Monday, May 6, 2013

tears dry on their own

i've had a lot of compartmentalized emotion hanging out in my head from events that went down a couple of months ago... or really the series of events that lead to ryan moving back to atlanta. i didn't understand why i didn't cry much over it. i was crushed the first time we broke up. destroyed, even. yet this time, with so much going on at once -- change in job, flying to california for training, adjusting to a new life style  etc, i didn't have time to grieve the break up and the moving out. i had already become so self absorbed with my life and what i needed to do to prepare myself for the future that i didn't have time to be sad.

now that i've settled into the job, found a daily/weekly routine, i feel myself letting go of those pent up feelings and i don't know how to deal with them. naturally i let my emotions speak through my art. i think i tried to force myself to feel something about a month ago with an old image of me and ryan. it was from back in our skyping days. i would document our "conversations." i remember feeling so close to him, yet we were so far away. we were connected by pixels and audio/visual, wires and megabytes, fiber optic transmissions. our reality was a virtual reality but my feelings for him were real and i loved him dearly.

this particular image always stood out to me. the eyeball was kind of grotesque, i'm separated in the corner, experiencing, seeing, and not reacting. the aftermath of the image now, much of the same is happening, yet, the eye conveys the emotion and i'm just there. not reacting. not feeling. maybe the eye is now my eye and i'm looking at myself and figuring shit out.

"Mixed Signals" - inkjet print, watercolor, pen

Saturday, May 4, 2013

melissa v4.5

I've been thinking a lot about myself lately. How much I've transformed and grown over the years (many years, like since high school years...). I was having a conversation with an old acquaintance from high school the other day, and he made this comment about "how different I am now" from the person I was in high school. It's true (see photo below) So naturally I've really been putting a lot of thought into myself. Who I am, who I was, and the events in my life that have made me the awesome person that is "Melissa Humphries."

The most consistant thing about myself is that I've always wanted to break the stereotype of any kind of thing that is linked to me. It began with being pregnant in high school. I think at the time I got pregnant, teenaged pregnancy was at an all time high. (I don't feel like looking up the numbers, but I know there were a ton of preggar girls at my school). It was assumed by many that I would never make anything of myself, that my life was ruined by having a child, I would never finish school, I would never be any body... just a single mother that struggles her entire life making a minimum wage job because she couldn't go to school and get an education. So, what has this drive done for me? I own my house, I have a college education, and a pretty swell job. Not bad for all the adversity leading up to these life events.

I was fortunate to have a supportive family that believed in me and wanted me to succeed. My mother encouraged me to be a mom first, but never lose sight of who I am. But at ages ranging from 16-early 20s... who are you anyway... I searched a lot. I made a lot of mistakes, but I learned from them and I grew and I constantly reinvented myself to work closer to be a better person overall. I went so long in my life with no direction or understanding of who I am, I've been fortunate for my life experiences both positive and negative that molded me into the strong, independent woman I am today.

So what's the difference in 33 year old Melissa and 16 year old Melissa? A lot. I'm a little odd, but still pretty normal. Tattoos don't make the woman, my friends. Sixteen year old me was a little vain and a little anorexic. I had low self esteem and no clue who I was. I didn't fit in any specific social group, but I had a few close friends in all the social groups. But maybe that's every 16 year old... I don't know. My "childhood" ended early because of the prego thing, but nothing stopped me from what I wanted. I see goals, I make those goals happen. I'm probably still a vain person, but not in the same way. I still have body insecurities, I still often don't feel "good enough" "hot enough" blah blah... but at the same time, I know I'm better than most and deserve the best. I understand myself a lot more. Those "issues" make me want to run, practice yoga, and do strength training. It's all good for the body and good for the brain. I have a wonderful, amazing core group of friends that I couldn't live without. I love myself in a way I didn't know was possible and I understand my body and mind and the capabilities they have and I love pushing myself beyond those capabilities. Now it's just physical and mental maintenance and upgrades, and it feels good.

I've been through so much shit in my life, good and bad, that if I didn't grow from it, I'm scared of what kind of person I would be today. How interesting is life if you aren't constantly making it better. I take everything, everyone, every event in my life and see it all as a learning experience. "Why is this person in my life and what am I supposed to learn from it..."

When I was running today I had much better words to put on this dumb blog. I wish there was a way to just wire my brain to blogger. I had such great thoughts on the run (5 miles allows for a lot of thinking).

I don't understand people that don't change at all from the person they were in high school. If it works for them, then it works. Hopefully you've learned something along the way. Even worse, seeing people that have allowed themselves to "let go" and all they've become is a blob of gross (physically and mentally). Growing up doesn't mean getting older and accepting life as it's handed to you. It means taking what's handed to you and growing from it and becoming a better person. I'm not always a great person. I make bad decisions. I've lived, loved, lost. I grew stronger.
c. 1995 vs 2013