Real Talk: What I’m NOT going to do this year

This year, I am not going to be mean to myself.

As an introverted child, I had a hard time making friends. I quickly learned that who I was (a quiet person) was not ideal. Comments like “why are you so quiet?” made me even more nervous in social situations- I wanted to talk more to blend in, but then I would get so nervous about what to say I wouldn’t talk at all. And I was not very kind to myself about these ‘failed’ social interactions.

So I tried to pretend to be more outgoing. I read self help book after self help book on how to talk to people and how to better myself. I thought of at least 20 things I could talk about at any given time, but inevitably someone would still call me out for being ‘quieter’. I would beat myself up over it because I had failed in my goal to be “talkative.” Every time I heard that I was quiet, it reminded me of my failure. If only I were more talkative, I would have more friends, more opportunities, a better life. If only I had a completely different personality, everything would be better.

Because of this, I was going to extremes to ‘perfect’ myself. In my mind, if I achieved ‘perfection’, then no one would ever be able to tell me I was quiet. Or, even if I was still quiet, it wouldn’t matter because of all the other great things I’ve done. To me, being told I was quiet meant I was still not good enough.

I wanted to have so many adventures that no one could tell me I was shy. I wanted to be so well rounded that no one could call me a nerd. I surrounded myself with hobbies and knowledge and experiences as a protective shield.

But the problem with having a goal of ‘being outgoing’ is there is no definitive end. And it wasn’t the real me. I was running myself into the ground for an unhealthy goal I would never reach. No matter how many hobbies I had or how hard I tried to pretend to be outgoing, there would always be people that would comment on my personality.

Does that sound like an enormous amount of pressure or what?

So yeah. This year I am not going to be mean to myself. That means I have taken a step back from constantly trying to ‘improve.’ It means no more self help books or negative self talk. It means no more dissecting everything I said, everything they said, every facial expression I thought I may have made when talking to someone. It means not beating myself up and not blaming myself for every social interaction that isn’t ‘perfect.’ It means treating myself like my own best friend: with encouragement and acceptance 🙂

My biggest purchase on Etsy

Yup, I purchased my engagement ring and both of our wedding bands on Etsy.

There are a ton of websites out there that sell rings, and I must have looked at at least 50 while searching for my forever ring. I scrolled through rings for hours, but everything just felt a little generic. I wanted something that looked vintage, and to make my search a little more difficult, I also wanted a ruby instead of a diamond. And that’s where Etsy came in, and why Etsy was totally perfect!

Our wedding bands – both from Etsy!

Why a ruby? It’s a play on my last name, and I have always loved red stones- my birthstone is a garnet. From Etsy, I got a custom gemstone, custom wedding band to match my engagement ring, and they were both significantly less than the $3000 jewelers online were charging. It was exactly what I wanted!

I also bought several things from Etsy for the wedding reception, such as decorative gold paper place mats which I used under the centerpieces (pictured in back, made with gold washi tape, Ikea candles, dollar store vases, and some hot glue). I didn’t have a cake topper per se- instead I got these cute cat figurines to put in front of the cake 🙂 they were gold and vintage, which matched the colors and theme of our wedding.

I also bought a gold vintage frame from Etsy for our Victorian themed engagement photos. So fun to dress up and do those old-timey photos!

Etsy really came through for my wedding in finding unique items that had a little more flair. Since becoming an Etsy seller, I am more inclined to also shop on Etsy. A lot of love goes into each item, and you know you make someone’s day! Also, they are usually happy to make something custom for you 🙂 I’ve done several custom orders myself!

What was your favorite purchase from Etsy?

Fun with Illustration

So! I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’m taking an illustration class. And because of that, I spent a ridiculous amount of money on professional grade artist markers. Below are some things I drew with said markers:

an orangey!
Kokeshi doll
More sketching with markers 🙂

It’s a little different than my style in my Etsy store, but I kind of like it! What do you think?

You all said you love the items with cats in my shop, so expect to see more animal things in the fall 🙂 I can’t wait. Also, more cats.

Just for fun, here’s a gouache painting I did- gouache is very new to me, and I’m not sure how I feel about the ‘flatness’ of it, but it is fun to experiment! I absolutely love these figures I got in Japan, they are such good inspiration 🙂 notice how I drew it three times haha.

Which is your favorite style? Do you prefer digital or hand drawn?

Tell me more – let’s play a game!

So it’s the day after the 4th of July so we’ll keep this short and fun 🙂 I looked up some of those fun quizzes that used to be all the rage on social media (maybe still are?). Here are my answers, comment your own if you’d like!

1. I’m happiest when… I am wrapped up in blankets

2. …Especially if it… watching Netflix, drawing, or playing a video game!

3. I’ve always wanted to… travel to Ireland

4. My first job was… working as a cashier at an outdoor ice skating rink. Reading by the fire, hot cocoa and toasted marshmallows for days! (the rink wasn’t that busy ;))

5. I could probably eat chocolate everyday.

6. I make the best… brownies

7. I’m (now) a Minnesotan, but I think I’ll always identify most as a ‘sconnie. (That’s Wisconsin, obviously)

8. At 5, I was deeply in love with my Princess Jasmine Pajamas and frogs

9. I can’t stand… people clipping their fingernails in public. Why???

10. Whenever House Hunters is on, I’ll watch it.