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.

Recognizing Blogging Day (a day late)

Well, it is the day after ”Blogger Day” and I wanted to post a blog about it but per my usual style, it is not posted on the day. Even though I am a heavy procrastinator and never, and I mean never, post anything on time, I still wanted to post something in honor of blogging because of how much it has changed my life.

I started inconsistently blogging in April of 2019, as a form of journaling about my feelings and in hopes of finding like-minded humans who could relate to my content. Since then I have gone through a galore of self-doubt, re-evaluating my circumstances, anxiety, bouts of depression, surges of inspiration, and bursts of productivity. Since I began blogging I have rediscovered art and painting, started going to college, decided on a career path, and burned many bridges.

When I decided to take my art and writing seriously in April of 2020, I began to notice all of the habits and negative self talk that have plagued me for as long as I can remember. Over the past months of this year I have broken down walls within myself that I didn’t even know were there, and once I broke down a few walls I saw all of the barriers that have been caging my soul, for who knows how long.

Writing about some of the things that have plagued my heart on my blog or on my social media accounts has given me some solace in knowing I am not alone. When I post my experience and feelings to the internet, I am met with other people doing the same thing! The internet is such a vast and ever-changing place that it excites me to think of what it may look like in the future.

Even with the knowledge and realization that the internet, blogging, posting my arts and passion can connect me to people from anywhere who relate to my information and may even like it, I still feel inadequate. Considering I took a long couple of years not posting really anything to any social media, I have concluded that this must be some deep understanding I have about myself that isn’t caused by the sometimes overwhelming internet.

How could it be? The joy of creating a video I am proud of and posting it to the internet where just one person says they like it, has given me more support than I can by telling myself in the mirror affirmations. How can doing something that gets my heart beating with excitement and my mind racing with inspiration be a bad thing? I love forming words and sentences together to make intriguing stories and possibilities for an audience, I love letting my mind melt away as I paint sunsets and mountain scapes, I gain so much joy from creating content I am proud of.

Although, this joy does not override my mental illness so I have started attending therapy and I am really trying to improve my life, even if some days I fall back into toxic patterns and behaviors that end up making me feel like I haven’t improved at all. Being able to look back at the videos I have created or the blogs I have written, gives me a window to my old self, which as I grow older seems to be farther and farther from who I am.

So here is to blogging day, a day I want to continue celebrating, for how much blogging has brought to my life. Creating a blog was really my escape from the boring adult world to a creative and expansive world of inspiration and art. Thank you whoever invented blogging, and thank you to everyone reading, you are the reason I continue writing and creating so that someone like you can find it and enjoy.

4 – 21 – 2020

Why hello, it’s been a while since I’ve written but I recently discovered something really important that I feel I just have to share: passion, motivation, and drive. I feel like I have to take you back a couple years to really explain what I mean though.
When I was a teenager, I told myself I am never going to work at a 9 – 5 type of job, I didn’t want to become a slave, so to speak, to a company. I think I was about 14 when I started my first YouTube channel, SillySerra, and yes it is very cringy but after I abandoned it for years my sisters told me they looked it up and one of my videos had almost 600 views (when I left it I don’t remember having even 100). When I started high school, I thought I wanted to be an actor, move to New York and perform on Broadway. Hearing a couple people tell me “No” and dealing with a few scams along with the stress of high school and friendships or relationships broke my spirits.
After a few years, I realized I the last picture I had taken of myself was years outdated and I didn’t like to look at myself in the mirror anymore. What had happened in the last two years of high school? A lot happened, my best (and basically only) friend moved 45 – minutes away and when you can’t legally drive yet it seems like the end of the world. I was forcing myself into a relationship that wasn’t right for me while lying to myself about it. And probably the biggest trauma of them all was when my dad passed away halfway through Junior years, literally the week of finals and a couple weeks from Christmas. I decided to do homeschooling the rest of the year because my mom already homeschooled my siblings, but I didn’t really learn anything that spring. I hung out with girls who seemed to like me, and I could tolerate but really, I was just bitter about my friend who moved. Then right when summer hit, a week after our first anniversary my boyfriend broke up with me, and although I drug it out and made it harder than it needed to be it was the best decision for both of us.
Then I went wild, I had always been the goodie two shoes and would never expect myself to go to a high school party, but I did, and I hung out with people I could never imagine. After making my fair share of bad teenage mistakes I connected with someone I had kind of always known, he worked with me at a grocery store. The first night we hung out, I didn’t go home and that’s basically how the rest of the last three years has been. We were couch serving at my moms the next summer, something neither of us imagined, but it pushed us to get an apartment together. That was the first big adult decision we both made, we signed the lease the day after my eighteenth birthday.
Now I have everything in life I could ever need or want, but I got sucked into another soul-sucking job, the managers wanted me to train and be a leader (they got paid a lot more) and at first, it sounded great! That was also the same time I started college and stopped taking anxiety medication, meaning that all didn’t work out. I cried at 3 in the morning before having to go to work and almost quit but decided to just step down, I should have just quit. For the next six or so months I convinced myself that working five days a week for a little over 200 dollars a day and trying to get school done as well was enough for me. 2020 rolls around and we all know how 2020 has been treating everybody, I started full time at college and was only doing 5am shifts and I guess life just started getting to me. I abandoned my job (again), and I allowed my anxiety to completely change my life (again). Some would say I had an emotional breakdown, I say my body took over for what my mind didn’t feel strong enough to do.
I asked myself, is this what the rest of my life is going to be? Working for minimum wage, devoting hours and hours of my life to someone else’s business. You have to understand I probably get this from my dad, he always said he wanted to be his own boss and eventually he did become his own boss of a carpet cleaning company (Absolute Best Cleaners), he even had employees. I can’t imagine trying to own a business while providing for five children and a spouse, and all of a sudden, a lot more of my childhood made sense. I don’t know what happened this year, but things have just started to click, I am finally starting to understand myself and what I want. The whole theory behind me wanting to become an actress when I was in high school was that I like to tell stories, I like understanding who the people are in stories and my imagination is so strong I make up stories in my head all the time (not always good ones, maybe crazy ones, but hey girls got imagination).
I decided this is my life and I don’t have to work till I hate my life, granted I had just gotten my taxes and financial aid money for school, so I was feeling pretty invincible with more money in my account than ever. I decided school is more important than some crappy job and worst case I can go get a different crappy job, then an international pandemic occurred, and I was forced to sit in my house and reflect on basically my entire life. How could I literally have quit my grocery store job right before I could have gotten a $2 raise and so much overtime!
I had to stop myself, isn’t that the problem? I didn’t want to just work mindlessly for a raise, I wanted purpose. In my English class this semester I had to do a big research paper and I decided to question does suffering make us strong? And Boy did I get the answer of a lifetime, in trying to answer that hard question I read, listened to, and watched so much content on everything from growth mindset to intrinsic and extrinsic benefits and even how these theories apply to business. I delved into the psychology of why I always run away from things and do what I feel is bad choices, and through all of this, I discovered my passion, motivation, and drive.
For the first time in a long time, I feel a fire burning inside my soul and it feels like it has caught a gust of wind and doubled in size. Within the last month or so I have learned to let go at least a little bit to let the fire burn bright enough to light my way. In the past, when I have tried to put out this fire incessantly with fear it did nothing but stifle my creativity, my voice, and my confidence. I reconnected with my best friend and felt the love we have for each other and I have sparked my childhood interests like entrepreneurship and even YouTube funny enough. But most importantly I am learning to let go of the fear that held me in place for so long.
I am not going to enter my second decade of life too scared to do all the things I dream of, because the simple fact is if I can’t even believe in myself no one will. I want to own my own business, make my own money and not just make money for someone else’s company, and I want to be passionate about what I do. So, I am trying, I am believing that the universe will give me exactly what I need and when I need it, and I am finally doing what I truly love: creating.

Copyright © 2020 Serra Isabella. All rights reserved.