Monthly Update: September

Last week was intense! Let’s lighten things up and talk about my favorite city in Wisconsin 🙂 Madison!

Growing up in Wisconsin, everyone knew Madison was the coolest place you could go. It had the BEST school, the BEST restaurants, the BEST sports, and it was completely unlike the rest of Wisconsin. I went there a couple weeks ago, and now that I’m an adult and I live in a much larger city, Madison is… STILL CHARMING!

Look at that cute little Madison bee!

I was enchanted by it the first time I set foot on State Street as a 14 year old. There were so many new stores to explore (like Urban Outfitters- my favorite at the time) and people walking down the middle of the road. WALKING ON THE ROAD! I had never seen anything like it before. And I loved it.

Hi Bucky!

Now that I was back as an adult, I was excited to do things I couldn’t do as a when I was in high school, like go to the Farmer’s Market! The farmer’s market surrounds the capital and boasts scones for ‘sconnies (did I hear my name?) and warm cheesy bread. You’ll also find several people with megaphones talking about the end of the world and their least favorite politicians. The energy was invigorating.

If you go to Madison, my must do’s include:

The Terrace. It is the student union, but you don’t have to be a student to go there. There are people of all ages enjoying pitchers of beer on the famous colorful chairs.

The Great Dane. There are lots of good restaurants in Madison, but this one has a special place in my heart- I went to it with my family while visiting my brother. All their food is good. All the cocktails. All the beer. And at small city prices! You can also sit outside and be enchanted be fireflies while sipping your homemade soda.

Midtown Pub. I was only there once, but what an impression it made. Bowls of free and tasty chex mic were on every table, and they made the best and the cheapest [Wisconsin] Old Fashioned I’ve ever had.

C’s Restaurant and Bakery. Across from Midtown Pub, their breakfast food was cheap, amazing, and unpretentious. Get there early so you can get a table! Their homemade desserts were to die for.

Botanical Gardens. FREE, and expansive! When you first enter, you will not realize how expansive it is. But it just keeps GOING. And there are frogs in ponds. And unique flowers. and a beautiful Thai Pavilion!

How many frogs can you see?

What is your favorite city to visit? Have any recommendations?

Why you should do what’s best for you

A little while back, I quit my job. Actually, I’ve quit several jobs. I took whatever came my way, happy to never be the dreaded U word (AKA, Unemployed). One unhappy job led to the next, and each time I believed things would be different. Turns out, that was not the best plan.

You see, if you only leap from lifeboat to lifeboat, you only learn to stay afloat, not to thrive. I was surviving, but I never realized that all along I could have been happily sailing around. If I had just looked around in between desperate flails, I would have realized there was a shore, and that I didn’t need to be treading water for so long.

So basically, that long boat analogy is me. I flung myself into bad situations that I didn’t have to, because I didn’t believe it was possible to have anything better. Happiness? What even is that?

I was really nervous to share this, because I worried you may think “She didn’t have it so bad! At least she had a job! I have it worse!”

Well, things COULD always be worse. But that’s not a good reason not to do something. Especially when it begins to affect not only your life, but your health. And that’s why I think it’s important to share this. Because while someone probably does have it worse, that does not invalidate your situation. Your situation can still be crappy, it may just be a different level of crappy. And happiness should be your the baseline, not the exception, and you shouldn’t settle for anything less.

For a long time, I had my mental game under wraps. I was plugging away, day after day, unaware of little changes that were creeping up on me. I started sleeping a lot more- which wasn’t immediately cause for alarm because I’ve always liked to sleep. Since I was tired, I figured I just needed to bike more. So I exercised like crazy, biking around 60 miles a week to get those sweet endorphins.

Then, things started to get a little weirder. The month before I finally quit, I started getting heart palpitations and random back pains. I figured that I might have been from biking too much, so then I started getting massages to help with the back pain. Oddly, it seemed to only help for a day.

My breaking point was when I was in a restaurant with my friends, and my chest started getting tight. The room was a little warbly. I went to the bathroom to take deep breaths, but my breaths were shallow. I felt trapped. I cried even though I wasn’t sure why I was crying.

Though I tried really hard to control it, my series of unfulfilling lifeboat jobs caught up to me, and the stress began seeping through the cracks. Sure, my jobs “could have been worse.” I may even be “too sensitive.” But I didn’t like how I was feeling, and I didn’t want to live like that. And maybe I am too sensitive, but that’s who I am. And that’s how I feel about that.

Quitting my job was one of the best and healthiest decisions I have ever made for myself. All of my weird symptoms have since gone away.

I immediately started sleeping better, had more energy, and focused on my art again. I got a part time job, took classes in illustration, did yoga every morning, and was able to do things I wouldn’t have otherwise like spontaneous road trips home and traveling to New York. For the first time in a long time, my life was in balance.

Fast forward, I now have a new full time job that I am super excited about. And I dare say, for the first time since graduating college, I am happy. I broke the cycle, and I could have been doing it all along.

Remember to be kind to yourself and do what’s best for you,

-Deidre

Kickstarter Update: Pins are IN!

I just got the pins this week, and I am SO PUMPED.

Look at them!!

I even got the fancy rubber backings instead of the typical butterfly clutch. Rubber backings are cuter, and they won’t get weird and bendy, meaning your pin will stay put!

And they match!

And for all the backers that supported me, expect to see them to arrive within the next couple of weeks in this eye-catching package:

Teal is clearly my favorite color.

I am so humbled by the support I received to make these pins come to life. RPGs and cats hold such a special place in my heart, and now they do in my art 🙂 thank you again!

Want a pin but didn’t pledge? Keep an eye on my Facebook page or sign up for my email list to find out when they will be in my Etsy store!

My Secret Fascination

GHOSTS.

I wouldn’t say I am a fan of ghosts, nor do I hope they exist. But anyone that knows me knows I have a thing about ghosts. One of my biggest fears is living in a haunted house with a malevolent ghost. Chill ghosts are fine though =^.^=

Like I said, I don’t want them to exist, but I also don’t want them not to exist. Life is a little more exciting with a few unknowns 🙂

I’m not sure where my fear/fascination with ghosts came from- but I do know I have a very active imagination. It may come as no surprise that I can’t stand scary movies. Somehow seeing it portrayed on a screen makes my brain be like “yah that’s totally real.”

For example, I was at a Halloween party where Poltergeist was playing silently in the background, and even without the sound or my full attention, I could NOT HANDLE IT. Totes had nightmares.

The first scary movie that I ‘watched’ (with a blanket over my head) was Texas Chain Saw Massacre. I didn’t watch another scary movie for two more years until I was invited to watch Paranormal Activity (which I was only okay with since the lights were on). Each of these movies was a traumatic experience, and now I’m always on the lookout for suspicious looking chicken feet.

Despite being on the lookout for things like demonic chicken footprints, I haven’t actually experienced any paranormal activities- I think. There was a house I lived in while I was in college that was maybe haunted, and where I maybe heard footsteps coming from upstairs while I was home alone (but could probably be explained as typical houses noises or squirrels in the walls??) just to be safe, I noped out of the college house without finishing my breakfast, and spent the hour before class in the library.

Other than that, my life has been relatively ghost-free, and though I am not convinced of their existence either way, I like to remain cautious. In honor of fall/Halloween, feel free to share any spooky stories of your own!