Taking Things One Week At A Time And Playing With Shimmer Sharpies…

Well, I think this week’s blog may take on two different themes because I just don’t think my brain has been thinking in a solid frame of mind all week. I am feeling the pressure of the semester and just trying to keep my head on straight throughout this online semester. Also, I am trying to allocate the time for myself to open up and feel creative without the pressure of needing to post something about it.

Let me start with the not so fun stuff, like laundry that has piled up to the point where you have no more clean pants. Or that therapy appointment you know you should go to, but you are insisting to yourself that it’s going to take up too much time, so you don’t go but instead of being productive you just scroll through social media. Not to mention the hours’ worth of homework you are actively procrastinating while you imagine all of the ways your classmates could be judging you during zoom classes.

Life is moving so fast that in one moment I may feel like I am rocking productivity and the next I am literally laying on the ground crying because I don’t think I’ll have enough time to read everything. I am the type of person who is always looking ahead, trying to plan and strategize for any future inconvenience while still trying to put out all of the current fires in life. In some respects, I think this has helped me throughout life because I am hardly ever surprised, but when I am surprised it sends me off my rocker.

I think as I grow older the number of things that can be planned out and strategized for continues to dwindle because with age comes the wisdom that nothing is predictable. So, my ability to constantly look to the future may help me with school projects but for the majority of life that isn’t schedulable, I think it makes it harder for me.

That is why I have been practicing taking things one week at a time since I have started the fall semester. Breaking my energy up into weeklong segments allows me to focus my time on the tasks at hand while still being able to look to the future but just for a week or so. If I try to think of all the projects, I’ll have to turn in by the end of the semester I just end up stressing myself out. Each week all I need to worry about is doing the reading for each of my five classes, complete two to three quizzes, post to discussion boards, complete two to three weekly projects, and of course attend my classes.

Within that week, each day I just focus on finishing whatever tasks are due first and I cannot explain how much this way of thinking has changed my life. So, maybe a week is too short for you, or too long but either way I truly believe that at least consciously knowing every task you need to complete and when is a game changer to productivity.

With this method of mental organization, I usually end up leaving my painting or creative time for the weekends. More often than not I just find time for my creative endeavors in the evenings or early mornings when I can convince myself I have caught up on homework. There have been a few days that I chose to focus my mental energy on something for my little business rather than homework and I quickly regretted it when I came out of the creative trance.

Needless to say, creativity sometimes takes a backseat when I feel like I have a million other responsibilities and I couldn’t tell you why it makes it harder when I feel the pressure to post on my social media outlets. Considering I don’t want to see myself fall out of practice, or worse just stop altogether, I have been channeling my inner silly and trying to have more fun.

Since I try to finish a painting every week, this week I wanted to add a little something extra to the art. I painted a typical scene I find easy, some clouds and a mountain top, but the dried product was so bland I decided to add some sparkle. Metallic Sharpie’s are always fun to write with, so I picked some up and went to town on my boring painting, trying to create something new and exciting.

The first stroke was the scariest because I knew that I couldn’t really paint over it unless I wanted to completely restart my painting and video. Once I placed that shimmering gold sharpie tip on the canvas I just hoped for the best and glided it across the slightly defined mountain tops. By the time I got to decorating the clouds I was just playing around with different shapes and patterns but eventually decided on a simple dot effect, this meant I had to fill in quite a bit of my mistakes.

In the end, I was left with a simple sparkling design (if you catch it in the right light). It may seem silly and I’m not sure exactly when else I could use this technique, but I did enjoy getting to do something brand new to me. I think it freshens up creativity and hey now I’ve got a new multi-medium art piece. Thank you for reading this week’s blog and make sure to check out the video of my sharpie creation!

Copyright © 2020 Serra Isabella. All rights reserved.

Not Creating Out Of Fear…

Sometimes I just feel like I have a gazillion things on my To-Do list, and I can never get them done. I have so many ideas in my head of creative things I want to write or paint or record, and they all rush through my head at top speeds. Whizzing by, before I can even fully digest the thought, another brilliant plan comes soaring in and stealing the show until another genius idea grabs my attention.

Everyone says just do one thing at a time and it will work itself out. All of the productivity masters preach about ”niching down” honing in on just one skill or activity at a time. That all sounds like fantastic advice but my question is, how on earth should I choose any one thing?

I am realizing more and more that I can’t really do one thing at a time, even when I am learning in my college classes. In the fall semester I did in person classes and really had a hard time sitting for almost two hours in lectures. Now that almost all of my schooling has switched to online, I am fully aware of how I multi-task to do everything.

It makes some sense considering I end up multitasking while watching things on my phone or, like cleaning or cooking or resting. I am always thinking at least six steps ahead of where I actually am, just constantly thinking of what I can do next to be better (sometimes to a fault). I find that whole “being present” thing very hard sometimes, and then other times the reality of now hits me like a ton of bricks and I realize all the other ideas I forgot about.

On top of creating this blog and deciding to make internet content, I am a fulltime college student and I am looking head on at a fifteen credit fall semester that is now going to be fully online (except for one class). I have a lot going on in my life and I’m always trying to find time to socialize with my family and friends, bond with my partner, and even time to take care of myself.

I feel like I’ve let myself down or others because at this point, I don’t know how to balance all the greatness in my life, but I am grateful for it. I have more than I could ever ask for and the people I love and care about have shown me nothing but support in my creative journey.

I have some amazing things I want to do in this world and so much art and creativity that I want to share as well, and I don’t want to give up on any of it. People always say choose one thing and go after that, but I want to be so much more than just one thing. I want to be a mother and a businesswoman, who can teach if she wants to while creating art on the side.

I want to be an author and an artist, because I don’t think just one of those characteristics portrays me the way I want to be portrayed. I am all of the things I am, and I refuse to be diminished to one single trait, there is so much more to my story than just an artist or just a writer.

These dreams I have are not too far off from reality except, I know I have a bad habit of getting my thoughts stuck in my head, not giving them the chance to ever come to fruition. I need to choose instead of mulling the idea over in my head for days, then weeks, then months, and now even years, to act when I have the feeling to create.

I think so much about how young I am and how much life I still haven’t seen yet, and that silences a lot of my stories. I like to be well informed before telling the world something, probably because I’ve seen clear instances when I had incorrectly spoken, and I don’t want to be that person. I like to know I am educated on what I am talking about, but I also have to recognize that I am often talking about my own feelings.

If a story I want to tell is about my feelings, my experience’s, or my thoughts, then I am already the expert I crave to be (at least on the subject of myself). I too often fear that whatever I am saying or putting out into the internet world isn’t worth putting out there and that is just simply not true. No one in the world has heard my exact story, maybe very similar, but I haven’t heard a story exactly like mine!

Instead of worrying about how the world may perceive me or that my voice doesn’t need to be heard in such a chaotic world, I choose to do what feels good, make what feels good, and follow those feelings in creating my life.

Feelings are so fleeting; I could be crying for joy one minute and the next weeping from sorrow. So, with that in mind I should take advantage of the feelings that propel me to make things instead of squandering that voice with fear.

A New Decade

So in the truest fashion of my blog I am uploading my birthday content a month after the event, which makes sense because this was a surreal and unexpected scenario to be in when turning twenty. With that in mind please bear with my scattered thoughts from a month ago, but her it is:

To anyone who didn’t know I am a 2000’s baby, which means as we all have entered a new decade of 2020, I have entered the second decade of my life. I am no longer a teenager woohoo! Or at least that is what I thought I would feel like but instead, I am feeling the weight of the world as I realize I am now no longer really considered a kid. I mean I am of course still very young and at the beginner of my journey, I realize that, but I am no longer in the excusable teenage years.

I think entering a new decade of my life has gotten me thinking about the past ten years of my life, which comes with a lot of reflection at who I was as a kid and who I am now. With that I have also been contemplating the next ten years of my life, who am I going to be in another decade?

Graduating and having a career is on my horizon and with that, I also want to create a family. Buying a house is on the horizon if my partner and I play our cards right. Financial freedom is in my future if I just keep killing it at what I am doing now and continue believing in that dream. I may be a broke college student now but if I continue creating the dreams, I always wished for I can have whatever I want in a matter of years. There’s not even a number on it I just know that if I continue creating art with the passion I have and keep writing my experiences and stories, I will become the middle-aged woman I want to be, not the middle-aged woman I fear becoming.

The woman who gave up on her dreams because they were too big or too frightening. I don’t want to become the mom who hates her life because she gave up her dreams for kids, but I also don’t want to be the mother who is so concerned with her career that the babies feel unloved. I want to set up a lifestyle where I can be making money without actively being in the office every day before I have children so that I am allowed the financial freedom to enjoy taking care of my family for a while when it does happen. Because I am so excited for those days, I am turning twenty and simply thinking of the time I get to be a mom.

That life seems so far off from the one I have now where I get anxiety at having to make dinner most nights, but I am going to therapy, I am working on myself daily to create the future I know I want to have. That is the life I want and dream for bur I know I am young; I don’t expect perfection now. I know I am too young to expect my dreams to come true but how do I continue propelling myself in that direction?

I am taking my late teens and early twenties years to learn about how to create a passive income, how to be a good parent in the future, how to be a better partner now, how to teach people things, psychology, history, English, I am even relearning math. I am learning about my country’s government, I am learning about the economy, about foreign countries economies and governments, about world history.

I am about to start my second year of college and that has got to be exciting! I survived freshman year, I did better than just survive and now I shouldn’t let myself get down because the world seems unsure while I’m in college. To be honest, my education experience has never been normal, or easy, or even typical. So why would I expect my college education to be so? Thinking about it like that makes me chuckle to myself, to think that this would be my first year of college. Ha! A pandemic, of course.

Nothing about my life has ever gone the way I expect it to, I never thought I would turn twenty during a global pandemic, and I never thought I would be living in my home town after I turned eighteen. Nothing went exactly how I would expect it to, but none the less, I graduated high school and now I am working towards a career and living with my love in our own apartment. Just because this is not the way I would have imagined my life at twenty doesn’t mean it is a negative outcome.

They say the best time to learn is when you are younger, that’s why children can learn new languages more easily than adults and why older generations seem to be stubborn. It’s hard to learn how the world works when you’ve spent your whole life not being taught. That is why I care so much about learning now! I have an infinite amount of information at my fingertips with google, and not to mention the benefits I get as a college student. Now is my time to learn. I have to take advantage of it while it’s right in front of me.

I didn’t expect this birthday to be as introspective and reflective as it was but now, I see I probably needed it. This is not the birthday I expected but life isn’t what I expected and that is okay. It’s okay to not know what the hell is going on because you just turned twenty years old and you’re signed up for five college classes during a global pandemic. I am so lucky to have made it to twenty years old, and that has got to remind me that it is all okay.

Sleep-Deprivation

05 – 19 -2020

This week I learned the importance of sleep. So, my boyfriend has to switch to an overnight schedule for the next three weeks, which means sleeping during the day and going into work from 10 pm – 6 am. It is what it is so there’s really no complaining, but one has to recognize the difficulty that comes with reversing your sleep schedule.

The night before his first overnight shift we both stayed up all night, like 24 hours no sleep. It reminded me of a time back during middle school and high school when my friends and I would stay up all not just because we were kids with energy. I’ve always been an early bird even in my adolescence, I am the first one to fall asleep at the sleepover and definitely the first one up the next day. Plus, I am such a creature of habit that when my regular schedule is disrupted but that doesn’t mean my biological sleep clock changes. Is anyone else a crazy early bird like me?

I don’t know what it is but when the sun is up, I am just up with it. This usually helps me; I get things done in the morning and I have never been the person to sleep in until the afternoon (unless I am sick or sleep-deprived). When the sun sets though, it is a totally different thing. It’s almost as if the setting sun activates the hormones inside me that cause me to get lazy and pass out the second, I lay my head down. So even if I am in a room full of people having fun, when I am sleepy, I am going to sleep or at least lay there with my eyes closed because I have no more energy. Some of that may have to do with me being an introvert so social interaction becomes exhausting.

But today I want to talk about sleep and sleep deprivation because in staying up 24 hours then napping for 3 hours before continuing my day as normal definitely affected my abilities. I’ve noticed that if I can get myself to stay up past about 11 or 12, staying up past that is pretty easy and even fun if you make it so.

No Sleep = No Logic

After being up about 20ish hours I started to really notice how easily the lack of sleep can affect simple mental processing. I began to get frustrated and confused at basically why I was even up but it’s not like I was tired or wanted to go to sleep. My brain was awake and thinking, just not thinking very fast, so I lashed out at my boyfriend in a stupid fit over something I can’t even remember. We quickly apologized and made up, but it truly showed me one element of what sleep deprivation can do to my mood or emotions as well as my thought process.

Neglecting Responsibilities

Another side effect of going without sleep for what felt like an extremely long time is you don’t really have the energy to do normal daily stuff like chores or even eating some real food. When sleep deprivation hits the idea of cooking something to sustain at least one need of your body’s needs seems impossible. It’s a good thing we have fast-food and delivery am I right? Not only that though, with all your energy exhausted daily tasks go unkept, and for little cleaning chores this doesn’t matter more than sleep, but I have a garden now and I almost let them dehydrate and die. I saw the whole day that my plants needed watering, but it wasn’t until late in the evening after I had hibernated on the couch for the entire afternoon that I felt I could actually exert the effort necessary to care for my plants. They looked rough and thirsty by then but the morning after I think they will survive the trauma of my neglect.

Passion Overrides Sleep

Even though I knew full well that I was sleep-deprived and should probably just lay down with my boyfriend and sleep soundly, I couldn’t help but think about this. I couldn’t stop myself from turning on my computer and getting totally immersed in website design and features. As my boyfriend slept preparing for a long shift that night, I worked on my own thing so that when I was alone in the house I could actually sleep. I think most people would have fallen face-first into their pillow without a second thought, hell I would have before I started trying to make something of myself online, but yesterday it wasn’t like that.

The passion burning inside me fueled my body alongside those three hours of sleep I got, to continue doing what I love: learning. Learning about how to make myself better, my platform better, my content better. Even sleep-deprived and possibly delirious I was sitting on my couch enthralled in my work, that has to mean something right? Even at 11 pm long after my boyfriend has left to work and without sleep since 9 am, I was thinking about what I would do today. I was thinking about how I am going to edit my video or those pictures I took. At this point, I don’t know if I am passionate or obsessed but I couldn’t care less because I finally care about something I am doing.

So as much as this experience of sleep deprivation has taught me about why I like sleeping early and having a consistent sleep schedule, it has taught me more about work than anything. I have shown to myself how much I care about this idea I have, and that makes me even more excited to share it with everyone else. I feel so powerful and resilient knowing that I disrupted my schedule but rode the wave instead of fighting it and I got good results. If you look at my website it is updated (again) and I’m happier with it now than ever before. Things are slowly coming together and even if I don’t get the amount of sleep, I wish for I know I am capable of withstanding that struggle.

Copyright © 2020 Serra Isabella. All rights reserved.