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Inktober 52 2021 - Week 3 - ‘Reflection’

Hax my Hylotl approaching her own reflected image, and also the surface.

If Hax is in a poetic mood maybe she’ll tell you that it could be a metaphor for reaching your true self, and thus another world within.

But more likely Avatrix the avian has a BBQ going, and it’s dinner time!

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Trying to start drawing more again! Going to be loosely following the Inktober 52 prompts. This is Week 3: Reflection

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I think many of us go through that phase in adolescence when we spend a significant amount of time pretending to be the lost chosen one from a phantasmal otherworld, destined for a distinctive manifest destiny, probably involving dragons and magical swords and cursed jewelry…

It’s that phase when you’re too young to have really achieved anything significant in life to define yourself with, but old enough to be yearning to set yourself apart and consolidate your individuality.

Yet in reality being “special” and “different” from everyone else around you usually just results in ostracism…it’s a strange and complicated dance between struggling to stand out and compromising to fit in…both inside looking out and outside looking in.

I guess we’ll gradually find the middle-ground, the place where a line of balance can be drawn, but meanwhile…It’s so easy to lose yourself on the way…

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People hurt each other, but I guess most people hurt others because they’ve been hurt themselves…sometimes so long ago they don’t even remember how. But the wounds are still there, open and festering…and even with the memories muddied the pain remains.

It’s difficult to learn self-soothing as an adult if it was never taught as a child…if nobody ever showed you that everything would still be okay when something went wrong, that failure was not unforgivable, that even when you mess things up you’re still deserving of love and kindness…

But luckily, learning to self-soothe as an adult isn’t impossible…it takes time and effort, but gradually the part in pain can be healed…that child who was hurt at a vulnerable age can be soothed…and, hopefully, the world won’t seem so unsafe and unforgiving anymore 🌱

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It’s great to be able to stay connected through social media…but when the whole world is available for comparison, I guess it creates distortions in the view of our own, much smaller worlds. Both in our apprehension and expectations of it…

And boy do I enjoy the irony of complaining about social media on social media x)

I recently watched The Social Dilemma, and it really gave another viewpoint to the issue…namely that being connected to the whole world as it is now is still an illusion on many levels…we are much more connected than before, yes, but ultimately still within our own bubbles…because even when all that information is so readily available, we don’t look at what we don’t want to see…and even when we do look…we don’t necessarily see things as they are, we see things as WE are.

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My mom used to keep telling me that I should wear high heels …👠 I don’t have anything against high heels in themselves…they’re pretty, they can make your legs look longer, and they can give you a few extra inches if you happen to be craving for some thinner air…sure, wearing them can hurt AF, but sometimes beauty just has to be suffered for, no?🤷‍♀️

What bothers me is the reason I was told to wear high heels: “because proper women are supposed to,”

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wearing high heels…but I do think there’s all kinds of wrong in telling anyone that it’s the only “right” thing to wear…that if you don’t wear the “right” thing, there’s something fundamentally wrong with you.

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The world moves so fast these days…it feels painful to try and take any time out and “cultivate our own gardens”…🌱

But I need to ignore the world for a little while. I need to piece myself back together and continue growing if I ever wish to reach my full potential. We’ll never become who we want to be by remaining who we are…we must grow until our choices no more reflect our fears.

But putting the pieces back together will take time. Untangling all the threads will require patience, something of a dying virtue in a world where we’re so used to every answer being a quick google-search away.

I love the conveniences provided by the internet and modern technology, but sometimes it feels like it’s moving too fast for us to catch up…our own evolution is limited by our biology after all…

Still, I hope we can all have some time to take out of the world and cultivate our own gardens…🎋🌱💐because it won’t be too late to return when said gardens are blooming.

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For over 20 years I’ve perfected the skill of suppressing my emotions, having grown up in an environment that invalidated most of them…and as much as I appreciate where I am now, growing in a culture where stoicism is so ingrained that alcohol is the only traditional media for expressing feelings, hasn’t helped…

But I’ve grown and I’ve learned…I think art is the correct outlet for me to express my feelings. Maybe I always knew…I just didn’t believe it because art was not appreciated by the person who raised me, unless I could make money out of it.

That stifling feeling in my chest, the anxiety that intensifies towards the evenings when I’m alone with my thoughts…it’s a feeling I finally have a name for.

And it’s good to have a name for this feeling, no matter how confusing it may seem…because if there’s a word for it, it means someone else has felt it too. And if someone else can feel it, it means you’re not alone.

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I think most of us have a private place of retreat…perhaps a cozy little garden to relax in, where our soul tree has taken root and where we can take off the masks and let our hearts be at peace for a while…

For me, I never left because I thought my roots were too deep and my constitution too weak to brave the world outside. But I didn’t realise my roots had in fact rotted away long ago, easily pulled out by the first unexpected storm…forcing me to leave the garden.

It’s painful and terrifying…but strangely, I am actually relieved that I left. My roots had rotted long ago, making me sick without me knowing…and there is no returning to a place that made me sick…no matter how safe and sacred it was.

Being rootless is a grief on its own…but at least I won’t be sick anymore…and when I get better, I can search for another place to plant my tree 🌱

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Sometimes it feels like the world is mad. Sometimes it feels like I’m the mad one. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell which is which.

Thanks so much to all the artists out there…the poets, the writers, the music makers, the painters and storytellers and so on…for sharing their dreams and visions and weirdness, for sharing their feelings and attempting to connect in this modern world where sensitivity is too often frowned upon and success rarely measured through emotions.

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I personally don’t believe mirrors really reflect who we truly are

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Decided to go digital for these weekly prompts. I may try to do more with this one later but this is it for now.

‘Home’.

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Week 41s prompt was teeth and prompt for day 8. So this is what I did for teeth.

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