Questions from Melony Hill’s Writing for My Sanity Therapeutic Writing Workshop, held online.
Think about a boundary you have had to set with someone. What were the benefits of setting this boundary?
A new boundary I just set was raising the pricing on my art commissions. I was in Pints & Prose, a writing group that has been encouraging me in both my art and my writing. I showed off some in-progress commissioned drawings I was making, and one of the members asked me how much I was charging per drawing. I sent them the Commissions page of my website. They then asked how long it took me to make a drawing. Each drawing takes me roughly 40-50 hours to create, depending on the complexity. They pointed out that I was making around $5 an hour, and said I needed to up my rates.
So, I’m going to be sending out an email to all my Patrons and art fans, and letting them know I’m raising the rates, and that they can hire me at the lower rate only until the end of this week.
We’ll see what happens!
If you had to live in a room by yourself for one month, what healthy activities would you bring in for fun?
I’ve actually thought about this, in case I was locked up as political prisoner or something. I think these are the things that I would bring in.
- A volleyball – I have trouble working out, I have to make it fun in some way. That’s one of the reasons I’m in Karate, so that I’m having fun while working out. A ball is something I’d be able to play with, smack against the wall, volley over my head, use it to sit on or massage myself with with, practice spinning on my finger. It would help encourage me to train and focus on something else.
- A plant – Something to tend for and help remind myself that I can continue to grow.
- Pencils & paper – To help me practice my drawing, to help me continue my drawing, and imagine a world outside the four walls I’d be in.
- An iPod – Music is so important to me. Giving something for me to sing along with and inspire me to do the above things.
What is my gift to the world?
I feel like I have many many gifts to give to the world, but I think most of them focus around introspection. With my art, writing, photography, design, and even my presence, I most love it when it inspires, motivates, or helps people to reflect on some part of themselves. I have a set of beliefs that I live by; taking joy in small things, defending the oppressed, and growing to be the most compassionate person I can be, and so my work tends to inspire and motivate people towards those qualities. And each part of those is wrapped in love.
Am I focusing more on what my life looks like rather than what it feels like?
I feel like I’m merging those two concepts, or at least bringing them closer together. This morning, I woke up extra early for no real reason. I’ve converted my bay window into a prayer, yoga, meditation and napping space. The sun was filtering through the bamboo blinds. My windows were open because hasn’t been as hot lately, and crickets and birds sang through on a gentle cool breeze. My palms cast shadows across the walls. My satin sheets and velvet blankets were soft and decadent, and I just felt so good. The scene looked like an Instagram aesthetic post to me, but it was real. It was my actual room, and it was that way because I had designed it and built it that way, just for me.
I’m challenging myself to keep altering my space to closer match my dreams.
Describe who you really are. What keeps you from showing your genuine self?
I think I’ve been working hard to be my genuine self, and I think that I’ve been pretty successful at it over the past few years. Tapping in to who I really am apart from another person has been key to that. So much of my identity was wrapped up in partnership before, that I had to relearn some of the things that really were some of the more nuanced things I enjoyed about my own personality.
I have felt in some ways that my complexity and depth can be a little scary for some people, so sometimes I have just opted to no talk about everything about myself when I meet people, and let things slowly be revealed over time.
This means that the people who hang around me the longest and who show the most interest in me know the most full version of me. I am a deep and multifaceted person, and I’m done hiding that for other people’s comfort.
If I didn’t feel shame or fear, what would I do now?
There is not a lot I feel shame about right now, nor fear. I’m happy to be in this place.
Think about a time in your life when you thought things were doing well in your life. How did you feel about yourself? What was going on at the time?
Other than now, I think a time where I was doing well was immediately after I graduated college and was living on my own. I had enough income to cover all my bills and a little extra, everything was direct-deposit and automatically withdrawn, and I worried about very little.
I felt good about myself. I was still in the middle of my own body dysmorphia and wasn’t thinking about myself in totally positive ways, I was lonely in some ways, but I was happy.
I feel like I’m recovering some of that same place. And I think it’s important
Why are you so afraid of being celebrated?
I think I’m afraid of not living up to the celebration, of being less than worthy.
Which is silly.
I am worthy.