How Do You Show Yourself Love?

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Being a creative person can be hard. You look at the world, and you see trends you’ve seen in fiction—that downward spiral before everything falls to hell. You look at your life and it doesn’t look like it does in your head, or like it should look on the page.

You’re not alone.

Studies have shown that creative people are very prone to depression and mood swings, leaving us susceptible to the terrible proclivity for self-neglect. It’s not that we want to be depressed, and we certainly don’t want to push our friends away, but sometimes we just need to recharge our batteries. This tends to be ten times worse if you’re in a creative rut, doesn’t it? Our inner Eeyore pops out with a compelling, “What’s the point?”

The point is: It will pass.

I’m not trying to diminish your feelings of inadequacy or loneliness or failure. We all have those feelings, especially when it looks like things are going down the toilet faster than we can swim. I just want you to know that it doesn’t last forever.

One day, you’ll emerge from the funk and get back to work, because your art is what you were born to do.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: We all feel like frauds sometimes. We all feel like failures sometimes. It does not make us less than we are, and we are awesome.

So, let me pose my question to you: How do you show yourself love?

I know it can be a nightmare just getting out of bed in the morning, but you still deserve love and you need it most from yourself.

Let me give you some pointers from when I have my bad days, or even days that I just work a little too hard and it doesn’t feel like enough.

1. Tell yourself it’s okay. You’ll get on it when you’re ready. Progress is important, and, unless you have a deadline that you really can’t miss, giving yourself some breathing room is the best possible way to love yourself. You can’t be expected to drive your brain into the ground! If you need to take a day off, take a day off. You don’t need to justify it to anyone.

2. Write through the block. Sometimes, taking a day off makes me feel worse than if I could just write something. So, write something! Don’t pick up your favorite work in progress, though. You may not be able to write to your satisfaction today, and that could make you feel a whole lot worse than you already do.

Try something different. Write a character letter or journal entry and get into your favorite protagonist’s head! Write a letter to yourself. Rant about something! Make list of all the things you love about writing or your current work in progress. Hell, make a list of the reasons you like the spot on the back of your cat’s left ear. It doesn’t matter, just write something. You’d be amazed at how easily it can get the ball rolling.

3. Take a bath or a walk. Go to a part of your city or town you’ve never been to before and explore a bit. (I mean, don’t trespass or anything. Be careful and respectful.) Just settle in and listen to music awhile. Recharge and clear your mind, however you like to do that. Yoga With Adriene is one of my favorites. Regardless of what you choose to do with this ‘down time,’ make sure you take care of yourself doing it.

4. Make a list of all the reasons you became a writer or artist in the first place. It might help rekindle that passion. Remember, though, this is for fun and to show yourself love, so keep the reasons positive!

If you chose to write because you had something bad happen to you that you need to get out, don’t let that dominate your reason. Your reason may be better viewed as using writing to heal or help others. Getting that negativity out can still be positive.

5. Spend time with friends or family. Jared is the one person I know I can rely on to pick me up when I need it. He’s funny, even if he doesn’t have any idea what to say when I’m sad. He knows what I like and what I need—even if it’s Star Trek: Voyager and a cup of coffee.

I know this is a hard one for some of you. I spent several years in Florida, away from the people I love and with no friends in the vicinity. It was hard for me, and I can’t express what it felt like to have no access to my Tribe. If you feel this way, it may not be much, but you can contact me. I’ll be your Tribe. ❤

6. Know that you are enough. That’s it. That’s the bottom line and the pinnacle of self-love. You are enough, and it can be hard to remember that, but it’s ALWAYS true. Always.
You are enough, and the world needs your art.

Battle on,
Kit

What do you do to show yourself love?

Have you ever felt like you had no love for yourself to offer? (<—Then reread number 6, okay?)

Turkey Day–two days late

Note: This was supposed to be posted yesterday… and it was late then. So, there you go.

Hey, everyone!

It’s been awhile! The last several months have been a whirlwind for us, so blogging hasn’t really taken front-seat. I’m regretful of that, and I’m working forward to rectify that neglect.

So, here we are. Americans, Happy Thanksgiving yesterday. Rest of the world? Happy Thursday yesterday.

The first Thanksgiving in America was held as a harvest feast in 1621, and, supposedly, 53 Pilgrims and 90 Native Americans were in attendance. This whole heartwarming event likely ended in small pox and bloodshed in the long-term, but, from a modern standpoint, it’s a day to be happy for what we have.

Squanto, a Native American who had been captured and sold into slavery, before making his way back to the New World, was sent by his tribe to make sure the idiot Pilgrims didn’t get themselves killed in New England’s less-than-hospitable, late winter environment. It was this compassion that began the alliance between the settlers and the Wampanoag people—one of the only positive alliances that came out of the settler’s invasion—and it lasted 50 years.

I’ll bet the settlers were pretty thankful for Squanto and that alliance.
As per tradition, I’d like to discuss what I’m thankful for.

Family

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This is my second Thanksgiving with Jared, the love of my life, and it was around this time in 2014 that I met him for the first time. We didn’t start dating until March of 2015, but November set the ball rolling.

My store manager was transferred out of our OfficeMax location and his last day was November 16th, if I recall correctly. Jared came in as a new Operations Manager with the new store manager from Office Depot. We’d merged the previous year with Office Depot, so our whole staff was wary of the new guys. I remember our first Black Friday together, and Jared out-shined everyone with his speed and work ethic. Big dork. I couldn’t help but respect him.

By January, I had a stupid crush on him, and I managed to screw up literally everything I touched whenever he was scheduled. It was a mess. I’ve never had an issue asserting myself with people I’ve liked in the past, but Jared was on a whole different level. I mis-fed the large format laminator. I ruined several bookleting and padding jobs. Print Services Supervisor, and I was like a bull in a China shop.

In March, he asked me out. He was super nervous and it was very cute. We wound up going to St. Augustine for the day the following week. We had lunch together the next day, and it lasted well into the night. We’ve been inseparable ever since. It was easily the most enthralled I’ve ever been with someone.

Our first Thanksgiving together, Jared had to work that night. We ate a meal together, just the two of us, and off he went.

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This year, we were surrounded by our roommates and his mother, and it was amazing. I wish my own parents could have been here with us, but distance is a bitch.

Friendship

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This year, I’ve seen friends spend their first Thanksgivings with their significant others, experience a first Thanksgiving as parents, as husband and wife, and in new homes. Some of you have written or published your first novels and I know you’ve all made progress in your art and in your lives.

I’m so thankful for you and proud of all of you. Keep doing what you’re doing, and you’ll be even closer to your goals and your dreams at this point next year!

Peace

The people in Standing Rock, ND currently protesting an oil pipeline aren’t able to know peace right now. They’re locked into defending their lives and their clean water, air, and community in the face of aggressive riot suppression units, and, if they break to indulge in a feast of exorbitance, they leave the crews in Standing Rock unopposed.

So, I’m thankful to have peace in my life, and I wish the people in Standing Rock peace and victory in their protests. I hope they can emerge successful, uninjured, and that they are able to enjoy time with their families and loved ones without the fear of losing sacred land, health, and the safety of their families.

Food

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We worked hard on Thanksgiving this year.

I made turkey with an herb butter rub, and my great grandmother’s potato dressing.

Jared made a sweet potato casserole with marshmallow.

Kevin made vegetables simmered with chicken stock and bacon, several apple pies for us and our neighbors, stuffing, and mashed potatoes/sweet potatoes.

Max made a delicious homemade cranberry sauce.

Jared’s mom, Sandy, made green bean casserole and brought us some tasty King’s Hawaiian dinner rolls.

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Together, we enjoyed one hell of a feast, and I’m incredibly thankful we had the means to do that for one another and spend that time together. Not everyone is this lucky.

The first Thanksgiving, according to the History Channel, featured swan, seal, and lobster, as well as deer and a medley of vegetables. We may be a long way off from that menu, but I think we’ve managed alright. =]

Battle on and enjoy a leftover turkey sandwich,
Kit

I know we’re a day late here, but what are you thankful for?