When you see me, or meet me, or spend time with me, you'll be with someone who is happy, positive, and encouraging.
People have that effect on me, most of the time.
But there's another part of me that I don't show to many people. I mask it, I try to 'fix' it, escape it. It's the part of me that is depressed. Yep, I said it. The 'D' word.
I'm not talking clinical depression or anything like that. This is definitely seasonal, and I've been aware of it for years. When you choose to live in the Northwest, the clouds and darkness and rain are something you just have to deal with.
I love it here and fall in love with Portland every day. But the darkness definitely affects me. With seasonal depression, it can be a daily battle just to keep positive--mostly I do it by surrounding myself with positive people, listening to inspiring stories from TED, watching funny movies, going for walks, and not giving in to the melancholy of the clouds. I feel an instant hit of joy and productivity on sunny days.
I live for those sunny days.
I also live for my time in the studio. It saves me. It saves my heart.
Lately, on top of the SAD, I've been dealing with the demise of one of my most important, influential, and longest friendships. It's not my choice, and there is no communication from the other side, and frankly, it has destroyed me.
But today, after waking up with an aching heart (again), I decided to move on from months of waiting and holding out hope, and let myself feel the anger...after all, it is one of the steps of grieving, and very necessary.
I talk about forgiveness a lot. It's a vastly important part of my life, because I like to keep a clear soul, but I'm not there yet with this situation.
When I go through times in my life like this, I spend a lot of time thinking about the positive aspects of my life.
I am healthy.
I married a wonderful man last year! Good God, I love him more than I ever thought I could.
I have the two most wonderful, crazy, furry babies in the world.
My family is crazy and wonderful.
I get to create amazing, beautiful pieces of art on a regular basis. This infuses my soul with hope and joy.
I am part of a greater community, full of people trying to better the world.
When I look at all these things, and more, suddenly things seem pretty good. Pretty darn amazing, in fact.
What are you grateful for?