Wow, I talk about perfectionism a lot don’t I? Lol, well that’s because it haunts the f**k out of me. I’m a very ambitious, but sensitive person. I have big ideas that turn into elaborate, yet overwhelming strategies, and have issues altering those strategies only because I get stuck in a strong spell of the I-have-to’s…It takes time for someone like me to practice simplicity. Over-complication doesn’t mean it’s more exemplary than what’s simple. Taking a big picture view on my projects helped with that. When I look at the general goals, I can root out the extraneous details I thought I needed. Maybe that’s common knowledge for most people, but I suck at it! Anti-perfection is another pursuit of mine that takes so much conscious effort. I know I can work well under pressure, but that doesn’t mean I have to work under the pressure of perfection, yet here I am!
Have you been watching The Olympics? Can you relate to the olympians that beat themselves up for being second or third place? Can you relate to the olympians who perform wonderfully, but beat themselves up for not doing everything perfectly even though they’re on the track to winning gold? I can. It sucks.
Are you in the dark academia fandom? Do you relate to taking on academic assignments with the concept that your grade defines your self-worth? Have you ever had a meltdown over failing a quiz or test that didn’t even carry the entire weight of your grade? I have. IT SUCKS.
Now I’m here still struggling with seeing my projects as a process. Why can’t I just enjoy the journey? The relief and enjoyment truly comes when I keep things simple and push myself to be anti-perfection. I hope to the gods I can experience this relief more consistently…
During my meditations this week, I accepted an important sacrifice I had to make. Sacrifice is strange to me. Sometimes I go out of the way trying to find a way where I can get everything I want without losing anything. I try to strategize, work around the way people perceive me, hoping I can get what I want from them in the end. That’s not going to work this time. One day, they’ll know.
One day my family, who I love dearly, will know what I do in life. They’ll see for themselves that their Christian views aren’t as valuable to me when it comes to my career and lifestyle. They’ll see that animism, paganism, the occult, world religions, philosophies, history, science, the arts and more are my passions in life. For so long I feared they would see me as anti-Protestant Christian and use that as an excuse to abandon me. I desperately didn’t want that since they’ve done a lot for me and I want to offer my gratitude. It turns out I can definitely live my life how I want and still have them in my wonderful life. They’re the ones who make it wonderful actually. They inspire me tremendously because they are always teaching me even when I disagree with them, even when their words make sense or when their words hurt, and definitely when they show me their passion for their faith and their god. Their god is not mine and I’ve accepted they will put their god before me and others in many, if not all, instances. I thought that meant abandonment, but actually, according to their faith, it means they’ll love me more.
So what am I sacrificing exactly? The notion that people will always abandon me? No…Abandonment happens. Separation happens. People make their choices and sometimes that means you can’t walk with them through the consequences of those choices. Loss happens. You can’t control everything. You can’t make someone care about you, control the way they see you, force them to believe what you believe. I’m sacrificing the perception of myself that thinks I can’t survive if my family sees who I really am and what my life is dedicated to, which is mysticism and the arts. Not only am I incredibly proud of my life path, but I feel more dignified when I remember my life, my power, and my purpose belong to me and only me; expressing the exploration of my life, power, and purpose, is done through my art. I love my family and because of that love, I don’t fear them. I forgive myself for perceiving them as figures in my life that wanted to tear me down, when they’ve consistently lifted me up, albeit with the hopes that I’ll become a dutiful Christian like them. If I can accept that I can survive whatever their response is to my life’s work, I believe they’ll come to accept what they can’t control as well: my will.
This was a long time coming, but I think this epiphany has to be one of the most important ones of my life. Many of us artists struggle with having a lack of support from family, whether it be in the form of disapproval or apathy. The amount of willpower it takes to sacrifice the internal battle of trying to be yourself while also making others happy is an incredible amount. Doesn’t everybody talk about that? Everyone says,”Just be yourself,” when we also know there are only a select few who accept you or maybe come close to accepting you. What’s most important is accepting ourselves. Another cliche, but it’s fucking true. We must accept who we are if we’re ever going to summon the willpower to live our life as we want to. It makes whatever consequence you suspect you’ll confront as an opportunity to trust yourself to make the best choice for yourself. As someone who advocates for autonomy and freedom, I must accept that I don’t want to put my energy into trying to make my family like me or understand me. I want to put my energy into my life’s work and, if I’m being frank, be rich enough to take care of my family and myself. I mean let’s be real here; when you start making money doing what you love, and I mean good money, your family probably won’t be that concerned about the how and why at first.
My life path number is 8, often called “The CEO” path. I kept doubting whether that really matched my desires and ambitions for a good portion of my life. I’m not doubting anymore. With the acceptance of the self comes purpose and with a sense of purpose comes will. I’m too determined to be worried about disapproval. The game is on.
Many creatives are caught in the rat race while trying to maintain the status of being a valiant competitor just to make ends meet. Doing this almost kills us.
As creative and critical thinkers, whether neurotypical or neurodivergent, being forced to follow a regimen is something we can excel to keep AND completely fail to achieve because our potential provides us with everything we need to be successful at whatever we put our mind to. That potential, however, is redirected to someone else’s agenda, like the mission of a company or the tradition of a culture that encourages assimilation for the their own sense of validation, and in that, we become invalidated as the call inside ourselves beckoning our potential to take a more fulfilling path is scolded and oppressed. This almost kills us, but it doesn’t succeed.
The artist can cultivate this near death experience into the first step towards a more suitable life. Recently, I reflected on an old job and sketched a drawing representing how drained and powerless I felt. I don’t miss the job or that feeling, but I hope I can upgrade that (rough/messy) sketch into a digital painting someday since this feeling is all too common and like many artists before me, I’d like this artistic expression to be whatever “sign” a fellow artist needs to push themselves to get out.
I’ve wanted to be a polyglot since I was a kid and I blame Lara Croft (the movies and the games). I was head over heels in love with her. Having her level of erudition and speaking so many languages was so attractive to me. But how do you achieve that? I’ve done the research and most polyglots have the same advice, which is practice, passion, and consistency. I think there’s a lot more to it than that.
Let’s get past the vague, but inspirational buzz words that inspire you to reach a goal and get to the technicalities. That practice and consistency is best applied with an understanding language partner, reliable study material, and an accurate understanding of cultural context. I studied Japanese for four years (on and off, so I wasn’t that good at all) with very few of those things, so when I finally had the opportunity to live in Japan for a month, it was truly a month of ignorance and embarrassment. This killed my confidence and I dropped studying languages period for a while. I’m glad I’m back into it now, but I’ll never forget that. As for the passion, that gets more personal. I still have Lara Croft goals to meet, but ultimately knowledge is power to me. I want the privileges that comes with this knowledge and connect with people who remind me I know nothing about the world. I feel like I need that kind of experience as an artist and as a person overall. Gotta keep that American ego in check, right?
Currently, I’m doing my best to learn, Korean/Hangul, Japanese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, French, and Ancient Greek was something I stumbled upon during my mystic studies, but I’m falling in love with it.
What languages are you learning? Do you think I’m taking on too much at once? You’re probably right, but challenging feats like these are fun for me. I’ve been doing well to practice one language for an hour or more every day. I really love it.
Is it weird being insecure about this? When my mother noticed I was teaching myself piano at the age of 4 or 5, I started taking lessons early and I was on the classical track with this teacher. Then my passion for marital arts led to my mother saying she could only pay for one. I chose martial arts, but the piano didn’t stop. I continued to teach myself and started writing songs at 12. Now at 28, I have over 50 songs written. I’m proud of that accomplishment and I’ll be showing off some new songs this year.
Wait, why am I insecure again? Because my work isn’t purely classical?
I’ve been taking time to observe my own work and lifestyle habits to improve productivity as an artist and entrepreneur, which led me to notice the pros and cons of my greatest blessing and curse: overthinking. Overanalyzing past events is my comfort zone to an obsessive point. I review my behavior and the behaviors of others in social settings, I’ll reevaluate my work schedule repeatedly (especially when random changes occur), and I can become far too immersed in hypothetical “what if’s” regarding past events believing that even though what I suspect could hypothetically happen didn’t happen at all, I should prepare for the likelihood that it does happen anyway. It’s strange that as a artist, my inspiration and work appear as bursts of energy which is a present consumption, but with almost everything else, I always need a plan and lacking a plan in anyway makes me feel incredibly lost.
The greatest pro of thinking like this is building resilience and maturity. I really value being introspective because it provides many opportunities to learn. However, the greatest con is rarely being in the present moment. This habit combined with intrusive thoughts and dissociation really isn’t fun; it’s time consuming self-torture on bad days. So, this week I practiced mindfulness techniques more frequently as an attempt to rewire my brain in a way. I get hit with intrusive thoughts on a daily basis, so addressing the truthfulness of those thoughts, as in understanding why the thought came up, how it makes me feel, and how practical it is to stew over the thought, is a struggle and conscious effort every damn time.
Redirecting my overthinking for more productive means is also a conscious effort and doing so keeps me in a present state of mind, which is a great pro. In the past, my overthinking would simply lead to spiraling and catastrophizing. Now my critical nature works more in my favor when self-care and dignity are kept in mind.
Just wanted to share this because I know I’m not alone in this. My fellow artists, autodidacts, nerds, and the like will perceive their analytical nature as a burden all too often and to be honest it really can become this powerful and reckless force disguised as meticulousness. Acknowledging how overanalyzing is a comfort zone we need to step out of helps change our self-perception into something more fulfilling without any radical change. If we naturally are critical and creative thinkers, then we can’t help that, but the least we can do is apply our great minds to tasks that help us embrace our potential. I’m just so tired of falling victim to the coulds/shoulds I’ve internalized. Let’s just be.
I hope you all are well. I’m finally getting back into a good working groove again for my art projects and my novel, which reminded me about how much I miss blogging about my progress/research.
Starting with the progress with my novel series, what really helped was using a cork board and sticky notes to jot out the main plot. My first draft was written with more of a pantser mentality. I kept beating myself up for it before, but now that I’ve accepted that I’m at where I’m at and there’s no changing that, I can lean more into my plotter side.
Using a cork board and sticky notes to track the plot/character arc of one of my protagonists has helped tremendously. I think seeing the story’s progression through one character’s point of view and having more of a visual/tangible mode of seeing my work brought it more to life. Specifically, I was able to pinpoint how many other characters cross the path of this protagonist along with what areas and events they come to interact with whether they expect it or not. It’s an interesting process because initially I was down on myself for not plotting more for my first draft, but it was pointless to think that way. I’m learning to trust my creative process more and I’ve accepted how chaotic it is, but it’s also has a natural order to it. In other words, there’s an order to my chaos and I should never have compared myself to other authors/writers to begin with. It does help to learn about the creative process of others, but at the end of the day, just do your own thing.
As for the Russian/Slavic witchcraft venture, I previously posted of a podcast I listen to where author Natasha Helvin describes her own experiences. I’ve been reading both of her books Russian Black Magic and Slavic Witchcraft. Both are intriguing reads and are very inspiring for a specific character of my novel, which I hope I can capture well with the utmost respect of the craft.
Here’s the Instagram of one fellow writer I follow who reminded me of cork board plotting.
Now, for my art projects. I focused on my poetry collection for most of the winter season. While working, I kept having these visual ideas being paired with my poems. I’ve done photography with poetry before when I was younger (like a teenager), but looking back on my creations in the past, it’s not really up to my standard of quality today, although I love that I tried my best back then. So what’s the next level? Photomanipulation. I’ve been taking lessons with photoshop, photography, and digital art to see if I can bring my dark fantasy vision and poetry to life through a darker medium. The surrealists and dark self-portraiture artists of the photoshop composite world are amazing.
Danny Bittencourt is a Brazilian visual poet whose work I’ve fallen in love with.
Another is Flóra Borsi, whose fine art self-portraits are surreal and captivating.
I hope to enter this world one day, so I’m working hard. Diving into the world of photoshop and photography was very unexpected while working on my poetry. At first it felt like I was distracting myself from the main goal of the project. Quite the opposite; this is exactly what I’ve been wanting to do since I was a teenager. I don’t want the poetry collection to just be in a book. I want each work to be a masterpiece.
Here’s to ambition and the crazy chaos of creativity.
First, I just want to say I’m really grateful for all the visitors I get on blog, who I’m noticing are mostly occult and metaphysics enthusiasts! I’m glad my posts have caught your attention and I hope they were helpful.
Second, there have been a lot of website changes. I’m trying to polish the platform so my future works will be better displayed. There was just too much clutter before, but hopefully the investments and changes I’ve made will bring clarity to my vision for Authentikei.
Thirdly, along with my psychology studies, I’ve been doing a lot of pagan and occult research that I hope to blog about soon, but when I’m not studying, I’m usually writing poetry, my novel, searching for aesthetic inspiration ravenously, or just…thinking about everything. I swear I’m going to make time for more blogging/article/ social media content very soon. In fact, I’ll share the writing sources I run into soon.
Lastly, I’ve been feeling the healthiest I have ever been and I’m so grateful. Actually my gratitude for my life has been exploding and all I want to do is share it with you, but I know that making high quality work requires patience, focus, introspection and adaptability. Although I’m busy, you’re more than welcome to chat with me on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram and you can take a look at my Pinterest too if we have the same aesthetic vibe.
I hope you’re all well, safe, and healthy. I can’t wait to show you my work when it’s time.
In simple conversations with others, I mute myself unintentionally…
…and it feels involuntary because I’m the type that wants to spill my heart’s contents. I just feel like when I’m around the majority of the people in my life, they have shown me what they really care or don’t care about through rejection, belittlement, invalidation, and sardonic attitudes assaulting what is not just important to me, but also accurate. So like many sensitives, I choose silence while my eyes tear up and my heart aches and my stomach churns and my mind screams.
This became a painful habit of my people pleasing persona. The consequence was volcanic, but luckily for me the pen could channel the magma within and somehow transcend from being raw and unruly to becoming divine and sculpted. It was the first poem I wrote about how much I loved Spring in 5th grade where I realized I was being listened to. It was my first song about friendship where I realized I was being heard. So my poetic career plodded on while traversing through goth culture, my parent’s divorce, going to college early, losing toxic friends and becoming the toxic friend.
I didn’t pick up the pen as much when depression won me over, but I’d reach for it in desperate times to avoid carving into my skin, since that too was belittled, invalidated, mocked, and only a few times led friends to beg me to never go too far.
I’ve teased death a time or two, but our relationship is so much more fulfilling now that my poetic purpose has been embraced by my artistic and fragmented soul. That volcanic energy would cool sometimes and seal the broken parts me rearranged by new philosophies and mysticism that called the pen to my hand again, reminding me, especially when I’m erupting, that poetry is permission to simply be.
Wow, I talk about perfectionism a lot don’t I? Lol, well that’s because it haunts the f**k out of me. I’m a very ambitious, but sensitive person. I have big ideas that turn into elaborate, yet overwhelming strategies, and have issues altering those strategies only because I get stuck in a strong spell of the […]