I can kind of draw sometimes



Kind of.


The photo above is of a drawing I actually started in the fall of LAST year and, as you can tell, still have not finished. Partly because I haven’t had time, and partly because it was a little more challenging and scared me. But it being unfinished proves that I did in fact draw it, which is kind of cool (but that could also just me me trying to cover up my laziness).

I’m not going to go on too much about my feelings about art, because I have a lot of feels and that would take forever. But this is a part of me that I don’t think I share enough, so I’m sharing.

I have a very artsy family. My mother is an art teacher/artist on the side, and my father is in graphic design. I grew up with all the craft supplies in the world, as well as what I am certain to be a hereditary knack for art. Though believe me, I haven’t always been able to draw like this. I’ve taken every art class public school has offered, and even some extra classes on the side. I am constantly drawing or painting, and I’ve practiced and practiced to get to where I am. I’ve always been considered very good for my age level, but I look back at art I did in grade seven when I thought I was the bees knees and think, what the heck was I thinking? Actually, I look back at art I did last year and think the same thing. I always say that the my last piece of art is my best piece of art, because I improve with each thing I do.

On that note, I will never stop thinking that I can always improve. I say “kind of sometimes” because yes, I think I am good, but no, I do not think I am the best. I have a lot of artistic talent that I am pleased with, but I pale in comparison to the likes of Monet and Pollock. Heck, I even wish I could draw like my mom. That woman is talented. I’m not trying to knock my abilities; I’m saying that you shouldn’t praise me any more than I praise myself, because the moment when I think I am the best of the best is the moment when I stop learning and improving, and then I may as well quit because what’s the point?

Anyway, I adore art. I live for drawing and painting. I almost faint when I walk past an art supply store. I could spent hours in galleries. For me, art is a very cathartic and calming experience. Whenever I draw or paint or sculpt I feel so much, but am also put into a trance. I am strongly of the opinion that art is about the process, not the product. When I look at a painting, I think of what must have gone into actually creating it. I picture the artist in his or her studio, doing what they love and experiencing so many feelings. When I look at my own work, I don’t think, “wow that looks pretty good,” I get a little sad that it’s over. I don’t ever smudge and I don’t ever blend, because pencil lines form a map of how I created the drawing.

I could go on for days, but I’ll keep it short as to not draw focus from the drawing itself too much. I’m always afraid to show people my art because I don’t want to be thought of as boastful or arrogant. But it’s such a large part of my life, so I should share it more often. Because I am talented.

Kind of.



Wednesday mourning

As I write this post, it is my papa’s (what I call my grandfather) birthday. When you read this post on Wednesday, yesterday will have been my papa’s birthday. Though I suppose it will always HAVE been his birthday, past tense, regardless of the day, since he died a little over three months ago.

This blog didn’t exist in December when he died, which is part of why I haven’t talked about it. Another major factor is that I am not exactly an expert in the field of handling death, and therefor I like to avoid the topic altogether. But considering the day, and the fact that I’ve become a lot more candid on this blog than I had originally intended, I will seize the opportunity.

My papa died during the first week of this past December. Causation was mostly attributed to him being 90 years old. He was not always in peak physical condition in his latter years; he had troubles with his knees and back for a while, especially leading up to his death. So in ways I expected it, and had been for some time, though I still don’t think I ever truly thought it would happen. But that Friday night when my mother texted me asking if I was home because she needed to call me, I knew. I knew before I answered the phone. I knew before she told me the news. I knew, but I didn’t entirely realize it. And to be honest, I still don’t.

It was rough. It was really, really rough. I cried a whole bunch. I spent nearly all of the next two days in bed, though not in a curled-up-in-the-corner-in-puddle-of-sorrow kind of way. I did normal things, like scrolled Facebook, painted my nails, ate crackers. I watched a LOT of Netflix, let me tell you. I wasn’t crippled with sadness, but I just didn’t feel like leaving that space to go anywhere or do anything, which in some ways may have been worse. I didn’t go home because funeral arrangements were still up in the air and nothing would likely be happening for a week, and I had an exam that Friday. Yeah, that’s right, this all happened during fall exams. So I was juggling not being at home with my family, total lack of will to do anything let alone study, and all the while trying the process the death of my grandfather.

Now, like I said, I’ve never been very good at accepting death, but what made this instance particularly hard was that the last time I saw and spoke to my papa was thanksgiving, nearly two months earlier. So even though he was gone, I couldn’t fully grasp that idea because since I live in an entirely different city, I was used to going long stretches of time without seeing him.

On a lighter note, the last time I did see my papa was lovely. I was stuck at school because of rehearsal until the Saturday evening of thanksgiving weekend, which meant I would be missing thanksgiving dinner with my parents, brother, and papa. I was really upset, but when my dad picked me up at the bus terminal, well past dinner time, he said that my papa had stayed at our house to see me. And watch the hockey game. He figured he was going to watch it anyway, so he may as well watch it at our house and be there when I got home. At the time, I was so happy, but in retrospect I am over the moon with joy that he did that. When I walked in the door, my papa brushed off my apologies for being late, and I sat down with him and we talked and watched the game for a while. I think it was the leafs, but that really isn’t the point. I wish I never had to have a “final moment” with my papa, but that was a damn good one.

And so here I sit, on what used to be his birthday, expecting to be a lot more sad than I am, considering the circumstances. But I’m not. I’m not wallowing, I’m not crying, I’m not dysfunctional, but I feel like I should be. But the thing is, even though I took a lot of time off for myself in December, I’m not sure I actually mourned his death. Okay, hold up, what does that even mean, to mourn someone’s death? The dictionary thing on my computer says: “feel or show deep sorrow or regret for someone or their death.” Well, I definitely had the sorrow thing down. But in my own definition, mourning involves subsequently accepting it and moving on. That’s where I get stuck. Because of being away at school, because of exams, and because of my lack of ability to accept serious realities, I never really allowed myself to come to terms with the fact that my papa is gone, that he no longer exists on this earth. And since I didn’t deal with it when I should have, I still haven’t dealt with it even now. I don’t know if I can even say that I miss him, because I don’t entirely realize that I have a reason to miss him. Which is really hard to admit to myself.

I never, ever think death is in any way for the better, but in the case of my papa I can see where it would have ended some suffering. His physical state wasn’t that great by the end. He had also been living without my nana, whom he loved so much, for thirteen years. My nana was a wonderful woman, most notable for her substantial teacup collection and perfectly white curly hair. She and my papa were so beautifully in love, and I know that he was hit hard when she died. My papa had confessed to my cousin a couple weeks before he died that thirteen years without nana was a long time, so knowing that he believed he could finally be with her after all this time offers some comfort to me.

Every death I have had to deal with in my life has impacted me in some way, but the reason I think my papa’s has had such an affect is that he was the last of my living grandparents. I do not have grandparents. Holy crap, I hadn’t put that in writing before that moment. I haven’t even said it out loud to anyone. I am a mere twenty years old, and I do not have grandparents. Now every time someone mentions their family and their grandparents, I feel… something. Sadness? I don’t know. But I feel it. Your grandparents are like these secondary parent figures most known for witnessing the big moments in your life, like consequential birthdays, school plays, graduations, successes, major accomplishments. Two of my grandparents died when I was six and seven, and the third when I was 15, so most of them have missed a lot of my life. I loved all of my grandparents so much. I still love them. I will never forget them, even though as I get older some memories are fading. They mean the world to me, but I wish that had all been around a lot longer for me to show them why and make them proud. It really isn’t fair.

Normally I try to end these posts on a silly note, to diffuse the tension, but I’m having trouble figuring out how to do that right now when I’m not feeling so perky. But I would like to say that writing about this has been incredibly cathartic. Like I said at the beginning, I had never expected to be so open on this blog. I’m hardly ever this open with people in real life. But there is something about writing out all of my feelings and sending them off into space that is so much more relieving that a regular old journal. And it doesn’t even matter if anyone reads it. In some ways I would prefer if no one read it. But all that aside, if any of this makes your concerned for my well being in any way, don’t be. Because this blog has helped me in ways I never expected, and I am very thankful for that, and for you for taking the time to read it.

Oh, fun fact, my papa’s house backs onto a cemetery, so my dad always says he grew up without neighbours in his backyard, but you could say he grew up with a LOT of neighbours in his backyard. Geddit? Ha ha… ha…

Well what do you know, I ended on a silly note.

All by myselllllllf

Do you ever wonder if you’ll end up alone in life forever?

No, but actually.

With influence from TV and movies, a good chunk of youngish people imagine themselves finding a significant other in their mid to late twenties whom they can only assume they wish to spend their life with, dating this person for two to three years, getting engaged and subsequently married, then living out their lives together, going to neighbourhood parties together, spending holidays together, etcetera. In these scenarios, you see yourself as never being along ever again starting at age twenty-six.

But who says that will ever truly happen? Unfortunately, life doesn’t have a money-back guarantee on marriage. There is no certainty in meeting someone who you want to be with forever who also wants to be with you. You can imagine and dream all you’d like, but what if it doesn’t happen?

Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever get married, or even if I’ll ever want to be in a relationship long enough to justify getting married. Yeah, okay, I know, I’m not even twenty-one yet, what do I know. No, I don’t have a desire to get hitched any time soon. I don’t even want to date anyone any time soon. But these things cross my mind.

Cons of being alone forever: you don’t have one person who will always care when you want to share your life with them and won’t mind if you don’t shave your legs.

Pros of being alone forever: monogamy is terrifying. Being in a relationship with one and only one person for thirty, forty, fifty plus years? Can anyone tell me why I would want to do that? Wouldn’t it get boring? Wouldn’t your run out of things to talk about and do? Wouldn’t your marriage turn into a business partnership, which sounds miserable? Wouldn’t you be missing out on billions of other people you could potentially be with? Wouldn’t it be suffocating?

(You can clearly tell I’m a romantic.)

On the note of marriage, I reject a lot of elements of the traditional Western wedding in a very hippie-esque-Jessa-from-Girls fashion. I don’t want to wear a veil. What are veils even for? The internet says it’s a symbol of a brides virginity, but a) brides being virgins or else risking stoning isn’t really a thing anymore and b) focusing purely on the virtues of the bride and not the groom feels like a fairly sexist tradition that we should really move on from. I don’t particularly care for wearing white; my only reasoning would be because I’m as pale as a porcelain doll and therefor white looks great on me. But blue also looks great on me. My mother wore a structured navy and white polkadot cocktail dress for her wedding because she’s hip as heck and doesn’t give a shit about cultural norms. I don’t need a ceremony, nor do I care for walking down the aisle to meet my groom because I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be a mutual thing. All I really want to do is sign some papers at a courthouse and then throw a party with a serious lack of wedding traditions, and a cake you can actually eat. I just want to spend some time with anyone who says, “Hey, I think it’s cool that you two are enough in love to want to keep hanging out for a while.” And maybe get a little tipsy.

Why I am talking about marriage escapes me when I have little to no desire to even date anyone, or at least for the time being. I could claim my reasoning to be that I am a strong, independent woman who don’t need no man, but that isn’t entirely the case. I’m like a turtle. (Bare with me on this one). I’m like a turtle because the closer people get to me, the more I recoil into my shell. Yeah, I know, it’s kind of a cheesy metaphor, but it’s also very accurate. I don’t like to get close to people or let people get close to me because it’s safer and more well protected that way. I don’t like to open up to people very often for fear of being disliked for who I am as a person. I don’t trust people. I don’t trust people to not change their minds about me, so instead I run away so that they don’t get a chance to form an opinion at all. Because ultimately if a guy likes me, my first question is “why” and my concluding statement is “you’ll get over it, I guarantee.” And I also don’t trust intentions. It’s a cliché to say that “boys only want one thing.” Well, in a lot of cases they do only want one thing, and I could unfortunately offer a lot of proof to back that up.

I act indifferent when I’m feeling upset. I lie to myself when I’m hurt. I pretend I don’t care when I do. My solution to not letting myself be affected by how another person feels about me is to not feel anything for them. This is horribly toxic and has lead me to, in a way, not feel anything. I push guys away and can’t commit because I just don’t feel anything for them. I am so afraid of opening up and I’ve been huddled in my little turtle shell for so long that my limbs have fallen asleep and I don’t know if or when they will be able to come out of the shell.

That was a lot of ranting about my feelings. But hey, it’s my blog, I can do what I want. But like I said earlier, I’m not even twenty-one yet. In the grand scheme of things, I’m still a child. I don’t know what I want and I have so many things to figure out. If you’re at all worried about me, don’t be. I’m not. It would be ignorant of me to believe that my emotional state of being at age twenty is what it will be for the rest of my life. Oh god, can you imagine? That would be miserable. I will learn and I will grow and I will change my mind about things. Who knows, maybe in ten years I will want to wear a veil.

But probably not because they make no sense and cost more than my first semester text books.

EDIT: upon rereading some of what I wrote this past week, I’ve been doing some thinking and I want to mention something. I think a lot of the reason why I shy away from relationships and am not currently in one now is that I have incredibly high standards. I don’t mean I won’t settle for anything buy the Prince of Egypt or a Nobel Laureate. But I’m very particular with the qualities of a person and in what ways we are compatible. I don’t know why I’ve developed such standards and I don’t know if I’m really in a position to be allowed to be so demanding. And if you’re reading this and are secretly desperately in love with me, I’m not telling you to run for the hills because there’s no chance. I just wanted to make an amendment to clarify that my relationship status isn’t simply a pit of despair.

Shoutout to my homeboys in Sweden

While I’m at it, hello to India, Jamaica, Indonesia, Taiwan, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates, along with a couple more handfuls of countries that I probably couldn’t point to on a map.

Last Wednesday I wrote a fairly sarcastic Oscar thank you speech that had very little to do with the actual Academy Awards and was mostly focused on my angsty feelings towards people who try to tell me what I can and cannot do. Nevertheless, a Spanish business blog wrote an article about blogs to visit before the Oscars and indicated my post to be one of them. Yes, you read correctly, a Spanish business blog. Why they sought interest in the weekly ramblings of 20 year old girl having a quarter-life crisis is news to me. I would have thought that my blog was none of their business. Ha ha… ha…

POINT BEING, their reference to my post lead to a lot of traffic on my blog from twenty-four countries situated in every habitable continent on this planet. I openly admit to narcissistically staring at the list with wide eyes, wondering how four people from Slovenia read my blog. And where exactly Slovenia is. I want to emphasize that I am not trying to brag. I am not trying to namedrop. I say “trying” because I know in truth I totally am. IT’S JUST KIND OF REALLY COOL, OKAY.

Now, this doesn’t mean that I in any way will now think of my blog as the greatest thing to grace this earth since it is so popular with so much of this earth. For all I know, none of the people from all of these countries actually read my post. The magic is already wearing off and will likely be totally gone once I peruse the stats for this week’s post. But my geographical excitement a decent segue into something I’d like to talk about.

I really do not understand the dramatic importance and politics of separations of countries. I’m almost positive that the seven billion plus people who exists all inhabit the same planet earth. So why is it that we fight each other? Why do we not allow one another to travel across geographical space freely? Why do we have vastly different rules and laws and systems of government based on imaginary lines in the sand? I am no expert on the ins and outs of treating the planet in a global context nor am I going to google it. Because this post is not my response to an idea after I educate myself. It’s more along the lines of, “I am a human being who has to deal with all this nonsense and this is what I think about it from a very simple minded viewpoint.”

People and governments spend so much time worrying about who is coming in and out of their country, how long they will be staying, and what horrible things they have the capacity of doing. If I wanted to pack of my life, move to Belgium, and open an antique teacup shop, I would have to deal with stacks of paperwork and spend a lot of money and time just trying to obtain permission to do so. Why. No, but seriously, think about it, why? I can’t move to another country with ease because someone is telling me that is is a different place from the one I am currently in so I can’t. But really, don’t we all live in the same place? I’m not trying to be all hippie-dippie with my we-are-all-one mindset; I’m just trying to be logical. And logically speaking, we do all live in the same place. The planet is one place. You may argue that countries screen those who are immigrating because they could pose a threat and enact a feat of terrorism on their country. I am not a terrorist (I don’t think), but I can only assume that anyone who wishes to do harm to another country is mildly encouraged by the idea that it is another country. We are provoking feelings of hostility among countries by indicating vast differences between them when we seriously just all live in the same place. Those lines on maps? Yeah I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they don’t actually tangibly exist.

This brings me to my biggest opinion on the topic, which is perhaps my most controversial: I believe that all war is civil war. If you try to tell me that a North American country and a European country attacking, disrupting, and killing one another is politically acceptable because they are both defending the beliefs and land of their own separate group of people, I call bullshit. WE ARE ALL THE SAME PEOPLE. WE ALL LIVE IN THE SAME PLACE. We all breathe the same air, we all swim in the same oceans, we all dig holes in the same dirt. But someone decided to go around and draw lines with invisible marker, dividing us forever and messing everything up.

As far as I’m aware, we are the only people living on the only inhabitable planet in this solar system. All we have is this earth and each other. I realize I am no expert on the subject, but perhaps that gives me a greater insight. I get really annoyed by simply illogical things that no one else seems to realize, and why we all abide by the separations that nearly no currently living human being helped create is perhaps the greatest of them all.

Though I suppose that if country divides did not exist, I wouldn’t be so excited about my reader in Viet Nam. Or Romania. Or the two from Turkey.

OKAY I’m done bragging I promise.