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28 May 2013

5 Lessons Learned


In my last post I spoke about the personal journey I have walked since deciding to re-enroll in college in 2010. (Thank you for all your sweet responses, friends!) Below are five of the most important lessons I have learned during the ups and downs of the past three years, things that will perhaps help you on your own journey.
  1. Trust others. It can be absolutely terrifying to expose oneself and one's secrets, but the reward of being embraced and supported is humbling and healing. Find people you can open up to; it will bring you closer.
  2. Enforcing boundaries is not being unkind. Setting boundaries is something I am still working on, hugely, but I think that having boundaries and learning when to say yes or no is very important to my own happiness. Others also appreciate directness and honesty.
  3. Don't apologize for your feelings. Feeling guilty for your feelings, on top of whatever emotions you are experiencing, will diminish your joy or increase your sorrow. Be gentle with yourself, but be gentle with others involved, too.
  4. You have no control over whether others are happy or not. Conforming to others' expectations is a project that will inevitably end in failure, for you simply cannot control the things others experience on a daily basis that change impact their mood. To try to do so is to sacrifice one's own life. Similarly, others cannot promise you your own happiness. Instead, choose those things that will make you happy and pursue them with all your heart.
  5. You-ness is something unchanging. Extraneous factors like credentials, others' opinions or expectations, your past, your career, your talents, and your social status have nothing to do with the essence of you: take them all away, and you will still be there. You are always and forever a good person, loved, and whole. (Remember that this is true for others, too.)
Have you learned life lessons? What are they? Do you share some of the same ones I have listed here?

26 May 2013

The Next Chapter



I am sitting under a blue, cloudless sky, serenaded by cheerful birds, one of whom has built a nest in the eaves of the house behind me. May is the most beautiful month, I'm sure of it!

On Friday, I graduated from Goucher College with a degree in Peace and Conflict Studies and a German minor. I didn't receive any official honors, but I know that I have earned some serious life badges in courage, persistence, and confidence. I have grown tremendously during my time at Uni: faced with some of the most difficult moments of my life thus far, I have emerged on the other side of darkness into clarity, empowerment, and resilience. That, I think, is perhaps even larger an accomplishment than completing a Bachelor's degree.

I stand on the brink of Newness: a whole world of possibility lies ahead. This summer I will be house sitting and taking care of a sweet dog and five roaming cats. In the fall of this year I hope (pending approved visas and finding a job, neither of which are easy feats) to move to Germany to be with my love and, if luck is on our side, we will live in the same home – on the same continent! – for the first time since we met nearly six years ago.


Additionally, this summer and beyond I want to turn a new page and fully commit to this space and to you, my dear and faithful readers. I want to create and to share my art and delve into the human condition and explore the struggles and joys and mysteries we live every day. I want to be engaged and present, and I want to ride my wild donkey into the sunset. Let's toast to that, shall we?

All my love!

15 May 2013

Handwritten



I am lucky enough to attend a school that loans out tech stuff for students to use; it gives me a chance to try out technology that is way, way out of my price range. I got my hands on a Wacom Intuos3 tablet for a few days this semester. I absolutely love it! At first I thought it'd be difficult to use, but it's as simple as plugging it in and downloading the driver. It's very intuitive to draw or write with, too.

I've been playing around with it, writing and doodling and sketching. I even made a freebie for you to download, print, and use in your artwork! Anything goes as long as you don't sell it as is. If you could credit me and link to my blog I'd be super happy! Click on the image below to see a bigger version for you to print.

Please note that this is not a paid promotion and all the opinions shared here are my own. I got nothing in compensation for this review (though if Wacom wants to send me a free tablet, I won't complain, hint hint!).


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