a first of many love letters during the pandemic… cheers
these past few years (you heard it here first: exclusively 2020) i’ve really centered my deepest and darkest thoughts on myself. i can’t remember when i became aware of the moment i started feeling this way, but it was like a mirror shattered all around me and i had to step on the really sharp pieces to get to the other side of things. to get here, now. not without seeing a few ugly truths along the way that i’ve been continuously working on accepting within myself. i know this isn’t an uncommon experience, but i hadn’t ever felt this low. not like this. i never really used to acknowledge the dread and darkness of what reality was sometimes and will always be: fleeting. it’s always changing and we’ve gotta keep moving. so even when i hurt, even when i feel so fucking low…i at least try to treat others how i would want to be treated. i love you with or without knowing you, just because you’re a person i may or may not know. this is who i am, who i want to be and who i have been challenged to be while struggling with my own mental health throughout these strange times. what it means to really love myself first and what that in itself even means is a major journey i’ve been anticipating…fearfully but with arms wide open. this self-love that i know will take my entire existence to really work through. it really does go so much deeper than you’d ever know. DESTRUCTION STUDIES is an on-going project i’m working on where i will be tracking my own patterns privately and publicly. prioritizing both as equally as i possibly can because i so badly just want to begin the hard work of destigmatizing mental health issues for myself and those who surround me. it starts small, it starts individually.
i’ve been playing my inner monologue on an infinite loop inside of my head, with all of my big hair surrounding the shape of me to protect both you and i from really knowing what’s going on in there. but i do know. inside of my big head with all of my dizzy thoughts. although there have been those moments: where i’ve questioned myself and my own sanity to points of a tragic down spiral of mania. i think before i knew how common this was, how common it is to really hone and observe your own behavior to the point that you might be able to experience different perceptions of your own truth, i was horrified. i was always wondering if anyone else hyper-analyzes their own self to the point that they become scared of, scarred from their reflection in the mornings and evenings and all the time in between. what they are capable of thinking and how awareness of one’s capability is a strength in its own self. maybe one day not to recent, i began to realize that a lot of my own self-destructive ways of thinking have been rooted within the foundation of these super zoomed thoughts and observations. of knowing all of my own capabilities and not using them in the way that carries me through growth, but further distances me from moving forward in an authentic and level headed way. to sum it up: i’ve lived in the past for far too long.
one thought that i’ve pondered on recently is knowing that the way i appear from someone else’s perspective might not align with the way i actually am or actually feel about myself, and that is something that frightens me. but does it even matter? i know… i ask myself this question more often than not and guess what? it does matter. it does matter the way you are seen by others, only to an extent. but it matters, like most things. the fact that i can feel so compassionately for others, cradle and nurture, shout to the sky and feel something in contrast to the days where i don’t feel tethered to earth, tethered to anything or anyone and i could just evaporate into the thinnest air and spread and spread until i just barely do, but definitely exist in all things. like a farewell balloon that never pops when it gets to the highest point you can see, it just disappears and goes higher. further. i’d like to imagine my balloon is still there, it just is so far away that i can’t see it with these midnight eyes. midnight eyes: a pair of shades i am trying on and learning to accept more publicly in myself, i am trying to accept that i can feel anything other than happiness around others, i can still be light, however dim. i’d like to think of myself as sea glass, foggy and murky from all of the things that once lived inside of me, like cyanobacteria living underneath the heavy waves, living there for however long it has. i have markings and souvenirs of my past and the world around me that i experienced all over my skin. i have kisses, hugs, accidental and deliberate cigarette burns. a cactus needle removed once— an incision too big, it wasn’t needed but it seems i sat in the waiting room for a moment too long and then it just happened right before i almost got up to leave. it wears me down every so often a little more than i’d like to admit. i don’t try to carry it with me everywhere, though. there are a lot of times i leave it at a door of my liking. i’ll pick it up on the way home if i remember.
i pulled out my TEA (tayler: thank you, here’s me showing you that i can indeed do it better. ily) notepad one afternoon at the beginning of 2021 and started sketching some pretty bogus shapes that began to develop and lead my drawing style, with no surprise, to a different > deeper > darker place. stretching wide across the pages, the skeleton-like bends and curves of these shapes create what looks like an expansive, yet contained topographic map of uninhabited spirally loops, dashes, + holes in a way that protrudes off of the page at you. i’m the first to say to anyone that we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others and even believe that it can be a bit harsh to judge current versions of ourselves to our past versions…i just find it to be massively unrealistic. we are all changing, always and forever. getting older. we can never really be what we ever once were, we can only change. in whatever ways that looks like. with that being said because what am i if not a contradiction? …comparing my current work to my past work…it is incredibly obvious that the ways i have been feeling can be reflected in these studies. i usually create saturated, interactive “mind maps”—breathing, exposed. wide open shapes with layers on top of layers on top of layers. different shades and colors, different perspectives that form a bond with its viewer. that’s all been stripped down over time, similar to the process of healing that i am going through. there’s still layers there all throughout these maps, they are just more dull. transparent, yet much less straight forward. they don’t have time to pay attention to what they might look like with a different experience, they never look at their reflection—they are blueprints of the day leading no where else. lines to pass through this empty time and empty space. in the moment of these creations, i felt my creative autopilot take over and really truly feel some of the things that are lodged so deep within my past, my skin—my existence + growth that it can barely get out. this needs to happen.
peace, luv + light,