these texts are an archive of my life in the San Francisco Bay Area from march 2007 - march 2015. it stands as a record of close to a decade of my life, charting the struggles i faced as an artist, daughter, and lover. messy and chaotic at times, eloquent and poetic at others, these texts are an index i am proud of. it was here in this electric box that i learned how to be honest about my experiences and the person i needed to become. it was here that i first learned the truism that words make the world and how to trust such a beautiful, rife, hard fact.

thank you for meeting me here in such tall grass.

my artist website is here.

Sep 1, 2010

here we go!

September! eeeeeeek! the big 3.0. is right around the corner! 2 days away and i am totally looking forward to collecting it.

i am (weirdly?) one of those people who hate their own birthday. i didn't think i was in that crowd but, about 5 years or so ago, i noticed the pattern of letting the day roll by without any sort of real celebration or acknowledgement. it was more than enough to get the obligatory 'happy birthday' phone call from friends and family. i'd take the day off from work (i am a firm believer that no one should work on their birthday unless you've got a jobby-job you absolutely adore) and usually stay home and paint or write. and get sad. it is the horrible cycle of The People-Pleaser to feel like you haven't "accomplished enough" in your life... especially on traditional markers of time like birthdays, anniversaries, and New Years. this is a habit that needs breaking. because, to put it plainly, it sucks. ha!

and last year on my birthday, the stars aligned in such a way as to show me that there were some pretty deep changes i needed to make in my life... that for all the wishing and crying i'd done, the only way to move forward was to go inside, clear the bullshit out of the way so i could actually see the path i was standing on. and i had to be able to see it in order to know which direction to head in. i made the decision on my 29th birthday to get re-acquainted with myself and to stop worrying about Time so much. not an easy thing. and i realized that my path is specific to me and that i make a mistake when i compare my life to other people's. i decided to do the clean up that was so clearly necessary.

the first thing to go was drinking. i had a glass of champagne last year on the night of my birthday. i was at an art reception for a show i had some work in. and i haven't had any alcohol since. it isn't that i thought i had a drinking problem, i though i had a thinking problem and i've wrestled my entire life with Sadness. for me, drinking compounded those issues in a way that was pretty much dangerous. and insofar as my practice was concerned, it stalled me in my tracks. and that made the level of depression i was living under all the more heavy. a depression i had been living under for 2 years straight and was only getting worse by the day. in fact, September 2nd (tomorrow) is the anniversary of a total Collapse.

my birthday seemed like a pretty opportune moment to start digging myself back out of that pit and that's exactly what the last year of my life has been all about.

The Almighty Jog, re-learning how to trust my instincts again, trust my own internal rhythms, focus on my own loves, my own values, my own beliefs. and to let my wrestling take place there. and i found a ton of out-dated maps and notions and ideas that i desperately needed to abandon.

i made the decision to approach my practice with love and gratitude, to take it day by day, and to locate images and words and the work of other artists and writers that resonated with me and what my life had been. i began to see what my true values were and how long i had been shelving them in order to "help" other people. i had had it drummed in to me that that's what you do when you really love someone. after making the decision to confront myself, i saw what a load of horseshit that actually is. and i spent a long time feeling alternately mad and sad about having been taught such an extremely damaging lesson. very mad. very sad. and rather than hide my sadness (which is what i typically did) and put on a Happy Face, i allowed my sadness to sit on the surface of my being. you can see it even here on this blog. i'm not ashamed of that. i don't think struggle is something a person should ever be made to feel ashamed of. ever. and so i don't allow myself to be ashamed or be shamed by others anymore. and that's probably the biggest step i've taken this year. shame had become quite a nasty habit. the only thing i've found that conquers Shame is Honesty. hard Honesty. Honesty about myself.

the passed year has gone by so unbelievably quickly. and here i am- a runner, an artist, a writer, a lover. from the outside, my life probably doesn't look very different today than it did a year ago, but it is. it is deeply different. i still get sad a lot... but life, at the moment, within my family, is pretty effing sad. and so it's normal. and i won't say i've figured everything out or that i have all the answers. i don't. what i do have is the knowledge that no one has all the answers and that that's actually a really great thing. i was thinking about that when i woke up today- answers and questions. and that maybe that's what art is? a practice of nailing down our questions rather than answers. and i like that. i like that a lot. :)

i'm excited to see where the next year goes. the only plan i have is to keep doing what i've been doing. keep running, keep writing, keep drawing, painting, making, exploring, excavating. keep trying. truly trying. and to not measure myself against other people's rulers. to live by my own standards and to practice a very brave, compassionate Honesty. i am removing the gag that i've lived with for soooo long. and though it is a very scary thing, i choose to be myself and to not writhe in silence anymore. i choose to be an artist and to let the expressions of my humanity be complete. i choose bravery.

anyway... GOOD MORNING! and HAPPY SEPTEMBER!!!!!! <3


Marylinn Kelly said...

Angela, Early birthday wishes. I think birthday eves count.

For me, too, it is freeing to accept that I don't have answers,nor am I meant to. More and more I do what I can to embrace the mystery of it all, to know that each next indicated step will appear and to follow my guidance as to necessary action (or being still).

It has now been 24 years since I realized that alcohol only made the bad things worse and its mood-altering properties took me out onto thin ice. It has never been known to relieve depression. To understand yourself and your process as you do at what is a young age is a joy to witness. All good things. It keeps getting better. xoxo Marylinn

angela simione said...

marylinn, thank you so much! not only for your birthday wishes but for your thoughts on alcohol and depression. it is a common theme in our country and it makes me so sad. how easy it is for us all to slip in to that particular pattern. for me, it became very dangerous and i'm thankful for your understanding of that experience.

for however sad life is or can become, it does keep getting better. :) thank you for that. as always, the gems you drop to me come just at the right moment.