One Day is Better Than None

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Whether  the corporate aspect of it bothers you or not, #BellLetsTalk day is an important one. For readers that are not Canadian, it’s a day where Bell donates 5 cents to mental health initiatives every time someone uses the hashtag. Started in January of 2011, it has become an important day also for generating conversations about mental health.

Some criticize the movement for not extending to the other 364 days of the year. However, I still think it is important. One day of the year in reflection is greater than none. Plus, it’s the responsibility of everyone to continue breaking the stigmas on mental health, not just an organization.

I vlogged last year about my own experiences with battling mental health. I still struggle with it at times but ever since social media movements like this, I was more eager to speak up. I didn’t feel like a loser. I have friends that had their own experiences and shared them in a zine.

One day is better than none. One day is a start. Today somebody could find a story that they can relate to that can change their life. So keep your damn anti-capitalist opinions to yourself.

Hesitance and the Idea of Perfectionism

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I’ve always wanted to be a creative person. I always thought that it was a goal to work towards. I love buying countless notebooks, pens and art supplies to encourage myself to explore different creative avenues.
 
Many of those things remained untouched.

And it’s not because I am lazy, or that I didn’t have time. The reason for this artist-block (for lack of a better term) was that I was hesitant. I was waiting for the perfect idea to draw, paint or write down. I thought it would be wasteful if I used any of those supplies on an idea that wouldn’t be good enough (to show someone and/or blog about) or that I would mess up.

Now I’m realizing, it’s more wasteful that these things sit in my drawers. I won’t get better at drawing, painting, writing if I just sat staring at the things in my desk in perfect condition. I should stop fearing that I’ll “waste” these supplies, as they can always be replenished. What can’t be replaced is the time I spent thinking this way.

Just as I am challenging myself to hit “Publish” more on this blog, I will get over the same hesitance when putting a pen (paint, crayon, whatever) to paper.

New Year New Sketchbooks

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I want to encourage myself to do more fine art this year. I used to when I was younger and as I grew up my main excuse was that I had no time. I’m starting to realize that, that’s not a reasonable excuse. There’s always time to pursue the things you love, you just have to decide to actually do them.

I decided the best way to start drawing and painting more again was to buy myself some blank canvases, or new sketchbooks! That way I wouldn’t be self-consciously comparing myself to things I used to be able to do. I  headed to Michael’s and bought myself two different ones: one for dry media, and one for mixed.

For mixed media, I purchased the Strathmore Mixed Media Art Journal. The 64 page softcover journal has acid free paper that is 100% cotton. It’s perfect for all sorts of media including watercolours. The cover also has this sleek smooth texture which I am in love with.

I also wanted a sketchbook for general doodling and dry materials. I chose the Artist’s Loft Fashion Journal in orange. At $20, it was well worth it for 110 pages. I also liked that it was a bright orange colour to separate it from the other book and give it a pop of colour when travelling with it. Since I moved to the city, I plan to take it around and find inspiration outside my house.

I love both these books and I hope to fill them with things this year and share them with all of you.

Looking Forward Not Back

By the end of last year, I accomplished many personal goals. I got a new job, I took a trip to the East Coast, bought a new laptop, and finally moved out and got my own place in downtown Toronto.

I’m determined to keep the momentum going and remain optimistic about the future. However, there are always emotion hurdles to face. I’m technically on contract for my job and my parent’s still say things to me like “Don’t buy a couch in case you have to move back home”.

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So I bought a couch. Failure is not an option for me. Neither is looking back and moving back home (at least to me) would be seen as moving backwards. I will work my hardest to either have extended employment or create a new opportunities elsewhere. Though well meaning, I will not let less than positive thoughts  affect me. In the wise words of Yoda: “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

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Let Yourself Do Nothing

I’m a workaholic. I’m guilty of glorifying busy. I rarely let myself truly do nothing. I read on my commutes to and from work. I take my lunch breaks at my desk (so I can blog or get my work done) and when I get home I manage all my blog e-mails, edit photographs or write some more.

If I take the time to watch TV (without actively doing something else), or play video games, I feel a bit guilty inside. I feel like there’s always something more important I could be doing (including the newly added responsibility of household chores) or going (shows, friends etc). By the time I get to bed, I’m exhausted. Sleep is the only time I’m truly doing nothing.

makinghabits

This is a habit, I want to break. Recently, I read Jeremy Dean’s book Making Habits, Breaking Habits and in doing so I became more aware of the pattern of actions I take every day. I also learned that there’s only so many habits you can force yourself to do at once without a break, or it lowers productivity. Therefore, taking appropriate breaks are important and may lead to better output.

For now on, I’ll let myself have those mental breaks, watch an episode of something on Netflix, go for walks or literally sit in a chair and do nothing. Sometimes my best work happens during those types of events. In fact, I pretty much wrote this post in my head while showering.