Advice on Going from Survival to Success for the "Instant Generation."



Day 59: On Living in an ArtSpace as a Writer


Living in an Artspace
Trash and Dollar Items Turned Art

Last night my mind was messing with me. Every lie that I had been trained to believe at some point began to play around in my head like a broken record.  It got so bad that I texted my friend and told her the biggest lie that was swirling around in my brain. She reminded me that the weather was bad, my body hurt, and that I should just curl under the blankets, drink tea, bet my kitty and dream of well…good things!

I still don’t feel right, the weather is improving, but it is still causing problems for my body. I also slept very little last night, so I am beyond tired. So, surprise, my mind is messing with me again. I wish I could break the broken record that plays in my head to pieces so I would never hear it again. Two of the biggest lies that play around are that I am worthless and that I am useless. That is when this idea to turn items that are “worthless and useless” into the art that I am going to hang outside in my hall.

The two paintings you see there, I found by the trash can downstairs in my apartment. The map of the world that I bought at the dollar store. The “Certificate of Achievements”  are actually frames for 8 X 11 pieces of paper. I intend to write essays to put under the pieces of art that were thrown out and the picture I found at the dollar store. The essays will show that these discarded worthless items have value and can impact people. These are the thoughts that come to the mind of a writer living in an ArtSpace.

God is the author of my life, and instead of listening to the lies of my enemy I will trust God’s pen and let his story for my life bring him glory. Bringing Him glory gives me the greatest purpose and immeasurable worth.



Day 36: I’m in and “Minimalist Living”


I never thought I had so much stuff until it was time to move.

It’s official, I’m in my new apartment! Moving was crazy, and I still have a lot to organize, but it feels good to have my own space. I always thought I was a minimalist, and then it came time to move.I thought to myself, maybe I am not such a minimalist after all. One of the gentlemen who helped me move in did tell me that in comparison to most Americans I am a minimalist. Although to me, that doesn’t mean much because a lot of Americans need storage spaces for the stuff they somehow need  but aren’t using. If I ever tell you that I have so much stuff that I need a storage unit, please yell at me to sell, give away or get rid of stuff. I used to have emotional attachments to things, and was so much worse, but; twice I had to move out of places very quickly and could not take much with me. Both those experiences got rid of my emotional attachment to stuff. I learned that it was just stuff, most of which could easily be replaced.

I did realize that I do have a lot of clothes. I think that is because I grew up not having a lot of clothes and got made fun of for not having nice clothes or even enough clothes to have different outfits for each day of the school week. Or I had clothes that didn’t fit me right and so embarrassing things would happen because of that. I don’t go clothes shopping a lot. But, when I do buy clothes they are beautiful and last a while. Oddly, though, I still do wear my shoes until they have holes on the bottom. Don’t ask, can’t figure that out.

I do think that living on my own will force me to accumulate less. I won’t be able to buy frivolously, so less will be accumulated, I hope. My goal in living in this space is to be able to spend more time on my two avocations: Melaleuca and writing. I want to pay off debt, to give myself more freedom in life.


Day 35: Good Stress vs. Bad Stress


Stress Can Make you Freeze or Push you Foward

We all know there are two types of stress. If I remember correctly from 7th-grade health class with Ms. P, good stress is referred to as eustress and bad stress is referred to as distress. There are only a few things I remember from 7th-grade health class (the rest I managed to tune out, thankfully. One was the two types of stress. I remember eustress because “marriage” was at the top of the list for eustress. Even then God was trying to warn me! The second thing is; don’t douche with Mountian Dew; seriously that is what the sex ed teacher told us. I have no idea why that is still stuck in my head. The last thing I remember was Ms. P’s mantra of; “Don’t have a baby until you are physically, emotionally, financially, personally, morally– ready to have a child. I think if half of her students would have remembered that, our county would be more sparsely populated. Just saying.

Right now, I am going through eustress. I am moving into my own apartment tomorrow. I technically could have taken as long as I wanted to move in, but one, the electric is on already and two; why postpone the inevitable? Yes, my Godparents place provides a type of comfort. Bills are easier to meet, I can spend money on frivolous things and I haven’t had to push as hard at my second job. Having this apartment will make me have to be more responsible if I want to remain on my feet. Am I nervous? Oh, hell yes! But, I am not fearful. God has shown me that he is with me in this move and that brings a peace that surpasses all understanding.

Have I figured out how this will all work? Nope. Despite feeling a bit in over my head this is not distress. I am actually happy. This move is pushing me forward not freezing me. This is an amazing feeling.



Day 34: Lakes, Leaps, and Life

Lakes: Learning to Overcome Fear

When I was a kid my family went camping… A LOT! My grandfather, who is one of my inspirations to work hard and trust God with my dreams, started a Recreational Vehicle business out here. Camping came with the territory of being his granddaughter! One of the campgrounds we went to had a small lake that campers could swim in, canoe in, or paddle boat in. It’s really not a memorable lake. Not very big, not deep at all, full of seaweed. But, I do have a couple of memories from this lake that I won’t forget. One is that every once in a while the lifeguard would blow is whistle three times in a row and that meant we had to get out of the lake as soon as possible because the snapping turtles were getting close to the swimming area. So. maybe that doesn’t sound very memorable, but I have cerebral palsy–moving quickly; especially in water is not really an option. I hated trying to “run” out of the lake. Another memory I have of this lake is when my mother was trying to teach me not to be afraid of water. My mother had interesting teaching methods, I warn you of this ahead of time.

There I was, a small child, terrified of the lake water. I didn’t like the temperature, I was afraid I was going to get bitten by a snapping turtle, terrified a shark was going to eat me and worst of all I feared I would drown. My mother coaxed me into the lake eventually; promising me she would be right there and that she wouldn’t let go of my hand. I walked with her to the middle of the swimming area, which I now know is the deepest point. Then, against her promise she let go of my hand and told me I better start flapping my arms to keep my head above the water. I frantically flapped my arms.  I started crying and told her I couldn’t do it, that I was going to drown. She put her arm under me and lifted me, so my legs were still in the water, but I was able to look at her in the face. She held me like that until I stopped crying. When I stopped, she said, “I’m right here, you won’t drown.” Then she let me go and dunked my head under the water. Of course, human preservation kicked in, and I flapped my arms to get my head back above the water. When I got my head above the water and took a few deep breaths, she said, “see. I’m still here, and you didn’t drown.” Then, she dunked my head in the water again. Obviously, self-preservation kicked in, I’m still here!



Life: It’s Official!

That lake experience with my mother taught me one of the best survival lessons I have ever learned in my life: sometimes, you may feel completely inept, but sometimes you just have to take that leap and trust that self-preservation will kick in and things will work out. I took that leap yesterday. I met with the artist committee of the apartments I have been trying to get into. They accepted me. Yesterday, I also out down my security deposit, signed my lease and got my keys. I was not expecting any of this to happen this quickly, but it did. I will be moving in the second wekend of January. This, should be intresting, considering I have almost nothing to my name furniture, applience and dish wise. (I guess it will make for an easy move!)

Am I scared? A little. Will I drown? With a little self-preservation and God’s grace…probably not!


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