Wednesday, 7 October 2015

33 things I'm proud of on my 33rd birthday

1. I have officially drawn a naked person and did a good job.

2. I've been allowing myself a freedom to go ahead and get all the art supplies I want, even if they're expensive. *cough* scanner *cough*. In other words, I am taking my interest in art and comics seriously.

3. I have done well in monitoring my moods and anxiety, and visiting the doctor when things take a turn. I'm still working on a medication balance that works for me but this in itself is a huge endeavor.

4. I have been in an amazing, healthy relationship with open dialogue and compromise and all the things on all the lists about good relationships. We both work at it daily and the rewards are many. We are an "us vs the problem" couple when there's a conflict. I am very proud of us and what we've accomplished.

5. I opened a savings account for the first time in my life and have begun using it. In general I have made a decision to be better with my money.

6. I was there to see my little sister marry her high school sweetheart, and was in the bridal party...not easy when you have an anxiety disorder but I didn't panic and had a really fun time. It was beautiful and it was amazing to see so many family members in one room together.

7. I didn't waste time consuming media that didn't interest me. I gave up on more books and tv shows than I finished, but in a good way. You don't have to commit to something that doesn't add anything positive to your life.

8. I finally nailed a job interview and have a permanent part-time position at the college. It's only 16 hours a week but it's MINE ALL MINE.

9. I have decided not to let Photoshop intimidate me any more. It still confuses the hell out of me but I'm not scared!

10. I went into the first month of comic book school head first, full speed ahead without looking back, constantly checking my ego at the door and forcing myself to be open to learning from my multitude of mistakes, and so far it has been worth every penny and every second.

11. I haven't had alcohol in a large quantity since New Years' Eve. And even then it was really only a few drinks. Even at my sister's wedding. I had a couple to fit in but once it started making me sleepy I stopped. It doesn't mix well with my medications and I am responsible enough to know this and take it seriously.

12. I asked for and received my own comic strip in a school newspaper where I can put whatever I want every 2nd week, and I am excited to create something and make people laugh at the same time.

13. I have been working hard on body acceptance and not worrying about what other people think of me, not in a "fuck the world" way, but in a "I am a woman in this body, I deserve as much respect as the next person" way.

14. I give the dog love and attention whenever he demands it, even when he is shedding all over my black sweater or extra drooly or making those horrible licking snorting sounds that only an owner of a flat-faced dog can commiserate with.

15. I have gotten funnier and more comedy savvy, thanks to listening to hundreds of hours of comedians talking to each other on Nerdist and You Made it Weird. I have also gotten more introspective and curious about the universe/religion/the big questions thanks to them.

16. I've been accepting compliments without denying what the compliment-er is saying, usually with just a thank you. This is more difficult than it sounds.

17. I created an entire coloring book. I worked for about 80 hours in just over a month, and sold 119 copies in three weeks, and have an order being filled for 70 more, 40 of which are pre-sold! I am now working on a second book.

18. I have been supportive of our youngest playing Football; going to games, cheering even though I have no idea what's going on, hardly ever complaining when it's on TV every minute of every second, learning to throw a football from him. I am NOT a sportsy person, and being a "football mom" is very outside my comfort zone but I am trying.

19. I have said yes to as many opportunities as I think I can handle, but haven't over-committed. This is always a fine balance for me, and so far it's been working out well.

20. I have literally drawn or painted or inked or sketched at least one thing every day. I don't limit myself to what I'm good at, instead trying new media and techniques and subject matter all the time.

21. I let myself sleep when I am tired, rather than staying up for "one last episode" or being someone who "doesn't take naps". I am now officially a napper. Fuck yeah. Sleeping rules.

22. I have been more active in taking interest in other people. I am discovering that everybody's story is amazing and different, and their life experiences are fascinating.

23. I have been forcing myself to type in numbers on the number keypad without looking, and can do it fairly quickly now.

24. I have unapologetically taken a seat on the bus even though there were office ladies frowning at me. I know my feet's limitations and just because I look young and have an invisible injury doesn't mean I have to be the one to give up my seat. This was a tough one, and I had an entire argument play out inside my head with the bitchy ladies. In reality nothing happened and I stared at my legs so I didn't have to see their accusatory glares.

25. I have said "I love you" whenever I feel it.

26. I reached out and asked for help when I needed it. Not only in a big sense, but also when I couldn't figure out how to draw a dog shaking its head I asked somebody.

27. I have consciously removed words such as "just" and "only" from work emails. I've worked on using less smiley faces and exclamation points, and generally have tried to stop trying to "lighten the tone" of my correspondence. In other words, I am allowed to take myself seriously in the workplace.

28. When the sadness rolls in or the fear, I acknowledge it and feel it, I see it for what it is, and then let it go. I can compartmentalize my thoughts a little better now, and know that it will pass no matter how much the icicle stab to the heart feels like a brand new fresh pain every time. It's ok FOREVER to be sad about your little brother dying and it's ok that the weirdest things make you sad sometimes. This is what I'm proud of, the okayness I have with my hurt.

29. I have been working on encouraging and helping others. Laughing at their jokes if they're funny, giving constructive criticism and ask questions if they're making something, giving out any tips or tricks I pick up along the way, being free with compliments if I genuinely like something.

30. I have made an appointment with an amazing tattoo artist to get a rose tattooed on my hand, this is a big step for me and I am only doing it out of self-love. I deserve to look on the outside as I feel on the inside. And inside of me is a girl with a rose on her motherfucking hand goddamn it.

31. I haven't allowed myself to be bullied or steamrolled by big personalities in a long time and it feels amazing.

32. I found a grey hair, a chin hair AND have wrinkles showing up around my eyes. And guess what? I don't care. I mean, I got rid of the chin hair because gross, but I'm not worried about "looking old". I'm actually the opposite, I am happy to look more distinguished.

33. I have been setting boundaries and taking space when I needed it, usually sitting outside with the squirrels and the hummingbirds and a sketchbook or my laptop. Quiet time is important to me and I prioritize it when necessary.

Did you read the entire list? Well pretend you did and tell me your favorite part.


Nah, tell me something you've done this year that you're proud of.

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