Savior Complex

This is me.

The attitude, not the physique.

Obviously.

Dumb, right? So wonderfully, sweetly, blindly, stupidly idealistic.

I need a sidekick like this, who will verbally slap me in the face and tell me like it is. Oh wait. I do. That would be my mother.  (Thanks, Mom!)

Unfortunately for my dear mother’s nerves, like Oliver, I tend to learn many of life’s lessons the hard way.

Actually, a lot of times, I apparently don’t learn them at all, so I get to repeat the same fun, educational, heartbreaking, soul crushing experiences over and over again. *Sigh

Authentically Aurora

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Design for Discouragement

“I hate that I can still be so easily shaken, and somehow I convince myself that if I could just develop a healthy enough psyche, life couldn’t touch me.” -Beth Moore, So Long Insecurity

I wish the men in my life would stop wounding me. For the most part, they are godly, well-intentioned men. They are just thoughtless and oblivious. And I say that in the kindest way possible.

There are a few officers in my a cappella choir, one of whom is our Media Director. Knowing my experience with graphic design, he asked me to design some posters for our upcoming concert. I was thrilled to be asked and ecstatic to get started. I love to create. I love a blank canvas. I love developing a vision and seeing it become a reality.

Unfortunately, the Media Director already had a vision in mind, but fortunately, it’s one that I liked. He asked me to employ a minimalistic style, but when I showed him my work after spending an entire evening in Illustrator, he said it was too simplistic. Hmmm… minimalistic art being simplistic…? Go figure!

Minimalism

Minimalism

The Media Director sent me a patterned background to add as a layer in place of my simplistic one. I thought his background made the poster look cluttered, but I did what he asked. When I sent it to our Choir VP for sign-off, though, he said it was “too busy” and needed to be “simplified”. I’d used posterization because the media guy asked me to, but the VP said it made it “too hard to make out people’s faces”. He asked me to remember that we want “an aesthetically pleasing flyer.” Oh, we do? Sorry, I thought you wanted an atrocity of a flyer. 

Posterization

Posterization

Art is personal. It’s an extension of oneself. To criticize someone’s artwork without offering any kind of compliment or encouragement is damaging. In his introduction to The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne wrote about the vulnerability of self-expression through art forms:

“The truth seems to be, however, that, when he casts his leaves forth upon the wind, the author addresses, not the many who will fling aside his volume, or never take it up, but the few who will understand him, better than most of his schoolmates or lifemates. Some authors, indeed, do far more than this, and indulge themselves in such confidential depths of revelation as could fittingly be addressed, only and exclusively, to the one heart and mind of perfect sympathy.”

Still further, I was only trying to do what our Media Director asked of me. I wish the officers had gotten aligned, that the VP had been kinder in his words, and that the Media Director had backed me up when the VP criticized my work that was a direct result of his guidance.

There were a few other instances with other guys this week, but I don’t even want to write about them. It will just get me upset again and stir up all kinds of insecurities I thought I had already dealt with.

“I feel everything. My joys are huge, and so are my sorrows. If I’m mad, I’m really mad, and if I’m despondent, I wonder how on earth I’ll go on… God gave me this tender heart, and though I want to give up my chronic insecurity, I really do want to hang on to my heart. I like to feel. When I don’t feel something, it’s like being dead.” -Beth Moore, So Long Insecurity

Authentically Aurora

One Year Blogiversary

One year CupcakeDear Blogging Community,

Today I celebrate my One Year Anniversary of Blogging. It has been a long and arduous journey, but we have survived together – me, filtering every life experience to deem whether or not it is blog-worthy, and you, suffering through my bitter humor and bleeding-heart introspections.

Thanks for being a part of this journey with me – for oftentimes helping to carry my burdens with your loving words of encouragement… and also occasionally adding to my burdens with well-intended but unwelcome commentary (I’m looking at you, peanut gallery).

I am so grateful for the community I have found here in the blogosphere. You have collectively endured my emotional roller coaster ride of upbeat inspirations one day and bitter rants the next. You have lived life with me, and I with you. We are family. [cue Sister Sledge]

I’m a different woman now than I was a year ago. On August 21, 2014, I was a broken woman, having been rejected and abandoned just weeks earlier by the man who had promised me forever. In the wake of my broken engagement, I oscillated between despondency and anger; listlessness and panic. And I ultimately found solace in the pouring out of my emotions on the page: the bright, pixelated page of my computer screen.

Since then, I have been on 356284.1 dates – some humorous and some heartbreaking. I have learned a lot about men, and I have learned a lot about myself. And I have also learned a lot about you, dear readers.

I have discovered that your favorite posts to read are ones on controversial current events, be they political in nature or more aligned with pop culture. My most Viewed posts are about gay marriage, The Bachelor and the Christianity/Science debate. You also apparently really like it when the intensity of my emotions come out in my posts, like when I am most deeply wounded, unfathomably giddy, or absolutely infuriated.

You most Like when I share my creativity with you, either through my photography or poetry. You like when I express myself in short, humorous outtakes from life. Especially if those outtakes involve chocolate.  You also like to hear my personal reflections, most notably when I speak about my internal struggles and subsequent revelations as I continue the journey toward healing.

But I hear the most from you when I allow myself to be completely vulnerable and reveal the depths of my occasional depression. You are good encouragers when I feel misunderstood, and I am thankful for that. I also tend to get a lot of Comments from my fellow introverts when I post about introversion (don’t worry, I won’t ask you to raise your hands and draw attention to yourselves. You know who you are). And you like to comment on my bitterest of rants, like when I am confounded by the perkiest of girls and the most oblivious of men.

Altogether, it has been a lovely year of writing and reading, of loving and leaving, of grieving and growing; of receiving restoring. Here’s to another year together.

Authentically Aurora

Wallowing

This was me yesterday:

Crying_icecream_eating

My poison of choice was Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk ice cream – always an excellent coping mechanism.

Ain’t no party like an Aurora party cuz an Aurora party involves eating an entire pint of ice cream while binge watching Netflix alone in my apartment while wearing a Grumpy Cat T-shirt.

7-ways-bollywood-taught-us-to-deal-with-a-heartbreak-1

I know, I know; you’re jealous you weren’t invited. It’s understandable. But don’t take it too personally. These Aurora parties happen in isolation, so no one was invited. Except Ben & Jerry.

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AA

Moving On

Ah, social media… the fun games you allow us to play.

I removed Bryan as Facebook friend within minutes of hanging up with him after his angry verbal lashing. I still miss him. I still want to view his updates on Facebook. I want to be a part of his life and know what’s going on with him. But I know myself. And so I know that to heal means stepping away completely.

Unfortunately, he and I still have mutual friends on Facebook, which means that I occasionally have visibility to his updates when a mutual friend likes or comments on one of his posts. Which is how, today, I got to see that Bryan just updated his profile picture:

KB PP

He would never allow for photos of us together on Facebook. But this photo – with whoever this girl is – he not only posted on Facebook himself but actually chose to make his profile picture. And of course he has a ton of Likes from friends of his who didn’t even know we were dating after six months (and an international trip) together. WTF.

How am I supposed to move on when it’s not enough for me to drop out of our joint bible study, remove him on social media, block his number, and exercise self control in not reaching out to him? WHY IS THIS ALWAYS SO FREAKING HARD?!?!

AA

UPDATE: I’m glad someone finally asked… We’ll see what he says (if anything)…

KB GF