We all need reminders.
A reminder of how amazing we are.
That we're made of stardust and growing galaxies.
That we are loved, wholly and eternally.
A friend commented about my newest TV binge (I've started re-watching Fringe, as I only saw it all on the days it was on...faithfully for 5 years!) and how she loves my philosophy of watching what I want, whenever I want.
I never thought of this as anything...different. I love TV shows (hence the degree in TV production!) and movies. I really, really do. I write fan fiction and read guides and know all these little, weird facts (like how our Olivia Dunham likes her coffee with one sugar, but alt!Olivia likes sugar and skim milk). My mom was a huge movie buff and WOW was that weird to write 'was' instead of 'is.' Damn. I'm going on a tangent now, because that's where my mind has been. I'm watching the stuff I want to watch because I'm trying to avoid thinking of my first holiday season without my mom.
Grief is hard, tricky. It attacks whenever it wants, usually without much warning. You can feel it coming on and know there's nothing you can do to stop it - you have to feel those emotions, let the tears fall, and allow it to pass through you like a ghost.
This year is more complicated than that, though. While I love my family, there are things going on that have me keeping my distance. I don't write about my home life very much, probably because it's drama-filled and exhausting for me to live it, so I don't want to spread that. But I'm very much alone this holiday season (but do have a wishlist!). There won't be a tree, or presents, or Mom's spritz cookies and hot chocolate and that look on her face when she realizes Dad bought her something expensive when he said he wouldn't.
He always bought her something special. And she bought him something, too. We all had gifts on Christmas.
I know I usually write about art, and creativity, and know I haven't done much of that this year. This was my sabbatical year away from art and creating content online. I'm actually retiring ALL of my online courses on December 30th, and have everything at 50% off right now.
I feel like I've climbed out of that hole I was in. When I look back at where I was in the beginning of the year - in a behavioral hospital, losing my mother/best friend, being a bit homeless for a bit (but always taken care of by several families!), with no job or savings or idea of how I was going to support myself - I'm astounded. Amazed.
Let me tell you this: You will make it through whatever you're going through right now. It may seem like you're in a dark forest of gnarled, looming trees, but if you keep going, keep trying, you'll get to the other side, into a wide open field of prairie grass and sunshine.
I know this is true because I've lived it. My life crumbed around me in every conceivable way and I made it through. Every single limitation I had has been crushed. Am I perfectly healthy? No, not really. I've gained weight, broke my foot, and now have knee issues. I have fatigue and bad fibro days and buy lots of ibuprofen (always with food!). But I am doing so much and have dreams coming true every day. I lost ten years but I'm taking back the rest of my life.
I have a roof over my head and kind roommates. I have two jobs that I love. I'm supporting myself. I have a car that I own! I pay bills and have an office and nice shoes (thank you guys!).
And I've decided I'm going to hit the ground running in 2016. Regular blog posts. Videos. New classes and ideas. Shows in person, craft markets, galleries. I feel my passion re-igniting (as it went out like a blown out pilot light when my depression deepened last year at this time - I had NO passion to do anything).
If you're going through something and need someone to listen, I'm here. I'm living it. When people ask about my tattoo, I tell them what it means, and that I got it on my six month anniversary of Not Being Dead.
This shit is hard - really, really hard. But one foot in front of the other, one thing at a time, line by line, you'll get there. Just don't give up - please don't. Cause there's amazingness you're gonna miss.
I love you guys. I really do. You encourage me and support me and help me do more. And I want to share that love with you, so I might be doing some fun stuff for free this year. There's a certain freedom that comes with not having to depend solely on my art to pay the bills. Which is yay for you!
Anyway, have a happy holiday season. Here's Dad and I at the Christmas Lights at the Mesa, AZ temple last week.
With love, Samie