I have a confession: I am a major perfectionist about even the most insignificant things.

Anytime I start something, I want it to be wonderful. I imagine it to be the best version of whatever it is. Sometimes this makes it difficult for me to do anything because as soon as I slip, even a tiny bit, I start to make up a story that I amĀ failing and that it is not worth doing at all because it’s no longer perfect.

Like with this blog… and with every blog that I have ever started writing.

But no longer.

I give myself permission to be busy and distracted and to miss a few weeks of writing. That doesn’t mean I’m failing at anything. And my blog doesn’t have to be perfect to be worth doing. So here I am, back after a short break, and still worthy of sharing. šŸ™‚

I have spent the last few weeks turned inward; soul-searching.

I continued my recovery work, reading, thinking… and I also made a LOT of art!

It was as if I were suddenly possessed by art! I started making a collage one day about a month ago, and then I decided to pick up some extra magazines so I could make another… I was creating vision boards, and the process was really therapeutic… but I wanted to do even more with it. So I gave myself permission to go for it… why not?

IĀ scored about one hundred magazines in one craigslist score and bought some gesso and watercolor crayons and pencils… I grabbed some old books at Goodwill and just started art journaling my way through some difficult ideas… and it came! Before I knew it, I had created aĀ half-dozen pages of mixed-media collage art about my adolescence, my attachment issues, my mother’s car accident, and more…

Art journaling as an exercise in soul searching

In the process, I did a lot of thinking about what I was getting out of the art process as well as what I I had been getting out of the work I do as an ESOL tutor for my refugee student and from my volunteer work with the local addiction recovery center. All of these experiences have been meant to help me decide what to do for grad school, but I hadn’t yet felt ready to decide. I have been torn between education, psychotherapy, social work, nursing, research, social justice… The problem is that I want to doeverything!

Finally, on Friday, I decided. I started my applications to two graduate school programs to become a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. I feel excited and focused.

I’ve been busy. But it’s been productive.