Less than a year ago, I stumbled on Stratejoy through mindless clicking because I was procrastinating on illustrating a children’s book, the first I have been hired to do and for very little. It took me a while to do finish those illustrations… I just didn’t feel like I was good enough that I had anything to offer visually. I didn’t trust my sensibilities. I didn’t trust myself. I ignored The Joy Equation the first time I saw it. Pth! I thought. Self help! Ha! I thought. Those two years working in a book store and feeling sorry for people who spent hours looking over books in the self help aisle… how ignorant I was to have thought those things. I ended up returning to Stratejoy and reading the entire Joy Equation page again… everything resonated. I was curious. Did I want to love myself and figure out why I procrastinate everything and just in general hate myself? Damn, it sounded so good!
It’s incredible to think I went from so depressed and waiting for someone to toss me a crumb to being unable to reply to the 21st prompt of Joy Juice. The prompt asks me to describe the 1st rate version of myself. If I were whisked away into a completely new reality, new world, what would I be like? Who would I be? What aspects of my personality would still be in tact or completely different? My response was short, but powerful.
I would want to be me as I am now no matter what world I am in. (Although if I were in a Dungeon and Dragon role play world, I would want invisibility and higher charisma.)
As of the end of the month, I will have transitioned into a full-time Artist role. As for selling art, I did start an Etsy shop. I showed 9 pieces of artwork in 4 gallery shows. I picked up more freelance writing gigs which has taken away time to put into my other goals like illustrating and writing a children’s book or making some more lee way on my comedy writing workshop.
What? I didn’t mention that, did I?
I’m currently creating content to pull together an online workshop geared towards helping women find their voice in their writing, specifically bringing humor into it. If I had stayed in Chicago, it was something I wanted to do. I participated in the Feminine Comique and it was f’ing awesome. Cameron Esposito taught it and said to me at some point when I couldn’t write anything funny because it was all just a bunch of words with no meaning… She said, “It only matters what you think.”
And yeah… all stand up is based on what the person thinks! And they don’t apologize for it. Amazing!
Comedy really changed my life. It’s subjective. It’s hard… and it is so worth learning! Even if just to make conversation and banter more fun.
Therefore, for all the women who have ever thought about it or were too scared or don’t live near a town with a comedy club or classes, there’s this super affordable online workshop. My plan is to have it ready by January, but I’m working on a free e-book now with a few tips.
I have a lot of other plans, but I think I will work on this one for now… and then maybe the body acceptance workshops later. I need to fully accept mine first before I go motivating others to do it! You can follow my body acceptance journey at www.bigboldbeauty.com. It’ll also include just living big and loud!
As for fitness, I think I’ve maybe lost 10 lbs since March, but so many inches and tons of confidence. I’m stepping it up and blogging about my weight loss journey on weightloss.org, so please feel free to follow my progress there! I’m restarting the couch to 5k plan and am researching what marathon should be the outcome… so suggestions welcome!
In terms of my 25 things to conquer while I’m 25… I have already started freelance writing for three sites… so much that now that I’m going to be full-time (and am currently working 40 hrs/wk because of peak season) that I have no time for my loves… When I worked 3 to 4 days a week, I needed the extra work to pay rent… but now, things will be a bit easier and the work I really want to do is my own. I’m thinking I will continue with one for sure, and the other two I will phase out once I save enough money to get a new computer (mine currently sometimes won’t turn on for a few days or shuts off out of nowhere and is sooo slow!) as well as… big dream… a cintiq. It will take a few months, but once I get this, I think I will phase out most of it and try making my own big dreams happen. I don’t want to be a slave to others when I could be a slave to myself! The rest of this list will be a cinch!
I also started a web comic… TWO, in fact. Life Scientist is unconventional and super weird- perfectly me. It’s my head, random things I think about and inventions my mad woman scientist alter ego feels the world needs. Then there’s Nerds with Beards which I am illustrating with my close friend. I’m working on the ‘Give a Workshop’ with the Comedy! Once I get a new computer, I can finish editing my feature film. And I WILL DANCE EVERY WEEK MUWAHAHA! So, dress, yes, shoes, yes, ballroom, yes— once a week.
I took a Burlesque class twice… but I quit. I don’t feel bad about quitting and I don’t feel like I failed. They were teaching us the routine from the movie, Burlesque. I can slutty walk just fine. I wanted to sophisticatedly strip. My clothes on the ground, please! That would be harder and an ocean of growth for me. So… it’s something I will continue seeking.
Into the future, I want create an online gallery where artists can submit their work for rotating “shows” and have prints for sale which a portion of the proceed will go to charity (Pancreatic cancer in memory of my step mom), and then some will go back to the artist (because we all struggle…) I want to travel blog. What? A little out of nowhere, but I just decided this last week because everything I love and want to do is in front of a computer… sitting down… I love traveling and seeing new things, and my camera is begging me to use it more. I want to use more visual journaling, like the watercolors from San Francisco except actually drawing the things I see, the people, etc… I would love to have this going before I go castle hunting. Also, I’m going castle hunting when I reach my goal weight by next August. Ireland is nice in August, right? Caiti?
I know why I have this insane urge to express myself and give birth to these ideas, art pieces, and writing… it’s because I want to leave something behind. I love the idea that artists leave tangible works behind for other people to enjoy, for people to analyze. I loved reading Jerry Lewis’ love letter about his comedy partner, Dean Martin. I love reading letters from authors, now deceased, with their lovers, their enemies, their family, their peers… If I have to die some day, I’d like to live on in some way. Especially for my family and loved ones. When I have children, I would love for them to have diaries to read through… you know, when they turn 16 or so. Maybe 21, so they can’t use it as ammunition in teen angst filled arguments with me. Or what if I die young and they never get to know me! They’ll have my writing, journals, to fill that void. I wish I had this growing up because I never felt I knew my parents well enough, they just recently started telling me stories about when they were young! Or, I just now started listening…
In coming to realize all of this over the past few months blogging here at Stratejoy, the best way to conquer that “time is running out” feeling is to do it now. Whatever it is. Do it now. Baby.
Also add “baby” into your inner critic vocabulary. I really dig it when she calls me “baby”!
So dear ones, know that I love you and that I love that you read my posts. You may have not said anything, but I felt your energy and I took that energy and made iron pills that would counteract my tendency to be anemic due to me being a vegetarian and therefore— okay, I don’t remember where I was going with that but do know it was amazing!
But it could never be as amazing as you!
Thank you Molly, Katie, my amazing Season 6 Bloggers, and everyone! Good night, good luck, and may the force be with you!
*A Note From Katie: CASSIE. YOU GORGEOUS WOMAN, YOU. Of all of the women this season, (all of whom I love), you’re the one I’ve read your posts and said “YEP! EXACTLY!” more often than not. I’ve loved seeing you progress from where you started to now. The tone, the positivity, the awesomeness of your posts just exploded half way through the season and you’ve blossomed into this beacon of sunshine. I LOVE IT.
You’re only going up from here, lady. Keep chasing those dreams, setting those goals, and achieving them. Of all the things I love about you, the love you have for YOU is my favorite thing of all.