mistakes by the lake

sit down. let me tell you a story about ohmygod what am I doing?

4 Lessons Learned When I Tried Selling My Art

I’m going to do something wild and crazy here, and combine my writing with my other favorite thing, which is drawing robots. I’ll let you read about that here, on my website.

Last weekend, I tried something new: I sat behind a booth, at a couple of art fair/craft markets and attempted to sell my robot art. It was 90 degrees, but it felt slightly cooler under the tent I purchased at 6am the day of the market. Me and my lovely booth partner managed to set this tent up with a bit of assistance from those in neighboring booths. For the next 8 hours, we chatted with each other, chatted with customers, and folded and refolded our screen printed shirts about 100 times. We did the same thing the next day, but without the 90 degree heat. We did, however, learn how to block our wares from the rain and wind. Over the course of these 2 days, I learned a few things, which I have narrowed down to 4 Lessons I Learned When I Tried Selling My Art.

  1. Some people do not want my art. This is because they do not like how it looks, they don’t think it’s priced appropriately, they don’t have the money to buy it, it reminds them of their first heartbreak, divorce, dog, etc. Basically, I have no idea why they are not running up throwing cash at me, but they are not. If I was selling, say, coffee that I had not roasted, picked or purchased, I don’t know if this would bother me so much. When I draw or paint, it feels like the distillation of my little heart being spread onto paper, and when someone is all “I will pass” on that, it is easy to get crushed. Thankfully, just one single person liking my art can often override that shitty feeling. There was a boy, on day 2, who came up to our booth with the word “weird” written on his little 9 year old hand. His Mom made a comment about this being “the robot lady from yesterday” and then she told me that after they had seen my stuff the day before, the boy went home and drew his own robots. There. Heart repaired. I inspired one person. Can that carry over into other things? Can I focus on the positives and the people who do care and do love me and stop focusing on the ones who just don’t care or even dislike me, knowing that their opinion might be out of my control anyway?
  2. I can let go of insecurity.  I carry around a bunch of insecurity about my decision to work in a corporate setting after graduating from art school. There are so many different paths, and I had romanticized the path of creating art to support myself. I have felt, often, that I’m not a real artist, because my art is too literal (i.e. these are my robots. they mean..well that they are robots?) or because I work 9 to 5 and when asked what I do for a living I tell people what I do to pay my bills. There was a time, in the last year or so, as I was getting to know some amazing artists locally, where I starting thinking about quitting my job and trying to survive on art alone. Then I found a job that I liked. It’s corporate. I wear business casual attire and work in the HR department at a hospital. And I love it. And I love making art. And that’s fine. If one thing pays the bills and helps me to build a career that can support me for years to come (hopefully), then I feel like I’ve created an environment for myself where I can make art. I didn’t even realize that I had been working towards that until it was there. I can afford a little corner of a studio. I can afford art supplies. And if nobody buys my robot t-shirts and prints all weekend, I can still pay rent. That is good for me. The balance of security and freedom is good for me. We’re all so different, and that might not be the formula for you. It might be for my friends, and I will be there to listen and learn from then as long as possible, but that doesn’t mean one is “right”. Your path doesn’t make you an artist. Making art makes you an artist. What you look like does’t make you an artist. How you look at things does. In my opinion. Art is subjective, y’all.
  3. Feeling disappointed means that I tried something. I was disappointed in the way the markets went. Why? Because I put myself into something and created something and it didn’t sell, which was the intention. Ways to avoid this situation would include: not trying or trying harder next time. OK. So not trying? I did that for the first 7  years after I graduated. That did not make me feel good. That leaves trying harder, which is inherently hopeful. That market didn’t work out? Or, that run sucked? That relationship didn’t work out the way you wanted? That presentation, etc. etc…On a basic level, the option to try again is so often present. Yes, you have to build yourself back up first, which leads to the next lesson which is….
  4. Failure is a massive opportunity for practicing self-love. After the first market day, when it was 90 degrees out and everyone melted and became zombies, I went home and went to bed. I had the opportunity to go out with people I love and drink and rehash the day. This might be self-care for some people. Last month, I started a practice of not drinking alcohol and going home when I wanted to. Yes, my practice is  wild, I know. My body told me that was what it needed to heal from certain things, so I listened to that. When I notice that I feel fragile or frustrated, I listen to that. It’s like magic. It works every time. I don’t know what your body or mind are telling you, but I bet there’s something. I ignored so many things for so long and then I sort of gave up and listened. It turns out that my mind is actually pretty smart, and if I just listen, I can get some pretty helpful tips. Like, go eat food and get in bed. OK, mind. I hear you. Don’t text them. Don’t drink that. Drink this instead. Talk to this person. Don’t talk. Just listen. Listen to this person. You know so much more than you think you do. It’s amazing.

That’s what I learned. I also learned that my supportive female friends are my secret weapon, but that’s another story for another post.

Do you have thoughts on selling your art? Tips for new people like me? Questions that I will try my best to answer? Please please please leave them in the comments. I dream of this blog being a place for conversation. You’re all the very best.

xo

 

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Boo! A story about ghosts.

ghost

ɡōst/

noun

  1. an apparition of a dead person that is believed to appear or become manifest to the living, typically as a nebulous image.

There’s been a ghost in my house, y’all. A “nebulous image” that’s been chasing me like a shadow. Let me tell you a story.

In the last year and a half, I have tried to deal with a bunch of change and grief in so many fun ways, most of which I’ve mentioned here already: running from it (figuratively and literally), drinking too much, dieting too much, dating too much and generally pretending that everything was ok when it wasn’t. Like, here is a hole…I will fill it with all of the things except more me. 

I reached a point of exhaustion with it all the other day, and something amazing happened. All of the too much-ness washed over me like a wave, and I felt like I had been knocked down. When I got up, I was alone on a shore of sorts (ok, it was my sister’s bed in Chicago), feeling dehydrated and sore, and could clearly see that I was holding onto a ghost in my mind. The ghost wasn’t just the past relationship. It was my old house and my old job. It was old habits. It was good things and bad things that had made up a home. I had spent the last 18 months trying to pretend that the ghost didn’t matter, until it all mattered too much to move. It was time to let the ghost go. It was dead. I couldn’t breathe anymore life into it. I suddenly felt like I had been sad enough.  I had cried and screamed enough. I had wondered “what if I had…” exactly enough. After wringing all that sadness out, I was left with a choice, as I saw it: I could let go and move, or cling and stay.

In the last 18 months, I’ve learned so much as I’ve stripped away the things that I no longer needed and added on new layers that were completely my own. In the end, it was me and the ghost on the shore. I forgave it enough, but I didn’t fall down at it’s feet. I looked it in the eyes and said goodbye. Now I’m walking away. It’s the most grateful I’ve been for a revelation in almost exactly 18 months.

Sometimes walking away is coming home.

xo

 

Detours and an ongoing disdain for pants

Monday mornings are an unpopular time to post your writing online, but I haven’t written in weeks, and words have been fighting to get out. So here we are.

I could say that I haven’t written because I had to return my laptop to my old employer,  or because I started a new job, or because I’m too tired after to write after work. I could blame it on a recent obsession with making tiny stop-motion robot movies. And that would be true. Those are all true things about the last month. I have started to explain this in my head, daily, wanting to pour it out. Somehow, after writing about positivity and self-awareness, coming out and saying “I haven’t felt like writing because I feel anxious and shitty” feels disappointing.

Do you know how you feel when you miss an exit on the highway, or even worse, don’t realize that you’re driving the wrong way, for miles? The worst. That is also how I feel on this journey to be my own biggest fan, or at least a serious cheerleader. I’m cruising along, anxiety-free, and then I miss a turn. Suddenly, all of my clothes feel too tight, I’m panicking because I’m two minutes from texting The Ex I Do Not Text and I’m reliving, with horror, all of the conversations I’ve had in the last 24 hours. Or 24 days. Or months.

For the last several months, I’ve felt myself moving forward. Anxiety about work and body-image and being solo and uncertain about the future didn’t feel like part of the present. Until it was again. And it seems like a failure of sorts.

The only thing that comforts me is that I’m still on the road. I didn’t park on the side of the highway and run pants-less into a cornfield. I want to. I want to say screw it. But I can’t because nobody but me can drive this anxious little robot-making, pants-fearing car. It’s mine. I get turned around, but I hold fast to my vague sense of direction. I have people who call and ask how the drive is going. When I tell them that it’s total shit, they don’t hang up. Maybe that’s my challenge: to keep going, to keep talking, even when the message isn’t too inspirational. I am allowed to be down even if, on the outside, everything seems to be going well. Being lost is a really nice car is still being lost, and it’s still frustrating.

So I’ll stay on this path, knowing I can only see so far ahead, and plan so little. This is a detour, if we stick with this metaphor, and not a break down. I’ll keep telling you all about it, because you’re here, and I said I would.

5 things I learned about traveling and anxiety

I’ve been away, not writing you things. I missed it, I missed you! I also remembered that writing is a tiny anchor that I require to stay present and passably sane. I have, however, been listening harder than ever.

I left my quiet home in Grand Rapids for a loud and beautiful journey from  Chicago to Miami. I slept next to my sister instead of my dog. I pulled on shorts instead of sweaters. I drank frozen booze drinks instead of green juice. The only workout I did was running after a bus (missed it). Things were very different than my normal routine. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved traveling, but in the last couple of years, it’s made me feel anxious. The change in routine, the lack of control, the unknown. This time, things felt different, and I have 5 ideas on why that is:

  1. I’ve been getting into the habit of trying to pick up on and focus on sounds when I’m feeling floaty (that’s a feeling, right?) or stressed. It brings me back inside, and makes the inside (of my mind) feel like a more peaceful place to be. In a response to my last post, my friend shared something that her yoga instructor told her and I keep coming back to it: “…the instructor told us to think of the noises we heard in savasana (passing cars, foot traffic, people talking, sometimes arguing, the pipes whooshing with water, other people breathing) as the universe carrying on around us. And to think of ourselves as rocks in that steady river of noises moving around us. To ground ourselves, to hold on tight.” In the middle of the dance floor in Miami, at 2am, you can honestly still find peace in the sounds around you.
  2. I gave up on control. You can plan your face off, and you will still miss a bus now and then, or forget to pack a single pair of socks (but like, so many necklaces? Why?) and it will be fine. One time, I left my entire suitcase in a taxi in NYC. I lost my shit. Literally and figuratively. It was super crappy. But I’m alive, right? My wallet was stolen in France. I missed my train in London.  Life is inconvenient as hell, but once I accepted that, it became much easier to take that dumb stuff in stride. I find that sitting down, getting a cup of coffee, and figuring out the next steps is a good plan when things fall apart. I will say, however, that scream crying in Central Park over my lost luggage will go down as one of the most dramatic moments in my life, and I don’t think I would trade that one in.
  3. It’s never not going to be stressful. Something I realized recently is that I am always going to be inclined to be anxious and emotional. That’s just what it is. It’s somewhat freeing to know that I never need to be perfect. Learning to deal with the garbage feels way easier, to me, than making sure I never again encounter garbage.
  4. Long rides in the car or on trains are amazing for relaxing into your head and listening or working through shit. I don’t know why, but they don’t bore me anymore. I also figured out the perfect position in which to contort my body to sleep comfortably on Amtrak. Thank you, yoga.
  5. Taking a nap on the earth is priceless. Do you feel that way? Just laying down on a blanket in a park or beach (or grass outside your office…I do it and it’s worth the stares) just does something good. No matter what city I’m in, that always feels like home to me.

So, that’s some stuff I learned.  My plan is just to keep listening, because I’m starting to suspect that the answers are waiting to be heard, felt and touched.

xo

IMG_40731

The author, trying to nap in Miami. Gotta get those naps where you can. Never let anyone tell you how to nap.

Listen up.

 

Does anyone else like lying in bed while someone else tinkers around the house? I love those noises. I’m not sure what the deal is, but lately, listening has been comforting and grounding. Maybe it’s a throwback to childhood, when I would lay awake, looking at the crack of light the door makes, listening to my Dad shuffle the newspaper. I have a roommate now, and I like to listen for the creaks on the stairs and the clinking of dishes she makes when I’m in bed.

I started thinking about this more in the last couple of days, since coming home to visit my parents. I feel so comforted, listening to the sounds of the house at night or in the morning. The plinking of cereal into a bowl, the grinding of the coffee maker, the cats meowing, my parents trying to figure out TurboTax, my mom’s fiddle music, and the sound of the garage door. I leave my door cracked so I can hear the noises better. The secret is out. I like lying in bed with my dog listening to house sounds. I should put that on my online dating profile.

So, as I sat down to write today, I was thinking about all of this. I wanted to find some meaning, or perhaps some message that the universe of noise was trying to tell me. And I sat. And I listened to the wind chimes outside the window. I listened to the cars, as the noises changed with their distance from me.  I heard a clock that I didn’t know my parents had. I heard my ears pop. I think that I spend so much time trying to figure everything out that I must have stopped listening to a degree. Just listening to the relatively quiet sounds of a house suddenly felt so beautiful and interesting.

Instead of coming to a conclusion on how this is all making me feel and why it’s something to pay attention to, I’m going to leave you with this question: What can listening do? What can it change or move? I’m wondering how this awareness of sound could affect the way I listen to people and stuff like that. This week, between now and next Friday, I’m just going to listen more.  Maybe you try it too? That way, when I tell you how it went in next week’s post, you can tell me how it went for you.  Are there good sounds? Bad sounds? Does music count? I don’t know the answers, but I’ll be listening for them.

xo

Big coat+ big hair, don’t care.

Let me tell you a short story about big hair and big coats.

The other day I busted out the blow dryer, which I hadn’t done since I chopped my hair off. I blow dried my hair with the sole purpose of seeing how large I could make it. VERY LARGE, as it turns out.  And yes, I have free time that I spend very unproductively.  Now, this hair was not beautiful. Not something where I thought, Yes. This how we get the boys. More like Wowmy hair is so big and hilarious. I had a similar moment with an over-sized pea coat I recently picked up at a little shop called “Hall Closet, Parent’s House”. It does nothing for my form. It hugs nothing. It flatters nothing. It is so warm, and it makes me feel like Dana Scully from The X-Files, which is a good thing to me. Now, this might not seem like a big deal. I have enormous hair and a weird coat. Cool. BUT the point is that these weird things make me happy, and they’re not there to impress anyone. Nobody cares but me. That is something I have learned to embrace, after years of caring too much about what others think. Hell, I currently care too much about what others think, which is why unexpected joy about crazy hair and clothing is a tiny celebration.

I cannot tell you the number of times that I’ve walked into a room and wanted to melt into the floor boards. In these instances of melting with insecurity, I’d like to think that I was just gathering steam. Gathering steam, gearing up for day when I would walk to the coffee shop in my giant coat, and Conan O’Brien like hair, and feel super fantastic about myself, and then head back home. That kind of happiness, however infrequent, is my favorite thing about right now, and it just wouldn’t be as special to me if I was pretending that today was the first day of my life. That past stuff is mine, and to dismiss it seems like a really bitchy friend move to my past self.

Why does stuff that has happened to us matter anyway? Why not just start over and say “That was last year, NEW YEAR NEW ME I LITERALLY CANNOT REMEMBER ANYTHING THAT HAPPENED BEFORE TODAY LALALALAAAAA”.  I have tried this before, and for me personally, it does not work out. I have to respect myself, and that means acknowledging that I am all of my parts. All of my days. Even if I don’t remember them all clearly, they happened. I was me during them. Now I’m here, always. I’m carrying my past with me, not as a burden, but as a base. I can stand on all of the yesterdays. If I went through something hard, and I learned anything, I have that to prop myself up. If I made a choice that I regret, I have that. It’s here, so I might as well stand on it instead of letting it sit on top of me. It’s very hard to move that way. I don’t need to make things harder than they are.

I have no idea what you should do next, and I will never try to tell you that I do. If you’re like “what should I have for dessert” or “should I text this girl”, I will totally offer you advice. But, for the big stuff, the “seriously, what do I do next”, I think there are answers inside of our yesterday and today and plans that fell through and mistakes. I think that, when I listen to myself, and recognize a small shift, like giant hair and coat confidence, I can learn a whole lot from that. That matters to me.

xo

Alexis

PocoSmall

This doesn’t exactly relate to my post, but I dreamed this up when I fell asleep while writing it, so…yes. Comment/share here or on social media to be entered to win a print of my weird boat dream.

Emergency kit

When life gets hard, I pull out an emergency kit. My emergency kit has a dog in it. It also has coffee, a candle, sage and something to write with. There are some rings in there that remind me to be strong; one from my sister, and one from me. I put them on, make the coffee, and burn the things that smell good. I write with one hand and pet the dog with the other.

When emotions swirl in, and wrap themselves up in my head, I’ve been trying to resist the urge to do battle. I’ve been trying to learn about mindfulness lately, as I figure 488 million Buddhists can’t be wrong about something as simple as being present. I find it challenging because my brain is a pretty loud, jangly place. It is not a peaceful drive in the country. It is a sticky child in the backseat eating crayons, asking if we’re there yet.  So I’m interested in this mindfulness business, focusing on letting feelings come and just sort of observing them. This is uncomfortable at times, which is why I don’t think that the Buddha would mind me pulling out said emergency kit before sitting with all of this shit.

Eventually, I would love to feel comfortable wherever I am, with no need for a sense of security. My inner calm would be all I needed. For now, as I figure that stuff out, I’m not going to feel bad about the fact that my dog and some sage can help me avoid a panic attack. Or that sometimes they aren’t enough.  If I’m going to jump into all of this vulnerability, I need a baby blanket sometimes. Literally– I have the blanket I came home from the hospital in, on hand. JUST IN CASE. If I’m going to quit drinking booze to try to find some inner peace and balance, I’m going to occasionally eat ice cream while crying to my mom about how dating is hard when you have to tell dudes that you’d love to meet for drinks but that you won’t be drinking and could they please for the love of PBR just order a beer and not get weird about it?  I strive to love every inch of my body, because it’s mine and I know deep down that it’s great. I’m still going to spin into a body-loathing frenzy from time to time that involves trying on 7 pairs of jeans and then hiding in bed pants-less for a few minutes before getting back up and trying again.

Pants attack

When pants attack. *

Last summer, I wanted to do a headstand. I practiced almost every day in my room, smashing around, falling down, and sweating. It was not pretty. Eventually, I figured it out. I was able to do one. So I tried handstands. Same process, same smashing. I still can only hold it for a few seconds before I fall on my face, but those moments that I’m up there, balancing, feel good. The moments that I’m lying on the floor panting, checking for rug burn, also feel good. It’s a mess, but the whole thing makes my body stronger. Trying to do a handstand makes my arms just as sore as doing the actual handstand. Point: There aren’t good and bad parts here. Just parts. Trying parts, succeeding parts, starting over parts.

Today, I thought about some heartbreak, and I thought about some insecurity, and I felt small. I took a bath. I thought about all of the ways in which I am capable of treating myself like shit, and was tempted to do them all. I drank some coffee. I convinced the dog to snuggle with me by bringing all of my bedding to the couch. I lit a candle. I wrote this. Every step forward is a celebration.

 

*Want a colorful print of pants attacking? Comment here or share this post for a chance to win your very own copy, which I will send you in the mail. xo

Congrats to last week’s winner, the beautiful and talented Andrea Gallagher. I picked the winner live on Snapchat (me: perplexxis) so you know it was an honest random pick 🙂

GTFO vs. bloom where you’re planted

Honest admission: I want to put my bed into a camper van, toss the dog in there, with a bunch of paper and pens and paints. I would drive around the country, slinging art, sleeping in my van. In reality, I would have no clue how to fix a van if it broke down, and without my sturdy 9 to 5, I wouldn’t have the money to do it in the first place. I like showering in my shower. I like sitting in my bedroom, after work, burning candles and rearranging furniture.  I recently started contributing more than zero dollars a month to my 401K fund, and I feel good about it. If that doesn’t strip me of my wanderlusty free spirit badge, I don’t know what does. And yet, the desire to run remains.

ByeJobsmall

Dream*

When I get restless, I first look back, to see if that’s the place I want to be. It’s not.  Paulo Coelho says “I think it’s important to realize you can miss something, but not want it back”. I miss Chicago, I miss mysterious, toxic people, and I miss smoking and drinking and dancing until the sun rises, but I don’t want any of it back.

I decided to move to Michigan from Chicago a year ago, to recover after a breakup and to find comfort in a state that I grew up in. It was part knee jerk part planned reaction. Most things I try to plan go directly to shit, but somehow, this one worked out. I had planned on a year. A year is, in my mind, how long you stay somewhere. A year is long enough to find a new passion, or job, or lover or person to live with. It’s long enough to hate something, to discover something better, or to decide it’s time for a fresh start. After a year, with no real reason to leave, I have no idea what to do. This has led me to a discovery: I love to react. Anyone else? Not reacting is hard, right? I started thinking about moving out of Michigan. Why? No idea. I just feel like I have to do something. Staying and just doing the things I’m doing now feels wrong, even though I love the things. So how long do we stay? Why do we stay? How do we know if we’re running away from something or towards something and do we have to judge it? Sometimes words do battle in my head. The word “complacent” and the word “content” fight when this topic comes up and I haven’t come up with a winner.  Did I “run away” or did I “try something new” when I left Chicago? Does it matter, if I’m better for it?

I’m in a better place now, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to run.

 

*Want me to send you a beautiful large print of this silly drawing I did? Leave a reply or share this post, and I’ll pick one of you at random and mail it to you.

Alexis, 32, 0 Miles Away

Something I hear from my married or coupled friends is “I really miss dating” or “I miss feeling like I should put a bra on when I leave the house in case future boo is running to Walgreens too” or (I get this all the time) “I am so jealous that you get to do online dating. That seems really life affirming”.  You guys? This one’s for you. Because you miss it, and I feel like it’s my job to help you feel like you’re right there with me.

If you have been in a relationship for a long time, you may have missed the online dating boat all together. I’m so sorry. You know that feeling of leafing through wet garbage to look for something you lost, but are not really sure you even want it anymore? Like, an earring you kinda like or maybe a 15 dollar check from Consumer’s Energy but you’re thinking, “Is it worth it? This garbage smells really bad”. There you go. That’s what it’s like. Please, don’t be jealous of my positive attitude.Trashdate

Here are some fun things that have happened for me on Tinder this year:

I went on a date.  My take away from that is you should tell me that you live with your parents and hate everything before I spend the time to put on mascara and pants. I bought Wendy’s on the way home from that date. My chicken nuggets made me feel like the evening wasn’t a complete wash.  I love Wendy’s and I’m not ashamed of that. I don’t like people who hate everything and I’m not ashamed of that either.

After something like this, I usually go through the following steps:

  1. Delete dating app
  2. Excitedly do all of the fun alone things that make me happy, like reading and napping and drawing
  3. Wonder if people in the future will refer to this as my prolific period because I make more art when I’m not looking for someone to make out with. Wonders if people in the future will remember me.
  4. Remembers that making out is fun.
  5. Downloads dating app

So then I gave it another go.

I recently had an internet conversation with someone who didn’t look gross and wasn’t holding a dead deer or fish up to the camera. Promising, right? Unfortunately, he made a joke about sex positions, twice, and then told me to relax. Barf. Repeat steps 1 through 5 above.

It’s not all bad, of course. Going dancing is something I do more of when I’m single. Last weekend I went dancing and practiced this slick move where I basically dance away from anyone who approaches me.  My legs were sore for 2 days from doing this.  When I got home, I made my dog “shake” my hand in celebration of the fact that I went out and danced and stayed up late.  She’s really proud of me.

Recently, my therapist asked me if I was dating. I laughed hysterically and finished with a “whhhewww…..yeahh”. Then she wrote something down. I imagine she wrote “Seems to be really good at dating”.

16 months later + 620 words on heartbreak.

Heartbreak is no joke.  Whether you are the one that ends it or not, the end aches with loss and emptiness. Time passes, and sometimes it heals all wounds, like it’s supposed to. Sometimes it doesn’t. People tell you to keep on keepin’ on, because time will totally take care of your sad little heart. Recently I learned that if we don’t let ourselves feel our feelings, and get mad and confront certain shitty truths, time can pass, and we can stay in the same place.

I went through a really hard breakup a little over a year ago. I thought that time would fix things. I thought 6 months sounded about right. But then 6 months passed. I was still hurting. It was constantly on my mind. I met new people but was not fully present because I was always thinking that maybe I made a mistake. Maybe that past relationship wasn’t as bad as I thought. Maybe I needed that person in my life at the cost of so many other things. Only recently, I realized that time does help to numb the sharpness of the loss, but by pretending I was fine, that I wasn’t mad, that it didn’t hurt, I was keeping myself in the same shitty place, mentally. I kept small ties to the person I had been with, because finally letting go would mean exactly that. That I had let them go. I found this quote by Lou Doillon. She’s a beautiful French woman who writes and sings and acts and I would like to be her friend. She had things to say about heartbreak and I was all “yes, yes, mhmm, yes” about it:

The best way to deal with heartbreak, she said, “is to embrace it, to surrender to it, because it’s all right and it makes you a better person to let it destroy you. My grandfather used to say, ‘No one’s dead yet’. The worst drama in life is death. The second drama in life is heartbreak. The worst ones are the ones that have to do with passion. I do believe that passion is a projection and love is a projection, when you fall in love with people who are mysterious enough for you to project whatever you needed to project. Those are the worst heartbreaks because it was all a fantasy anyway. You’re closer to a junkie at that point, so you might as well surrender to [the heartbreak].”—Jezebel

I had so much trouble with surrendering to the heartbreak and the loss because it made me feel vulnerable. I was much better at hurtling myself through the day, with tear soaked cheeks and wine stained lips, yelling “I’M FINE” as I headed off to my zillionth yoga class of the week. I thought I looked very together. Nobody bought it, because wine lips don’t lie, and when I try to lie I fail miserably. So I had to give it up, and go back to square one. Crap.

Heartbreak is hard but I don’t think we need to fear it. Embracing it without romanticizing it, accepting that you might be sabotaging your own grief by not letting go, and being about 10 times kinder to yourself than you think you deserve. That’s my advice, based on a year of mistakes and wrong turns. I deal with as it comes, whether it’s every day or once a week. I just let it in. It’s like a ringing phone. I answer it, I let it talk, and I listen, and then I hang up the phone. Letting the damn thing ring and ring will drive you nuts. I just go with the hope that, one day, it stops calling.

xo

Thoughts? Feels? Leave ’em in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.