Sunday, August 21, 2011

Is Long-Haul Trucking for Me? And Other Thoughts...

Trucking. So-called "Professional Tourism." I think it's really calling to me. Is it for me?

I wouldn't be leaving anyone behind, I don't really have anyone. I don't even know what I would do with "hometime," I'm really not attached to Reno sentimentally. I guess I'd probably pay my parents some money, for them to move into a bigger apartment, or start renting a house, and save me a room in that spot to come back to every now and then. I've read that you get about 4 days off per month to be at home.

I've ordered a couple of books on the subject of truck driving, one written by a man and the other written by a woman. They are geared toward making the decision of "Is truck driving for me?" And I'm going to read them before I do anything. There's also which has a ton of REALLY good info and message boards.

I want to see the country. I want to visit every state, and if possible, take my hometime in different places, stay in a motel or something and go exploring. I've read that many truck drivers without too much family obligations don't keep an apartment, house, or even car, and live out of their truck all year round, traveling. I don't know if I could really do that, I'm too attached to my art stuff to really give that up. Which is why I'd probably get a room with my folks.

I love my parents, I really really do. I don't want to live with them, and I don't want to see them all the time or even really talk to them all that frequently - it's painful for all parties for some reason. But they've had a really rough life, and I think it would be totally amazing if I could help them buy a house. Then, either it would be passed on to me, or if I decided to start buying my own before they pass, I could do that too. 34,000 a year- first year, to me, is a lot. It's more than twice what I've been making. And you get a raise after your first year and second year in most cases, I think.

And since I know how to live poor, I could totally save up tons of money in the bank. It would probably be a process, you know. I'd start by just trucking for a while - crashing on my parents' couch if needed for a couple of days here and there. Then once I'd feel I was making enough money, got enough in the bank, ask them to get a place with an extra room for me, and start shooting them "rent money" toward it, followed by the next step of helping them actually buy a house.

Things don't always happen the way they are planned, things often come up unexpectedly or things change and you end up changing your mind, and I understand that. But I really feel this. I'm 26, and I don't fit in, and I feel like this could be what I've been searching for. And the pay is good enough to help me start a REAL LIFE and have a REAL HOME somewhere, eventually.

At the same time, I don't think I necessarily NEED to have a home to go back to. If my parents... well, in complete 100% honesty here, if my parents continue to be total assholes like they have in the past, I may choose to eventually leave them out of the picture. I think we're beyond that, I think that now that my parents are in their 60s, and settling into themselves and their situations, them both being retired, my mom having her meds settled - I don't expect to see a whole lot of crazy drama from them any more. But, I could be wrong - I don't know.

Then again, it's hard because I can't really hold their mental illnesses against them. Just like I wouldn't want anyone to hold mine against me, especially not family. I don't know, it's a fine line with them between them being ill and them using me and being total emotional and monetary vampires and sucking me completely dry. So I'd really have to test the waters and feel out the situation.

Regardless of all THAT- I think the freedom of truck driving would be really refreshing. I need to find out a lot of things, I have sooo many questions about it. I'm not going to jump in, head first, without any real information ahead of time. I'm so glad I'm being smart about it, and taking my time to learn what I can.

I want to know what truck stops are like- what pay showers are like- what kind of space and how much room there is for personal belongings and clothes there is in the cab- if you have to take your hometime at the same place every time- what kind of info there is about violence against truckers- and about 1,000 other questions float around my mind.

I can't stop thinking about this. I have to find out more information or I will just BURST.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My Journal is, Firstly, My Journal

I suffer from depression and anxiety, and from time to time, am completely overwhelmed with paranoia as well. I am in treatment for these things, and trying to live my life in spite of and in respect for these issues. I am not saying this to win pity, it is just background information for what I am about to write about.

When I journal, I get my emotions out. I have kept a written journal for most of my life, since learning to write. It's a huge way for me to work through feelings I don't understand, and it helps me to express myself, release negative energy, and when finished working in my journal, walk away refreshed most of the time.

My visual journals, my art journals, are no different. But when I have finished one or am finished with one, I don't know what to do with it. It kind of feels like I have all these journals hanging around, more junk taking up more space. I don't feel the need to go and re-read or re-look at them, and if I do happen to do that, I am often reminded of pain I have gone through because that's how I got my pain out of me. Granted, my journal pages are becoming increasingly positive, but I still don't know if I will want these journals hanging around on a shelf for years to come, when I have an expanding book collection that I don't know if I'll ever read all of them.

Then again, in years to come, I may wish I had never thrown them away. So I'm not sure what to do. I have thrown away most of my past handwritten journals, and I don't miss them at all. But art journals are different... I don't know.

I also have some hybrid art/written journals. That's just what has been on my mind. I've been doing decluttering around my apartment, and I am holding on to the journals, for now, but I don't know about the future. Maybe I could reuse them in stead of just throwing them out, art over my previous entries.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Spirit of Compassion

I think it's kind of interesting and serendipitous and strange and awesome and I don't even know what all else, that Effy's water thing is the same as mine. Being a motherless child with a mother who is still alive but never mothered me. This week is going to be tough. I'm kind of stuck at a certain step because emotionally I'm really not ready to let go of my pain, and I don't want to just create my page and be like look! I'm done! I made a pretty picture! But I really do want to heal this, I just don't know if I can. This is a major major issue in my life and it always has been and I know what I really need is therapy, lots of it, but it seems to be reserved for the rich people only. I don't know. I'll let the page sit with me for a while the way it is, I've written out my pain and printed out the girl's face. So I have a background, and kind of an image in my head of how I want the spread to look when it's finished, but I'm just gonna sit with it for a while and see how I feel. I still crave my mother's love and attention and comfort, which I never got.

Friday, July 22, 2011

I'm going Art crazy!

I've been working on several projects over the past week. I can't stop thinking about art. Creating things. Journaling. Crochet. Macrame. Painting.

I want to make some mixed media paintings to put up around my apartment, to be all decorative and stuff. Take down my random junk I have on the walls, and actually have some nice decoration, that I created myself.

For the elements class, I haven't been really feeling the Air week nearly as much as I was into the Earth week. I am an Earthy girl. Air is important to me too, but for some reason I just didn't click with it nearly as much artistically speaking. I *am* *so* *much* looking forward to Water week! I am going to take my journal down to the river and hopefully I can get my favorite spot if no one is there. I can go early in the morning before people take my favorite spot. Stick my feet in the water and write. Draw. Etc. That will be so freakin' amazing!

I want to sell bracelets and keychains that I've been making. Mostly gay pride stuff. I could do hair ties, too. Nothing too time consuming though. I seem to be really... I don't want to say unfocused, because that's not really right. I am highly extremely focused on things, but so many things at once, that I am flopping around from one task or project to another. Knitting and crochet and stuff that are bigger projects are things that I like to be able to take larger chunks of time to do. If I'm constantly stopping and starting on those, I make a lot more mistakes in the piece and then it looks crappy. So I'm gonna stick to small thingies for now.

That's one thing I love about my art journaling and mixed media stuff: I can do a little bit at a time and come back later. I can freely hop between many projects. This makes me happy :D

Monday, July 11, 2011

Native Americans

A while back I punched some holes in some watercolor paper and tied them together with ribbon. I had planned on making something specific out of it but it didn't feel right, so I was waiting for the right feeling. I was slopping some paint on the front, just to get rid of the white page scaredyness and now I know what the journal will be for. I'm going with a theme, Native American Indians. I have some Indian in my blood, but it's only a little, and I don't know from which tribe. So maybe I'll just kinda research it up a bit and see what I find and what inspires me to art and write about. I love the traditions and spirituality and culture of Native Americans. I also work on a reservation right now. I find it interesting that I live in the US, in NV, but I work in a different country technically. Very fascinating stuff, for srs~!

From Orientation Week to Earth Week

I have been loving Earth Week! I honestly did not know what to expect when I signed up for this class. This is the first class I have taken like this, an online video type of art journaling class. I'm loving it and I'm super very mucho inspired. I've done a lot of art over the past few days.

This is the mostly finished cover. I like how it looks now, I feel like it's perfect. But what I am not super happy about are the ribbon and yarn dangly thingies, and I'm going to go back in and redo those. I'm going to make this journal so super perfect! I just need some more ribbon, some raffia, some hemp, I also need a tapestry needle. I did end up finding my awls, but that will do little help without the needle and the stuff I want to use.

I watched the video where Effy diagonally painted her page with Red, yellow, blue, and green and then put her hand prints on the page and journaled about the different elements. I really liked the idea of having a spread, first thing in the book, that included all the elements, as kind of a "Table of Contents" page sort of. So I did my own, but I did it my own way. I am kind of stumped with it now, it looks and feels so incomplete. But I can't do anything with it yet. I think I need to let all the info and feelings really sink in and then let the inspiration lead me.

I just gesso-ed the inside of the front cover, and painted waves, hills, a sky, and sun. Then I added letter stickers identifying the elements. A pretty simple little page.

I really enjoyed the entire process through which my next page came about:

The brainstorming was wonderful. I love brainstorming. I do it often in my journals. I love word association, too. And then the list of "I am" using the brainstormed words from earth was very very deep and meaningful and felt so good. The "My body is" was really difficult, though. I, like many women, have body image issues. It was really difficult to think of these beautiful earthy descriptive words and apply them to my body. I was drawing a blank. Effy suggested that I detach for a while, and describe someone else's body or Mother Earth's body with those words, and then when I have a list, switch it over to *My* body. That advice worked PERFECTLY for me.

I absolutely loved creating the texture background. I gessoed the page, and painted it with earthy greens browns and gold. Then I took green tissue paper and a really gritty clear gesso, and used my fingers and applied it with my hands, feeling the wonderful earthy wrinkly gritty beautiful texture. It was an amazing sensory experience. I left it to dry, but before it was completely dry I peeled up some of the tissue paper and I loved how that made it look.

I used the image of Effy's back to create an Earth Goddess image: I just outlined Effy, and painted my own lady.When I put her down on the page, deciding what I wanted to do with her, I felt that the background colors and the colors of the lady were too close and it became difficult to really see the lady clearly, and I wanted to make sure she was a focal point, so I added more tissue paper, and then positioned the Goddess lady. I liked the way that looked, but was unsure where to go from there and it still felt unfinished. So I gave it some more time to sink in. I started working on some other spreads, and then came back to it afterward. I'm glad I did that, because the ultimate end result, I LOVE! I am so happy when I love the way my art looks.

The first thing I thought of with the image of a woman's arms raised like that, was that she was a tree. So I searched on the internet for a good picture of a tree, and it took probably about an hour before I found one that I really liked. I used the basic outline of the trunk and branches and painted it with shades of brown and gold, then I added the lettering. I'm so happy with this page. I love how earthy it is, how Godessy it feels, how it just makes me feel really good.

This was the main project for the week. I could have stopped there, but I really really couldn't. This element is just speaking to me so much, I am so inspired and really feeling it HARD, so I made some more pages. One of the other things I was feeling from "I am" is "I am a wildflower" and thus, this page was born:
It's a painted background, and collaged flower shapes which I painted over to make them look how I wanted. It's *finished for now* because I like how it looks, a lot, but I MIGHT add the words "I am a flower" or something, I might leave it as is. I'm not too sure yet.

During the creation of my Goddess tree page, I put some earthy hand prints down, and decided I loved them, and I colored them in. I wasn't too sure where I was going with it, but it really felt good, it felt right. I am reading this series of 500 page childrens' books called Fablehaven. And the characters in the books are fairies and all sorts of magical creatures. These hand prints kind of made me feel like a wood nymph. With that feeling, I decided that some flowers growing out of my hands would be good, so I went with it. I think this page has super awesome symbolism and feelings. I love how everything from this class just makes me feel so good, it resonates with me.

 I have another earth page that is in the works but I haven't scanned yet. It has layery stripey tissue papers on it, and I want to do something relating to the Earth's crust and layers in the magma and all that kind of ka-junk-a-junk beneath the surface. I may need to do some research on that.

I also have another spread, inside me somewhere, trying to get out. It's very much in an inspired conceptual state, and I don't exactly know what it will be yet, but I think it's at least going to be about Gaia.

I find it fascinating that so many art journalers are of the Pagan/Wiccan persuasion. I was raised agnostic, and have dabbled in all kinds of religions. I haven't found one that really suits me perfectly, so I just kinda grab what I want from different places, when it feels like it fits at the particular time. This kind of Earth Goddess-y stuff is feeling really good to me right now.

As someone who is concerned with the quality of my writing technique, I feel sad that I don't have much of a conclusion. But it's just a blog! I can say whatever I want!!!