Friday, March 11, 2022

My Fairytale

Oh hey there! How's things? I'm just over here in my sweats riding the dregs of a caffeine high. I do not have a plan for this blog post. Just gonna shoot some sh+t out into the internet void. Let's see...what do I want to talk about? Oh I know! Yesterday I posted one of my stories on Instagram. This is what it looks like:

Friday, February 25, 2022

I feel...happy?








Dear Blog Friends,

Yesterday I stopped in to say "Hey" an write an update on my life. Today I wanted to give another update. No huge news or anything, just something I'm excited about and wanna share. 

So. A couple years ago Sheldon and I moved from Texas to Illinois for Sheldon to take his dream job. We came out of one of the toughest years of our lives and crash landed in Illinois with only the stuff we fit in our Honda CRV. We wanted to make a fresh start. But we were still so broken from the year in Texas where everything had gone wrong. 

Around that time I reread one of my favorite books: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I read that baby about once a year. I love her approach to tidying which centers around "sparking joy" and as cheesy as it sounds, it changed my life. OK. OK. I'm not trying to Marie Kondo evangelize you...or am I? MWAHAHA!!! I only say this because it helps get me to my point. Basically Marie Kondo encourages the reader to dream up their ideal life. She tells you to let your mind imagine the best life you want for yourself. She also tells you to be very specific. How do you want your home to look? How do you want to feel? What things do you want and what make you happiest? 

So there I was back in Illinois the end of 2018 starting out fresh with a new apartment and a new job and I wanted to really do the Marie Kondo method RIGHT. I opened up the last page of my planner (it was this one by the amazing frannerd) and let myself dream what I want my life to be. 

This is what I wrote:

HOW I WANT TO LIVE 

I want to be a city girl. I want bright rooms and beautiful objects. I want to wake up in the morning and feel exited and energized for the day. I want to not feel rushed, but like I have time to linger over tea and scribble in my sketchbook. 

I want a studio space that feels exciting for making thing in. I want each room in my home to feel good: not cramped or ugly or off. I want to feel like there are pockets of beauty everywhere in my home. I want to relaxed and beautiful. I want natural light and freedom from chaotic inner voices.

Peaceful. Soft light. Calm. Subtle colors and textures. 

I am so tired of feeling like things are off and out of place and not being able to settle my thoughts and mind. I feel tired and drained. I want to use my energy to create but I have so little of it. Sometime I feel like the clutter and chaos makes it harder for me to settle into my creativity. I feel anxious and nervous and doubtful. 

Instead I want to feel restful and calm and secure.

I wrote that in October of 2019. I was heading into one of my worst years of depression and anxiety of my adult life and I could feel myself getting more and more flooded. Eventually, in June 2020 I reached my breaking point and FINALLY reached out to a therapist.

The first thing she said to me after I gushed out my reasons for wanting therapy was, "It sounds like you don't feel safe. I want to help you feel safety." Hearing those words felt like opening up the door to getting better. 

Writing out that dream in my planner helped me find focus. I knew I needed something to change. I felt like my life was veering out of my control back then, but I didn't know how to get help. I couldn't work. I couldn't have relationships. I couldn't make art. My mental illness put me in survival mode. Another cheesy-but-true alert: Starting therapy changed my life. When I started therapy I committed the process 100%. I went all in because I was desperate. 

I have come such a long way since that planner entry. I'm still a hot mess. They didn't nickname me The Mess Queen back in kindergarten for nothing! (True story. Although my teachers were referring to my colossal crafting messes, not my psychological turmoil, when they coined that name.) But I think I'm actually close to living the life I described. I'm a city girl. (Well. Technically I live in a village. But I WORK in the city! That counts...) I have a beautiful apartment, which we are finally starting to settle into. And we have an entire room of our apartment set aside as a studio.

I have worked so hard to get here. Hours of therapy. Pain. Healing. Work. But I am starting to see actual results and it makes me so excited. I am starting to feel good again. I think I might be living the life I wanted for myself when I was writing that planner entry. Anxiety Lucy Rose is very nervous about typing out those words, but Therapy Lucy Rose is like, "Yeah! Get it."

Love,

LR

PS

These are just some recent photos from my phone that "sparked joy". I am still getting my footing with blogging again and I'm trying to be pretty loose with it. In other words, not being too perfectionistic or getting in my head but just letting myself make posts.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Life Update.

Hello, Blog Friends. It's Lucy Rose. Just wanted to drop in and say, "Hey." I've been very MIA from Instagram and this blog for a while. It got to be too much for me and I had to cut it off for a while to live my life: work at The Burrito Place, settle into my new apartment and keep working in therapy. I go through seasons when I need to back off from online stuff and focus on my own thoughts and more in-person relationships. 

But in the past few weeks I've been feeling the blogging itch return! That irrepressible need to blast my thoughts into the Spiderverse and let anyone who wants to stumble across them. I don't really have a plan for blogging. No series of posts or ideas for anything structured on this blog. But I thought I would just sit down and start by saying "What's up?" 

I have popped in and out of this little internet space since 2008! That's a hard habit to break. Anyway. Here's what's been going on with me recently. 

-I have now been in therapy for over a year. My mental health has been the strongest it has been in about 5 years. This is super exciting, but also, as someone who has lived most of my life struggling with depression and anxiety, that in itself feels a little scary! 

-I have continued to work for The Burrito Place, but I switched locations to be closer to my house after our faithful 2004 Honda CRV broke down. I biked 5 miles to work every day for a few months until we were gifted a car by an incredibly kind family member. Hi Patrick. I did not know you read my blog. I have grown in my role at The Burrito Place and continue to work harder positions and continue training. I'm proud of this because my hope for working this type of job was to prove to myself that I can work again after my last tough bout with depression in the Spring of 2020. 

-I discontinued The Zine Club. The Zine Club was my pet project for several years in which I published and distributed over 15 zines (self-published booklets) to a base of subscribers. The goal was to complete 24 in total, but I chose to stop, because I needed to focus on therapy and getting well. It was a hard decision to make and I definitely wrestled with shame over quitting. But I am proud of myself for the zines I made and the community of people who helped me make it happen for as long as it lasted.

-Sheldon and I moved. We had been wanting to get closer to the city for a long time. We wanted that proximity in order to keep cultivating Sheldon's career as a painter and my career as a storyteller/comic-artist-type-person. Getting closer to the art scene in Chicago has been a dream of ours for a while and we are excited that our new apartment is on the CTA line and gets us to the heart of the city within a simple train ride. 

-We are doing well. Sheldon and I have been through a tough couple years. We have wrestled with a lot of challenges over the five years of our marriage. We spent a year in Texas helping out a relative with mental health problems. We have contended with my own bouts of mental illness. We have both been wrestling with our ideological identities. We have buried three grandparents. We have both undergone several career changes. We have moved many times. It's been a lot. But in the past year or so we have felt good--stable, even! We are leaving our twenties pretty soon and we are hopeful that our thirties are going to be easier. We are settling into our jobs and our new-ish apartment in our new city. 

I don't know if I will stop back here anytime soon to blog again. I am giving myself permission to blog or not to blog. But in case I do stop in I wanted to catch you up on things. 

I hope you and yours are doing well. I hope you are healthy and safe! 

Love,

L🌹

Friday, April 9, 2021

Burrito Lady


Welcome to your new part-time chain food-service job! My name is Lucy Rose. I will be your Orientation Person today. I will help you navigate your new job like how to feel cute and look feminine when dressed like a man in the workplace uniform. Or how to not lose your mind when being yelled at by angry people who are taking out their rage on the person assembling their tacos. 

Alright. Taking a tiny break from the sarcasm: I'm excited this week, because I started my new job! Yes. I have a new job! I've decided not to mention the name of my new workplace just in case my information gets intercepted by Vladimir Putin. Who am I kidding. Vlad already knows where I am at every hour of the day. Stalker. Whatever. No, it’s really just cuz I just don't want to get in trouble for blogging about work. 

Let's just say starting this Wednesday I am now making burritos on a professional basis. A few weeks ago I finally started feeling ready to look for my next non-DoorDash job. It's been about a year since I lost my last retail job. I was content doing DoorDash up until about a month ago when I just started craving more stability and structure. I also felt ready to start working with humans again. 

Ever since my job working as a Certified Nursing Assistant in the epicenter of human grimness (still haven't felt ready to blog about that adventure yet...but someday. I hope!) I made a pact with myself to become more choosy about where I work: including research the companies, scout out the locations for "vibes" and make sure it is something that I can do for a while and not burn out immediately. 

Initially I decided to apply to Aldi, because I have grocery experience and I really like their company. They treat their people well and everyone I know who works there likes it. But while I was waiting on a word from Aldi I did a DoorDash to The Burrito Place. They had a sign-up sheet out for hiring and I felt this weird feeling, like "May as well. I like this company and they have values I can get behind. Worst case scenario nothing comes of it." 

A few days later I got a call and went for an interview. I got the job. But I also did my homework and had good vibes about the atmosphere created by the employees. There are several Burrito Places near my house and I have DoorDashed to all of them. Most of them had been rude to me and irritable every time I dashed at their location. But the one I applied to always gave me a good vibe. 

(Aldi actually contacted me for an interview the same day I took the burrito job! But I was already pretty certain I wanted to do burritos instead of stocking Aldi shelves so I turned down the interview.)

Yeah! So now I'm a Burrito Lady. I'm really excited about it. This first week has been hard work; physically and emotionally. But I can already feel a rush of energy from having this new challenge and the confidence of finally being able to contribute to our family financially again.

I have been pretty isolated the past year. When The Panini hit in 2020 I got a mild case of the illness, which then seamlessly blended into a mental health breakdown that lasted a few months. 

My mental health hasn't been that low for a long time. I didn't leave my apartment for about two months. I started to come out of it in July—around the time I found therapy and cut off a friendship that had become increasingly toxic and all-encompassing. 

I couldn't see myself being able to handle another "real" job at the time. DoorDash was such a good buffer. I'm so grateful that my husband and I had enough resources for me to take that time to heal and work on getting better. 

Not everyone has the luxury to take that much time between jobs to get help. And even then, being able to afford good help and having access to healthcare through Sheldon's job is also a miracle.

My new job as a Burrito Lady is not "glamorous". And it technically has nothing to do with my career as an artist and cartoonist. It is an entry-level job. Most of my new coworkers and managers are younger than me. But I'm so grateful to have this job.

I am writing this on my day off between training days at The Burrito Place. I've done two full shifts so far. They really took it out of me, but I also like it so far. Of course there's workplace drama, stressful lunch rushes and my body isn't used to the work yet. But I respect the way this company operates and I like the vibe. I've been made to feel like a valuable team-member, not a random weirdo who keeps F-ing up all the burritos.

(Cue flashback to my glorious CNA days when I was treated like hot juman garbage by my coworkers for a month until I could “prove” myself and quit asking “stupid questions” aka normal questions you ask when you’re new to a workplace. Haha! I’m not bitter. Why do you ask?)

Folks have been patient and kind as I'm learning the ropes. (No one cursing me out while I change an adult diaper?! Bliss!) And I can't tell you how huge that is for me as highly sensitive flower child (band name? autobiography title? hmmm...there's something there. folk-duo name? We can workshop it.)

Well, I've pretty much typed myself out. I think I'm going to quit talking and maybe make some drawings to go with this post. Maybe. If I feel like it. 

Thanks for listening. It means a lot. 

Love,

L🌹

Monday, April 5, 2021

This is just a test to see if the email subscription thingy works.

 UPDATE: I’m pretty sure it does not. Poop.

Well, that was a waste of adrenaline.

 


Well that a was a waste of adrenaline slash pit sweat. Got to my new job and they were like, “Who are you, M’am?” And I was like, “It is I! Your new coworker!!!” And they were like, “???” And then we all figured out collectively that my new boss had texted me an hour before to let me know that he switched the day. But I of course did not check my texts because I was in full fledged adrenaline fueled nerves mode and ain’t nobody got time to check TEXTS! So yeah. I sat there like an idiot while we figured it out. The good side is I had enough time to draw this self portrait and they gave me some consolation food as an apology for me coming in on the wrong day. Well. I hope this was just a nice practice run and an opportunity for me to sweat out all my gross fear sweat.

Hi Guys. I’m using my phone to write this.






Good morning! I’m just sitting in my back room. I’m starting my new job at 1 today and my pits smell like onions because I’m nervous. My nervous pit sweat is rank, y’all. You’re welcome for that info. Anyway. I’m doing a load of laundry and making a comic to keep my mind off of being nervous. My new comic is for Instagram. I’m increasingly annoyed by Instagram. That’s why I’ve been posting up a storm here on Ye Olde Blorg. I’m trying to work out how to channel my Instagram posting energy to my blog. I think I’ll probably write more about this exchange later. For now just a few shots of my day. I moved things around in this back room. I store all my art crap here and I removed this big ol’ desk I have. The desk was bringing me down. I felt like I could never be in this room because the desk was screaming at me the whole time: “Hey you! You better make some SERIOUS art over here on my surface. Otherwise what the f*ck are you playing around like an amateur artist for, you lazy b***h!?” Yeah. It was a really rude desk and it had to go. I hope I can get $40 for it though. I’ll probably have to duct tape it’s mouth shut long enough to convince a buyer that it is a polite desk. Anywho. What am I doing. Oh yeah, photos! Here you go! Gotta get up and figure out a way to mask my pit stench from my new coworkers. Wish me luck!

Friday, March 12, 2021

Getting Out There Again

 


I'm feeling good right now. A little over-caffeinated. But good. Plus I did the caffeine thing to my own self, so, I can't really complain. I just did three brave (for me) things in a row. I went to the store where I used to work as a smoothie bar person and asked a former coworker to be a reference on a new job application. Then I applied for a new job. Then I asked ANOTHER old coworker from a different old job to also be a reference for me. 

That was really hard for me. I guess that's why I guzzled up all that caffeine. I needed the liquid courage. Asking people for help is scary for me. And getting out there and applying for work again is also really scary. I got hurt at my last retail job. I really loved my job there. Technically my job ended because of the pandemic, but the actual mechanics of losing the job left a bad taste in my mouth and I have avoided putting myself back out there ever since. 

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

?

Ug. I can't seem to find my footing again when it comes to blogging. What should I write about? What format works for me now? What kind of art style? What do people care about? Clearly the whole premise of a blog about myself and named after myself is highly self-indulgent. Which in a way is great, because it means I have complete freedom: I call the shots here, Baby! This blog can be whatever! But I'm kind of lost. I don't know what to talk about. I tried doing a series again, but I petered out. I have a hard time being consistent. So now what? I don't know.  

Friday, December 18, 2020

Bright Little Things

Dear Friends,

It's been just an emotionally exhausting week. Nothing major happened in external terms, but things got pretty intense in therapy and that has taken a lot of my energy. I'm so grateful for the space to do this work, but it is not easy sometimes. 

Today when I came out of my second therapy session in three days it was like my body and mind hit a wall and said, "Alright. That was craziness. Dude, We have GOT to slow it down now. Let's just chill for a sec, OK?"

Hm. Did not know that my subconscious talks like a surfer dude from some cheesy TV show, but hey--it's therapy--I'm learning all KINDS of new things about myself!