Monday, September 14, 2015

Pink And Bright And Happy All Over

I've been feeling really overwhelmed lately.
Like, don't tap me on the shoulder or you might get punched because I'm wound so tight, overwhelmed.

Life has just been aggressively coming at me from all emotional angles. The husband has a new job where he's working a lot of hours and traveling. The boy turned two and entertains himself by climbing things and shoving things up his nose. The girl turned six but apparently her emotions turned sixteen. I'm taking 13 credit hours of college this semester and volunteer art teaching at my daughter's school. My house is a disaster, because school and parenting come first. We've been eating much more poorly than we should be because I'm struggling to manage my time efficiently and I'm cracking under all the pressure of all the hats I'm wearing, plus trying to find a new house in a different town when we've only been in this house a couple of years. BPD makes all of this worse, and I am forced to spend a lot of time questioning whether my thoughts, behaviors, reactions and responses to emotional stimuli are logical, rational, healthy and acceptable in order to prevent outright breakdowns.

Thank God for my happy place.

The lettering is sooooo cheesy, but my husband and kid did it as a surprise for me, so I love it.

I guess I should say "happy places", because I have several mental and physical happy places-prayer, yoga, meditation, painting, the riverside, my garden, Dairy Queen(don't hate on me!), Goodwill, Salvation Army, Etsy...the list goes on.

But my studio, that's my panic room, my paradise, my sanctum sanctorum. That is the one place that is all mine, where I surround myself with the things I love that make me feel safe, calm and happy in the most self assuring ways.

Everybody my age is so into wreaths. I finally made one when I came across a bag of heads at a thrift shop.

Darkness is almost always the problem for me-darkness of heart, mind, emotion and even physical darkness(I often sleep with a lamp on). So, my studio is bright, and reminds me that I am bright, loving, kind, happy, colorful and loved. You see, my husband painted my studio, to help me feel more ownership of it, that it wasn't just a room that anybody could inhabit. And my daughter's "studio" is a few feet away, so she often leaves surprises for me on my drawing table, that I find when she is at school.

Pretty much everything in this space has some sort of special meaning to me.

Like my apron collection, for example. Some are vintage, and I collect them because old aprons hanging limply on a Salvation Army hanger just scream "PLEASE RESCUE ME! I was useful once! I can still be of use!" I often feel the same way.

The newer ones are mostly made by Dot of Dotties' Diner. Her aprons scream, "I AM TOO BEAUTIFUL AND SEXY TO HANG UP HERE FOREVER!" So I try to wear them, despite feeling a lack of bravery, and in the end they remind me that age, "sexy" and "fun" are not "one size fits all". There are many sizes, many shapes, many colors, many definitions.

I'm going to have to figure out a better storage solution, though, as they broke the current one.

There IS a metal pole under the pvc pipe...
Surrounded by things I've made, things my loved ones and friends have made, and the elements of things yet to be made, I am quickly reminded that the weight of whatever is weighing me down cannot compare to the highs I feel when I complete a piece of art or craft and someone receives joy from that creation.

I have a major love of nature, and how it reminds me of my tiny place in the world, but I love my studio because it reminds me of who I really am when I feel like I am in danger of forgetting, when I fear I don't exist and "never was"(pretty, talented fun, whatever), or when I know I am becoming someone I do not want to be.

When I feel the darkness squeezing the life out of me, I go up to my studio. I sit on the rag rug my husband bought me for mother's day this year, and I look at all the things that I've made, my daughter has made, my mother has made, my friends have made. I survey the supplies-the hoops and textiles and found object that have taken years to acquire and will take years to turn into finished products and I ask myself, "Do you really want to let all of this get sorted into trash and thrift piles because you're too depressed to use it? Or too dead? Or do you want to be the person who keeps turning these things into unique art pieces that help people redefine how they look at trash, beauty and craft? Do you want to be the person who tragically gave in and nobody can understand why? Or do you want to be the person who overcame and helped others do the same?"

Reflection, then determination, then peace always overtake me.

"Don't you want to stick it out, and see how the ride ends?" I ask myself, as I survey the possibilities in my mind.

And, "I do," has always been the answer.

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