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Finding Strength for one more Fight- September 2017

I wrote this post 3 years ago in Autumn of 2017. I wanted to share it here.

Hey Toonsters! It's September. Autumn. Fall season. A very transitional time.  Honestly where to even begin? So much has happened within the past couple of months that it's become quite overwhelming. A lot of personal things. I've been doing lots of self-reflection and thinking and discovery.

 It's an exciting yet terrifying feeling right now- like the feeling I felt right before jumping out of a plane. Terrified yet excited. Part of me wants to stay in the plane with the safety of gravity, yet my heart tells me to leap forward into that vast blue sky! When that leap is taken, oh what a freeing, wonderful exhilarating feeling it is. It's flying, and your soul is on fire. You're full of such passion and love... all because you took that leap. Of course, you don't really have to literally jump out of a plane to get that feeling. I just love to use that analogy because it resonates with me deep in my heart, and I use it when there's new changes along the way. I have one of the biggest changes in my life coming up. It's not something I'm quite ready to tell everyone just yet, but many of my close friends already know and have been nothing but supportive. I am truly blessed to have such wonderful people in my life that care about me. It has certainly made this uncertain time in my life a lot easier to handle. It really is an intense experience. It's scary and hurtful, yet I know it's for the better and I will come out a better person in the end. Like a new chapter in my life. A blank canvas. It can be intimidating, but we can only move forward, and keep moving forward. The past is done, we cannot change it- we can only learn from it. Hold the good memories in our hearts and let go of the bad ones. What's done is done. Live and learn. Live life to the fullest. Speaking of living life to the fullest... It has been almost a year since the passing of my friend Clay Martin Croker- an amazing voice actor and talent. He was an amazing person and friend I'll always remember. This year...just last week... a very close and dear friend of mine passed away- Katerina Marks. This came as a shock just as Clay's did last year. She seemed fine, everything seemed fine. We use to be very close, as we use to chat all the time, worked at haunted houses, I would come over and she would do my makeup or we would just go out to restaurants and hang out. She was a beautiful spirit and a wonderful amazing artist. With life, it's easy to get lost and busy. That's what happened to us. I think the last time I saw her in person was last year. We would always say we were going to hang out, and catch up- and we just never got around to it. I feel awful because I feel like I should have tried harder. To reach out to her more. We drifted apart, which can happen in friendships, but I guess it feels like they'll always be there. One thing I feel horrible about, at one point I was a bit stubborn, as I had felt like I kept reaching out to her so I had said to myself- "well, she can reach out to me if she wants to hang out" I wish I hadn't thought that way. Life is too short, too precious, and I truly cared deeply about her as a friend, so I wished I could have just swallowed my pride and did what my heart told me to do. I really do feel like "Guilt" needs to be added to the stages of grief, as I had felt like that last year after Clay had passed away. I kept thinking, "I should have hung out with him more" "I should have said this to him" and so forth. I remember having a dream about him not long after- we were hanging out at a convention and I saw him and was so joyful to see him, almost like I was seeing him in the Afterlife. I hugged him and told him I was so sorry and crying and everything, and he had chuckled at me, saying "It's ok! Everything is going to be ok, you're being silly, don't be sorry. Celebrate the moments we had together!"  I think that's very true. Celebrate life and those you're with. When it's time to say goodbye, mourn the loss but celebrate their life and the impact they made on Earth and with you. I know that when it's my time to leave this Earth, I would want people to remember my spirit, my impact, and what I did to make the world a better place. That's what I really want to do. I want to make the world a better place. I want to spread positive vibes, love and cheer. There's too much negativity and anger in the world already. Doesn't it feel better to feel good? I know I think so! It's part of what makes life so rich! Sorrow is unfortunately a part of life, but that just means there's intense joy to be had! Yin and Yang, good and bad. I mentioned that in my "My Advice on Being Positive" Article on here.  So in addition with my life being full of new changes, I've decided to give myself a makeover. As in the words of Cher in Clueless- "I decided I needed a complete makeover. But this time, I would make over my soul" As I mentioned before, this is an extremely transitional time, at least for me- so it's perfect. I've decided I want to be more passionate and more positive than ever before. I also want to be bolder and take more risks. Sometimes there's been times I was too nervous to do something and only regretted it later. Or maybe I did take a risk and it backfired and I got too nervous to try again. But you know what? Really. Life is short. Take that risk. What's the worst that could happen? Will it matter 100 years from now? So why not take that risk? It'll make you feel free and empowered. If it's something you want, go for it! You never know if you don't try! The best part is, when you're that passionate, you are setting your soul on fire and it feels awesome! Passion, love, joy. You are creating an amazing energy that is cast into this world! Life is amazing, and we're all living it right in this moment! Isn't that wonderful? We're all alive and feeling all of these emotions. We're all going through this crazy thing called life. We're all doing it right now. As these words are written on my computer in my present moment, you are now reading in your present moment- thinking and feeling. Time is always on the move. Time is now. There's the past to remember and the future to look forward to. It's interesting really. Thinking about time and how it affects us. The concept of time affects us in more ways than we may realize, I think. We think about the past- the regrets, the memories, what we did and didn't do- we look at pictures and read old posts, reliving the past as what happened and how it affects you today. Then there's the future. Always uncertain, always looming- we're always planning in our calendars, preparing for what's next. Anticipating something, excited for something, fearing something. Then there's my favorite. The present. The present really is a gift. The present is now. That's where you live! Right now! What you're thinking, what you're feeling, what you're doing- you're doing it all right now! Living in the moment feels wonderful. You're truly free. Breathing in and breathing out. Like meditation, clearing your mind and just taking it all in. We're all in such a rush all the time, but isn't life more rich when you really take the time to appreciate what's around you? This is your world and it's constantly changing! Take a deep breath. Fix your favorite drink and as you take that first sip- take the time to smell the aroma and feel the cup in your hand and look around you. Go outside and feel the breeze, look at the trees. Take a walk. Get lost in nature. Go laugh and play. Relax. Another thing I wanted to talk about was art. Art is beautiful and amazing and it really can change the world. My friend Kat was an artist- she was a painter and a poet. You could see passion in her art and it made you feel. Reading her words and what she was thinking. Seeing her paintings and feeling those emotions, whatever they may stir in you. That's what art is, creating and expressing yourself and your soul to the world. Her soul now lives on not only through us but through her art. Art is everything. It's everywhere. It's the movie you watched or the song you just listened to. It made you feel, it made you think. Something with it resonates with you. It inspires you. More art is created. Maybe a painting for someone to look at. Maybe a book for someone to read and get lost in. Art is the design all around you as well- the couch or chair you're sitting on- someone designed and created that you may enjoy it, both with its function and the look of it. Entertainment is art and one of my favorite forms- It's living in the now. That's why I love Events- They are almost a symbol of living in the present- many people gather for a variety of reasons, but usually the number one reason is having a good time. To laugh with friends, to dance or run, to drink and be merry. Entertainment an art because it's expressing something to the world- it's the laughter and the smiles and the memories they create. You're creating a character and a story that they remember.  Stories are also my other favorite form of art. I love getting lost in a tale, becoming those characters for a while, living out their adventures. What would life be like that? They're things that you think about. That story could inspire you in some way. Maybe you connect with one of the characters or maybe that character inspires you in some way. Art to me feels like getting lost in another world. Art is magic. It really is! I was listening to Vincent Price one day and he was talking about magic, how it's the unknown, otherworldly things that can't be explained. I feel like art is like that- It's not just one thing. It's several things! Everyone's reality is different. What art means to one person could mean something entirely different to another. It's all in interpretation. How did that artist feel when creating? Did they express that to you? We are all so similar yet so different in many many ways.  I feel like art is a connection between us, between everyone. We're all connected in so many ways. We're all artists expressing ourselves to each other- whether through it's what we're creating or just being ourselves. Life is art. Art is life! Creating art together is amazing as well! So many different people coming together to make something that they all feel and want to express. Music is like that- many different instruments and personalities coming together to make something. Movies are like that- a variety of talents from the writers to the special effects artists to the actors themselves- they are all using their art and their personalities to make an impact and to create something to be enjoyed by the world around them.  That's what art is to me. It's love, really. It's that love in your heart and expressing that to the world. It could be anger or sadness or joy or excitement but it's all passion, feeling those feelings that can't be explained- maybe, feelings are feelings because we can't control them. Don't feel bad for how you feel- it's you, that's how you feel. It's your personality, it's your self. We can't control how we feel but we can control how we carry ourselves in the world. How do you want to carry yourself in the world- what do you want to convey? What impact and legacy do you want to leave behind? What do you want the world to say about you?  I've had the pleasure of working with many wonderful, talented and amazing artists- they are people who've impacted my life and really made a difference. They are creators that I've connected with and developed life-long friendships with. Those who are no longer around are far from gone- they live on through their spirit, their energy, the impact they've made on you and how you carry that with you. The world around us affects us all the time and we as human beings affect each other in so many ways. From the friend you're talking in an intimate conversation with to the stranger you bump into on the street. We're all living in the moment and putting energy out into the world like a ripple- what sort of ripple will you create? What ripple do you want to create?  For me, personally, I want to create a ripple of passion, love and pure happiness. I love to make people laugh and smile. I love to make people feel good about themselves and their situations. I love to cheer someone up. I want to brighten someone's day. Smiles are contagious, feeling good feels, well, good! Isn't that amazing? I want to motivate people and inspire them. I know everyone on Earth has a wealth of talents. Let them flourish! Do what you want to do and don't hold back! Give it all you've got! It feels wonderful to be truly immersed in what you do- whether it's creating or living in the moment enjoying the world around you.  Life isn't about its length- it's about what you put into it and making it rich. Living this time completely and truly. It's our one life, live it up! What made me think of art and changing the world was actually my most recent meeting with an awesome band called Run With It- they are doing a series- "How art can change the world" and that really got me to thinking about how it has impacted me and my life. One of the questions in the interview was a story about how art has impacted me- one of the questions that was pretty difficult to answer, actually because... well, art impacts me every day of my life! It's the music I listen to in the morning that inspires me or makes me feel. It's the show I watch at night where I'm invested in characters. It's writing my thoughts out like this. It's making a drawing, studying the colors, the designs, getting lost in that world. It's talking to close friends, expressing myself to them and they expressing themselves to me. Art is everything to me. Everything is art to me.  The band has a song which I'll be animating to and it's perfect for me, especially at this time in my life. It's called "One More Fight" and it is certainly inspiring me right now. It's about continuing on, no matter what. Just putting one foot in front of the other. Stepping forward. Keep moving forward. You have the strength within you, more than you realize. When the world seems against you, you can keep going, keep climbing, keep persevering because you will make it through. You're living so you can keep going no matter the odds. Breathe in. You're here.  Now go forth, and be awesome!!  Thanks for taking the time to read this blog article of ramblings. These are my thoughts and expressions, you may or may not agree with them, but they are mine and how I'm feeling in this moment, so I'm living and creating in it. I wanted to share that with you, world. I hope that it inspired something within you. Have a beautiful marvelous excellent wonderful stupendous fabulous amazing rest of your day, and I'll see you soon! 

Blue Skies! Enjoy the Chaos & Stay TOONed!

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