Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Problems with People-Pleasers

Picture brought to you by one very cold walk 

I have a friend who is so massively consumed with what other people think of her and with comparing herself against other people that I have no idea who she is as a person.

I only know her in terms of her perception of what other people think. I have no idea what her passions are, whether her opinions are her own, or whether or not she is happy.

This friend is a blank canvas who paints herself in the reflection of those around her.

Life seems to revolve around everyone else until the people-pleaser has completely forgotten themselves and their own identity. They seem profoundly unhappy and unwilling to enact any change because they’d now have to navigate a completely new set of outside opinions based on that change.

At least, this is how my friend lives her life. And I’ve had to walk away from it. She comes to me with her unhappiness all the time, yet refuses to change anything. When I offer up ideas, the first things out of her mouth are: ‘well so-and-so did it this way,’ or ‘so-and-so will think this,’ or ‘I don’t want so-and-so to think that.’

And I want to scream, what the hell do you think? You, not them. You.

I honestly don’t understand how someone can live like that. Constantly filtering your thoughts and actions through someone else’s lens seems exhausting.

What is the point of it really? Are those people you’re so concerned with living your life? Are they going to wake up in your bed tomorrow and move through your day? Are they going to somehow be affected by your choice to have a cookie, or wear your purple pants, or go to work for you? Then why does it matter what they think?

I’m not saying to go out and be a narcissistic asshole. I’m saying that everyone should be able to look at him or herself in the mirror at the end of the day and know who they are and be proud of the decisions they’ve made. And if your making decisions based on other people, then they’re not really yours are they? None of the life you built around you is yours.

In addition, the problem with worrying about what other people think is that you have no idea what their thoughts actually are. You may ask them, but they may or may not give you a straight answer. Your identity becomes a culmination of hypothetical thoughts that are both impermanent and meaningless.

Do you know what’s real and solid and true? What you think of you. Why not concentrate on that? Why not make decisions that make you happy? Why not go after the goals that are based off your own desires?

We should all make it a goal to not be a blank canvas waiting for others to paint.
We should be intricate, crazy, colorful, hard to understand canvases. It doesn’t matter what people think of them. They are going to view them how they’re going to view them no matter how many signs there’re to guide them. We cannot control that, so don’t waste your time trying.

Worry about creating the kind of canvas that you understand and that you can be proud of. You’re the one that has to look at it everyday. Make it something worth viewing.  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Original Art II

Art has always been something I've done for distraction. Considering my mind has been centered on my dad's diagnosis, I've spent the last week starting a bunch of projects and finishing some, too.

Dinner View
My view outside my window of the setting sun through the trees as I prepped dinner one night inspired this acrylic on canvas work...hence the title.

This project has been in varying stages of incompleteness for a while. They don't sell very many black fake flowers so I had to paint all the leaves from the red and white ones to go with my living room color scheme. It's still not done; I plan on hanging letters and pictures from it to fill it in more, but at least it's hanging!


Another acrylic on canvas painting that's almost done. There will be white, translucent-like butterflies filling in that blank space on the right a bit more, but I ran out of white paint.

Crayon on canvas here. I like how it has the drips going in two different directions like they're pulling away from each other. I may even hang it vertically.


I started this today. You'll have to wait and see on this one.

What do ya think? If anyone else is artistically inclined, let me know. I love new art!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cancer Sucks

I haven’t been blogging lately because I’ve been distracted.

My mother called me about a week ago to tell me that my dad had some kind of growth on his thigh.

There are few things in life that really scare me, a close loved one developing some kind of bump is one of them. Still, I spent this past week on the phone with my mom as my dad went through the various testing staying pretty positive. It didn’t have the tell tale signs of bone cancer, and while my mom thought maybe it was a blood clot, I simultaneously hoped that it was and wasn’t that. Blood clots can kill you in seconds, but they’re also pretty treatable when found in time.

I’d been waiting for the call today so we could stop the guessing game and finally just know. 

And now I know my father has Lymphoma.

If I thought I was distracted before, now it’s ten times worse. I’ve spent my whole day vacillating between researching causes, symptoms, stages, treatments, statistics, blah, blah, blah, and manically praying that he has an easy go of it, that he beats it and it doesn’t return.

Lymphoma in its early stages isn’t the worst diagnosis you can get, so there’s a plus. The doctor has high hopes, so add another plus. My dad is the eternal optimist, so I don’t think he’ll have a problem maintaining the positive attitude one needs to deal with cancer; so at this stage, there are more positives than negatives. I just wish the negative wasn’t so damn big.

As an only child, I think I’ve been pretty preoccupied on some level with the sickness and death of my parents since my first experience with death at my grandpa’s funeral when I was fourteen. I don’t have brothers and sisters to fall back on when, if all goes as it should, my parent’s depart before I do. Plus as a girl, all the stereotypes about being a daddy’s girl ring true for me.

So I let myself get angry about it, and I let myself cry. And now I’m moving past those feelings and concentrating on positive thoughts and being supportive in my dad’s choices and treatment.

This is my second brush with cancer. My mother had breast cancer when I was sixteen. Thankfully, she’s still here ten years later. But I’ve watched the process of treatment, and I know that conquering cancer is no easy road. My mom still deals with the effects of the radiation on her body.

Yet, I have complete faith that if anyone can beat cancer, my dad can. He’s always been a mind of matter kind of person, and I think that will suit him well over the upcoming months.

Everyone can gain from positive thoughts and prayers, so I ask that you, dear readers, send a few my dad’s way as he starts this new journey.