The Life I Crave

I spoke with a close friend the other day about dreams and how my choices aren’t actively contributing to them. She is absolutely right and it stings to realize how many hours were devoted to mobile games versus daydreams I hold close. It feels like an 8:1 ratio, if you also include the endless scroll and switching accounts to avoid life and my emotions haha ugh.

So what do my dreams look like? What decisions can I make today and commit to that will allow for their fruition?

This blog is a start. I dream of consistently updating my namesake, every week or at least fortnightly. Adding new projects I finished with explications and expansions on old ones. Approaching previous concepts with a newly adopted perspective. Less divulging on social media and placing it primarily here. The way I write must use multiple story slides and further comments to hold it all and Instagram isn’t the best vessel, and neither is Facebook. They’re good for contextualizing my life, but it’s not enough.

My words can breathe more easily here, more room to ruminate and connect. I like the idea of having a central home for all my projects that isn’t hosted somewhere else. I completed my ATC set for a swap and was posting them on Instagram, but I didn’t post up the rest.

I decided to put them all here, where you can more easily read image descriptions beneath each card. Not so haphazard and with more consideration and care. Not in this post but someplace soon.

I hope this isn’t another burst that fades. I’ve made these sort of posts way too often over the years, telling how I would revamp my site and what I would do. Then never carry it out. I don’t like that part of me, where I don’t fulfill what I promise. Fear, laziness, self-defeat, self-sabotage, anxiety, imposter syndrome—they all play a role and I let them.

I can easily end all that though by just making the effort. Consistent small steps each day. I see blooming possibilities in my reach but they can only happen if my actions grasp my words.

I’ve reached a level of internal discomfort and disgust that’s affecting my friendships. I don’t want to let people down but I am. The choices I make are hurting those I care about and that actively pains me. I don’t want them to think I love them any less because my decisions are hurtful but that’s what they show. All they can see are the consequences and I hate who I became because of all that.

But she wouldn’t want me to hate myself over this, just use that same energy to actively choose her and not let myself down. I want to be present but I can’t be if I’m stuck on self-hatred mode, not getting enough sleep, or thinking about the past so obsessively. All those hours of resentment spent on people who no longer exist in my life. And if they are, they’ve definitely changed and I need to let go. Not for them, but for me. It can’t be healthy to hold onto all this burdensome weight and hurt. I just realized that I spend more time thinking of those I despise than my loved ones which is tragic and never necessary. The only one who is being harmed is me and I need to heal already.

The following is the life I crave:

Besides regular updates to this website and an overhaul. I wish for a consistent writing routine. Each day, every day, I segment at least a hour of writing. Devoted to current projects, sketching them out, and/or editing them. If I’m lucky, editing and critiquing another person’s work. Is it weird how doing so makes me feel the most alive? lol I’m laughing at myself right now, I need to go on a date haha.

I took Esmé Weijun Wang’s workshop “Accessing and Writing Emotions in Personal Nonfiction” and I learned how to establish firm boundaries prior, during, and after writing. I bought a Black Datura lipstick and other colors, perfume samples, and candles from Studio TANAÏS so I’d put on the lipstick, light a candle, and smell or place a scent right before writing. I also put on a special pin for a particular project that’s a lot more involved emotionally and writing wise. It feels good to establish a routine and demarcations this way.

I don’t want to spend time waiting by my phone for a notification from someone I’m crushing on. No more eyeing my phone every five minutes, yearning for them. Either I reach out or get busy with my own passions and endeavors. Do things I’ll be excited to share whenever we finally talk. No pining nor hoping nor obsessing, just be so focused on my own that I get a nice surprise when they’re calling or texting me.

Build a life so good that I don’t need attention like that unless I find someone fitting. I wasted so much time on those who didn’t deserve any of it. But I think I’ll find someone eventually. Just need to bide my time and nurture myself.

I’d like to work on projects that experiment. Something different than just a poem or a short story. Something additional. Like a game I invent told in a poem. Or an interactive zine. Or an immersive theater event. Something playful and pushes me out of my comfort zone. Something that’ll enlarge the audience’s eyes.

Going for open calls that involve the above. And if the deadline has passed, if I love them, work on those concepts anyway. Chances are, I can submit them to something else or even publish it on my own. I have daydreams of hosting twine games on my website. Or cool slideshows and photo essays. I really want this to be a place full of open secrets and entrances. A sweet oasis to host reveries I hold dear. The digital life lol.

I’d like to host an open call of my own. I have one in mind, though I think it would be good to strengthen it by going for calls for exhibitions. This could be—and deserves to be—grander and I don’t have the resources and know how currently. I’ll get there, just need to self believe.

I will say that I would love to host a mail art call. It would be amazing. Find a place I could exhibit the postcards and artworks. Post a photo of every single one online. Each having a cohesive but not limiting theme or prompt. I love this one for postcards that are made with letters, books, or reading in mind. They were hung on the Letters Bookshop storefront window and then placed in books for their future readers. So sweet and beautiful and way cooler than an archive hehe.

I want to take walks during the golden hour. I’ve done sunrise a few times and it’s pretty lovely. Even came across deer grazing on a neighbor’s lawn. I like watching the sky transform. It’d be cool to walk to my nearest little free library to see what’s there. Better to bring a beloved book with a note and bookmark for someone to take. Children’s books and diverse offerings. Then walk back to get a yummy iced latte that’s way too sugary haha.

I’d love to take pictures of clouds too and the sky. I want to venture into film photography. I bought from b and h a film camera that comes with two rolls of black and white film. I’ve said I’d focus my money on receiving therapy but I think that’s fine because this is a long held passion. I’ve daydreamed about taking a film photography class where I develop my works in a darkroom. I really wish I went for it during college. But it’s not too late. I’ll find a way. And I’ll start with this access point and see where we go from there.

I also bought CR2 rechargeable batteries and charger, fujifilm instax square film, zink photo paper for my sprocket 2 in 1, and a converter for a 2.5mm headphone plug. I want to use my lomo’instant square glass camera again and sprocket photo printer. I’d love to create stories & photo essays using instant film. Send them to friends and leave them behind for strangers to keep. Tuck them in library books and among the fruit. Photography can be an expensive hobby but I believe in abundance. I’ll try not to get too out of hand though lol.

Make a two page spread everyday in my journal. I want the diary to be thick and overwhelming, overflowing. Sometimes I’d be too tired to write so I’m going to try to write down some notes of what I want to write (which can apply to projects) and start some collaging throughout the day. It’ll be more organic that way and not a lot to deal with.

I’d love to use ephemera from that day, papers and cardstock from my collection, different inks, and many stickers and labels. Make it colorful but cohesive.

Sleep at a healthy hour. My friend told me how staying up late and sleeping in a lot isn’t good sleep at all, even if you rest many hours. It ruins the circadian rhythm and it makes sense how erratic I feel emotionally and snap at people over the years. I’m going to try to sleep earlier than usual and be more productive. God willing lol

Besides walks, I want to exercise more. Build up my arm strength and work out my stress & anxiety away. I’ve been doing yoga, strength exercises, and meditations on the FitOn app and it has helped me feel better. I definitely want to incorporate and try more.

I took a workshop with Kamau Ware on meditations and walking and it was amazing. I want to start meditating every day in the way he taught us. It’ll be hard but well worth it.

I want to read at least 20 minutes daily. I bought a reading tracking log book from e. l. hymns and it’s really cool. Comes with bookmarks, places to write down book recommendations, and filling out a grid & noting what you read and when. I’m also tracking how often I exercise, journal, write, and submit in this handy notebook. Check out more stuff here.

I’d like to try something new every day, specifically what I’m scared of. Driving, swimming, joining a group, cooking, frying, investing, trying a new genre, art form, maybe record myself dancing, or video blogging. Something novel and I’m highly interested in, or at least know I need it to thrive. Maybe I’ll even enjoy it haha

It’d be cool if I could submit to something every day. Literary magazine, risograph zine, contest, job, volunteer role, exhibition, mail art call, website, blog, etc. I want to see how far I can reach as well as challenge myself consistently.

Write a letter each day. Postcard, email, care package. Use up the stamps I’ve been amassing. They need to be seen haha. I’m being weird with not fulfilling my promised packages but I do want to work on it.

Update my goals Taste Victory notebook. I want it to be immense and unable to close haha. It’s getting there. Check out my latest timelapse flip through video. I’d love to add a new goal each day or at least add a postcard, cardstock, ephemera as a future base.

Besides my diary, I want to fill up notebooks each day slowly. The mini one I got from the smoke shop for future library books. At least one notebook containing an ongoing project. My sketchbook for planning out ideas. One where I store notes for online classes and their assignments. Not one day will pass without my pen touching paper dammit haha.

Experience something immersive, whether it’s a twine game, choose your own path, remote zoom show, RPG, audio walk, etc. It should be never attempted plus the same genre not done twice in a row. There’s apps, interactive books, cool websites, and more. It’s spectacular and heartbreaking how much the internet holds. What we’ll never get to see despite how perfectly happy we would be trying it out because there’s way too much to access. Hopefully, one day I’ll make something that will fall under that category.

Use the supplies I have. I have an one time use camera from Psych Blues with beautiful, experimental film. A diana mini that’s collecting dust. Rolls of film. Many empty notebooks. Barely touched crayons, gel pens, and markers. Stickers galore. Rubber stamps used at most twice. I want to chip away at my hoard and give them away. And I just bought even more stationery and art supplies. There’s also the mini open etching press I bought from Germany, a 3D printed printer you can make small intaglio and other etched prints. I haven’t even take a class on how to do that sort of printing. I was definitely manic haha.

I’d like to take a class often, like intaglio, bookbinding, risograph, collage, mail art, technical writing, marbling, handmade paper, etc. Pre-record, asynchronous, live, in person. I wanna discover new hobbies and ways to express myself. To improve my writing and art making.

I wanna make long term projects. Start a document for a book, perhaps poetry or essay collection. I want to hold in my hands my own books and see what comes out as I create it.

Make public art. Whether it’s using extreme post it notes, writing in chalk, origami on bushes, letters on park benches. Something magical to add some joy to a stranger’s day. I just swoon sighed over it haha

Read a book from my personal library or local library, but have a connection to the previous and the next. This applies to movies, podcasts, albums, immersive shows, video games, etc. I can definitely read and consume other stuff, but I’d love to maintain a long chain. A location mentioned in the book, that a play takes place in. The autobiography of an artist that was an obsession of the protagonist. The profession of the love interest the central subject of a short story collection. Something like that. I wanted to do that on my instagram account, @booksiheld but haven’t updated it in a very long time.

Time to try again.

I’d love to visit my library at least once a fortnight. Keep it frequent and always have something to return and something to pick up. Keep it moving hehe. It’s really nice to write there and I’m more productive when I’m out too.

I think that about covers it haha. I’m somewhat lost but I believe doing any and all of these will guide me to where I should be.

I hope wherever you are, you adore it, and if not, you’ll find a way towards where you will.

Take care,

eileen

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