Keeping Promises: May Blogging & Arm Strength

I am a little bit surprised by the fact that I have stuck to it and written a blog post, and performed 30 push-ups every day for 28 consecutive days as of… whenever I post this tonight.  I have previously attempted a blog streak, although I feel at that time I was less successful.  Posting solely an image, reflecting on some mildly interesting event, and hoping that the brief jot would sufficiently fulfill the daily requirement and satisfy my own need to create and express.

As I learned in November, putting in a little effort turned out to be just that: a little satisfying.  And each time I knew I was kind of … well… only putting in a half-effort, and that hole would appear in the pit of my stomach reminding me that the content I put out into the world of the Internets was less than.  So, as my posts come later and later this May, edging into the wee hours of the morning, it is because I am learning that making a quality post each day is quite a stretch.  And I would rather be satisfied with my post and miss a little sleep than feel that pit form in my belly.

Despite the difficulty coming up with the next post, I am thoroughly enjoying every moment spent composing.  I have also learned that I am naturally a night owl… Or at least, I kick into creative overdrive in the late evening.  Which is difficult to honor and maintain when getting up at 5:30 or 6am every day to get in the morning workout.

Do you find yourself compromising on sleep to exercise and satisfy your creative side with artful activities?

“Burning the candle at both ends” as they say…
And currently, loving it!

I hope you were all able to do something that brought you happiness today!

Joyfully,
~Alaina

Weathering Storms

IMG_9894

As we near the end of the Mayan calendar, and amidst the many recent tragedies, the arrival of the holiday season, and the eve of the New Year, I find myself reflecting upon the events of this last year, and realize that I have struggled and conquered many different challenges in a very short time.  Sunday night, the wind was howling outside. The storm was unlike any that I had seen pass through Portland for at least a few years, and I almost expected my windows to collapse inward from the pressure, as I could have easily folded under many of the great forces that blew across my path this year.

Yet I knew the windows would hold.  They leaked and allowed a bursts of air through the cracks in the aged caulking, but they are strong and built to withstand the gusts and downpours testing their stability.

I, too, remain standing after the wind has past, the dust settled, and life has moved forward.  This year, I have learned to stand up for myself and ask for what I want and need. I finally realized my worth in the workplace. I gained confidence in my abilities. I lost loved ones. I turned thirty. I am beginning to understand how much of my being is devoted to being creative, and accepting the responsibility to create; working with my hands brings me happiness – it’s time to stop procrastinating. I finally took my last steps toward independence and pursued driving lessons, passed my driver’s test last week, and I am now a licensed driver.  I moved three times, finally settling into my favorite building downtown.  I set up a workspace, so I have room to be creative. I learned and performed a choreographed dance routine with a group of dancers for the first time in my adult life.  I am learning about the logistics of starting a small business.  I started running with purpose, again. I am reconnecting with great friends with whom I had lost touch. And I cannot believe all of this and more happened in the space of twelve short months.

Yet after all this growth and change, I find myself in a place of discontent.  I am progressing, but not yet satisfied and happy with this level of personal growth.  I find questions such as: “How do I know what drives me?” “What brings me joy?” “What are my next steps?” circling in my head for hours.  I still feel a great sense of… something missing, a gnawing need for a great shift in my life, a sense that there is something bigger I am supposed to be doing, and I do not know which direction to walk because I do not know what I need to pursue. I feel like I am standing at the edge of some great discovery, looking out over a great, wide canyon, but I am unsure whether to jump from the edge or traverse across the great divide on a more methodical route, with ropes and carabiners to prevent my fall.

And every time these thoughts and questions return, I come back here, to write and allow the process to guide me.

Perhaps through writing, drawing, and baking – creating – I will find the answers I seek revealed in the outputs of these endeavors.