I’ve been messing around with tiles again this weekend for the upcoming summer season. The focus for this time of year seems to be a lot of florals and underwater or beach designs. There has been some talks of future projects on a much larger scale, but my physical health still isn’t quite cooperating. One day I feel somewhat back where I was before this all began, other days, I feel like I’m inches from death.
It’s been a rough week to say the least. I’m not sure if I’m going to keep this particular design yet, unless someone requests it. If they do I’ll come back, make improvements, and clean this up a bit more. For now I’m just trying to take it easy until I can get back on the road to optimal health. If there’s one thing I’ve learned going through this, it’s that people abandon you when you’re sick and you find out who your true friends are.
I’m still in good spirits, though. I owe that to the wonderful people that still are in my life. They’ve opened doors to many new possibilities. All I have to do now is walk through them. After years of getting my foot slammed in those doors, it’s a welcome change.
There’s an unmistakably strong sense of things turning upward for the first time in aeons.
If there’s one theme that’s been consistent diving into this new year it’s been that my friends continue to be my largest support system. One of my closest friends and I were sending texts back and forth while I set up the next few months worth of designs. I’ve got some very large projects launching, releasing, and being revealed collectively soon. He proceeded to push me every step of the way & kept encouraging me that my artwork is worthy of great heights.
In rough and trying times, along with the general busy chaos that is my generation’s adult lives I’m so damn grateful to have friends like that who grab me by the shoulders and say “You’re doing a great job! So frigin’ relax!”
You are my lifeline, friends. Keep inspiring people with your ability to love.
For those of you that have been following Rara’s story, you may know that she asked us recently to write thank you notes to some of the inmates and staff that helped aid her in her trying journey on the inside.
I got a beautiful letter from Rara today that I will share bits and pieces of during the course of the month, but more importantly she’s assigned me with a task.
Rara asked that I let anyone know that may not feel comfortable sharing their address, you are free and welcome to use hers
13681 Newport Ave #8-346
Tustin CA 92780
as a return address.
I want everyone to know Rara is doing okay. As best that can be expected in her situation anyway. Please keep sending her love. She apologizes for the delay.
She said she saved getting back to myself, Kozo, and Matt because our letters were the hardest to write. We were friends of Dave’s and she knows we miss him, like her.
Shower this little dinosaur, her friends, and the staff there with love for me. Rara so deserves it, and so do they, for taking care of our friend.
Please share this message out as well so friends writing in can stay updated.
As some reading may know, I also contribute over at Stories That Must Not Die. Starting yesterday, I will be taking your submissions from now until June 15th. If you are interested in submitting a story here are the details:
Our subject matter is not limited right now. It simply has to be about a difficult/strange experience you’ve had in your life. (Usually it’s something that doesn’t quite fit in on another blog.)
If you wish to submit your story anonymously, that can be arranged.
The slots I have to fill are listed on the calendar chart below.
So, just to be clear, I have open slots for:
Thursday the 5th Tuesday the 10th Thursday the 12th
A large number of men and women have dealt with or known someone who has gone through some shape of grief in their lifetime. Grief and depression can affect a person’s life negatively and hinder many processes that lead to growth. In order for one to move forward in life, one needs to grow, right?
To those reading this that may be dealing with some portion of grief, take solace in knowing I’m going to offer you some help.
Before reading on, read this first:
The following are some tools I’ve learned over the years. Please do not replace these for medical advice; especially, if you are indeed in crisis. My only intention is to pass on some knowledge that may be of help when you are having a particularly difficult time dealing with grief.
Instead of putting such emphasis in your mind about the day a person died, remember their birthday instead. Celebrate their life instead of mourning their death. For women/couples that may have suffered a miscarriage, remember the day you found out you were pregnant rather than a time that brings you pain.
Go though the boxes. This one is tough, I have to admit, but you’ll feel better afterwards, trust me. To anyone that’s lost someone, you know what this means. I don’t have to explain it. Sometimes, it’ll do you some good to get rid of some of the things that aren’t important too. I know that is also difficult, however, one needs to realize that deep down, you know this person will not be upset with anyone for getting rid of the unimportant items. Part of moving through grief is letting go. Holding onto too many objects can become unhealthy (ask a therapist) and can develop into a condition known as hoarding, which is a serious mental illness.
Do something you enjoy, preferably outside. The outdoors are the best place you can be as you’re moving through the grieving process. Take a vacation, go out with a friend; take a walk. Anything to keep yourself from constantly dwelling on sadness.
Remember the things that bring you joy and participate in them. Go through the motions. Stay active. Listen to music, paint, dance, sing, go see a movie. Whatever brings you happiness, take part in it.
It’s okay to cry. Male or female, no matter how young or how old…it’s ok, just let it out. We were given tear ducts for a reason. You may just feel a little better afterwards.
Build a support system. This can be so important. Even if your support system is only one or a few people. It’s essential to have someone to vent your feelings to. This could be a close friend, family member, therapist, or all three. You shouldn’t be alone in times of grief. Isolation is a dangerous thing when you are going through a grieving period. Isolating one’s self could turn grief into depression.
Write your thoughts down. (Optional) This can be a form of therapy. Getting your thoughts out of you and onto paper is an excellent tool for releasing pent-up anxiety.
Make peace with yourself and with the departed. If there were any grudges held, arguments had, resentment, or just plain issues before this person’s death…make peace with it and let it go. Forgive them, forgive yourself. You can even write a letter of forgiveness.
The above mentioned tools are just some of many. These are just the highlights of what has helped me the most. As a person that has lost many, mourned severely, dwelled, and later sought healing, you could consider me somewhat of an expert on the subject. However, I remind you not to mistake my helpful tools for medical advice. Although, some have said I’d make a pretty excellent grief counselor…
This post is intended to be thought of in conjunction with my Stress Management post (hence, the similar wording and format.) Think of it as a part two of sorts.