I thought I’d be ready to start blogging again, but I’m just not. Life’s been busy, I have jobs now, and I’ve been dealing with some hardcore writers block. This isn’t the end of my writing, I just need a bit more time to get back into the swing of things. I might write here and there, but I won’t be posting regularly for a while.
My dad’s mom died when I was nine years old. They lived four hours away from us, so even when she was doing well we didn’t see them much. However, there was one day we were at their house, and we had a birthday party type thing for me. I don’t remember it very well, but I do remember a cookout, dinosaur sprinkles, and some presents. These presents were very special to me. Around the time of my birthday the movie Barbie and the Twelve Dancing Princesses came out. I got the movie, a dress and shoes, and a Barbie doll; all from the movie. This eventually became my favorite movie, and I still watch it sometimes (the classic Barbie movies are all still great, in my opinion).
As many of you probably know, I do quite a bit of babysitting and child care. Previously, I had only watched boys, so it never even occurred to me that they’d be interested in a Barbie movie (which they totally would’ve, so I wish I had thought of it sooner), but I recently got a job babysitting for two little girls, and they love this movie. And the fact that I got to share the joy I had always had from the movie with these little girls meant the world to me. I was so happy that they loved it as much as I did.
I didn’t get to spend very much time with my grandma before she died, so while I was growing up, this movie meant a lot to me. It was one of the few ways I got to hold onto her even though she was gone, so it was really special for me to be able to show this movie to these girls, and help a little piece of my grandma continue to live on.
Probably one of my favorite things about kids in general is how much they love to learn. Especially around the age of four.
Sometimes I’ll take the two little girls I watch to the park, and on our way there there are tons of flowers. The four year old knows most of them, but I’ll ask her if she knows what the flowers are, and if she doesn’t I’ll tell her, and we’ll talk about all the different kinds of flowers. I just love being able to tell kids why things are. Why certain words are put together this way, or why certain animals do certain things. I just find it really interesting, and I love how these kids just absorb any knowledge that’s thrown their way, and continue to use it for years to come.
This week my Sunday school class was discussing how art was defined, and I had planned on doing a blog post on it anyway, so I figured, why not give it a go?
The definition of art from dictionary.com is,
- The quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.
My definition was,
Something expressed with passion and creativity.
There was a LOT of discussion that Sunday, and a lot of different perspectives that I found quite interesting. Something I said during the discussion was that I almost wanted to get rid of the word “Art”, because art is so subjective that it can mean lots of different things to lots of different people. I personally walk by a bush and see colors, shapes, and the way the light shines on it. Whereas someone else might see how it’s constructed. Or notice the sounds that it makes.
For me, art is almost a feeling. It’s an expression of my own thoughts and emotions. Other people’s art also makes me feel things. Nearly everything has significance to me, but maybe that’s just what makes me unique, and not what makes me an artist. I think what makes someone an artist is the passion to do something with what’s inside their heads. It has nothing to do with learning to paint, or write, or play an instrument; because anyone can learn how to do those things. But what’s significant is having a story to tell, and being able to tell it. It doesn’t matter what medium you use.
To bring it back around, I think art is just a way of using a medium to express how you feel about something. A mother does work for her family because she loves them. That is an art. Picking up trash that you see on the ground and helping take care of our planet. That is an art. Painting a picture of a child sitting with their dog because you want to show the love the child feels for the dog. That is an art.
I mean, what use would a painter be if the only reason they painted was for money? They wouldn’t have anything to paint, because they wouldn’t have anything they cared about, or were passionate about.
This is all just my opinion of what makes art, “art”. I really don’t think there will ever come a point when someone can pin down exactly what art is, because it’s such a subjective thing. However, I think it’s pretty fun to think about. It’s also fun to see what art means to other people.
If you’re on the Facebook page that means you may have seen my video about vlogs. Vlogs are definitely something I’d like to do at some point, but at the moment I don’t have time to learn how to do vlogs correctly, so I’m going to wait on those. However, I will be posting on Tuesdays and Fridays at 5:00pm EDST.
Last year I was posting on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but Wednesdays are often busy for me, and I’d usually end up scrambling to get a post out on Thursdays. So, we’re going to try something a little different, and see how it goes.
I know this post isn’t that interesting, but I thought you should know about some of the details for this year. Come back on Friday for a post on my thoughts containing the definition of art.
Well, actually, I’m not quitting. I’m just taking a break. Last summer I was so busy with everything that I didn’t have time to blog in general, so this summer I decided to just take some time off and focus on some other things. I’ll probably start blogging again sometime in September.
However! Here are some of the things I’m going to be working on:
- I have a long list of art projects I want to do
- I have my church’s vacation Bible school (I’ll probably be in puppets, drama, and I’ll help out with decorations, which means I’ll probably be at church two or three times a week in the next month or so)
- I applied for a five week art program this summer
- If I don’t get accepted into the program, then I’ll be going on my youth group’s Wilderness trip again
- I’m considering starting a YouTube channel for both music and art, and I’m hoping to do some collaborations with a friend of mine
- I need to finish school, so that’s actually going to be a main focus
- I’m hoping to speak at another conference in August
- I have a conference in town I’m always a part of, and like to volunteer for
- I want to enjoy my last summer as a kid!!
I have so many hobbies, and so many things that I like to do, that I never have enough time to do everything. I’m learning how to plan, and schedule things, but I’m hoping it’ll also help to narrow down what I’m trying to do.
So, this is the last post of the summer. I might post some stuff here and there, but nothing regular like usual. I hope you all enjoy this beautiful summer we have coming!!!
I recently got a fitbit (a charge 2) and I totally love it. The one I have is my mom’s old one, and when she offered it to me before, I originally said no. I thought fitbits were just for losing weight, or getting in shape, and I wasn’t all too concerned with either of those. However, per usual, I’ve learned there’s more to it than meets the eye.
I use my fitbit primarily to track my sleep, water intake, period schedule, and exercise. I’ve also started to use it to make sure I’m eating enough of the right things. Like all fitness gadgets, it gives you the ability to log what you’re eating. Once you’ve logged it, it can tell you whether you’re eating mostly carbs, or fat, or whatever. Seeing as how I’d never struggled to lose weight, I thought I didn’t need this; but it’s really helped me be aware of the things I’ve been eating, and it’s shown me how important it is to have a healthy diet.
To reiterate, a fitbit isn’t about losing weight, it’s about staying healthy. I use my fitbit to make sure I take care of my body, and it’s helped me learn a lot of new things I had no idea were so important. I’m learning to be more responsible with my sleep, because now, instead of saying “I’m tired”, I can look back and see why I’m tired. For all these questions of “why don’t I feel well”, I can check how I’ve been eating, or sleeping, or drinking water, and see if that’s the reason (which it usually is). I’m not a health nut, and I don’t like working out that much, but I do want to stay healthy, and my fitbit has really helped me out.
If you don’t want to get a fitbit, there are other ways you can get some of the same functions. I had been using apps for everything, and through a lot of trial and error, I found a few that really helped.
For a water reminder/ log, I had been using Daily Water Reminder for iOS. I’ve also heard a lot of good things about Plant Nanny for iOS. I wasn’t a huge fan of Plant Nanny, but I know a lot of people who really liked it. I had an idea for an app that would let you log your water intake, and you and your friends could use the app to help keep an eye on each others intake. So if you hadn’t drunk anything in a couple hours someone could shoot you a message and remind you. I did some research, and I think fitbit is supposed to let you see your friends progress like this, but I haven’t had the opportunity to check it out.
I got an app for sleep tracking, but I didn’t actually get around to trying it. It was called Pillow Automatic Sleep Tracker, for iOS. The way Pillow works is you press a button when you’re about to go to bed, and place it under your pillow. I think it uses the movement of your bed/ pillow to see how you’re sleeping. I didn’t try it because I didn’t like the idea of sleeping on my phone (it didn’t feel comfortable), and I never knew when I’d fall asleep (and I was lazy, but that’s beside the point).
For exercise I got the app 30 Day Fitness Challenge Pro, for iOS. It’s set up so that you exercise every day, and it gets a little bit harder with each day. I used it pretty consistently, but I got too busy after a while and couldn’t work out everyday, and then I found myself never working out. Because the plan builds on itself, it’s harder to work out only once or twice a week. While I was using it, I really liked it. Life just shifted and I needed to find something different.
To track my period I started using an app called Flo, for iOS. If you’re not a lady, feel free to skip over this. Flo just helps you track your period, symptoms, water intake, and pregnancy stuff (if you’re trying to get pregnant, that is). I love it, and it’s really helped me learn a lot about my period, actually. I’ve started to use fitbit to track my period, but I’ll probably keep Flo as well. It has a little more information than fitbit does, and there are forums, and articles that can be really helpful.
When I originally started my journey to get healthier, I was using an Android phone, and they have plenty of cool apps too. I switched to an Apple phone not long after I started all this, which is why I have so many iOS recommendations. All of these apps are free, or have versions that are free, but don’t include as much as the paid version. I, being broke, hadn’t spent any money on them and was perfectly happy with what I got.
I hope this review/ recommendation post was helpful, and good luck staying healthy!
I am consistently talking about my best friends, and how important they are to have, etc. However, last night, as I was sitting there, thinking how thankful I am for my besties, I realized that I had never written a post explaining why best friends are so important. So, here ya go. I’m going to try and write 5 reasons why best friends are so important to have, and some ways I’m super thankful for my besties.
Reason #1: Besties always have your back
I always thought that phrase just meant that a friend would back you up in an argument or something, but it actually means a lot more. It means that your bestie is always there when you need them, and that you can rely on them. Kind of like how, in a trust fall, you trust that your bestie is behind you (at your back, as it where), ready to catch you.
Reason #2: Besties are ready to sit back and listen to you (and if they’re not, it’s probably for a good reason)
For the past week or so I’ve been crazy emotional. From crying, to thankful, to depressed. You name it, I felt it, and I didn’t always do a good job of controlling it. Throughout the whole thing, one of my besties was always there, ready to listen to what I was saying, and reassure me that I was just being emotional, and nothing’s actually wrong.
Reason #3: Besties are there to help you heal
Parents are there to say no, even if they don’t want to. There the responsible person who needs to lay down the law. And, that’s great, but sometimes it hurts. If you’re upset about something, and said parent lays down the law, they aren’t always the person you want to go to to heal/ feel better. A bestie will sit with you (or chat with you on messenger) as long as it takes for you to feel better. Parents help instruct, and besties help you along through that instruction.
Reason #4: Besties are the family you chose
Family isn’t easy. I was blessed to have a pretty great family, but sometimes family is just awful. When you have a bestie, they feel like family. They come over, won’t care what you look like, or what anything in the house looks like, and just be with you. I’ve had some great times with my besties just sitting around laughing and having fun together. The best friends are the ones you can just sit/ be with, and be totally happy. Not just happy, but loved.
Reason #5: Besties love you no matter what
This has another meaning to it, too, that I didn’t know until I got older. It isn’t so much going through fights and still loving each other, but always loving each other no matter the situation. The older you get, the harder it is to hang out, and sometimes the farther apart you are. But, if you really love someone, then that love can withstand any trial, and any amount of space if you choose to make it do so.
I have been super fortunate to have a lot of besties in my life. They have always loved me, always been there for me, and I can’t imagine my life without them. Best friends are the people you laugh with, and make stupid jokes with, and who bring true joy to your life when everything might feel awful. Sometimes they give you an escape from life, just for an afternoon, and it helps you recharge and be ready to fight another day.
I love my best friends with my whole heart, and I’m so thankful that they’ve stuck with me throughout this crazy stretch of life. I’m also thankful that I get to keep making best friends in every stretch of life I happen upon.
Life has just been insane. I remember last year, thinking about how everything was gonna go, and thinking it would all just be the same. I thought I’d continue to stay depressed, and nauseous, and lonely, and anxious. I thought the insanity would never end. I thought I’d never be my “normal” self again. And now, here I am, sitting on my couch, looking forward to all of the awesome things I get to do this summer. I’m actually excited about something for once. I’m not nervous, or anxious. Just, excited.
My next stage of life is nothing like I planned, but I’m really excited about it. I’ve made some knew-ish friendships, and I’m so glad I have the opportunity to stay here and cultivate them. I get to focus on my art, and music, and the people in my life.
Now that I have all my emotions back in check, I’m pretty much as normal as I used to be (not that I was ever normal in the first place). Something I realized, though, is that that “normal” part of me that I thought was gone, was my love for life. For the past six years people have mentioned to me here and there that I have a “love for life”, and I never really thought much of it until I lost it. It keeps me going, it helps me encourage people, and, it reminds me that life isn’t all bad.
There’s always this point, after going through a long, hard stretch of life, where I can look back at it all and be thankful for all the crap I had to go through (that usually doesn’t come for a good while, however). Right now, right this second, I’m there. And it feels amazing. I’m looking back at everything and realizing how much I’ve grown, and how much I’ve learned about my self. In the course of just a few months I learned how to really take care of myself, both mentally and physically. I’ve learned how to forgive people, and how to let people go, and that you don’t always have to let people go. I’ve learned how to keep friendships across miles. And, I’ve learned how to be a big girl.
Around the time I started feeling nauseous, and things started to feel wonky (about two years ago), I started getting to be really good friends with one of the girls who had just graduated from my youth group. She is now my best friend, and my sister. One of my biggest fears with growing up, and moving into the college class at church, and being a college student, was that I wouldn’t have any friends. That all my friends would leave me, and I’d be alone. But, having that friend who’s a bit older than me really helped me branch out. She helped me realize that college students aren’t terrifying. And, because she’d hang out with the college students, I got to know a lot of them, too.
Life’s looking up, and I’m happy about it. I no longer wake up depressed everyday. I no longer walk through life terrified that it’ll get bad again. And, I’ve got some amazing friends to help me keep walking along, and keep knowing that it won’t get bad again.
Everything we go through has a good reason. I’ve known that with my whole heart for the last six years. But, sometimes, when you’re in the midst of everything, it’s hard to remember. Look at Job, from the Bible. He spent years upon years in agony. He knew that God had a reason for everything that was going on, but he still cried out because everything in his life hurt so bad, for so long, and it never seemed like it’d get better. Well, it did. And it turned out even better than before.
I spent just over two years (two and a half?) with this nausea, and anxiety, and I prayed so hard that God would just take it away. Throughout everything, and after it being so long, I thought he never would. But he did. And now I’m sitting here, totally fine, ready to go see my friend give a presentation at school later tonight. God does look out for us, and he watches over us. Even if it seems like he never will. Even if it seems like it’s hopeless. He does.
In the very beginning of my artistic journey, I was just trying new things and seeing what I was capable of. One style I’d always loved was the style of the older Winnie the Pooh illustrations. They seemed so simple, but also beautiful, so I thought I’d give it a try. So far, that’s still my favorite art style, and one I use often.
I never watched Winnie the Pooh when I was growing up, but the older I got the more I got into it, so I decided to check out some of the 90’s movies. I watched Pooh’s Grand Adventure, and it was pretty good. Being older, I wasn’t “in love” with it, but there were definitely some things I took away from it.
The art style was obviously not the same as the original illustrations, but it still seemed to hold a lot of the charm that the originals did. Based off observation, it looked like some of the originals were watercolor, and then outlined in ink (depending on the generation you look at). In the movie, it seemed like they held a similar concept. Art style was one of my primary focuses as I watched the movie, because I was curious to see if it would be similar to the illustrations; but it wasn’t the only thing I noticed.
Generally, in a regular old animated cartoon with animals, they’re just animals. However, the point of Winnie the Pooh is about a boy who would take his toys to the hundred acre wood, and just play. In the animations, the animals move like toys. It’s fascinating. Not only do they move like toys, they’re also drawn like toys. They have stitch marks here and there, some of them have buttons, etc.
Some people may think it’s simple to make something like this, and like it’s not a big deal, but I love their attention to detail when they created the movie. My guess is, that if they hadn’t put in all those details in the beginning and just made them animals, no one would’ve really noticed. I mean, maybe a big Pooh Bear fan would’ve, but I certainly wouldn’t.
I love Winnie the Pooh. I always thought it was just a kid’s thing, but the more I looked at it, the more I saw that it’s not. It’s a lot of what I want to create, actually. It’s stories of friendships, and adventures, and growing up, and dealing with the hard things; all from a whimsical, kid’s point of view. It takes all these hard “adventures”, and gives them a lighthearted look.
When Winnie the Pooh was created, it gave people hope. I would love to do that for people some day.