Tag Archives: Oil Pastels

Saying Goodbye

Saying Goodbye

Mirror Images

Oil pastel art journal image. Mirror images, similar but different.

Why is it so hard to say goodbye? I use the word “good bye” or a form like it daily to symbolize an act of leaving or departure. As a child, I said “goodbye” to my childhood, to broken toys or items, mementos and other items no longer needed. I have said “goodbye” to old classmates and friends, to the foolish deeds or stunts I've succumbed to. I said “goodbye” and mourned family members, friends and pets when they each passed away. I have said “goodbye” to old lovers and friends who's friendships where more detrimental than beneficial. Yet, I had a huge task that I was unable or unwilling to say “goodbye”.

I have goated a young male friend of mine that he has not said “goodbye” to his college days, but am I any different? After self evaluation, I realized that I am not different from him. I might not be holding on to those rememberable college years, but I have neatly boxed, labeled and stored away my precious items, and marked “open later”. Yes, literally, I boxed up my apartment including food, furniture, clothing, personal items, knickknacks and mementos and stored it away. I not only packed away my apartment, but essentially I packed my life away. I gave up my apartment with my freedom and received a drawer and some closet space. I though of this “downsizing” as a way to save money, help my mom with the children, but most of all to take care of my health. Instead, I gained new responsibilities, more expenses and my health declined. As my pain increased, depression set in and with this depression I lost the will to do, to react, and to heal.” I was at a complete standstill. I did the motions of the required day to day, but I completely lost myself. I lost my unique character that made me, me. I lost the joy I had to craft and create, my business suffered because crafting was now a chore instead of an outlet. I lost my happiness, I lost the will to take care of my health. I missed my doctor appointments, but eventually I just stop making them. I didn't care.

Do not get me wrong, being closer to my family was great and essentially a type of gift. I was able to grow closer to the kids, bake to bond with them and actually able to see them grow. I could help with homework, cook, do the driving or anything else needed. Last year, I took part of 7th and 8th grade production of Beauty and the Beast, in which I was in charge of the costumes, props and set. It was definitely a wonderful experience that I could not have take part of if I was at my old location. Last summer I was able to take the then 13 y/o to camp and the then 5 y/o to his activities. In the evenings we would swim together and enjoy a meal cooked on the grill. The summer was quite fun, and I had a lot of new memories to be greatful for, but I couldn't say goodbye to what I “lost” and between pain and depression it became harder for me to remember the “good thoughts”.

My solution to my current situation was to be proactive and to stop allowing myself to fall deeper into depression. First, I needed to say goodbye to my old apartment and life. I had to accept that it was over, including the what ifs and the lost time. These were decaying thoughts festering upon me and darkening my mood. These continued thoughts focusing on what was lost did not allow me to grow, but instead kept me in a depressed state. In order to move forward in life, I needed to mourn what I perceived as lost and the unpleasantries that I incurred during the two years and move on. Second step, I needed to remove or cut out the decayed matter. For me, this was mostly living in cramped quarters in which the landlord refused to upkeep. This included black mold in the basement, a broken foundation from Huricane Sandy in which cold air and rain filled the room and so much more. Solution to this, relocation. This change in location improved the livelihood of my now 14y/o and myself. We were finally given an opportunity to breathe, grow and relax. We know longer required to share a room, drawers and closet space. The 14 y/o now has the opportunity to attend an ideal high school and for myself, my very own crafting studio. Yes, you heard right, my very own and very “real” crafting studio, in which I can craft, create and inspire at any hour of the day or night. My final step, I needed to empty my storage. This was an extremely difficult task, but with each day that I returned, my task became easier. I kept all items that I absolutely needed and donated or threw out the rest.

I am so greatful that I was finally able to say “goodby” and move forward. Fearing what I perceived as lost, kept me holding on to something that wasn't there or would ever happen. It was lost and I had to say “goodbye” to it. I had to learn from my mistakes and move forward. By not saying “goodbye”, I remained at a standstill with my life, unable to move forward and unable to live. I needed this closure. It took some time to conquer and complete, but the end result is now a new beginning.

 

 

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Stormy Weather

purplecloudsToday I had one of those moments that I completely broke down. I let it all out. I cried, I sobbed, I screamed. I had bottled up my feelings for so long that I felt hopeless, swamped and overwhelmed. I was hurting, felt completely alone, and isolated from the real world. I did not think anyone could understand the pain and turmoil I was going through and have gone through. Then an unexpected friend called and I was no longer alone. I unloaded and it was nice to be heard, listened to and understood. It was a load off my chest. It gave me clarity and hope.

Why do we keep things bottled up when it only hurts our loved ones and ourselves? It does not benefit anyone to hurt or feel alone. My advice, reach out and let out. Do not keep it bottled up and you are not alone. Ask for help.

My Daughter, My Heart

This picture is from my art journal and made with oil pastels.

Sometimes we underestimate, undervalue and underapprecite the love from our others – partners, sons and daughters, parents, siblings, family and friends. We forget and ignore the other, who is standing next to and supporting us in times of crisis and turmoil. We become so fixated in our own worlds, our problems and our issues, that we forget the other who is also hurting, in despair or in need of love.

My daughter is my other. Until recently, I did not realize the full extent of my health had on my daughter. I did not see the fear in her eyes or the pain in her heart. I was oblivious to it; I was in my own world of sickness, pain and despair.

My most recent health crisis took almost six weeks to recover. I was deathly ill and my immune system could not take the shock of the many foreign invaders. I did not think I would recover. My immune system was nonexistent and I was a doormat for every type of infection.

For over a week, my daughter and I would argue. She was determined not to go to school. The first day I let her stay home, her tummy hurt. The second day I insisted that she went to school, but she did still look sick. By the third day, she was going to school. I yelled, I told her terrible things, I scared her into school. She went to school in tears and I had a heavy heart. That morning, my mother talked to me, she confided in me my daughter’s fears. My daughter was not being lazy but was afraid. My daughter was afraid that I was dying. No one told her this but she was able to see the sickness, the weakness and the unbearable pain. She was afraid to leave. My daughter only wanted to be spend time with me, but I did not see this. I saw a child not wanting to go to school. How insensitive of me, I never thought of how my health was affecting her. I was in my own world and I neglected my daughter. I did not see her or her fears. The tears poured out of me. I had so much guilt. How do I forgive myself? How do I take back my piercing stabbing words?

Above the Water

Drowning – Above the Water

From my art journal out of oil pastels

Have you ever had that feeling that you are drowning and you cannot keep your head above the water? Lately, I think this is how I feel every day. The undercurrent is dragging me down and pulling me further out to sea.

I have one of those complicated lives in which nothing is ever easy. I am 31-year-old female, in college full-time, with a 10-year-old daughter and a terminal disease. Two years ago, after a ten-year leave of absence, I decided to return to college. Initially, I was excited, motivated and determined to complete my education.  Yet with all my motivation and determination, it was still quite difficult. I think the hardest task, learning how to study. Now, months before my graduation, I do not have that drive anymore. It has deflated and I do not know if I can do it anymore. Most days, getting out of bed is a huge task. It is not depression, but pain that keeps me immobilized.

At this point, there is just so much to do, to catch up on, just everything and I just do not know where to begin. This makes me feel like I am drowning and I cannot stay above the water.