Depression – A Quote From The Goldfinch (No Spoilers)

“For unknown reasons, the gust of energy that had swept me up and fizzed me around all summer had dropped me hard, mid-October, into a drizzle of sadness that stretched endlessly in every direction: with a very few exceptions…I hated being around people, couldn’t pay attention to what anyone was saying, couldn’t talk to clients, couldn’t tag my piece, couldn’t ride the subway, all human activity seemed pointless, incomprehensible, some blackly swarming ant hill in the wilderness, there was not a squeak of light anywhere I looked, the antidepressants I’d been dutifully swallowing for eight weeks hadn’t helped a bit, nor had the ones before that (but then, I’d tried them all; apparently I was among the twenty percent of unfortunates who didn’t get the daisy fields and the butterflies but the Severe Headaches and the Suicidal Thoughts); and though the darkness sometimes lifted enough so I could construe my surroundings, familiar shapes solidifying the bedroom furniture at dawn, my relief was never more than temporary because somehow the full morning never came, things always went black before I could orient myself and there I was again with ink poured in my eyes, guttering around in the dark.” – The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Tartt has such a particular diction that drowns you in sensory detail. I had to share this because it’s a very modern take on depression; our medicines don’t work, the people in our lives aren’t enough, our occupation doesn’t help, our environments become warped and formless even when the most substantial and solid things are crystal clear visually. “…Guttering around in the dark.” Damn. It really is a directionless stumble, an unexpected drop triggered by the cycles of nature that ironically have a more direct path of living than most of us do. When things become pointless and incomprehensible, it is difficult to ground yourself. I remember feeling so heavy during my depression; chained to the bed involuntarily and when I tried to remember the world around me, it seemed so pointless I would dissociate. I wanted to blend with the nothingness surrounding me; vanish. To ground yourself in the midst of this sensation leads to the feat of reaching out. When any of us stumble in the dark, we’re forced to depend on our other senses and often resort to touch. Clinging to walls or railings is the same as clinging to a book, a video game, a movie, a blanket, a pillow, our phones, or we may even touch ourselves. That sensation can become a “squeak of light” acting as a reflection, giving us a glimpse of who we are and what we need. It takes a very vulnerable and honest perception to peer into that reflection, understand who you are, and press on. It’s not easy. It’s just possible.

I’m determined to finish this book and see the movie soon. I really do hope it will do this wonderful work of literature justice. I don’t think I’ve read anything this human.

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The Universe Listens and Responds

There’s a great difference between being alone and lonely. When you wake up, you do realize that you’re never really alone, but the loneliness can creep in at times. Loneliness is actually a perception more than it is a fact. Do we all feel lonely sometimes? Definitely. However, I feel the reason why loneliness is a matter of perception is because this feeling only appears when we experience disconnection.

Even with family and friends around, disconnection occurs when it seems like we’re out of harmony with what’s happening around us. Since a lot of what happens to reality mirrors what’s going on within ourselves, disharmony with reality makes us want to disconnect. I recently experienced this disharmony. The best thing I did for myself is sit down and cry, talk to my spirit guides, create music, draw; in other words, I had to express how I felt about the disharmony. Afterwards, the external reality responded with signs and messages. This also helped me gain clarity on my own internal dialogue that at first seemed so repetitive and directionless. That’s what I mean by reality mirroring what’s going on within. If there is disconnection due to disharmony, all we can do is express that.

To manifest the connection and belongingness we long for in life, our expressions for what we need in life need to be loud and true. Some of us express privately, like myself. Some of us need to express it more publicly. Either way is considered loud and true because the universe listens and responds. Even those who don’t feel that the universe is really listening still NEED to express themselves. Their expression is an action that leads to a reaction. That’s the universe speaking, whether they like it or not. Every action parallels, ripples, echoes, and mirrors what’s already there. If we remember that expressing our needs and desires can guide us in life, no matter how directionless we feel in the moment, results will happen.

Change is the only constant, immutable energy that surrounds us. It’s sentience is still being debated by humanity, but I surely believe that energy is listening. You are not alone. The universe listens and responds.

Art Fuels Me

Took a step back. Grounded myself. Remembered how much art fuels me in every single way to live proudly.

Just wanted to say that…because sometimes I forget. I focus so much on the career and financial part of everything I am doing (because I’m determined to make a living off of being a writer/musician) and then I forget about just living my truth, the law of abundance, and all the other things involving manifestation.

Everything I do comes together and the results are in abundance and I’m happy I can share that with others.

Beautiful Terror

I promised myself I’d work on music this weekend and actually share what I’m working on. I made a TikTok as a way of sort of “vlogging” about it. I have done some singing and piano playing on there if you’re interested in following. My username is authentikei.

But guys…holy shit, I forgot how terrifying it was to record myself while I sing and play. My hands started shaking as I shared the video. My singing lost its confidence with each passing moment. I had to take a break. I forgot how much I wanted to be a musician. I mean, I already am one, but to share my art…holy shit. It was so terrifying. The videos aren’t even that spectacular. I wanted to keep it simple just to figure out the app, how well the audio works, etc…

Just…

Holy shit. What a beautiful terror. It’s a blessing to have so many ways to express myself, but music has always been my primary. Doing this almost led to a panic attack. It’s so strange and familiar. I’m going to keep going, even while trembling.

Part-Time Dreaming Doesn’t Work

This is another one of those “just me” posts. I need to express something that is incredibly important. When it comes to manifesting the life you want, you don’t reach your full manifesting potential when you treat it like a part-time job. This is hard to admit because right now I’m torn between this job, which is blogging/writing/making music professionally and my current part-time where I work with those with autism and developmental disabilities. I absolutely love every client I work with and I learn something new from all of them. I’m really not the kind of person to half-ass a job or anything, really. With that being said, I’m noticing the majority of my energy is going into the part-time job leaving me with little energy after that shift to work on this job.

And when I try to express this to others, I often get asked “Well, why don’t you just work on your dream job on your days off or the weekends?” Because the energy needed for my dream job keeps going to the other job throughout the week and I deserve rest days (I know angst inspires art sometimes, but really…). In a perfect world, I can balance the dream job and the part-time with the same amount of energy. We don’t live in a perfect world, my dream job suffers, the part-time still takes demand. Through my own meditations, I have learned enough about pouring your energy into too many things and being left empty. The power to manifest requires having the power to persist and believe. Yes, my part-time job is helping me provide for things such as transportation and bills, but I know for a fact that if depression and strong suicidal ideation didn’t convince me my dream job wasn’t worth anything, I would be providing for myself. What I’m manifesting, I’ve done before. I’ve seen for myself that it works, but I’m letting things, like this job and other fears, pull me away.

Part-time dreaming doesn’t work. It may pay the bills and it may be one of the most wonderful jobs I’ve ever had, but it’s not the career path I’ve chosen for myself. If anything, I know my career can bring in so much abundance, that I will be able to invest in the progress of this current part-time job more than I have already. I want to donate and give to other charities to, like environmental protection. I want to make a living as the artist that I am and excel to a platform of philanthropy. I’m not going to be able to do that with a part-time attitude. My part-time dreaming is going to be a full-time reality.

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Validation

I ran into this video on TikTok by GaryVee and the message was really neat.

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Validation is a very tricky scenario. There are elements of what validation is in my prose poem Earth Magic; where how you grow up and who you’re around influences the way you feel about yourself. When we seek validation, there’s always that great risk of not being grounded; your roots end up being pulled one way and the other then you end up not having any foundation. Being uprooted from any situation can be traumatizing, the precursor to an existential crisis. Unfortunately, the solution we’re introduced to for the pain and uncertainty is seeking more validation even though that may have been what uprooted us in the first place. We depend on external sources to confirm or deny who we are and simultaneously mistrust our internal sources, our intuition, our self-esteem, our ability to self-reflect.

Internal and external conflict is such a powerful tool in writing because it’s so human. An inner monologue could contrast what other events are happening around the character, which brings suspense and tension. We go through this all the time. What’s going on within isn’t in alignment with what’s going on around us. The popular kids Garyvee talked about may have not aligned with the pressure that comes with popularity, but they would ignore or repress what’s going on internally to continue being fed the validation externally. Validation like this can be very problematic psychologically, but there’s another side to validation that is much more fulfilling.

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Many people think inner peace is a façade because it appears to be near impossible. So why even try to achieve it? I think inner peace at its core is an acceptance of the internal and external tensions along with an acceptance of what can and can’t be controlled. Validation from others is something that you feed. If you want validation from your parents, you’ll feed it by doing whatever they tell you to do or what you think they’d expect from you. If you want validation from peers and coworkers, you will change your behavior or even hide your true behavior. The energy put into feeding the influence validation has on you can be shifted to validation of the self that eventually finds the external sources that are in alignment with who you are. This can happen with even small things, like personal interests; I don’t like mainstream pop music, but if I want validation from peers who like mainstream pop, I’ll listen to it until my ears bleed. The truth is, I like rock and heavy metal. The peers who like mainstream pop may no longer be in alignment with me because of my interests, but now they know who I am and they’ll either want to understand me more or distance themselves. Either way, I now have the opportunity to connect with fellow metal heads and we can now garner a reciprocal validation, but even if validation from the metal heads doesn’t happen, my love for metal will be enough for me. I accept I can’t control my peers or other metal heads; I can control what I listen to and can chose to enjoy it as much as I want.

Validation has a close association with “liking” or “loving” something or someone. That’s why I think it’s a tricky concept that is best simplified when you focus on self-acceptance first and go from there. That way, you’ll never be in poverty even if “likes” become an actual currency. This is what “grounding” really is.

There’s a Black Mirror episode about this. It’s called “Nosedive”, season three, episode one. Please watch it. It’s perfect.

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Trickster Gods

This isn’t going to be a long post, but I wanted to express something.

I think it’s really interesting that any god or spirit who decided to ignore the norm and sculpt their own destiny is considered a “trickster”. The benevolent, selfless spirits are more respected than the intelligent tricksters because they’re considered selfish, but I think selflessness has been coated as negligence of one’s self-worth for far too long. And to defend the trickster, I think self-preservation should be praised more. Tricksters help those who get taken for granted with their stories of losing and winning. Tricksters teach us to be resourceful while considering our strengths and weaknesses. There are heroes who have a moral code that pushes them to be persistent, but the trickster is just as persistent and fully aware that they can turn the direction of their moral compass however they please to prevent being trapped.

Tricksters are the epitome of versatility and freedom. They live as they wish to; why are they shamed for that? I’m not saying all of them are role models, but when it comes to acknowledging one’s inner strength, we should look to them for advice, while other gods may ask us to pray to them and suffer in silence.