how are you?
i’m … good, i think.
i’ve been … in it.
in all of it.
pain, joy, heartbreak, excitement, depression, confusion, every emotion in between - i’ve been riding the rollercoaster and i guess just trying to hold on and lean into the swerves? what else can you do, right? sometimes you just close your eyes and feel the falling. it’s inevitable, it’s life - but it’s been overwhelming, to say the least.
even in fear there can be fun. so i’m hanging in there.
where to begin?
my mind is a little mushy lately. this is likely going to be all over the place, consider this your fair warning.
(BIG sorry/thank you to everyone who’s been at the mercy of my scattered psyche and forgetfulness at an all time high. grief is an intense emotion and my brain is doing it’s best to navigate.)
i’ve been sitting on a million things i wanna share and show and say, but i just … couldn’t.
it didn’t feel right. i didn’t want to, didn’t want to expend the energy to, didn’t want to have the conversations that would follow.
i’ve written a lot, created a lot, done a lot - but i just couldn’t get myself to finish, photograph, edit, or post any of it. i’ve been craving the connection and the catharsis that comes from the sharing of ideas, but it wasn’t the right time and i felt a deeper need to sit back and listen. listen to others, embrace new ideas, listen to experts, understand more areas, but mostly listen to myself - connect inwardly, alone.
i, let’s say… two years ago, was already at such a pivotal time of my life (finishing school (again)/saturn return/ending of a decade/whatever you relate to as your ‘late twenties’). i was trying to figure out my burnout, wrap my head around all of the wild and random shit that i had done in the past few years, catch my breath after a string of strained relationships, and start down a new path. your twenties are often called an exploration and i took that to heart. i explored a lot. i experienced a lot. i experimented a lot. and then when i slowed down a little i started to connect all the dots and get into figuring out what i’d actually learned. i’ve talked about this a lot from the perspective of how my art journey has led me to big lifestyle changes, and simultaneously given me a space to be consciously focused on self discovery. this self examination was really not the creative side of me acting at all, but where my science/left brain took over - i was in the ‘analysis and conclusion’ phase of the scientific method. writing it all down. putting the data together. there was a lot going on before this part of my journey i hadn’t ever really processed - so i took the time to work it out, on paper, in prose, in poetry, in paint. i got clear on what i wanted professionally and personally, i decided to make a major move for the 4th time in 10 years, and started to pack up one lifestyle for another. this was also when i started researching more on the mind and our experience of consciousness and as a result spent a lot of time processing old emotions and making efforts for self improvement. it was … fuck. it was a lot. i’d recommend it - but it’s a lot. enter your own mind at your own risk👽
as i’m trying to wrap my head around all of that and stay (somewhat) sane and connected, we entered 2020 …
the pandemic and everything that has followed took it all to a level of intensity i still can’t really fathom. i can hardly even count the cycles of tragedy and trauma that have happened in the last year, personally, to the people i love, in my community, in my country, globally - it’s staggeringly overwhelming to say the least. to know that basically everyone is feeling some sort of the same type of way right now - in a way that lends a small level of comfort, but it mostly makes it feel even more overwhelming. i think we can all agree on that.
the timing & the empty time of the early months of pandemic gave me a lot of space to do a lot of this thinking, processing, writing & learning. i am thankful for that. i could do without a lot of the rest of the bullshit that happened. but life goes on …
it felt like when i made the decision that it was time to leave montreal, i was re-energized in a way i just hadn’t been since coming to the city - i had done a bunch of this deep emotional excavation, i was coming up for air, dusting myself off, ready to shed my younger skins and move forward -
and then we entered lockdowns and life v202.0
somehow i still came home in the midst of that to so much possibility, in such a good place of healing, feeling confident, with projects i was excited about -
all was starting to settle and i was finding my footing on this new path -
vaccines were becoming available and things were starting to look back up for seeing my friends & family freely again -
and then suddenly, just as the ground was starting to finally feel stable again this spring -
my dad committed suicide.
my emotional rollercoaster took a little detour into hell.
now there’s this added layer to my experience that makes everything to this point feel somehow smaller, more trivial, less important - but also deeper and more deeply connected than ever. it’s a whole new layer of emotional depth, maturity and personal experience to pull from. this new layer is making me have to repeat a lot of the self-learning i just did - to apply this new filter and see if i still have the same understanding and perspectives. it’s pervasive. it’s overwhelming. its earth shattering. it makes it hard to share because there’s so many underlying layers to every feeling, every thought, every experience. everything i have tried to write or film or share in the last while could be an entire novel in and of itself with thousands of footnotes - influences, ideas, tangents, explanations. that’s the level my mind has been operating on as it’s trying to sort through all these intense emotions. always looking for connections, always on overdrive, always doing the most - looking for explanations that half the time don’t exist.
i’ve been having a hard time expressing myself because everything feels so tangled. for some reason i feel like i have to explain every detail of every thought all at once - an impossible task. i have to keep reminding myself that life is and will always be incredibly nuanced and complicated - it’s like i’m too aware of too many things at once as all these mental pathways light up and connect and sync with each other. i know it’s never going to be possible to explain every thought behind every piece or every experience. i can’t go so deep down the rabbit hole - no matter how much i write or how concise i explain or how deep i dive into the sharing or how ‘good’ or ‘pretty’ or etc etc etc the output is - i don’t need to pore over so many details to properly express whatever i’m compelled to share.
‘perfection is the enemy of good’ - yada yada yada.
i’ve been telling myself to slow the hell down and stop overanalyzing, overcomplicating, overthinking. i wrote it somewhere permanently so i can carry the reminder around with me. i consciously wanted to step back from sharing for awhile while i figured out what i was even thinking. figure out what and how i want to share going forward - in a mindful, connected way. in a healthy, happy, creative outlet way. not in a ‘i feel the pressure to show up online for relevance’ way, or with any fear of judgement, inadequacy or feelings of imposter syndrome.
my horoscope in early june said -
“just make sure you’re not doing that thing where you shut down, and then start to believe you have to understand everything. most of life is out of your control, but you can choose joy”
a fair reminder. choose joy - i want to share makes me happy, when i have the capacity to. when i feel inspired. connected. sometimes that’s art, sometimes that’s activism, sometimes that’s silence. we can’t do everything at once all the time, so it’s time to embrace follow the ebb and flow. choose the joy and accept the rest.
though all of my existence is now tinged with this level of sadness and loss - i don’t want everything i talk about to be about grief now in the same way i don’t want everything i make to be about one type of art. life is a multifaceted thing and i think one of the beautiful things about the way we are able to share online is that it allows us to show so many sides to every experience. i don’t feel the need to separate myself from my creativity (or my identity from my brand) because my art comes directly from my mood, emotions, thoughts, experiences. that’s why i wanted muse to encompass more than just art - some days it will make me happy to share pretty paintings & curated words, some days it will feel honest to share more difficult emotions and ‘real life’ stuff. sometimes i won't want to share at all. it’s all real life. i just wanna share honestly. i really needed and appreciated this time of silence, but i’m craving connectivity again and i missed chatting with the community of internet friends that i’ve been lucky enough get to know over the years. i also have a book to promote (!) and other exciting projects coming up and while part of me is itching to share in a ‘gotta do it for business' sense, i also just desperately want to push my creativity back to the focus of my days.
so heeeeere we go y’all - it’s time to SHARE.
part deux of these thoughts is coming later this week.
i’m gonna touch on a few points that have been swirling in my thoughts lately through a series of essays - i hope you’ll tag along and connect with them. i’d love to hear your own reflections and experiences as you read - please leave me a comment, a message, an email, or reach out however we are linked. i’ve been (over)analyzing things from a lot of angles and i wanna try to dive in to what this complicated headspace has been like for me and start sharing my journey again. i’ve felt really motivated by the discussions and thanks that i’ve had stemming from my recent videos sharing about grief, (1, 2, 3, 4) and it’s spurred my energy to share more of my story. i’ve always loved to write, talk, and share and i feel like i am entering a very open and vulnerable stage of life where i feel pulled to share really deeply and honestly. i hope that you are able to pull inspiration or comfort from the pieces of my story that resonate with you - that’s the whole idea of muse and i’m grateful to be able to weave my personal experiences and musings into this platform.
life is fucking complicated. it just is.
that’s all i wanted to come say really.
thanks for listening.
___ ____ ___
"It’s a long story," I say.
"You should write all this down," Gennie says.
I nod in agreement. "I’m thinking about a series of lecture-essays...a sort of Chautauqua. I’ve been trying to work them out in my mind as we rode out here—which is probably why I sound so primed on all this stuff. It’s all so huge and difficult. Like trying to travel through these mountains on foot.
"The trouble is that essays always have to sound like God talking for eternity, and that isn’t the way it ever is. People should see that it’s never anything other than just one person talking from one place in time and space and circumstance. It’s never been anything else, ever, but you can’t get that across in an essay."
"You should do it anyway," Gennie says. "Without trying to get it perfect."
- zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance
robert m. pirsig