility for that myself.

Which isn’t to say that I want to do that in each case. While it’d be pretty great if I could have good relationships with my parents and siblings, I’m not entirely sure that it’s even possible. Actually, I’m quite certain that it’s not. And that’s okay. I’m not aware of any rule that says I have to get along with everyone I’m related to. Life is easier without some of these people. And while – generally – I’m not interested in taking “easy ways out,” I can’t take on everything. Everyone has a breaking point. Somewhere along the line, what I know (or even what I want) doesn’t matter anymore. I get overwhelmed and negative feelings take hold. I’m not going to push myself into dealing with things that have the potential to ruin my day. Not today anyway. Outcomes aren’t guaranteed and now matter how I approach it…

[I’m done talking about this now]

I’m not stressed out about money anymore. Everything worked out this week and I don’t have a reason to be anymore. Which is a relief. And I’m grateful for that. I have all of the tools I need to maintain an income right now, I just need to remember to use them. For example, I still have a box of antique dolls and other stuff given to me (to sell on eBay) that I get to keep a share of the profits on. Granted, spending time creating eBay listings isn’t all that different from any other job, but I can do it on my own schedule and take time out for myself when I need it.

Having an online journal is tricky. When I was keeping a journal just for myself (with no intention of ever sharing it at all) I wrote differently. There are things I’d mention and things I wouldn’t. There are definitely more substantial, personal examples I could come up with, but – for example – Mike sent me the new Like Bats EP yesterday and it’s really awesome. And if this were a private journal, right now I’d be writing about why I think it’s awesome. But there’s something awkward about switching gears like that, here, online. Similarly, I joked with myself a lot more in my private journal, but – in this context – I find myself forcing myself to be serious so much of the time. Which just isn’t fun. And I like having fun.

Okay, I feel better about it now. That statement alone made me feel better about it. I’m gonna go listen to the Like Bats EP really loudly, smoke a cigarette, and then work on something else for a while. Today’s been good so far and I’m gonna keep it that way.

Oh – also, the fourth painting from “The Weak End” series in in the Gallery. If you don’t see the statement when you click this link, it’s just because you need to scroll down a little bit.

Say somethin'.