“i’m afraid i don’t want to be out of control what if happiness scares me? she follows me like a shadow found in drumbeats and embraces and the feeling of pushing forward the song i’m listening to flutters i have fluttered before i will flutter again i don’t like it because my happiness comes out loud shout it to the heavens i’m happy and i don’t know why”
For some reason, people have always said I’m resilient, as if that’s something I want. All it meant to me was that I didn’t kill myself when my dad died, when XYZ happened, etc., that plodding on should be applauded. It didn’t mean that I was going anywhere. It didn’t mean I was proud of myself or living for anything.
When I met my husband, all of that began to change. I was living, at the very least, to be able to spend time with him and make sure he was happy. Even when I wanted to blot myself off the face of the Earth, he was there.
When I moved to Alaska, things changed even more. As mentioned previously, two psychiatric professionals took down the notion that I needed to be on hundreds of milligrams of meds a day, allowing me to cut back on my unnecessarily doses. He was the one who set all of this in motion. He was the first one actively involved in my care to challenge the idea that I could be crazy.
With all of these changes, I feel more energetic, hopeful, and happy. The happiness baffles me. It now rents out the space where sadness used to be, and it is almost persistent in its pursuit of me. It’s wild, loud, and feels dangerous. I still don’t trust it, and still confuse it with going crazy. It involves a lot of shouting for joy.
It can be compared to the end of a hero’s journey story where the hero arrives at the same place they started, but changed. It’s like, this is new, what do I do now?
I’ve been throwing myself wholeheartedly into my tutoring, which is awesome. Lots of new music has been made, and this long overdue thing is in the works…
People have been wanting to read my poems in a book for a bit, so I will make it happen.
Hey, all! I’m double dipping today. I’d like to talk about a poem that is very special to me. It’s called “Your Empire”. I wrote it two years ago. It opens like so:
you are more than a princess, darling girl -you are a queen – an empress
and you are loved more than you know
there will be times when you’ll be
punched in the gut
kicked in the ribs
but your true wisdom comes in
knowing whether to form a fist or
extend your hand…
First lines of “Your Empire”, written 3/6/17
I love this poem because it’s what I wish I could have believed about myself at that time and what I don’t want anyone to forget, no matter their gender or age.
I owe the empire theme to my obsession with the Byzantine Empire, which is still an obsession of mine, hence my blog title. My favorite historical character of all time is the Byzantine Empress Theodora. Someone once said I was like her, and that was probably the biggest compliment I have ever received. This poem is me telling anyone who needs it that they are noble and deserving of that title. That includes myself. It continues:
…because some battles that need to be fought
and some battles that are fought
need to be ignored
and a true empress – like you – knows which is which
and what to do.
“where is my empire?”
you may ask.
I will place my hand over my heart
and say, “darling, every time you are knocked
over and you stand up again, think of that as a conquest.”
At this time in my life, I was in Idaho college and I needed some encouragement. The environment was becoming toxic to me and I wanted to feel okay again. This was one of the ways I helped myself. I also sent this and other poems to friends who seemed to be in need of them. This one is by far my favorite of the bunch.
I definitely need to listen to myself in the lines about conquest. I don’t take my own advice well enough. It’s true, I am conquering. I am ruling. I am becoming more and more involved in my own life. That’s important. A ruler wouldn’t let things just…happen to them, would they? No, they wouldn’t.
Planning is hard for me, though. It’s hard for me to get up and say, “I’m gonna do XYZ today”, even when I am happy. I tend to let the day just pass without making plans. It’s important to remember that part of owning my life and empire is to plan for the future.
With my tutoring, I don’t schedule very far in advance since I’m a hired gun that gets requests usually only a few hours before the student wants to meet. I’m surprised nobody has wanted to meet in the middle of the night yet! As a result, my days are fairly open. I have my to do lists, but I need to make an actual schedule.
Part of me thinks, “Oh, but it’s a struggle to get out of bed early!” Then there’s another part that’s like, “Fortify yourself, dammit. You won’t get anywhere with that attitude. Do you want to build your empire, or not?”
Okay, okay. I’m gonna fortify myself. Let’s continue with the poem.
every good thing you do, every struggle that you
overcome, every person you make smile –
oh, my dear, those are conquests. and in the end,
the biggest conquest you can make
is learning to love yourself
and others even though they –
and their empires – are imperfect.
I am learning that hard things are essential for growth and that I can’t quit if I want to make it in life, in anything. I can’t quit on myself, either. Like the last lines of the poem say, “the biggest conquest you can make is learning to love yourself and others even though they – and their empires – are imperfect.” Self sabotage gets me nowhere. Learning to love myself is important. It’s an important step towards progress. It will require much self-fortification. It takes strength to love oneself, I am finding. Also, I feel so much happier after being off social media all day. 10/10 so far, will continue.
Update: I have actually composed music today! Yes!
Would you like for me to write YOU a song, poem, or even an album? Got a special occasion coming up? I’m on WhatsApp, so if you shoot me a message there, we can start a conversation!
Last November, I ran a test design on my Facebook page as a trial run for a shoe line. I ran it live. It took about 20 minutes to paint, and I maintain that painting is one of the most soothing activities I do.
I grew up doing abstract art, and I always wondered if my art was somehow worth less than traditional realism since it didn’t depict anything that could actually be seen. I am terrible at realism. AWFUL. So I pursued abstract art as a way to release and depict emotion.
I didn’t paint often, but it was in one of these one-off painting sessions that I sat down and slashed at a canvas out of sheer 12-year-old rage and came up with Anger, shown below in an Instagram post of mine. Yes, my username is trafficpeanutbutter.
It was pure energy. I wasn’t dead set on it taking any kind of form, it simply.. made itself. That’s how my art works at its best. November was no exception. Here’s how it took shape.
I was experimenting with new products for Golden Apple and found one that I loved enough to put on the shop! Cherry Blossom Socks are headed your way. Take a look here.
Good evening, good afternoon, good morning to you wherever you are!
I have a question for you this fine day.
What would you do if you had nothing in your way? What would you do if you found out that the mountains you have been climbing were just bumps in the road? What would you do if you didn’t fear judgment? What would you do if you wereunstoppable?
Unstoppable is a big word.
I don’t know about you, but I associate this big word with freedom, and I associate feeling free with running, singing, or dancing. You know the feeling where are all of your cares and worries fade into the background and it’s just you and the music? Yeah. That one.
There was one night when I was in Maryland where I grew very sad. I just took off running. I ran and ran, leaving the town behind. When I looked behind me, I saw the Maryland State House, which normally loomed above me, reduced to a tiny point on the horizon, three miles away. I had covered three miles. I felt free. It was almost a symbol of leaving my problems behind.
You might be asking, “why do you like to run? Running’s hard.”
The answer is that I like the satisfaction of having traveled a long (or somewhat long) distance and being able to see where I have gone and how far I’ve come. The truth also is that I can’t flat out run for more than probably fifty feet without stopping.
I could surely get discouraged that I can’t run more than 50 feet without the need to lose consciousness. Here’s what I do instead.
I set a goal. Something like “run to this next street corner”, and if I can successfully run to the next street corner from my current position, I pat myself on the back, walk a bit, then set another goal and achieve it.
I don’t tell myself I’m gonna run 4 miles nonstop. I’m not there yet. Instead, I do what I can. That makes me feel unstoppable. I’m not a wrecking ball or a bullet – I’m a slow, steady, consistent unstoppable. Things like this are just as powerful as bullets and wrecking balls. There’s power in consistency.
Another image I can give you is hiking. I’ve gone on since nice hikes. In Texas, my family and I hiked a short, scrubby mountain just for the hell of it. We were seriously like, “oooh, trailhead” and then found ourselves up a mountain before we knew it.
I was thirteen and terrified of heights. (I still am terrified of heights.) This climb was incredibly scary for me, and I wanted to turn back several times. But I didn’t stop. We were richly rewarded for it. The view was incredible. We could see the entire valley laid out before us. We could even see our campsite! This was one of the best views of my life.
In 2013, I fell into depression. It seemed like nothing helped. I wanted to give up many times. I kept going. Throughout that time, everything felt gray. I kept going. There were times when it felt like there was nothing to live for. It hurt. I kept going.
Eventually things got better, and I saw a purpose in what I had gone through. I am able to help others who are going through the same thing. I went (and am still going, to some extent) through it again when my dad died. That’s a tool to help that I wish I hadn’t gained, but there’s a reason behind it somehow. I don’t entirely know why I lost him, but good things have come along with the bad. That’s why I keep going.
No matter how far I go, I often lose track of the good things in my life because my inner bully/critic convinces me that there’s nothing but darkness. Sound familiar at all?
The only thing I can do here is what I can. The to do lists I make are good at helping me stay productive when I don’t want to do anything. They help me keep moving, to keep climbing. There are few things more satisfying to me than being able to cross things off my to do list. Anything to do to keep moving.
There are these incredible moments when I have a good day, or I get a bunch of stuff done, I learn a new skill, or I get a really interesting spiritual impression.
These are the views that are worth climbing for.
These are the rewards that are worth the run.
I don’t know exactly what’s going through your head and in your life. Nobody is the exact same. But if you’re anything like me, I want to encourage you to keep climbing, though. The view is incredible at the top.
Welcome to the madhouse, part ten billion. (More like 80, but who’s counting? I have legitimately lost count myself.) I am your resident meanderer. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Meg and this is the home of my various projects. One of these projects is myself.
I am weird. I’m very weird and very proud of it most of the time. If I had to pick one word to describe myself, it would be “eccentric”. That word alone encompasses my entire being. It took a very long time to own my weirdness. I’m fat, agender, and clumsy. I’m abnormally obsessed with history, and will talk your ear off if you get me into the chatty mood. I will write an album in three weeks if you give me enough Mountain Dew. I am an unorthodox Christian.I apologize for feeling like I’m too much. And I am too much for some.
Something I’ve learned over time is that I will never be too much for those who fit me. My husband fits me. I annoy the hell out of him sometimes, but he loves me with something close to unconditional love, and I don’t understand it at all sometimes. He knows I’m odd and accepts it. He has shown me that it’s not okay to beat myself up for matters such as this, and does another thing I don’t understand – tells me I’m not crazy. Being diagnosed with bipolar disorder is something I’m not proud of at all, but he refuses to let me eat myself alive over it. He won’t let me apologize for being myself and makes sure that I know that I’m safe. He shows me what home is.
I also find myself at home with my friends. I love them. Some of them, like my best friend, have been with me for years. Others have been around for a shorter amount of time, but I feel the same about them.
Alaska itself feels like home with its majestic mountains and beautiful scenery. I was born and raised in Texas, so you might think I should miss it more. But home is not necessarily the place you grew up in. I’ve found that home is where you feel comfortable being yourself.
People around me have shown me this. Family doesn’t necessarily mean the people you are related to by blood, and home is not always where you live. It can be one person or even a group of people. You and I will never be too much for the people that fit us. We deserve to be treated with love and kindness. I hope you find your home here, too. That is the message I want to share, both with what I make and what I do in my everyday life. Love will always win, home is here.
Hello, everyone! It’s been a minute, and I have missed writing regularly. There’s been a lot on my mind, especially with the relaunch of my shoe brand, Golden Apple.
I’ve also started tutoring again, which is super fun.
I’m also trying to juggle music along with everything else, so sometimes there will be mental health posts, sometimes there will be gender-related posts, and sometimes there will be shoe/music/writing posts. This blog will hopefully become a more organized variety show. It will be an adventure. An Agender Adventure. And boy, do I have a story to tell y’all.
Once upon a time, a dear friend of mine suggested that people might want some LGBTQ shoe designs after seeing what I had made. I kind of shelved that idea for fear of being judged, but then a light came on in my brain a few days ago….
I am in several LGBTQ Facebook groups. I have had a desire to make more friends are like me, and I have found a huge sense of community here. I love Facebook for that exact reason. I don’t like the sea of posts, especially when they make me sad. But I do love the one on one communication I can have with people from all over. I love making friends, and this is one of my favorite ways to do so. I’ve met so many cool people who have loads in common with me.
I asked one such group if they would be interested in seeing some designs. The interest was real. My friend had been correct, there seems to be a big need for shoes like these in the world. I’m absolutely in love with the Nonbinary and Transgender pride flag-based designs.
I never knew there was such a big need or want for shoes like mine. I’m so happy that I can help people and do my art at the same time. I’m even happier that I’m making connections and conversations.
I’m not a big social media fan on the whole. I like blogging, blogging is great. But that’s about where my expertise ends, and “expertise” is relative. Instagram baffles me still, and it’s still a miracle if I get 20 likes on a post. I don’t really fit in with any of those crowds, even though I do now have visual things to offer the world. Facebook is an ocean I can drown in. All of these give me anxiety. I’m making an attempt to pair Pinterest with posts from here. But personal relationships and intimate forms of communication will always be the most important to me. I love to make friends, it’s what I do best. Most days.