It’s been rough.

Over the last 10 weeks, I’ve had barely any time for anything or anyone, other than my new little bundle of joy. 

Matilda is already growing up so fast, trying to stand up, skipping out crawling completely. Teething, or the beginnings of, by drooling everywhere and being a lot more fussy than usual, and her gums getting the little teeth beds ready. 

In all this, someone said something to me the other day that, at first, i took offence to, but now I realise his good intentions… “You can’t drop everything you’re doing for your baby all the time”.

Now as I said, I took offence to this at first. Isn’t that what you’re meant to do as a parent? Drop everything for them? Well, I guess not, as when it comes to work/schooling, you need time to do it. Yes, that might mean relying on someone else to watch the baby while you work, but that doesn’t all of a sudden make you a bad parent 9as I was lead to think).

The first few weeks of Matilda’s life, I was incredibly sick. Not just with physical problems, but mental also, being told it’s “quite possible” I have post-natal depression from a few doctors I saw. Though as I had depression and anxiety before I was pregnant, I guess I should’ve seen that coming. Everyone tells you that once you have your baby put in your arms, you change and fall in love, and you’ll just “get it”, but what they don’t tell you is, that doesn’t always happen. That terrified me, that I just felt like I’d given birth, but she wasn’t mine, and holding her, I was babysitting someone else’s baby. I couldn’t breastfeed, so that just alienated me from her even more. I do have issues with it, but I’m trying to battle through, and find some balance. 

That’s easier said than done without depression, let alone on the days when you don’t want to be out of bed, or can’t stand to hold your baby in fear of hurting them, or even because you don’t think you’ll actually do anything to help. For this, my parents have been complete saviours. To think of being a single mother, in a flat in the middle of a city, on my own, I would not have coped. My parents have not only saved me, but her too, for being torn apart. She’s fully looked after and got everyone she meets wrapped around her tiny fingers.

I love my daughter with all my heart, and hope I can be the Mother she needs not just now, but in the future. Getting the balance right between looking after her, and getting back on track with university and work on the other hand has been a very big challenge. 

I’m fighting to get through UCAS applications to change university, as the one I was at is a bit far away from home, making it impossible to commute, and moving that far away from my family, for obvious reasons, is just not an option. Online courses don’t support the ‘Fine Art’ route I want to take, and well, the application deadlines are running away from me. 

However, in all of this, there are good days. Days where I dance around the living room with my daughter, us both smiling and laughing, gurgling funny noises at each other. Days where if I put her down, I feel like large empty space that I just want to fill with her for more cudddles. I don’t know who is more anxious of being separated some days, me or her. Sometimes I’m convinced she’ll start calling her Nana, Mommy, and I’ll be forgotten in the background somewhere. 

Even with all those thoughts, doubts, self-loathing, and procrastination, I’m somehow determined. I’ll show her that not only can I get through this, but so can she. I can get the job I’ve always wanted, and still be the good mother I hope to be. It might take me a bit longer to get there than some mothers, but I will. For her, as she deserves the best I can offer, no less. 

Hoping to get back to making art as soon as possible, but first things first, I need a good long sleep. Fingers crossed for a full night 🙂

Sketchbooks — Jupiter Art Online

Looking at my own personal sketchbooks, especially my recent ones, I’ve found they’re very plain. I need a serious upgrade in my recording skills to feel like I’m getting the best out of the projects I do. How does one improve a sketchbook? Since they’re such a personal object, a form of recording likened to […]

via Sketchbooks — Jupiter Art Online

I’m personally trying to develop my sketchbook skills, feeling like I’m struggling with how I record my work and ideas. Calling out to other artists that can give me any ideas or pointers on how the best I move forward. Any comments would be appreciated!

You Only Cheat Yourself

Responding to the daily prompt “Cheat”- https://dailypost.wordpress.com/2016/08/28/cheat/

When you cheat anything, it’s always been said that you only cheat yourself. I didn’t really understand that until I was about half way through high school.

Cheating on tests? You’re cheating yourself out of an accurate representation of your skills, and your grade. Now don’t get me wrong, schools nowadays seem to value grades above all else, and put far too much pressure on students to pass, instead of just teaching the darn subject. Disgraceful. However, on the other hand, cheating will only give people a false sense of security, until you’re actually asked to do something the requires the skills you cheated. Then you’re in pretty deep trouble. 

Cheating on your partner is just as bad, and vile. I can’t condone cheating of this form. If the relationship is sexless, or bad, then leave. No matter how many times you’ve “gotten away with it” before, it will catch up to you. Destroying someone’s self-esteem, trust, love… It’s not worth it. Love who you’re with, or leave. I understand that people that are in domestic violence situations don’t have it that easy, and can’t always just up and leave without being hurt, physically or emotionally, but is cheating really going to make that situation better? Or finding a subtle way to call out for help a better use of your time? 

In computer games, the rules are a bit more lax. You cheat to get past the hard parts, to stop yourself replaying the same level over and over just to get one piece you need. However, physical games, sports, cheating should not be condoned there either, and I’m certainly glad it’s not. Recently we had the Rio olympics, and due the Paralympics. Russia was, and is completely banned from both, which is a shame for those that have actually worked hard, the right way, cleanly, that have to wait another 4 years for a chance like this, however the blanket ban has stopped the drugged or “enhanced” from getting unfair treatment, and being allowed to compete. I suppose glory and money can make people fill themselves up with all sorts of toxins for that recognisiton, but that doesn’t mean it’s right. 

Cheating, makes you only cheat yourself. That’s something I will always believe.

Meeting People 

How does one meet new people? 

You’ve meet all the people there is to meet in work, and they’re not really what you’d call “friends”. School/college/university had some people, but you only connected with one or two, and life is moving on for everyone. Your friendship circle is pretty tight-knit. Everyone knows everybody. 

It seems that unless you drink out on the weekends, meeting new people as an adult is incredibly difficult. Even dating sites encourage the “lets get drunk” culture. 

I don’t drink out like that. And the clubs I want to be in, I’m already in. I crave new friends, new people, new conversations and opinions. I suppose we all do, that’s why social media is so important these modern days. 

Are you just like me? Or have an suggestions? All would be welcome.

Reflection on Mistakes

Responding to the daily prompt of “Mistakes” – https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/mistake/

It can be incredibly difficult to not see tough circumstances as a result of our “mistakes”. We are all just humans that way. We know that we all make mistakes, and the consequences don’t just affect ourselves, but the people around us. 

At 27 weeks pregnant, at first, I believed all this was a mistake. Being with a man that left me for another woman three months into the pregnancy was my fault. Keeping the baby, when I’m only 21, still in university and was struggling beforehand, still living with mommy and daddy, was all my fault. Not only that, but the effect on my family, my personal life, my health, was all my fault. It took me a while to realise that these rough times weren’t because of a mistake, but more a faulty condom, a vulnerable heart and the best intentions. So yes, maybe it was my fault, but not through neglect or malice, but love for the little group of cells now in my womb. 

In the beginning, I knew I had missed my period. I had brought the tests, and was sat wide awake at 3 am. I was terrified. This certainly wasn’t the way I wanted to be pregnant. I wanted to be older, with a job, a home of my home, and a man I knew for sure wanted this as much as I did, but not this time. I sighed and took pee test there and then. I couldn’t wait any longer, and have these negative thoughts swirling around my mind if it was going to be ok, and I wasn’t pregnant. It’s supposed to take 2 minutes for the results to show up, but they showed up practically instantly. I burst into tears and woke my parents up, sobbing into my mother as both my parents cuddled around me and told me everything was going to be ok. I did t know they were going to be right, all I knew was that the condoms I had used with my current boyfriend were obviously faulty and I was going to have to decide how things would go from here. 

Fast forward 3 months later. Me and my boyfriend had decided to keep the baby, that the idea of an adoption was just too much for me to take, and he was ok with being a father again. (He already had two children, one he had no visitation with, and the other was with a girl I was friends with back in college). Things had started going down hill. I was in and out of hospital like a yo-yo, with chronic morning sickness, well, all day sickness with how this went on. I was no where in the mood for sex. My boyfriend was becoming distant. I didn’t understand why, at a time I probably needed him the most, he wasn’t apclose at all. After a few days of having no reply to any of my messages, I got a group of abusive text messages. It was heartbreaking, telling me he never wanted this baby, that I would be a terrible mother, and he could go sleep with any woman he wanted because I obviously didn’t want him anymore. The day after he came over an apologised, but I couldn’t trust him after that. He broke me, and made me believe it was my fault, that my mistakes had driven him away. For a while, I believed him. 

Now I’m a lot further on in the pregnancy, I can feel movements, and I can see them much clearer on scans now, it made me realise that this baby wasn’t a mistake. Just my, now ex, was. The stress of moving my family home around with the help of my parents and money issues were just the bad coming with the good. University has been deferred for a year, and I’m thinking of transferring to a place closer to home. All my “mistakes” were just side steps in a direction I didn’t think I could go, but now I’m here, I am nothing but optimistic. 

Mistakes aren’t always your fault. And if they are, they truly can be opportunities in disguise. This oppurtunity is that I get someone that relies on me, needs me, and someone I can truly better myself for, to give them the best life possible. 

I realised I don’t regret my mistakes, and neither should you. Embrace them, and just think them through, it might be a blessing somewhere down the line. 

Art Isn’t Anecdote

Something I’ll try to keep in mind when writing my posts.

The Daily Post

Last week, I finished reading Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, a collection of writings by author Cheryl Strayed in her role as Dear Sugar, an advice columnist for TheRumpus.net.

In Tiny Beautiful Things, what’s most impressive isn’t how thoughtful or insightful Sugar’s replies are, but her uncanny ability to make each question seem so fragile and universally human. As a writer, it’s her columns on creativity, art, and the art of writing that stand out as little nuggets of artistic wisdom.

I teach memoir writing occasionally. I always ask my students to answer two questions about the work they and their peers have written: What happened in this story? and What is this story about? It’s a useful way to see what’s there. A lot of times, it isn’t much. Or rather, it’s a bunch of what happened that ends up being about…

View original post 236 more words

Tattoo Therapy: The Catharsis of Being Tattooed

I have tattoos. They remind me of the struggle I went through, not just to get here, but to have them, pay for them and have them mean something. They aren’t just mindless doodles on my body, they’re my life, etched into my skin. After the pain (sometimes agony), I look at them, my skin tingles and I remember. That is the reason I’m addicted to being tattooed, even though I’m terrified of injections and a complete wuss when it comes to pain.

Vocalady

woman-1209592_960_720

Tattoos have a long history as an art form, with the oldest evidence of a tattooed body being dated at about 3,000 B.C. Despite its enduring presence, only a few short decades ago tattoos were considered to be reserved for a subculture of military and biking men. Now it’s made a return to the consciousness of popular culture, with about 36% of individuals aged 18-25 sporting the permanent art. This rise in popularity and deviation from tattoo culture’s traditional place in hypermasculine expression is partially the fault of the same factors that influence most millennial trends: social media and television. Television shows such as Miami Ink brought the beauty and attainability of tattoos to living rooms, and artists now have platforms with millions of followers to showcase their enviable work. But tattoos hurt, sometimes a lot, so why are so many individuals flocking to the needle drawn art form?

Probably…

View original post 938 more words