purge

packing up my house has been easier than i thought it’d be. i have donated and thrown away countless dozens of piles and bags. i’m amazed i cleared nine large garbage bags of clothes and still have three closets and a garment rack full of clothes. (they’re really small closets, OK?!) i’ve thrown away old, bent art. even things i might like but just don’t find joy in anymore. the massive purge of 2018. i feel so light.

i had a mini existential crisis a couple of weeks ago. all this introspection showed me how far i’ve come over the last six months. i have not quit moving forward. blogging lately is really the first time i’ve looked back and analyzed how much i have accomplished. i made up my mind and i got to today. a couple of weeks ago i regressed a little and thought about retreating. my mind is going through the process i discussed in my last blog. changing, learning new processes, adjusting to new. i believe there is a natural loneliness. a mourning process. a tiredness. maybe even a longing and a reaching for my old mentality. but i’ve ultimately found, it’s gone.

not lost, but altered. i cannot backtrack to that place. this is a beautiful thing. it took me talking to some of my mentors and meditating on my thoughts for a few days to gain a more well-rounded perspective. who wants to keep the same endless mentality? i’d be so bored without the challenge of learning and growing in each moment. in my case, i am so blessed. i look back, and there is a great deal of passion in my interests. following the signs, i look ahead and there is potential for beauty, meaning, and purpose overflowing. 

thinking back to what i wrote about changing from art to business major in college earlier this month, i gave it negative placement in my life. ultimately, it has shaped my ability to make wise art, business, and personal “adult” decisions (financial, etc.). i think it’s human nature to look back on the part of the choice one didn’t make, like not continuing the art courses, and wonder. i spend a lot of time wondering. i want to make the best choices. and i guess now that i have the peace to heal over more recent life events, i am looking even further back and forgiving regrets i didn’t even know i owned.

i owe so much to my college career. i think it was painful for me because the person closest to me was immersed in all the studio classes while i was sitting in business communications lectures, which made me very jealous. plus, university was one big competition for me against my high school mentor’s voice in my head, “anyone who stays in Albany will never graduate college in four years, or maybe ever.” i wanted to disprove that theory. and i did (no one noticing, but me). 

why is this so heavy on my mind now? i graduated from college eight years ago. it’s weird how the mind works……. maybe it’s because after all these years, i haven’t had a job i felt that my bachelor’s degree mattered until the career i have today. i sacrificed my passion, art, to complete a degree program. i got a great marketing internship, which let to all my career choices. i have had profitable and passionate careers, but this is the first time i feel like my education means something.

while i was packing and purging, i found my college diploma on the bookshelf at home just like any other book, and i brought it up to my office. i’m not looking back to regret what could have come from other roads, but looking forward to what opportunities i can cultivate through my hard work. there are so many days within years between college and today that are blurs of waste. i hope i can reach forward with purpose and focus. when i look back.

 

shut up.

i get embarrassed sometimes
for posting such self-indulgent thoughts that are uninteresting for the majority.
but often i am grateful
to have a forum to dump my thoughts to some anonymous audience.
it’s therapeudic to pretend someone cares.
as an only child, i’ve lived a lot of life inside of my head. i have spent many moments discovering things alone. since i was young, i have had the urge to fill notebooks with my words and drawings, documenting the experiences and discoveries of my little life.
i imagine those frivilous things as my legacy.
my little spiral notebooks,
my sketchbooks,
my journals,
my paintings,
my social media,
my blog.
i like and loathe them all for different reasons.
i like my blog, because in weeks like this one–i have had a place to clear my murky head. i’ve been able to dump my thoughts in a semi-organized way, and as time organizes and clears my mind i can watch things resolve. this brings me peace.
i loathe my blog because it’s all about me and my point of view. it’s selfish, it’s shallow and inauthentic at times. sometimes i’m wrong about things. looking back and seeing how my brain distorted the truth is sometimes disappointing and puzzling.
i like my journal, because it is mostly about others. i write in detail about the people who fill up my days, how they affect me and how i hope to affect them. it has created a map of my life and often helps me see how i’ve grown based on my experiences with others.
i loathe my journal, because there are many characters in it i wish had not existed, or at least for the length of time they did. the memories are inked, and i beat myself up sometimes looking back at the pages seeing the justifications i made and the derealizations i experienced.
i talk a lot. i write a lot. it’s been said i have “the gift of gab.” i like to listen as much as i like to talk (my dad would disagree). i want to understand how other people view the world so that i can compare it to what i have found true of the world. that’s so exciting to me, as nerdy as it sounds. i’m attracted to quiet people, because i know they observe a lot more than i do. i find that so intriguing and intimidating. their silence and careful words keep me hanging on their words.
though i say a lot, ultimately i am a doer, or an “activator” (according to my strengthsfinder analysis i did for work). i act before i think a lot (and then i think about how i acted). sometimes i need to make the wrong decision to learn (and then i write about it!). i know we’re judged by what we do and not what we say, and that’s the basis of the erin operation. i’m a master observer in this respect, because my perception of people’s motives based on their actions is usually correct.
usually.
when i am not too stubborn to see the truth.
i’m about to take a break from analyzing the current situation that’s bothering me and enjoy my life. i can’t promise i won’t blog further about it if i feel the need, but for now i have thought it to death and it’s time to think of things that are thinking of me.
case closed.

all mine!

after nearly five years of blogging, i finally own a self-hosted blog. i’m really proud of this. i’ve always been so interested in the latest social media trends, and i’m fascinated at the endless interactions and self promotion that can be gained through various social media platforms.

i tried to explain my involvement in twitter, facebook, tumblr, foursquare, wordpress, etc to a friend this weekend, and i realized how much social media culture was ingrained in my identity.

i’ve kept a journal since i was eleven–that’s twelve years now. and it has been an awakening experience to say the least. documenting your life, your innermost thoughts–having the ability to review decisions you’ve justified and ultimately having the truth as a reference at any point in your life–is overwhelming. those who haven’t kept journals can allow their mind to change the reality of their past based on their current perspective. but having a record of memories–some of which i’ve allowed myself to forget–is both wonderful and haunting.

journaling led me to blogging. practicing the art of collecting my thoughts through writing gave me courage to share them with the unknown audience of the Internet. i cringe when i look back at this blog sometimes, but ultimately, my journey is documented, which is thrilling.

so now, i am erinwhatley.com. i’ve branded my blog with my name, and i’m leaving a mark, even if it is small. how exciting!