Friday, August 26, 2016

How to Be a Grown Up

Number one would probably be not to call yourself a grown-up, haha.  Your 20s are the years when you start feeling like you should feel like an adult by now.  I'm honestly not sure if anyone really feels like an adult or if we're all just faking it but here are some adult-y things I've done and some I hope to do by the time I'm 30, or at least by 40.

1. Learn to be comfortable in your own company.

One part of this comes naturally to me because as an introvert I enjoy being alone to recharge my batteries, and it's just more comfortable to me.  The other part was more difficult, which is to learn not to invest your happiness into another person.  It's important to learn how to be happy with who you are, regardless of what your friend, or significant other, or family might think or do.  That part was pretty hard for me to learn and sometimes I still struggle with it, but I try my best, and it goes hand-in-hand with the next thing.

2. Stop being a people pleaser.

It's nice to make someone smile and just to be a genuinely caring human being, but it's unhealthy to live your life to make everyone else happy all of the time.  For one thing it's exhausting and for another it's actually impossible to make everyone happy all of the time.  Some people aren't going to be happy no matter what you do, and that's not your fault.  Direct more of your energy toward your own happiness.

3. Take care of yourself/know your body

As the sort of person who wants to always be doing something productive I find it hard to give myself a break.  I am learning how to give myself a break because when I do too much my body gets sick and I have to take a much longer break than I would have if I had just paused and given myself a day to relax.

4. Know that your mental health is super important.

I'm still learning to feel and express my emotions instead of bottling them up.  It's really important to be able to tell when there's just too much stress and try to eliminate some or calm yourself somehow.  It could be taking a personal day from a stressful job or curling up in your softest comfiest clothes to read a book or watch a movie or taking a nice relaxing lovely-smelling bubble bath.  De-stressing feels great and it will save you from a meltdown in the long run.

5. Set a budget and stick to it.

This is one of the most adult things I have done so far.  Actually write down your income and all of your expenses for the month and then figure out how much extra you can spend for extra things like dates or clothes or fun stuff, and then pick an amount to put in savings if you can afford it.  It's really comforting to know that you have some extra money if you need it or to save toward a goal.  You can even use sites like Personal Capital to keep track of your finances using their helpful personal financial software.  For me it's great because I get really sick so it's a relief to have extra for new medications or vitamins or doctor bills when they arise.

6. Live in a place that you love.

I haven't gotten this one yet.  Right now I live in a place that I am so tired of, even worse since I can't walk and there are stairs everywhere.  My current list of amenities in a place would be simple: an unshared kitchen, an unshared bathroom, and a bathtub.  I hope we'll check this one off sooner rather than later.

7. Travel.

I really haven't done a lot of traveling in my life, but I have been to some very cool places.  I especially love mountains and beaches.  I do love traveling around my own city and exploring the different neighborhoods and little shops though.  I fancy myself an adventurer, and even tiny adventures are really exciting.  I just love going somewhere entirely new.  It's so full of possibility!

8. Live with less.

Living in a tiny room makes me feel like we have a ton of stuff but if we had a normal apartment situation it would end up feeling like minimalist decor.  Being poor and sick but stubborn and independent has pretty much forced me to live with less.  Most of the things I do own are from yard sales or thrift stores or free from other people who have moved.  I feel like it gives me the option to relocate without a lot of notice if the perfect place becomes available.
Click the photo to see this pretty embroidery on Etsy

9. Be silly/have fun.

I feel like your 20s are the years when you can be a little bit childish sometimes and get away with it.  Embrace that and get in touch with your inner child.  Draw with sidewalk chalk, blow bubbles, go for a skip instead of a jog, dye your hair a fun color or get it cut a crazy way, wear something outrageous because you like it.  Obviously you can still be silly and have fun when you're older than your 20s but it might not be so accepted.  And that brings me to my last thing.

10. Really stop caring what other people think.

I have this one maybe half down.  When I'm having a really good, low-anxiety day I am completely comfortable in my own skin regardless of anyone else.  But on a hard day I just feel like everyone is looking at me and judging me.  I won't leave the house if my hair isn't super clean and I'll usually put a hat on to avoid seeing anyone looking at me if I have to go out.  It can be tough with anxiety but I would love to feel okay going for a walk because I want to and be comfortable around whoever I might run into without feeling like I'm being judged.

Those are 10 things that are important to learn and do growing up.  What are some of the things that make you feel like a real adult?  Share them in the comments.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Etsy Interview Repost: Neil Slorance

Since I interviewed him in 2012 Neil Slorance has started making comic books!  So here is the interview again for those of you who didn't see it.

How to be a Ghost: An Illustrated Guide

I "met" this guy through one of my blog friends on Twitter and he is awesome so I interviewed him about his Etsy shop, which you should all check out.

1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hey! My name's Neil Slorance, I'm an illustrator from Glasgow in Scotland. I'm 25 and have a pet tortoise.

2. Tell me a little bit about your shop.
My etsy shop is where I put up my prints, pictures and other bits and bobs. I set it up about 2 years ago and so far it's been ticking over nicely.

3. How long have you been making art?
Since I could hold a crayon really. I spent most of my school days doodling in jotters and making wee comics about superheroes I'd make up. I really wanted to be an artist although I stopped for a good while in my teens while I was pursuing music but got back into it around the age of 19/20.
4. How long have you been selling art?
I started selling about 5 years ago, I remember I took my painting to a market stall in a library. I remember feeling totally chuffed when I sold my first painting, I guess because I wanted to be an artist when I was a kid and this was me taking my first step.

5. Why did you start making art?
I guess everyone starts making art as a kid and then as we grow up for whatever reasons some of us stop. I've kept going mainly because it's the best way I've found to communicate my ideas and thoughts, and where as I'm not a great talker and I stumble on words my pictures have given me a voice.

6. What inspires your art the most?
Life? Any part of life I feel strongly enough to make a picture about. Aside from that just when I get excited about something e.g I've been playing a lot of mario so I made a mario picture.

7. What advice do you have for new Etsy sellers?
Try and have a wide range of products, especially little things, they are your bread and butter. 

8. What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Don't be afraid to show your work, even the stuff you're not proud of.

This collection contains all four of the issues of Neil's comic book Dungeon Fun.  I haven't read it yet but I really want to!

So be sure to check out all of Neil Slorance's stuff. If nothing else, definitely visit the shop and his Flickr stream.  He draws so many amazing things!

And definitely leave me a comment letting me know if you have an Etsy shop and would like me to interview you.

Monday, August 15, 2016

My Mental and Physical Health

I was thinking about stopping blogging but instead I think I'd like to switch the focus to being more about jewelry making and Etsy stuff and less personal life.  That being said this post will be about my personal life because I need to ... vent isn't really the right word, just process what I'm dealing with, I guess.

If you haven't been here from the beginning you might not know about me not being able to walk for nine months for no apparent reason when I was in college and then ultimately having to do a hardship withdrawal from school after having daily seizures.  This post tells about that.  Since that time I was diagnosed with celiac disease and stopped eating gluten.  I still get sick from time to time, most recently September through December of last year.  Even after being able to hold down food again my energy level never returned to normal.  I am exhausted constantly, sleeping a minimum of 12 hours a night and still waking up tired.  Because of this I had to quit my retail job and the last day I worked was in August last year before I got sick.  I applied for disability but I was denied because "there is a cure for celiac disease" (there's not) and I won't be unable to work for over a year (It's been a year this month.)  I was trying to find a place to move with Jordan closer to my parents because I am super tired of not having our own bathroom and kitchen.  We live in sort of a boarding house and there is one shared kitchen and five shared bathrooms for 30+ people.  The kitchen is on the first floor and our room is in the basement so I haven't had enough energy to go up there and cook since before I got sick in September.  Anyway we couldn't find a place in our budget in the small town and then I got glutened so we had to renew our lease here.  For the first three days since accidentally ingesting gluten I had my normal symptoms of not being able to keep food or water down, low fever, and a seizure.  The next day my stomach was actually feeling mostly better but by the end of the day I stopped being able to walk.  This is the first time I've been unable to walk again since 2011 and it is incredibly frustrating.  Jordan bought me crutches and a wheelchair on Amazon (Prime is a lifesaver) so I can get around our room and get to the bathroom by myself.  Our house is full of stairs.  To get out of our room and to the bathroom I have to go up two stairs.  I can use the crutches to skip the first step because the second step has a lip on it that trips me if I do both steps.  It is very frightening and dangerous and that's what I have to do every time I have to go the bathroom.  Even worse is that I can't leave the house, which is kind of ironic since when I could walk I left the house as little as possible.  I am going to have to get groceries very soon and eventually I'll have doctor appointments to go to and I don't know how to go outside right now.  There are between 6-8 concrete steps out the back door (never counted to be honest) and I don't have enough upper body strength to get up them with my crutches.  Jordan has been sick recently and can't carry me up that many stairs.  I also can't send him with a grocery list for me because Safeway stopped selling all of my main staple foods and I'm currently unable to cook, so I would have to go myself.  I would order groceries through Amazon but I have food stamps and very little money in savings, which I don't want to have to spend unless necessary.

This is all very stressful.  I have anxiety and depression and when I get glutened my anxiety and depression go into hyperdrive so I either sleep all day, have trouble falling asleep because my brain won't stop being anxious, or don't want to sleep at all despite being exhausted because the fever dreams have been horrible.  To make matters even worse I'm nearly out of Prozac and haven't managed to be awake during the day to call in the refill.  So I'm just trying to keep my mind occupied for the most part with Netflix, Youtube, or Etsy.

This post is more for myself than anything.  I kind of just needed to get my frustrations out.  So thanks for reading, if you did, and I hope that you are able to enjoy the outdoors and life's everyday wonders.  I'm still remaining mostly optimistic and have definitely kept my sense of humor.  I just hope I can walk again in less than nine months.