What are you AIMING for?

In a realistic portrait art class, this wouldn’t fly:

Realistic Portrait

Grade: F+

In a draw-something-in-three-seconds-which-looks-semi-human-but-also-kind-of-like-a-duck class, I’d do fairy well.

Grade: B – –

But I love that little guy. I feel an emotional attachment to him. Does he have arms? No. Does that matter? Hell no.

Keep on rockin’

My Brain is Trying to Kill Me

So I had this great idea for a comic the other day…

I realized that everything in my life was fine. That underneath all my depression & anxiety was a curious, passionate person who actually was quite a fan of life.

In fact, I thought as I walked in the rain without an umbrella, the only problem is my brain. My brain is trying to kill me.

The preferred pastime of my brain seems to be working tirelessly to convince me that everything is terrible, especially me. I don’t really appreciate it, but it’s also the truth of my current situation.

…So then I thought it would be fun to draw a little comic of my brain pointing a gun (or maybe a bazooka) at me. It was a cute idea, until i realized that I don’t know how to draw a brain OR a bazooka.

It sucks when your (lack of) skills interfere with your questionably brilliant ideas.

I mused about what to do for a while, then sat down and drew the comic anyway. And since I already told you what it is, you’re not allowed to say, “What’s that weird blobby thing?”

It’s a brain. It’s supposed to be a brain. With a bazooka.

Untitled design (2)

Meditation, in the form of Comics

…and badly-drawn comics, at that.

I bring this up because I just started an Instagram account for my weird drawings and unwelcome thoughts, but with hashtags like #depression and #mentalhealth I started seeing a lot of people who post inspirational sayings and little daily encouragements.

I’ve never been that much of an optimistic person, so although I enjoy reading these posts, I doubt you’ll see me post something like that anytime soon. What’s more, although I wouldn’t be surprised if inspirational sayings were healthy and helpful to a lot of people, there’s something about them that doesn’t quite work for me.

I don’t feel better. And the more vague or generic they are, the worse it is. I like my fantasy with a little reality, and for me, the journey towards mental health does not always involve daisies and sunshine.

If it helps you, great.

***

At first I wasn’t sure about making my comics so depressing. I thought maybe they would encourage me to wallow and feel sorry for myself….even spiral into depression.

But the opposite occurred.

I constantly have the thoughts which turn into my comics whether I want to or not, but WRITING THEM DOWN allows me to see those thoughts in a form which is not inside my own head.

I got to laugh at them. I got to see my thoughts as separate from ME.

As someone who has MANY TIMES started and stopped meditation, I have a complicated relationship with it. It literally took me years to realize that meditation wasn’t STOPPING THINKING (my Westernized belief), but OBSERVING THINKING in a neutral way.

Whenever I meditate, I often get swept up in random thoughts, and then the negative self-talk joins in, kindly informing me: You’re meditating WRONG. Do it BETTER. Do it perfectly the FIRST TIME.

To come full circle, I realized that my comics were a physical representation of my meditation process. There were my negative, neurotic, unhelpful thoughts…right there on the paper. And I was observing them. Just observing. And gaining some very interesting and much-needed perspective.

Who knew my little scribbles could be so enlightening?

follow-my-dreams.jpeg

My Hero

Watching TV can be very productive. For example, on while taking in Jeopardy the other day, I learned about Arthur Schopenhauer, the ‘Philosopher of Pessimism.’

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I don’t believe in reincarnation, but if I did, I would think that he was me in a previous life. I’ve never felt so down-trodden and inspired at the same time.

I’ve tried radically changing my personality in order to enjoy life a bit more, but surprisingly that failed. My latest technique is to go full throttle into my negative, pessimistic attitude yet try to enjoy and be delighted by such depressing things.

“Unless suffering is the direct and immediate object of life, our existence must entirely fail of its aim. It is absurd to look upon the enormous amount of pain that abounds everywhere in the world, and originates in needs and necessities inseparable from life itself, as serving no purpose at all and the result of mere chance. Each separate misfortune, as it comes, seems, no doubt, to be something exceptional; but misfortune in general is the rule.”

-Arthur Schopenhauer, On the Sufferings of the World

 

It’s Maaaaaaagic!

I’ve had some stupid ideas in my life, including some which I’m very proud of.

But my ‘most stupidest’ of thoughts are the ones which cycle through my head daily…like laundry…but if laundry was something that was supposed to take pristine clothes and roll them around in dirt. [In case none of you noticed, I just wrote a poem]

…for example, my idea of “perfection” involving me magically becoming a person who does not need to be perfect:

Perfection_1

…or my obsession with happiness, living in the present, connection, and finding meaning being the biggest roadblocks to me actually achieving those things:

Happy_1

But maybe, after all these years, I’ve developed a soft spot for these ridiculous yet endearing things I do.

No. No, I haven’t.

A Sensible Life, Part III: The Best Advice I’ve Ever Heard

I’m sure you’re dying to know how my quest to find a sensible career is coming.

My subconscious has a tradition, whenever I am either in the midst of a significant life change, to give me extremely violent nightmares.

Well, lately I’ve been having extremely violent nightmares. They’re usually quite intricate, with a full-blown plot and lovable characters (who die gruesomely yet poetically).

And of course, there is one exception: sometimes I get violent, bloody dreams when I’m about to make an incredibly stupid decision. It’s like a helpful compass.

I may become a therapist yet…but not yet. Not yet. I have unfinished business to do first.

***

I sat down with my parents the other day, and kindly shared that I would still be needing their money, but for different studies that I had previously mentioned. It was something I’d never asked for money for before: something not sensible.

They just listened.

I said something along the lines of, “I’ve always loved art…and creativity… But this goes against every fiber of my being. I’m afraid that if I put money—your money—into schooling which has very little guarantee of a job after graduation, let alone a lucrative career, I will end up losing what’s really important: my money. And then I won’t be able to pay for rent, or food, and I’ll die of a combination of starvation and humiliation.”

Silence.

So I awkwardly filled the silence with, “A career is not something to fiddle with. A career should be sensible. Sensible.”

To which my dad responded, “I’ve always thought it’s best to have an un-sensible life and sensible shoes.”

Thank you, dad.

Sensible Shoes_1Sensible Shoes_2

 

A Sensible Life, Part II: School for Therapy

I recently decided to go to school for therapy. By that I mean: go to school to become a therapist, not use school as a form of therapy.

It was a mostly logic-based decision as far as a career was concerned. I’ve always had interest in psychology, (and much more recent interest in helping people), so my choice wasn’t completely out of left field.

180731-therapist-patient-dk-1038_7d369b6ca4bbb8924735be87129c1138.fit-760w.jpg

On a separate note, I was recently struck with an idea for a short story:

The main character is a therapist, who gives up on his creative dreams. Soon he finds himself—day in and day out—tasked with supporting others to follow their dreams instead of settling for second-best.

At first, it’s rewarding. But then it becomes too much…. And any client of his who decides to pursue their dreams, come what may, tragically gets murdered and stored under the therapist’s floorboards.

***

IMG_0126-e1386004083874

Who can say where ideas come from? Sometimes inspiration hits at the strangest times. I may find the time to write this story while I’m applying to graduate school, or I may not. At least I know where my priorities lie.

P.S. The TWIST at the end of the story is that the therapist’s office was on the third floor, and he’s been dropping bodies onto the person beneath him for years.

Not very considerate.

A Sensible Life, Part I: Career Comparisons

12 Peter and Wendy - F D Bedford - 1911Lately I’ve been obsessed with becoming a “real grown-up” and choosing a career. But not just any career…a SENSIBLE career. One which has at least a 50% chance of leading to a “job-thingy.”

Should you be in a similar (sinking) boat, I’ve rated the following careers for your convenience.

I’ve personally considered all of these careers with relative seriousness.

Each job has been rated under the following categories:

  • Job Guarantee (after schooling)
  • Job Security
  • Job Respect (When you tell people what you do, do they say “Oh,” in that unsure, disappointed way or in that I get you, you’re a reasonable person who doesn’t take chances and I appreciate that sort of way?)
  • $$$
  • Glamour Factor
  • I Wanna Do That

The rating scale is from 0-100, with 0 being “this job has none of it” and 100 being “this job has it all, and I am a god of this earth!”

Jobs up for Consideration:

Therapist

  • Job Guarantee (after schooling): 81
  • Job Security: 82
  • Job Respect
    • If you wear glasses: 88
    • If you don’t wear glasses: 80
  • $$$: 78
    • Having seen a number of therapists throughout my life, I’m aware that they have a very respectable hourly wage. So respectable, in fact, I’d rather be a train wreck than pay it.
  • Glamour Factor: 66
  • I Wanna Do That: 66

Park Ranger

  • Job Guarantee (after schooling): 65
  • Job Security: No idea. I’ll say 64
  • Job Respect: 67
  • $$$: 38
  • Glamour Factor
    • For hippies: 78
    • For everyone else: 44
  • I Wanna Do That: 68

Lawyer lawyer-ruling.Billion_Photos.shutterstock-370x242

  • Job Guarantee (after schooling): 77
  • Job Security: 76
  • Job Respect: 96
  • $$$
    • As a Public Defender: 33
    • As one of those lawyers like you see on fancy detective shows: 100
  • Glamour Factor: 100
    • When you’re working the long hours and you can’t pick out which children are yours on the playground: 66
  • I Wanna Do That: No.

b88526235z1_20170110165215_000glbfdljq2-0-f90cirm0ctmucdtpjn2_ct677x380Mortician

  • Job Guarantee (after schooling): 89
  • Job Security: 94 (It’s a reasonable certainty that people will continue to die, no matter how long it takes me to complete my schooling)
  • Job Respect: 88 (“Sensible. Very sensible.”)
  • $$$: 63
  • Glamour Factor: 100
  • I Wanna Do That
    • Before I realized that most of the job was putting gaudy makeup on corpses and comforting whiny relatives: 99
    • After I realized: 44

Screenwriter

  • Job Guarantee (after schooling): 7
  • Job Security: 4
  • Job Respect
    • Movies that break the box office: 100
    • Movies no one’s ever heard of: 9
  • $$$
    • Movies that break the box office: 78
    • Movies no one’s ever heard of: 9
  • Glamour Factor: 96
  • I Wanna Do That: 92

Film/TV Director

  • Job Guarantee (after schooling): 7
  • Job Security: 7
  • Job Respect
    • Movies that break the box office: 100
    • Movies no one’s ever heard of: 12
  • $$$
    • Movies that break the box office: 87
    • Movies no one’s ever heard of: 6
  • Glamour Factor: 99
  • I Wanna Do That: 93

Whiskey_Fragrance_OilProfessional Alcoholic

  • Job Guarantee (after schooling): 100
  • Job Security: 100
  • Job Respect: 1
  • $$$: 0
  • Glamour Factor: 50
  • I Wanna Do That: 97

 

 

 

And so, we add up the scores of the choices above, and it seems I will be becoming…a broke blogger.

I knew it.

Marry Me

I’ve been thinking for quite some time now what career path I should take. And I think I’ve finally cracked it:

I’ve always wanted to go into a creative field, but held myself back because it wasn’t ‘practical.’ I need safety. I need security. And the arts, um…don’t give you that.

That’s why I’ve decided the obvious answer is to marry somebody either up-and-coming as a doctor or lawyer, or someone who’s already super rich.

“Gold digger” has such negative connotations…but yes, that’s exactly what I’m talking about.

I’m not picky, though. I’d settle for a producer at a major production company or maybe a movie star. Someone who loves me for me and also doesn’t mind me doing exactly as I please while they support me.

So if anyone knows a human-person who matches this description and is looking for a not-so-attractive, depressive type who doesn’t like to socialize or have sex, tell them to call me.

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