July 2020 – The Changing Seasons

doodle calendar

Hi friends. How was your July? My month seemed to reflect the weather: humid and lethargic. Looking back through my journal I see that I had to push through a lot during the month. Nothing serious, just having to respond to some external forces (work-related) and confront internal demons (insecurity).

Work-wise I was confronted head-on by imposter syndrome. I had a few moments where I felt incompetent at my job. Again, nothing catastrophic, but just some instances where I know I could’ve or should’ve done better. Then I topped off those thoughts by berating myself for not having worked hard enough to overcome my shortcomings. It’s funny because most days I am pretty apathetic about work and career. I often fantasize about quitting and starting again on a more creative path. And while I would like to take my creative projects more seriously, I also recognize a lot of that fantasizing stems from me wanting to run away. Run away from feeling incompetent. Run away from not meeting standards. Run away from hiding the fact I am a fraud. (Or so it feels.) Anyway, this month I realized how much I associate my self-worth with my work performance. Something to work on.

Around the time I was indulging in all this self-berating I saw this tweet, which made me smile and brought me out of the shadows.

Objectively, I think I can say I fall under number two. So I guess that’s a good thing. (Also guilty of number one big time.) But being constantly stretched is also tiring, and sometimes you need to rest. (Thankfully am able to do so now work-wise.)

On the flip side, this month I also received some nice messages from people who said they liked the things I created. I still can’t bring myself to call it “art,” but whatever it is that I’m making and sharing on Instagram and YouTube has resonated with a few people. I really appreciated being told so.

So the art explorations continue. Before I was more preoccupied with settling down, becoming competent in a medium, and finding “my style.” I also felt insecure about my lack of any formal training in art. But these days I’m full-on leaning into my amateur status. The world of art is full and wide, and there is much to explore! (In August I’m taking a printing workshop. Excited to add that to my toolbelt.)

I also see now that my lack of training is also a gift because it frees me from any formal standards. Of course I have expectations for myself in what I’d like to create, and I’m often disappointed by the skill gap (the difference between what I imagine in my head and what actually materializes on paper). But I’m able to be kinder to myself because I don’t have any bars to meet when it comes to art. (A stark contrast to my professional life.)

Moving on, here is my July vlog, which is a mashup of some of the things I did and ate and tried and made. I take more videos than photos so this is a better representation of my month, minus all the internal woes I mentioned earlier.

Finally, I came across this quote via Andymation’s Youtube video today that I wanted to share with my blogger friends.

Say who you are, really say it in your life and in your work. Tell someone out there who is lost, someone not yet born, someone who won’t be born for 500 years. Your writing will be a record of your time. It can’t help but be that. But more importantly, if you’re honest about who you are, you’ll help that person be less lonely in their world because that person will recognise him or herself in you and that will give them hope.

Charlie Kaufman

I thought about what my favorite content creators have in common, why I look forward to their work. Broadly I think the content I like best provides two experiences: either it inspires or it comforts (or both). And that’s the sort of content I’d like to share with the world. So here’s to being more fully honest and fully me, warts and all. 🙂

This post is part of Su’s The Changing Seasons.

The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):

Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them.

The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):

Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.

If you do a ping-back to Su’s post, she can update it with links to all of yours.

19 Comments

  1. It sounds like you had an important month, and it’s good that you’re taking the time to work through any insecurities or issues you have centered around work and self-worth. It’s easy to brush it off as “just one of those months” or something and miss an opportunity to understand yourself better. 🙂

    I think I’m still in the throes of “I hate where I work”, “I want to leave work” and being totally less dramatic and realizing I’m okay right now.

    Love your calendar, aesthetic and ART work. xxoo

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Lani! I always appreciate your thoughtfulness and support. It’s a weird time to be dissatisfied with work with all the uncertainty right now. I hope your work situation improves soon! Your branching out to online school and tutoring sounds like the right move in these new circumstances. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, it certainly is saving me financially since there have been constant rumors of my main employer going out of business! It’s overly frustrating to witness, but I have to remind myself that I’ll be fine, and not to take things too seriously.

        It does feel like a weird time to be unhappy with work – but life goes on COVID or not, and it doesn’t mean that we’re less grateful, it just might mean we have to readjust our expectations or make a change, right? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This truly is one lovely blog post. I was captivated by all of it: your artwork, the way you put the video together, and the way your show your world. Also loved the sunflower creation, and the very delicious looking food, though it me feel ENORMOUSLY hungry 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much! I do like sharing a slice of my world in Korea through YouTube. So happy you enjoyed. Haha I often get hungry rewatching videos of food. Hope you get something yummy to eat soon. Be safe and well 🙂

      Like

  3. I totally agree with Tish. This is a wonderful (and really inspiring) post. I am in awe of how much you do and how lovely your work is. Imposter syndrome is so common and so terrible. I’m glad that you’re giving yourself space to work through your sense of worth. Hopefully it will give you more confidence so you can stop berating yourself.
    Wishing you a happy and creative month ahead.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Su, I really appreciate your saying that. Honestly in writing this post I realized that I gave undue weight to my shortcomings without acknowledging all the times I’ve been praised or commended for my work. I know that if I really were incompetent I wouldn’t still be at my job. I just need to get better at being able to critique my work objectively, without the personal attacks and self dissing. Hope you have a lovely August as well. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think we women are programmed from childhood to doubt ourselves and our abilities. So much of the praise we receive is for our appearance rather than our abilities, and for traits that actually can hold us back in the work world, which is still so male-oriented.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Such an inspiring and beautiful post! Reading it first and then watching the vlog I couldn’t help but notice the difference in tone between the two, and I hope that by now you’ve met all those deadlines and can breathe again a little. Imposter syndrome is truly awful and the amazing thing is that almost always only the really talented people have whereas those douchbag guys we all know don’t even think to suffer from it. 😂
    Really enjoyed watching your vid again, Fuko (? the lovely dog) looks sooo cute! And I love your tracing paper exercises! That’s really a very good way to train your hand-eye coordination and to get yourself used to drawing portraits.
    And the food looks delicious! 😁 Just had a small lunch but wouldn’t mind a piece of pizza right now. 😉
    And kudos to you for rearranging your room and especially your workplace- that’s so clever to put the distraction out of reach. 😀 And since you’re an expert now, would you please come over and do mine? 😉 I’ve been planning to install new shelves but it’s too hot at the moment to do much work. 😄
    Oh, and I also like the background music you chose for your vid! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sarah for your beautiful comment. I really appreciate the time you took to respond to everything. Yes, the deadlines were all met. Now I’m in a bit of a funk where I have all this time and I can’t seem to get productive. Oh well, this too shall pass. Foucault (like the philosopher) the Shiba dog is a darling boy and I wanted to show him off to the Internet. He’s so calm and cool, I don’t think I’ve ever heard him bark. And yes, I had fun with the tracing exercise — it’s a good way to mindlessly create I think. I would LOVE to come over and help you organize. I actually really like organizing, which is a blessing and a curse. (Blessing bc I stay pretty organized, but curse bc I can get away with hoarding stuff because I manage to find a place for everything.) Thank you again, dear friend, for commenting and I hope you are well. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The pleasure is all mine, dear friend!
        I know that funk – hand in there, it will pass eventually and then the creativity will be back again! Be kind to yourself, you’e earned a little time out I think.
        Ah, Foucault makes much more sense! What a great name for a dog- should I ever have one I might call him after one of those Roman emperors! Caligula – heel! (Which is doubly funny since Caligula comes from the latin word for the shoes the legionaries had to wear!)
        The thing is, I can be quite organized if I want to – but I seldom want to! Too much work! LOL!
        All’s well here, thank you, and I hope the same is true for you! Take care! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I look forward to your Doodle calenders, and now your vLog!
    I, too, ate lots of French fries (mostly yummy), but it looks like you had lots of other delicious food as well.

    The path of the artist is fraught with pitfalls – it sounds like you are well on your way to embracing your creative life, privately & publicly. The latter is always scary and leads to what you are experiencing. Hang in there … on on!

    Hope you are having a good August … see you soon for your update! Keep well & sane!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Ju-Lyn! French fries are so yummy aren’t they? And thank you for your encouraging words. I’m just starting to understand what it means to be creative in “public” (online). It’s 99% wonderful, full of inspiration and new connections, but the 1% can be disheartening sometimes.

      Stay safe and well too, my friend! 🙂

      Like

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