About Be-loved and other musings

 

Okay, now write something inspiring. No wait, just be real. Right… that’s the point.

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The best creature that exists. totally unrelated

For whatever reason I landed back on an old video poem thing that I created a couple years ago. After the first few seconds of cringing at something so vulnerable that my slightly younger self had revealed to the world, I was startled to feel the emotion of it. I felt where I was when I made the video, where I was when I started this blog. And suddenly I realized that this blog was not as selfless as I’d like to have thought it was. It wasn’t just about trying to help other people feel loved. It was also about some part of me searching for something better. It was me expressing myself instead of keeping everything bottled up. It was a chance to be vulnerable. And it was an attempt to convince other people of a reality I was trying to convince myself of. That I was loved, that I was valuable, and that I mattered. For whatever reasons those ideas seemed ludicrous to me at the time. The blog was a way to start putting myself back together again, bring out the darkness in me and force it into light. It has been a painful, terrifying and extremely rewarding process to have this ol’ blog, and I’m so glad I did it.
Posts are getting fewer now mostly because I seem to have just enough time to pull myself together, and not so much contribute to this wonderful process that I often convince myself isn’t important. Also I think it started to get stranger and stranger to tell all this deep personal stuff to the Internet, even though it seemed to yield positive results.
I don’t really know what this blog is about right now, but I know these words are some of the few things I can find these days that isn’t trying to be perfect, or look it.

All I want to say is, it is cool to see how this blog helped me grow, learn, and come to love myself in the ways I have learned to, although I learn more each day. I guess maybe I’m not sure if I have as clear of a direction, or if I know what I have to tell lately. But maybe something will come to me. Or maybe whoever reads this could give me some advice on what I should write about. Or that my consistent rambling about life is something that I should keep doing. Or maybe I’m just tired and emotional and I’ll regret posting this in the morning.

Authenticity is hard to find these days, but I think we all know that it’s still important.

Peace and Love, thank you for reading to the bottom of this post during your likely busy day. I Hope you feel loved today

Emily

I Need Connection

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It’s so much easier to write the resolution than the journey. But sometimes, in the moment of clarity you can see in retrospect what you needed. We continue forward, with the idea that we know what we’re doing, but often we don’t know what we were looking for until we find it.

This past week was difficult. With multiple final papers due, my schedule is wiped clean so I can sit down and write, research, repeat. I have a mixed relationship with writing essays. On one hand, there are great things to be learned in forming an idea using other people’s ideas. But mostly, this week I have denied myself most of what makes me feel whole in order to meet deadlines. And sometimes, that’s life.

This week, and many others, I forget how incredibly important it is to simply connect with another human. To be able to express the confusion and sorrow that we are feeling, and to hear that someone else feels it too. To my dear friend Anna, thank you for reminding me of what I had forgotten.

I hate loneliness. I hate it because it fills so much of our lives. It’s the reason I’ll have music playing wherever I go. It’s the reason there is always a tv on, a phone in hand, or a computer screen open. We live in a way that praises self-accomplishment, and individuality. We pride ourselves on our uniqueness, but at the same time we are terrified of being different enough that people won’t want us around. I try to find the balance everyday of satisfying the parts of me that want to be expressed fully, while trying to be normal enough so as not to stick out too much. And it’s not because I don’t know who I am. It’s because sometimes I’m not always sure who to be in the world.

But I live within this paradigm as if I understand its purpose. To achieve, to succeed, to compete, to be the best.
Because nothing, absolutely nothing is more satisfying to me than sitting across from someone who says “Yeah. I understand. I’ve been there” Nothing beats revealing the parts of you that are scared, insecure, overwhelmed and exhausted and for someone to recognize that within themselves. To be with someone in the depths of life, not just the surface. I’m so tired of walking around acting like i’ve got my shit together, like I’m on a train of amazingness and there’s no stopping me!
Or, on the other hand, connecting with others only by means of complaining. Of how life isn’t giving me what I wanted, and how I’m annoyed, angry or indifferent. When I am unable to express my real feelings and experiences with others, they get bottled up in my head and I begin not to trust myself. With no affirmation, no outward processing, no connection, I become the enemy of my own mind. I think that I must be doing something to feel this way, or else I blame the only good things in my life that I could place blame (aka my partner). I’m left up to my own devices, and let me tell you they are limited. Because I am just one experience. I am just one perspective. And I can’t fix everything myself.

I want to re-label “anxiety” with “need connection”. Because then I wouldn’t be able to cut myself short by saying “I’m going to stay in because I’m feeling anxious”. What’s really happening is I desperately need connection, but maybe i’m scared to be vulnerable. Maybe I’m convinced that I’ll figure it out on my own.

No. That’s not it Em, stop trying to be your own therapist.

I NEED CONNECTION. I need to joke about the ridiculousness of trying to write about the history of a marginalized group, as if “they” have one, a complete and documented story that can be told within 500 words. I need to talk about how I can’t stand walking into a classroom to sit beside one another to learn about how to show “empathy” when we could be connecting with one another and actually experiencing it. I need to talk about how I’ve been so emotionally overwhelmed that I try to control it by telling my partner he’s being selfish. I need to talk about how I want community, how I want to know people. I need to talk about how I don’t know how to navigate a world of “how are you” “fine” because all I want to say is “I am so freaking overwhelmed right now.”

I need connection. I need people. I need someone to say “Hey, it makes sense that you’re feeling that way, sounds like you have a lot on your plate”. Because yeah, I have a LOT going for me, and life COULD be worse, BUT THAT’S NOT A REASON TO DENY YOUR FEELINGS.

Because I am feeling. I am always, feeling. And I’m tired of just thinking about it. Labeling it “in my head” or “my mind is racing” and trying to push it away. Maybe our erratic minds and constant need to be doing something is because we are terrified to face the fact that we are lonely, and everybody else is busy.

I know people make a lot of empty promises these days. We make plans and cancel, we put that we “might” go to things on Facebook, and we settle for harmless, easy, conversation. But if you feel like talking about what’s really happening in you life, or what you’re feeling, or what you just realized, or what you’re really excited about, and you don’t know who to tell, I would really love to hear it. My email is emily.scott93@gmail.com, and since I am a university student, my computer is open almost all hours of the day. Feel free to email me the real “how are you” and I’d love to chat.

Alternatively, if you don’t feel like talking to me because a. you don’t know me b. you don’t want to email your feelings to someone on the internet… then please, if you need connection like I do, find the people in your life that care about you and let them know you need them. I don’t think we are good at needing people these days, but I’ll be the first to say that I do. And every area of my life starts crumbling down when I forget that.

A Blank Canvas

A while back I wrote a blog about staying inside the lines, and how we try so hard to stay within the boundaries or expectations that are set for us. Yet it is so desperately unfulfilling. Here is a story of similar nature, depicting life as what we think we are supposed to make it, and then what it could be if we took control of our full potential and passion. You always have the chance for a blank canvas, and you always have the chance to start over. 

A BLANK CANVAS

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So here we are. This is where it all started. This is what we were meant to have. A blank canvas. Nothing broken, nothing messy, nothing confusing, nothing at all. But while it is blank, it is beautiful. New birth. Something about looking at a baby in their innocence is so incredibly beautiful. No marks, no lines, no scars or pain. We want so desperately to uphold that for them, but in our own experience of the world, we know it will not be easy. We try, for as long as we can we try, but eventually their canvas inevitably starts to change.

So here we are. Yet before we even have the ability to pick up a brush, there are lines. Before we learn what it feels to create, there is creation sitting there on our canvas. We didn’t choose it, but it is there. And eventually we decide that the only option is to follow it. Follow along the lines that seem to create some notion of structure. Colour gently along the rigid dark curves that contrast so vividly. We don’t want to upset the trend, or disturb the creation that has already begun.

It was never that we did not have the ability to create, rather we created within the boundaries of what had already was. We decided that what we wanted could fit inside the lines, and that it would be okay. We believed the most beautiful picture would come out of continuity rather than newness. It was easier, understandable. It formed consistent and predictable framework.

Still you wonder, what might I have created if those lines were never there? What would I have desired to make? Would it be bright, colourful and smooth or intricate lines and graphics that would collide together to produce a maze of unique design?

Is there something I was supposed to follow? A design that I was meant to re-create? I have followed something that existed before I could think differently, is that the point? Or is there more? Is there other canvases that I have not seen? Why do the others look different than mine? Their use of colour seems so practiced, as I look at mine I see mistakes and slip ups.
I swear I followed along the lines, still it did not turn out like I thought it would. It does not look like I thought it would. It doesn’t… look like anything.

Okay I must be missing something, there must be a “normal” that I can follow. I’ll find something that represents normality and fix my mess enough to make it resemble this existing standard. Then it will all be okay, everything will be predictable and understandable. Once again I will be in control.

I lie awake at night, awoken from vivid dreams. Black lines obscuring all that I thought I knew, colours that I don’t recognize, everything changing so rapidly.

I have to believe that there is something to create. Something that is worth creating, something that will extend beyond my years. Something that matters. But how do I do that when my creation is tattered, torn and used? I don’t know anything different, yet somehow I seek to know everything that is foreign to me. Something different, something more.
I see a design that looks simple enough, so I try to copy it. My lines don’t look quite as neat, but at least they resemble one that seems to be getting so much attention. I wish I could say I am proud of their work, but the jealousy of comparison supersedes any admiration that I might have the capacity to feel.

Day by day, I create. I add to this picture wherever there is blank space, some days I resort to re-tracing the lines that are already there, it is easy and does not take much thought. This routine is so stale, yet I can’t seem to see beyond this complex mass of colour in front of me. Maybe there is something behind it that I’m not seeing. I take the hind end of my frayed brush and poke holes in the rigid fabric that holds this creation I’ve built upon. My whole life’s work. But still nothing changes, I cannot see through my creation, instead it just looks even more obscure and disfigured. Now I’m beyond what I can do so I shamefully call upon the help of those that have gone before me, hoping they can fix this mess that I am in. They provide the material, and we work together to try and patch up the holes. It takes a lot of time, but eventually it comes together, though it will never look like it did before. I am weak, exhausted and defeated. Have I had enough? I cannot decide.

After a long day, week, month, year of repair I lay my head down and rest, with thoughts of colour filling my imagination.
I love the reds, and how the brightness catches your eye. Yet its intensity can also be frightening. I love the coolness of the blues, how they create a sense of calm and clean. Yet some blues are too dark, and convey a darkness that has yet to be explored. Some reds are too strong, and any fault in the tone is too easily recognized.

On and on I see these colours, the ones that have brought me joy, and the ones that have plagued me. They start to flicker and rotate faster, until I am seeing a rainbow rapidly transition through my mind. Endless lines, colours and vibrancies that I cannot process. It is beautiful yet overwhelming, the sheer volume of it creates a silent noise that rumbles. I swear it could shake the mountains. Sometimes this noise invigorates me, but for now it is exhausting, and I try to suppress it but I cannot seem to see anything else.

And then it stops. The noise starts to subside, the colours start to fade, and I realize that for the first time I am starting to see white. It is so unfamiliar, yet blindingly beautiful. It is so foreign, yet at the same time it feels comfortable and familiar. I do not know how to respond, so I just pause and take it in. It is so pure, unobstructed, so real and bright. Maybe this is what I have been missing all along. This colour, it is what I have been searching for, but never knew what it was. This colour that I have been trying to cover up, replacing with rainbows to add significance and meaning. But at the same time this blanket of white seems to hold a perfect complexity that I fail to comprehend. Yet I am okay with it.

But it is too late. It must be, My creation is already in progress, and it is far from white. In fact, it has been a long time since I have seen any free space to work with. How I yearn for this pure light, this white that has no blemishes or holes, no lines or scars.

I try so hard to figure out how to create white with all that I have. I mix and match, mix and match trying to create this perfection that seems so tangible. Yet the more that I mix, the darker it gets, nothing seems to make sense. What am I missing? If only I had that, maybe all of this clutter would disappear. If I admit it, there is some lines that I am not willing to let go of. While they may be overdone, they represent all that I’ve created, and i’m not sure I’m ready to let go of that. What will I be without this creation? Surely i will have nothing if I am without my life’s work. Surely there is no more to me than this complex array of colours that I have tried so hard to coordinate.

But still I imagine it. This pure, uncoloured scene. The clean, marvellous surface that has no bumps or bruises, no tears or strains.

Maybe I will never know it. My picture has already been created, I must build on what is. If only I had something new. A second chance.

As I rest my arms onto this blurry mess of colour, a tear drops onto the surface and further blends the dark mix that I’ve created through my diligent combinations, trying so hard to find clarity. Searching for meaning.

And then I feel a shift of weight, the fragile structure of my canvas was not made to hold me up, and I tumble over as it falls to the ground. I shake off the dust, annoyed at myself for being so careless and pick up this tattered piece of art that carries so much confusion and anguish.

And for the first time I see it.

Blank. Pure. Perfect.

White.

On the reverse side of all that I have known sits an empty canvas. Something I subconsciously knew was there all along but never tried to discover. It only made sense that it was here. All along I had the power to turn it over, but I never knew that I really could. I was searching for something that was there, I just didn’t believe that it was accessible. I did not believe that I was worth a second chance.

How beautiful. How free. How un-tainted.

Yet while it’s unique perfection portrayed completion, I knew that it was made to be used. Though I feared marking up the pure, smooth surface, now I could finally see what was in front of me. For the first time I could see that I had a second chance. A chance to create from scratch. A chance to do something I have always wanted to do, but never felt the opportunity was there.

It’s not that I now had more skill, more finesse or technique. I did not have new brushes, new colours or new tools.
But I had ideas. Oh how I had ideas, they bounced around in my head like bingo balls, each one ready to picked at any moment.

The difference was, now I had freedom. I had something to start with, though it began perfect and I was bound to mess it up, at least I can create. I can really create something new. This is my chance, my second chance, and it’s the only one I’ll ever need.

No matter what, it will be beautiful. Because it’s unique. It’s mine. It’s a blank canvas.

Photo: Sarah Klockars-Clauser

If all else fails, I AM ALIVE.

I am alive. I am breathing and I am here.

I have goals, dreams and desires. I have ambitions and passions that inspire me to move forward. I have health and opportunity. I am fortunate in more ways than one. I can be blessed, hopeful and happy.

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Yet I am confused, lonely and desperate. I have felt rejected, worthless, unhappy and scared. I have been lost, and I have felt emptiness. I have felt hatred, betrayal, anger and sadness. I have seen life as a burden, lacking enough effort to succeed. I have struggled to fit in, to be unique, to find answers and to ask the right questions. I have felt jealous, belittled and ignored. I have felt an overwhelming lack of desire, and loss of interest. I have felt pain for others, and sat with defeated wonder at the chaos of the world. I have felt frustration at the sheer lack of good. I have felt unworthy, unqualified and misunderstood. I have disliked myself, and felt the sting of self-rejection. I have learned to grab hold of pain when it is stronger than joy. I have mourned and felt sorrow and regret.

I have. I felt.

I AM… alive.

I have a heart that keeps beating through all of it.
I have friends that keep listening.
I have a new day tomorrow, and I CAN start over.
I cannot change the past, but I CAN change the future.
I am good at things, valuable things.
I can think for myself, and I can decide what is true about me.
I can be adventurous. I AM adventurous.

I can learn, grow and develop.
I can laugh… oh how I can laugh.
I can choose love, and I can let it in.
I can choose acceptance.
I can choose to be hopeful.
I can choose life.

I can. I will. I am.

If all else fails, I am alive.

What are your “I can, I will and I am statements” ?
Because you can, you will and you ARE.

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What do you do for YOU?

What do you do for you?
Today isn’t going to be a lengthy post because honestly, I needed a week off. Ironic that I’m still posting something, but hey, this whole writing thing actually can be pretty therapeutic.

I feel like we all could use time off. At least a day off. A day off from expectations, a day off from commitments, a day off of all the self-depricating things we might think about ourselves. A day off from it all. Sounds dreamy eh?

Although it might not be feasible to ditch everything you probably have going on tomorrow, I’m curious of one thing:

What do you do for you?

What do you do that makes you happy, and you have absolutely no obligation to do it except that you love it? What brings you joy, peace, purpose and excitement?
What can relax you even in the most chaotic of times?

Let’s face it. We spend most of our days doing things for other people. If you’re a student, technically it’s for you, but most of the time it feels like you’re there for someone else. If you’re a parent you are busy taking care of your kids, balancing a job and everything else that is thrown at you.

It’s a nice thing to think that we do a lot of things for other people, but sometimes that means we are quick to neglect our own needs. So what are you doing just for you? Are you doing anything at all?

I hope you can find time to do those things in the middle of everything else that’s on your plate.

As one of my new favourite sayings goes… Just do you.

Have a wonderful day!

Here’s a photo, I hope it brightens your day 🙂

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