Let the Young Lead You

I know personally so many great teens and pre-teens right now. I see videos of more circulating online. These are young people who care, young people who are tech-savvy while still connecting with each other, young people who are articulate and well-read, young people who value truth and knowledge and are willing to take action with what they learn. The post-9/11 babies who didn’t have that trauma (and let’s face it, many of us never actually dealt with any of that so it still lingers), a generation that lacks the cynicism that my generation has because we all actually bought into the lies society fed us and felt betrayed.

You have seen the shit the world can throw at you already at a young age, and you still stand firm in yourselves. You keep your mind and your heart open but are ready to fight for truth. You are in a remarkable position of being grossly underestimated by the current power structure, and I hope you use it to your advantage. They will continue to attempt to infantilize you, for as long as they can. They will continue to try to lay insecurities on you, and stress, and fear, and blame you for everything they can, as they have done on the generations before you, but I think there are enough of you that will see through all that, which is so exciting to me.

Thank you, all of you, for giving me real hope for the future, for allowing me to feel like the fight has not been in vain and that my children may have a chance to take part in a monumental shift for humanity. For giving me the bright spot I need to continue chipping away where I can. Thank you also to the parents of these kids because you learned enough to plant the seeds and break generational cycles to allow those seeds to bear fruit. It is a collective effort to improve society, even as we each individually do what we can, and it is so refreshing to realize so many are attempting to make that shift.

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Drained

So, I almost worked/exhausted myself sick again. My inflammation has gotten really bad, causing joint pain that I haven’t felt in a long time. My daughter has been teething her molars still and is going through a huge cognitive growth (her vocabulary has doubled in like a week and she’s started teaching herself her letters!), and waking up every 1 to 2 hours for over a week now, and I’ve been pushing myself to work past midnight every night for over a week too. Last night, my body said “nope” and I went to bed right after my daughter, which was helpful, and I was able to rearrange the delivery date of one of my projects to make my week better, so I should make it to bed at more reasonable hours for the rest of the week (except for Friday – I’m working til 9:30PM then going to have to finish packing for our trip to my interview, so I’m sure I’ll be up late).

I feel silly for letting myself get in this situation, and I can blame some outside factors for holding me up on my original schedule, but I never want to work myself into being bedridden again. So that’s something for me to bear in mind if I continue trying to freelance while still having such a young child and working a full-time job. I can’t do it all. I have to practice self-care, especially when I’m going on so little sleep. Otherwise I can’t be present for my family or present for the bigger issues facing us a society.

We Are Responsible

We humans have such power potential within us, but so many are unwilling to stand up and take that power. So many would rather allow other people and situations control us, because they fear taking responsibility for themselves. But you can’t run from that responsibility. It exists. It sits heavy, but shirking the load will only eventually crush you under the weight of it all.

I feel sad that so many people still are looking for a literal savior (whether that be a system or an individual) to sweep in and fix things, not realizing that until a great enough section of the population fixes the internal issues, the external ones are never going to change.

Standing in your own power can absolutely be terrifying at first. It means questioning the very foundations of your ego, it means being willing to wield the flame even at the risk of being burned by it. But it is so worthwhile.

I’m kind of rambling here, but I see so much going on. We’re going through some major growing pains as a species, and we can either be creators of our futures or we can get dragged kicking and screaming into a future not of our making and not for our well-being. But so many aren’t willing to do the necessary work. It’s really difficult to witness sometimes.

Humpty Dumpty’s Reign

Humpty Dumpty’s Reign

Humpty Dumpty crowned himself king
He said “It really don’t mean a thing!
Cuz you’ve been serfs for years
So forget all your fears
And keep pretending freedom will ring.”

Humpty Dumpty wanted a wall,
And to get it, he had the actual gall
To shout “Let’s get the ball rollin’!”
And try to use capital stolen
From people who have no will left to stall

Humpty Dumpty spewed out his lies,
Never hearing the people’s painful cries
“It’s as if they’re already dead,
So I’ll ignore the sounds in my head,
And continue to crush them like flies.”

Humpty Dumpty’s fall from grace
Will leave a nation with a big empty space
You can bet the men of power have met
To choose and pull out a new puppet
Thus continuing the system of control apace.

Copyright 2018, Kat Micari

My Spinning Head

I have a lot going on in my head right now. The currents are threatening to thrash me about and pull me under if I let them.

  • At the suggestion of a friend of mine who already works there, I applied for a job in my former field at a big university in a state my husband and I have never considered living in before. I had a phone interview a couple of weeks ago and have been invited for an in-person interview next month. I always have the tendency to worry about things ahead of time, and while I’m shoving the actual logistics of being offered and accepting such a job and selling the house and uprooting my family to the furthest dusty corners of my mind, they are still making their presence known. I have been having all kinds of feelings about this prospect bubble up, sometimes simultaneously – excitement, dread, panic, happiness, flattered, a positive outlook toward a new adventure, the irony of having applied to many university positions years ago with nary a bite and now to have it happen when I don’t know if I really even want such a position anymore, the irony of having decided to make this the year I go freelance and get more time with my kids. It’s a lot. I’m excited to interview, to see the situation that’s available. The idea of a stable job with real benefits and a pension and paid time off is appealing. But it’s not what I wanted. On the other hand, a lot of people don’t get what they want, and providing a secure environment to raise my children may be worth the sacrifice of my wants. Again what I’ve talked about before – others’ needs coming before my wants.  The position though is interesting, a mix of creativity and organizational work, and the situation seems posh. But this may be yet another year of BIG DECISIONS AND CHANGE for us, when I thought we were fairly settled. So there’s that.
  • I have two freelance projects I’m doing – one for an individual client and one for an entity – and both have been fraught with delays from other people. So now, on top of my full-time job and sneaking out of state for an interview next month, I’m going to be working incredibly hard to pull off these two contracts. Other people holding me up is frustrating. Having to chase after people for contracts and money and answers to questions to start working… it’s a pain.
  • I’m finishing the last part of Schopenhauer’s World as Will and Idea, and it has been challenging me in really great ways. But now I’m contemplating the workings of life and humanity deeply while all this other stuff is going on.
  • I’m letting myself carry more than my share of the outside world lately, allowing myself to get sucked down by it all.

So, in the midst of all of this, I have to keep myself centered. I have to take care of myself in the ways I know how and shut my mind up enough to be able to listen to the intuitive inner self. I need to keep stepping forward in the creative process. It’s going to be really difficult, but I am up for this challenge.

Art Supplies

I received the gift of some amazing new art supplies this past weekend at a belated Christmas celebration. I feel incredibly spoiled. The Dr. Ph. Martin’s watercolors are my preferred medium because I love the pigmentation, and I use the white Dr. Martin ink for highlights sometimes. I’ve never played with metallic watercolor before, so that will be fun to do.

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Since I have gotten them, I have also begun the process of going through our old art supplies, testing them to see if they are still good and discarding items which are no longer functional. Also, reminding myself of what we have. Because that will help determine what pieces I tackle first. I was surprised that a cheapo marker set I bought way back in 2006 only needed a few thrown away, though I suspect many that are left may be a one-time-use-only before they completely dry out too.

What I will need to purchase most likely are the papers and canvasses to put the work on. And that can get pricey, but not quite as pricey as paints can. But maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised by our supplies.

Anyway, I’m still having a difficult time carving out time for creative work, and usually it is my art time that seems hardest to squeeze in because I’ve made music more of a priority at this point, but I’m sneaking in bits wherever I can. It feels really good to get any creative time, even if it’s only 10 minutes here, 30 minutes here, time I should spend doing chores or going to bed earlier. It feels good.

The Importance of Knowing Yourself

These are fascinating times to be living in the good ol’ United States, aren’t they? Negotiating new highs and lows in society, dredging all sorts of muck up to the surface. It’s good, though difficult, because airing all this dirty laundry can allow for some deep dialogues to happen, dialogues that need to happen for evolution to come. But in order for these times to be fruitful, we need to reaching deep into our inner selves and know ourselves to the best of our abilities. And I know some of us are more equipped to do that than others.

How often do you take the opportunity for self-reflection? How often, when you make a decision on anything, do you actually think about the consequences of your action or inaction? Do you know what it is you want out of relationships, career, family, life? Do you know what you need? Have you ever acknowledged that sometimes those wants and needs aren’t very well aligned? Self- reflection can get really uncomfortable. But it is necessary.

If you don’t know yourself well, you open yourself up to coercion, to being swayed from your inner compass. You are easily programmable by both the systems set up in our society and by individuals you interact with. You succumb to the marketing schemes of the corporations. You externalize your self-worth and feel like you always fall short.

If you know yourself well, you can recognize others’ attempts to manipulate you, and you can choose to play along or not. You have the conviction of knowing what is right for you and that gives you courage to both ask for what you want or need and to give an emphatic yes or no to others making requests on you. You can stand solid against the tide and always have an intrinsic sense of self-worth.

The trick though is that it’s not a one time checking in with the inner self, but a constant balancing act between your inner and outer lives. It’s easy to slip into autopilot again, to get worn out by life and the craziness of others, to float wrapped in bubble wrap and expect others to handle everything for you. Being willing to live with a little discomfort for the sake of strength and mental clarity and freedom is so worth it though.

It took me until I was 30 years old to really grasp all of this, and it’s through having some really deep conversations with those I care about this past year to realize how important it is for society in general and not just for my own individual life. We collectively are to the point where we need to step up and parent ourselves, get our shit together, and do the work that has to be done. We aren’t allowed to be children or adolescents anymore, humanity. There’s just way too much that has to happen in our lifetimes for us to have that luxury. And the first step to being able to raise ourselves up is knowing the length and breadth of our inner selves. Take that first step, see how it feels, then reach out a hand to others to help them do the same.

The Music Writing has Begun!

I spent time tonight with blank ledger lines for the first time in eons, wrestled with lyrics to a second verse, and made significant progress (for me). It feels good. Now I must stop because I need to tackle a commission before completely losing steam, but I am giddy enough to share that progress has been made!

This is especially good because last night when I had set aside time to delve into my novel for the first time in ages as well, my teething daughter made that an impossibility. So getting to touch my piano tonight and tap into creativity in a way I haven’t in a long time soothed my wounded creative from last night.

My hope is to do a little time five days a week working on my own compositions, then have one day to sing from my collection to help build my voice back up again, and one day to play the flute a week. I know life will get in the way of that, but with set days to work on certain things, I’ll at least get a couple of hours in each week, which is loads more than I’ve been getting.

Yay progress!

New Instagram

As part of my commitment to releasing more work this year, I’ve set up an Instagram. You can add me if you like here. I plan on posting progress pics of artwork and to begin with, I’ll start posting old poems that I’ve already shared here, and maybe do some more readings that I’ll then upload onto my youtube channel. Maybe I’ll even be brave enough to record some of my music, but probably not for a while! Once in a while I’ll crosspost to the blog, but I’ll try to keep things fresh.

Next week I’ll hopefully get around to updating the contact buttons on the various sites, link everything together, and add the first content to my Instagram account, but I wanted to let you all know in case you want to be the first to start following. I generally follow back unless it’s an especially spam-y account.

Stepping Fully Into My Life

So my New Year’s began with more of a whimper than a bang. My baby has a horrible head cold, so my husband and I were all set to spend New Year’s Eve together at home, snacks and drinks on hand, to begin getting giddy about our future projects, the things that have been put on hold because of the chaos of living, and New Year’s Day was supposed to be spent having a glorious planning session on how to implement the creation of those projects. However, my daughter kept waking up because she couldn’t breathe, and I could feel myself starting to succumb as well, so I would wander back and forth between cuddling her and trying to get excited amidst filling sinuses, and last night I wound up going to bed at 8PM.

My plan for 2018 is to begin living the life that I have always wanted for me and my family. One where my husband and I share both income-making and raising the children duties, one that gives me time to actually take care of myself the way that I know I need to so I can take care of others in the ways I want to. One that gives me more flexibility – for parenting, for travel, for fun, for personal and creative growth.

I had hoped to be freelancing full-time by the end of 2017, but that didn’t happen. We need to have a firmer financial base for me to make the leap (either more in savings and/or my husband bringing in new income streams, which both are being worked on). So new goal is by the end of June, by the time my son is out of school for the summer. I horribly hated having to work this past week when he was out on holiday break. It was the first time since he started preschool that I didn’t have the time off with him. Last summer was super hard too. So no more.

But getting this cold is a reminder that I’m STILL not as physically healthy as I need to be, so taking care of myself physically is important this year, as I begin implementing my plans. Self-care, self-love, and mostly more sleep need to happen. I need to have both patience and persistence as I begin to implement my plans. I need to accept that I can’t have it all at once.

So the online shop is on hold until I leave my current position. I can’t sew for 8 hours a day and then continue to sew late into the night. I have, at most, another hour worth of sewing in me, plus some extra on my days off. I have a costume commission for this month, and potentially 2 designs for the spring plus a paid workshop that I’m in talks to do, and I may have to bring shop work home with me once we get into prom alterations this spring. Any extra sewing time will be spent alternating between some personal sewing (want to make some things for the house) and coming up with the samples/patterns for my first offerings in the shop, so that hopefully once I leave my current position, I can be opening the shop within a matter of weeks.

That leaves me with 1 to 1.5 hrs a night to split up between music, writing, and art, on top of sneaking in a little bit of writing during the day when it gets slow. I want to start promoting myself more again, and I have some lofty goals for getting work out this year. We’ll have to see what happens. When I am able to be freelancing, I hope to double to three hours a day spent toward those things, setting things up so I can be painting while my kids are doing arts and crafts again, like I used to, having fun creating together.

Again, this is going to be about patience and persistence. About applying my will toward the creation process. About making sure I’m not burning out and then having to recuperate, rinse and repeat. About creating a sustainable and nurturing life for everyone in my home, myself included.

I do not regret my time working at the theater for a few years, even though I was so overworked. It gave me amazing health insurance to have my second child, and it gave me the financial stability to get a mortgage and a decent home for my family. I do regret this past year working the bridal alterations because of how much time I’ve missed with the kids, but it gave me the flexibility to work from home for the first six months for part of the time, which was huge for my relationship with my daughter, and I’ve learned so much working on these gowns that I can apply to my own designs. It means a lot to be able to support my family, so there is that too. But I’m ready now to step into the life that I’ve been saying I’ve wanted for almost 10 years now. Our time on this earth is too short to try for less than what we truly desire, no matter how “safe” other paths may be.

And if the world completely falls apart around me, if my dreams don’t come true, if we end up losing our civilization, at least I’ll have tried. At the end of the day, that’s the most important thing of all.

May your 2018 give you the strength and courage to follow your own deepest, truest selves as I will be.