Compartmentalizing my life

I’ve determined that I really like to compartmentalize my life.

I like to have separate friend groups, separate things I do with said groups (as I rarely mix them), separate places to do different activities, separate things I tell certain people but not others… the list goes on.

And I’ve also realized that I need separate places to share my writing and art. Venues separate from my family and friends.

I’m not a particularly “open” person in general. So when I briefly tried to share the occasional drawing on social media, where most people I know could see it, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “Wendy, why would you ever do this?? Abort mission!”

Long story short, I’ve decided to start another blog to share my (silly? comical? sometimes cynical?) drawings and maybe the occasional watercolor and I don’t know what else.

But the fact that this will be separate makes me feel better. Phew. (I know, I know, my neuroses are showing.)

My art blog is at here if you’re at all interested. I’ll be posting both here & there! 🙂

***

I’d love to know–
Does anyone else have the strong need to compartmentalize their life and keep things separate?

Thanks for reading!

xx bits of prose and whimsy

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25 Lessons in 25 Years

So, I recently turned 25 and, whilst having another casual quarter-life crisis, I’ve been reflecting back on decisions I’ve made and experiences I’ve had.

Here are 25 lessons (of varying importance & in no particular order) that I’ve learned in my 25 years:

  1. Most things don’t go as you originally planned, but Plans B, C, D or even E usually aren’t so bad. They might even be better.
  2. High school sucks and it feels like it will last forever, but it doesn’t. In fact, you’ll be able to laugh with friends later about how much it sucked.
  3. Mental health issues are always hard to deal with, but they’re made much easier when you let people help you.
  4. Punctuality might not be something that everyone can master.
  5. The job you think is “the actual worst” is most likely not. Things can almost always be more terrible.
  6. Having awful jobs will help you appreciate the better ones.
  7. Who you work with is just as important as what you’re doing.
  8. Finding and keeping at least one hobby that centers you and chills you out is super-duper important.
  9. You can, at any point, return to a hobby you had given up.
  10. Old friends are hard to beat, but you’re not required to keep all of them around just because you’ve known them for years. You’ll realize which friends you’ll always have room for.
  11. Recognizing that someone isn’t good for you, and acting accordingly, doesn’t make you a bad person.
  12. Not everyone is going to like you. This is sometimes hard to accept, but you’ll become more okay with it the older you get.
  13. You don’t always have to be agreeable and “nice.” Some things are worth getting angry and passionate and frustrated over.
  14. Trust your gut, it’s usually right.
  15. Being organized is important, and it does not come naturally to some of us. But it’s always worth improving on.
  16. Literally everyone is dealing with difficult stuff. Some people are just better at hiding it.
  17. College can be great, but thinking they’re the absolute “best years of your life” can make you feel stressed about appreciating it. The years after are different but can be just as great.
  18. Keeping up with college friends is so important, and sometimes all it takes is the occasional text or call.
  19. Starting in college, coffee will probably become one of your best friends.
  20. Even when experiences with dating turn out to be terrible, they’ll help you figure out your deal-breakers.
  21. Being single is usually really nice, despite what society tells you. You don’t need anyone to validate you.
  22. Most people don’t know what they’re doing, it’s not just you.
  23. It’s important to take risks because you will definitely regret things you didn’t do more than things you did.
  24. Sometimes all you need is a good book.
  25. Being able to laugh at yourself will make everything easier.

xx bits of prose and whimsy

Needing to Create

As a small child, I would cut and staple computer paper together and make tiny, lopsided books of my drawings. I drew people, bunnies, houses, and clouds. I painted wooden birdhouses and made things out of pipe-cleaners and popsicle sticks.

Creating something out of nothing was what I loved to do, and it kept me busy. I would tell people I wanted to be an artist when I grew up.

From my younger years through high school, I was always in art classes, whether in or outside of school. I honed my drawing skills and began painting. My favorite thing to draw were faces, and I loved making them as realistic as possible. I used shading and highlights to make them look just right.

Towards the end of high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my artistic abilities. I began college as a double major in studio art and political science. My painting class during my first semester was particularly inspiring. It taught me so much that I still refer to now.

After a year at that university, I transferred to another in my hometown. And while I loved my new school, I strayed from the arts (for the most part) and concentrated primarily on the social sciences.

And now here I am.

I am more than two years out of undergrad, taking a graduate-level English course, and still not knowing where exactly I, and my creativity, fit into things.

I’ve realized that naturally creative people will always have the need to create, and denying this side of myself will only make me unhappy.

I’m trying to decide what kind of creative life I want to live.

xx bits of prose and whimsy

Self-doubt

Self-doubt is a close friend of mine.

We’ve stayed up together on countless nights, into the early morning, mulling over things I’ve done and haven’t done. Things I said I’d do but never did. The list just keeps getting longer.

Self-doubt has convinced me not to go to new places. Not to dedicate time to hopeless pursuits, things I might have been good at by now. It’s taught me that with its guidance I will stay safe. I will stay comfortable.

But if this is what it feels like to be safe, to be comfortable, I will find a way to keep self-doubt at bay. I will become comfortable with the unknown.

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” – Sylvia Plath

So it goes…

For several months now, I’ve been overwhelmed. Exasperated. Saddened. By what, exactly? By the state of the world. Tragedies fade with time, and most people will retrieve some semblance of normalcy. The cogs of the world must keep spinning. And yet these feelings linger. When I was most overwhelmed by disbelief and sorrow, just days after the Orlando incident, I did all that I could to contain my thoughts. So I wrote something.

***

I don’t know them. All I know are their names and faces and a sentence or two about who they are. Were. Like that could ever be enough to sum up a human being. I feel myself becoming numb to it all. It’s been a few days now since it happened and my thoughts will finally move on to other things with some gentle nudging. Sometimes rough. But they cycle back to this, oh how they cycle.

When I feel, I feel deeply. I feel with my whole body. I feel with my past, with my present, with vague notions of my future. Whatever that will look like. But who knows that? No one does. I’m sure those people had seen other tragedies in the news and thought to themselves, “that won’t ever happen to me,” as they held themselves tight.

We cling desperately to this notion, that nothing that bad, that tragic, that inconceivable, could ever happen to us. But those people were wrong. To be at the wrong place at the wrong time, to feel your existence unraveling as a stranger pulls the thread. I just can’t imagine. Maybe I don’t want to.

People still find comfort in small things somehow. Like lovers dying together, now buried beside one another. Maybe this means something and maybe it doesn’t. We wrap as many things around ourselves so that maybe, just maybe, nothing like this will ever touch us.

***

xx bits of prose & whimsy

This Grass is Kind of Dead, Let’s Go Over There

WOW, a lot has changed over the past 12 months. I’ve now had 3 different jobs, made some awesome new friends, attempted to clean my room at least a dozen times, and had multiple quarter life crises.

My new job is a somewhat “legit” job, one that could eventually offer promotions and raises and whatever. But when I mention my new job to people, sometimes they say, “That’s great, is this a permanent job?” And then my mind starts screaming, “OH GOD NO DON’T SAY THAT.” Because it’s not what I want to be doing longterm…

However, I still don’t know what I want to do with my life. I don’t even fake it that I have my shit together unless I absolutely have to. Sometimes it feels like I’ve mostly been accumulating a long list of things I DON’T want to do/have/be. It has also been a lengthy process of figuring out what I prefer to be stressed out about and what I would rather not experience on a daily basis.

I guess I could be considered a fickle person. Not exactly a “grass is always greener” person, but “This grass is kind of dead so I might as well wander over there at some point, maybe sooner rather than later.”

I am also somewhat idealistic, still hoping that one day I’ll find a career that is (mostly) fulfilling.

New jobs blah blah I know, it’s probably not that interesting.

My new goal—one that I’m going to try my hardest to accomplish—is to post once a week on here. I genuinely enjoy posting, and I’ve been reading (a reasonable amount) and drawing (pretty often) so I’m feeling somewhat creative. (And maybe marathoning It’s Always Sunny for the first time isn’t the only thing I should be doing on my computer.)

If you read this whole thing, thanks a bunch! Let me know if you can relate at all to these thoughts, it’ll make me feel less crazy. 🙂

Oh, hello! A look back at 2015.

So, my whole blog-more-in-2015 goal didn’t happen at all… (unless you count my tumblr, which we won’t.) I’ll definitely be blogging more consistently in the months to come!

A huge part of my year was figuring out what my post-grad life was going to look like. It’s a major shift after graduating college and getting out into the work force. I was intimidated and confused about what exactly to do. Finding jobs and working inevitably became a major part of my personal growth.

A few months into the year, I got a retail job at the mall. This experience taught me a few things:

  1. People can be wonderful, coworkers and customers alike.
  2. Management can be really, really terrible and make everyone hate coming to work.
  3. Retail is exhausting, especially for introverts. But it does get easier!
  4. Liking who you work with is super duper important.
  5. Being overqualified for a job will eventually become frustrating.
  6. It’s pretty awesome to meet and make friends with people you never would have met otherwise.
  7. Some customers will be rude no matter what you do. Just be as friendly as necessary, then vent to your coworkers and laugh off the experience.

In August, I quit my retail job and began working for an early literacy program in elementary schools. It definitely has its ups and downs, but at least it feels rewarding the majority of the time. I’ve learned a lot from this job as well:

  1. There are a lot of kind people out there who will brighten your day.
  2. Listening and talking through people’s concerns is really important.
  3. Helping kids learn to read can sometimes be frustrating, but it’s exciting and rewarding to see their progress.
  4. Some days kids will be crazy, but most days they’re really sweet. They’re also hilarious.
  5. It’s crucial to be verbally recognized for your strengths and accomplishments. Feeling under-appreciated will only make you bitter and frustrated.
  6. Your coworkers can become some of your closest friends.
  7. There isn’t a direct career path. Some meandering is healthy and valuable.
  8. Planning for the future will likely make you more content in the present.

This year has been a transitional one, and it’s definitely had its high and low points, but through them I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I want. ‘Adulting’ will continue to be a process, but that’s okay. Every young adult that I know feels the same way about adulthood, but I think we’re all still having some fun despite it all. It’s a wild ride, but I’m pretty happy with all the changes that I’ve made this year.

Thanks for reading my bits of prose and whimsy! x

Look for my next post, which will be about my top books of the year! 🙂