Feelings

Elections 2016 – Where Do We Go From Here?

I posted the following on Facebook after thinking about how these elections are making me feel tonight. After reading/writing some pretty intense tweets, a few thoughts suddenly hit me, and I just want to put them out there for those feeling a bit lost/confused/angry right now. We have to look out for each other in this life, more than ever.

No matter how this ends, let’s piece ourselves together and realize something: as voters, we have the right to stand up/die for what is right and in the best interest of ALL our fellow Americans, we don’t have to accept that this nation is literally divided more than ever right now. If this is what causes a massive change in how the world turns for awhile, well, we may as well go for broke.

Giving up and running away won’t fix that, we have to do our part to ensure everyone feels safe and welcome in the United States (or Divided States, as it appears). The world really is counting on us here no matter who takes office and many I’m sure would help come to our aid should we need to take a stand against hate and bigotry.

Okay, I know, I posted that image earlier about not gloating or expressing anguish, and we don’t really know how this is gonna end just yet…

Don't Gloat. Don't Despair.

After the Election…

Image Source: David Borrink

 

Holy Cow, Time Flies!

Well, I guess it has been awhile since the last blog post…since August of 2014? Oops!

What have I been up to since then? Mostly working on projects, some of my own, several for design and content writing clients; traveled a bit, but not enough; met and greeted Josh Groban a couple more times (pictures for another day); helped plan and put on a 20-year high school reunion (WTF?!?!?)…so, taking time to write about life has sort of been a non-priority. I thought it might be a good idea to just quickly post here so 2015 doesn’t feel too left out, so a longer post will have to wait!

As for those things that made me realize my life needed redirection, and in following my own calling, I realize some things are just best left in the past. As time passes, people and situations that have caused unhappiness and unbearable stress aren’t worth worrying about anymore. People and environments sometimes change for the better, others don’t, and as it turns out, our being present or absent has little or nothing to do with it. Sometimes to walk away and keep one’s distance is the best, healthiest thing you can do for your own sake. If people don’t like what you do or how you do things, why worry; put those feelings into something more worthwhile, always. Honestly, if nothing’s going to change in the here and now, and you realize separating yourself from those unhappy/unpleasant places is what you need to finally land where you belong, whether it’s leaving a “dead-end” job, breaking off a toxic relationship, or overcoming a persistent roadblock in life (or all of the above), push forward with no regrets and don’t look back – let the messes you can’t fix fall onto someone else’s lap, focus on your dreams and goals, and keep looking up. Enough said there.

snailbowimgprofile

“Keep Looking Up” – Watercolor painting by Jill M. Sheehan, available as a print and in other formats on Society6, Redbubble, and Zazzle.

Things to Come in 2016:

  • Taking on more design and writing projects for clients;
  • Finally getting my JillthePill Design site launched beyond a “landing page” state;
  • More personal artwork projects; you’ll find several designs are currently available as high-quality art prints, stationery and personalizable housewares on Society6, Redbubble, and Zazzle. (<–Shameless plugs)
  • Working on developing more handmade pieces – some previous work is available on Etsy, but I’ll be adding new designs as I hone my artsy-fartsy skills!

And beyond that, I just have to see where things go, because holy cow, time flies.

Stay tuned – have a happy, healthy 2016 and beyond! Carpe diem! 😀

My Take on Depression and Suicide: We Need to Talk.

Depression. Suicide.

Such harsh, powerful words. Words nobody wants to speak of, ever. That is, until something major happens, usually when a celebrity opens up about their battle, or succumbs to it. As terrible and tragic as a life lost this way is, the best time to talk about it is when it’s fresh, having opened up our wounds, broken our hearts, and affected us so deeply.

Robin Williams as Patch Adams

Robin Williams as Patch Adams. (Image Credit: Universal Pictures)

The one-and-only Robin Williams, an actor and comedian eager to entertain the masses, who made us all laugh, always ready with a joke or prank to brighten someone’s day, no matter their struggle, lost the battle to this cruel, ruthless beast we know as depression and by way of suicide. It hits hard, sharply, to hear those words together, yet it is the tragic reality, and we need to able to talk about it without fear, shame, or judgment. Robin isn’t the first, and sadly, won’t be the last entertainer (or singer, or artist…) to lose their fight with depression.

My initial thoughts upon hearing of his death (taken from my Facebook status):

Regarding suicide: Please don’t criticize a suffering person who has (possibly) taken their own life. Know that it is a deep, dark, struggle and not usually a selfish decision, but one made by a person desperate to be free of their pain.

I had already been planning this post before reading an article by Katie Hurley on the Huffington Post that nails a lot of my sentiments, but it can’t be said too many times when the issue of openly discussing depression and suicide is so important, now more than ever. There are many more great articles out there; take the time to read as many as you can – this isn’t a time to “conceal, don’t feel.”

2013 – My How You’ve Flown.

Well how about that, the year’s over, just like that. The past few months have been busy for me – finally opened up my Etsy shop – here’s a little preview – go check it out when you have a chance!

JillthePillDesign on Etsy

Just Joshin’

In October, I got to meet Josh Groban at his Seattle show (these pics come from my Instagram):

The Breaking Bad inspired Meet & Greet Pass.

The Breaking Bad inspired Meet & Greet Pass.

 

Me, Josh Groban, and a Box of Salonpas.

Me, Josh Groban, and a Box of Salonpas.

 

Sorry, you had to be there to get this joke. ;)

Sorry, you had to be there to get this joke. 😉

It was a brief meeting & greeting, but he was a hoot to talk to, and is always witty and entertaining during his concerts. For those of you wondering why the box of Salonpas, check Josh’s Twitter archives for background on that. 😉 Thank you, FOJG – it was a pleasant surprise to be one of the Seattle M&G drawing winners! Also saw his show in Salt Lake City, thanks to an online friend!

Old School Memories…

I revisited my old stomping grounds to say goodbye to the “Little Theater” that’s being demolished for the new FWHS, which was bittersweet, like stepping back in time where little has changed, venue-wise, but in other ways nearly unrecognizable elsewhere on campus. It was a great opportunity to say hello to my former drama teacher and let her know I’m still keeping the creative endeavors going to this day. If you ever have the chance, you should go back and thank those teachers who left an impression on you in life; it means a lot to them!

On the Creative Front…

Creatively, I’ve been juggling various projects in these final months of 2013 – new items for the Etsy shop, for one, and lots on the table for the coming year! I didn’t get everything I wanted to accomplish done just yet, some things shifted on the burners a bit, but I guess I should pace myself instead of racing myself. This has been a good year for taking time to nurture my creativity, learn new things, and journey ahead without looking back. It started out with greatly mixed feelings (as earlier posts indicate), but I’m glad I took this leap of faith. If I hadn’t taken a chance on new adventures, I know I wouldn’t be on the path to where I’m meant to be in life, so no regrets there. 🙂

That’s really about it – details on the mundane things in life aren’t worth going on about anyway, so these are just a few highlights until I post again. (This is mostly for me anyway, to look back and see the growth in myself, and share how life’s treating me for those stalkers curious folks out there.) 2014 has more in store, and I look forward to it!

May all be well with those reading this – and remember, it’s never too late to drop everything you know in favor of new, enlightening life adventures. 😀

Until we meet again – Happy New Year!

Time Marches On.

Wow, June has come to an end already. Half the year gone POOF? What is with that? Seriously, time…just slips away, no matter where you are or what you do. Let this serve as a reminder that life and time is short, so make the most of it! 🙂

So many things as usual on the mind, recently lost a beloved furry friend (R.I.P., Mr. Biddles), but I am finding, as time marches on, that things that were giving me worries and regrets earlier this year are no longer important enough to fret over, or rather, have faded into the past where they belong. Feelings of anxiety, emptiness, anger, frustration, sadness, all that is no longer hounding me, or very rarely these days. The time I have had to focus on finding myself in my element again has been good medicine, and surely a few of those who have been following along don’t want to hear that, but perhaps the problem isn’t really me, in that case. 😉 Finding what is going to make my life the best it can be (while the show is just me) is the main task for my life. While I am here to support and care for those in need (ALWAYS), and even those who don’t need it at this time, we have to look out for ourselves first and foremost; if you lose yourself in trying too hard to please everyone else, avoiding making waves to a point you become a pushover, blankly going through the motions, getting back to YOU can be a difficult journey. But honestly, I need not go on about that, because I have found peace in the process of moving ahead, and that is giving me motivation to tackle the things I had pushed aside for a long time. Don’t like that? Too bad; nobody’s making you read this anyway, and my give-a-damn’s busted. 😛

The coming months will be busier yet; over the past months, I’ve been working gradually toward making art my (eventual) full-time life; it takes time to get everything just right, with projects and client work on all sides, but it will be worthwhile for those who have been waiting ever-so-patiently to get things launched and up for sale in my design business. If you haven’t hopped over there yet, check out my business site at JillthePill Design (currently a landing page), and track the progress, answer polls and “like” the page over at Facebook; it’s nearly launch time, but before I unwrap the site, I’m working on getting physical goods made and assembled, while also helping my mom get her stuff going, too. (If you like one-of-a-kind, fine jewelry pieces, her stuff will be right up your alley!) My aim is to avoid any bumps in the road upon opening the virtual shop doors, so fingers crossed that works out!

Spring? Plants? I hate them. I made my zom-bees months before Grumpy Cat became a thing, but if the shoe fits, Tardar would hate these, too.

This is a Zom-BEE™. Don’t you want to own one of these “happy” fellas? I think you do…

Other than that, nothing of terrible importance to report at this time; once things have officially launched, I intend to get back into tackling those personal projects that have languished for far too long…yes, that means you guys, Mathnet fans. In fact, Mental_Floss recently posted an article that pays homage to the show, and we have dropped the ball a bit with keeping things updated. Enjoy things as they are now, and know that they will be revamped one of these days…we (the fans) really want to inspire enough confidence in the folks at Sesame Workshop so maybe they’ll finally bring Square One TV back – the youth of today could certainly use it!

Okay, that’s it for this month, since it’s essentially over now. Enjoy the summer (or winter, depending where you are), and I’ll be here to yap at nobody in particular (probably just myself at this point) at some point in July. Take care! 😀

Time is Precious.

So, there were a few topics I wanted to talk about this month, but April kind of flew by, and was met with some rather awful stories in the news, which made me realize those other things just needn’t be written about right now. So, while plenty can be said about bullying (it’s been a hot topic on the ‘net as of late), not to mention other random topics I feel passionate about, right now, let’s just remind ourselves how precious life is. One never knows what’s around the corner, certainly not in this world of ours. I’ll keep this short, I promise. 😉

I want to share something that a certain favorite actor wrote to me many moons ago (one of many bits of correspondence we’ve shared over the years), and has stuck with me all these years, especially when bad things happen and I can use a reminder to keep life in check:

Time is precious; 
Use yours to live a good life,
And take care of yourself.

-S.M.

Simple, short, and sweet. Just like life. If we don’t stop and take care of ourselves, find the best way to use our time, and look out for each other every once in awhile, it may not be until something bad happens before we take the time to appreciate what we have. Ours is the only life we have full control of at any given time, after all. Let each day be a gift, and use those gifts to make your world the best it can be. Give the world, yourself and those you care about a nice hug every once in awhile, and they will give back, and then some. Time may not be on our side, years pass by in what feels like only a minute, but make it count. 🙂

P.S. – Thank you for the kind words and encouragement over the years, Steven; I appreciate them more than I can ever say. My best to you always, too. 😀

Learning and Growing.

I have found, since walking away from the old job, that I have learned and grown so much in my thirty-something years, and truly I was at a point in time where I got as far as I was going to without taking flight on my own to seek my true calling in life. The “old” me, the insecure one of years ago who had little confidence in herself, would never thought this possible. Thanks to good friends, supportive parents, and just plain looking inside myself to realize my potential, that little frightened bird has made it. However, for those following along here, please don’t tell me I should just let go, move on, and walk away from something when I’ve committed myself a great deal to at least trying to do my part, with a load of feelings and thoughts that go with it, when I’ve been doing the best I can, take it or leave it. It’s just not that simple – these experiences, feelings and thoughts are a large part of what has built me up to who I am today. Hear me out for a little background on my life, why don’t you?

There are a few situations I have had to go through in the past to realize sometimes you have to “just keep swimming” and not look back when something has helped you grow, but only held you back for whatever reasons after a time; sometimes it’s not agreeing or meshing with people and situations that have become dysfunctional, futile or feed negativity into an environment while you try to keep your eyes on the prize, whatever it may be. You become broken inside, discouraged, losing heart, losing focus. For so many reasons it can happen, and not just at any one time or place in your life. There will be people who misconstrue your words, don’t listen to your advice (or that of others), rush to keep you quiet, cut you out of the picture or threaten and intimidate you for daring to speak up, and in that, seemingly refusing to validate your feelings and input. And there are those who do not see things eye-to-eye with you, or simply aren’t in an ideal place themselves, whatever it may be, and in dealing with this realization sometimes you have to leave behind or cut out those parts that aren’t healthy in order to remain strong yourself.  You can’t change other people, after all; you can try to affect change, but we’re not designed to fix other people’s problems, only work on ourselves and do the best we can to make our existence the best it can be.  But for all the parts that make it difficult, realizing this is a sign of growth, especially when you muster the courage to break through the haze and see you are still that same person you used to be, still full of hope and potential, still wanting everything you always have, only now you’re stronger, braver, more prepared for the journey ahead. 

Month One, Complete.

Well, how quickly the time flies, the end of January already? That means my first month in this new adventure of being self-employed is wrapping up. 2012 ended with feelings of guilt and a bit of anxiety, 2013 starting with the next phase of sorts: emptiness. The first couple of weeks I felt so empty, that vessel-full of frustration and futility suddenly giving way to a new, fresh slate. It was weird…I just felt nothing for a time, it’s like a mourning process, I guess: guilt, anxiety, emptiness, and now acceptance and the slow adjustment of my new life. I don’t regret it, though, because I am seeing life has put me where I need to be when I need to be, and I’m keeping busy with projects. Motivation comes in waves, inspiration pops up at rather interesting times, and coffee has become a dear friend, which leads to burning a lot of midnight oil these days. I do need to work on that, trying to keep a normal person’s sleeping schedule. I’ve had to kick my ass a bit, tell myself to “snap out of it” and get into this new groove, but as the weeks have passed, it’s getting easier.

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