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.

“Home” is Where The Art Is

TikTok: @amyoverthinks

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.

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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.

L.

The Lack Mentality Is Killing Us

Do you mind if I share what I’ve been reading?

Still reading and enjoying!

Lost Gods by Brom

This has been a wonderful read so far. The narrative style is specific enough for the sake of immersion, but also jumps into the action of the story without too much wait. Traveling through Hell from the perspective of multiple characters is mesmerizing; each chapter isn’t too long nor short for me, which contributes to this work being a delightful page-turner. I’m always excited to witness a new area of Hell, another god, the growth of a revolution, and the developing external and internal conflicts of each character overlapping with one another without being confusing or sloppy. So far, I truly enjoy Lost Gods with all its ruthlessness and narrative poise. This was a book I started reading on Scribd, then had to order in print. 

Still reading…but close to dropping it…

Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

I was excited for a magical/occult dark academia work to dive into. Unfortunately, the info dumps are incredibly bothersome, but are a good example of why authors need to show rather than tell. The most exciting part about magical systems and their environments is the experience, after all. I’m also concerned with how each character is portrayed, whether through their choices or their description from the protagonist’s perspective, leans into ignorance and racial prejudice. My first impression of the world building and character design overall isn’t good; I’m underwhelmed and keep hoping for actual storytelling and more active characters. I do enjoy the protagonists’s sarcastic and cynical tone, but I would prefer she would stop ranting to me about her conflicts and motives in life and just go after them. She gives me Slytherin vibes, but good gods, stop bitching about everyone and everything around you and do what you claim you’re going to do.

Still reading and loving it

The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper

I heard many people compare this book to The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova so I started it a while ago. So far, I really like it. The narration style is believable and fresh, meaning it’s a style I don’t really come across often. Similar to Brom, Pyper’s writing jumps into the heart of the story with good pacing. I’m a sucker for the stories about an academic who is recruited for some kind of mission that turns out to be more dangerous than it is educational, but is educational nonetheless. I love the narrator’s perspective on things, mostly because his tone of voice is certainly someone who is haunted by many things beyond his control, but isn’t drowning in cynicism necessarily, which must be due to the love for his daughter.

Listening and very intrigued

The Death of The Artist: How Creators Are Struggling to Survive in the Age of Billionaires and Big Tech by William Deresiewicz

This was a featured audiobook that was a recommended read on Scribd and I absolutely love it. I think many people, especially artists, may think it’s all doom and gloom, but I like a good wake up call to the reality of artistry in our time. I think any artist and creative entrepreneur should read or listen to this book if they’re stumped by the question “How do I make a living doing what I love?” Deresiewicz provides research and testimonials from artists who answer the question with, “Well, you may not make a living. That’s kind of the point.” It’s not as pessimistic as artistic souls may think. It’s more of a realistic, big picture view as to why it’s so damn hard making a living doing what you love and that it’s simultaneously harder and easier compared to how artists fought for their careers in the past. I’m not contradicting myself; Deresiewicz breaks down the conundrum of the art and entertainment industries so we as artists can have a more grounded view on the many roads of success that inevitably come with obstacles, failures, and a hell of a lot of exploitation from corporations. (I’m on the chapter about writers, publishing, and fucking Amazon right now…and if I told you how I feel about all this information, this post would be a long ass rant.)

I plan to provide updates about my current reads to stay in touch. I’m actually reading a lot more at once than what’s posted here. That will be another post.

L.

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. 

Article – Letting Go To Hold On – A Person Take on a Taoist Principle

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. 

Leliel

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