Another Random Business/Art Related Musing – ‘Least It Began That Way

For those of you who don’t know, I am about to be featured in Amazing Canadian Fashion Magazine’s (a.k.a “ACF Magazine”) prestigious, October/November Deluxe Holiday issue! Yeah, it’s a pretty huge deal, especially to me and I am so deeply honored and ecstatic about it. It will be a 3 to 4 page feature showcasing my work and will include an interview that was done with me a couple of days ago. I was first invited on July 5th. Yes, they sought me out, which is why it’s an even bigger, mind-blowing deal, even more so because my current advertising efforts don’t really exceed beyond tacking up and handing out business cards, while out and about. ACF is based in Toronto, so how they happened upon Guin and I is beyond me, but just goes to show that when something’s meant to be, it will be – especially when you put everything you have into something and truly believe in it.

Now many of you may wonder, if I’ve known about the feature for so long, then why didn’t I make a larger announcement about it (I’ve told people offline and have mentioned it on certain Etsy listings, notifying people that they can no longer get that particular numbered edition of Faery Ring, or what have you, because it was on its way to a photoshoot in Toronto)? I suppose the only answer I can give is that, though I feel that I have had a blessed life thus far, it has been filled with various hardships and, aside from an Easter coloring contest at Blockbuster video when I was 10, I’ve never really won anything, and this threw me wonderfully off kilter. I think I also needed to send off my creations and complete the interview to really feel like it was really happening and wasn’t going to be taken from me – though between you and I, I think I’m going to need to actually see my name on the cover of the magazine in Chapters, before it really sinks in ;p I suppose this is all part of why being a perpetual optimist is so important to me. Aside from I think everyone needs to be hopeful and optimistic in this world, sometimes hope, optimism, and my sometimes childlike dreams are all that I had to get me through and make me get up in the morning – before my beautiful, Godsend of a daughter that is ;) I always had my parents, who are amazing individuals and even better parents and my best friends, but being as independent as I am and always wanting to make them and myself proud, by standing on my own, sometimes it made it that my faith in God and my connectedness to this world, we’re the only things to see me through.

I’m not really sure what’s really taking place, that I suddenly feel so compelled to make this kind of post, or even the last one, where I passionately voiced my support and encourage of adoption and whatnot (admittedly, that one was slightly fueled by a couple of adult beverages, but whatever, though I was afraid about someone misunderstanding what I had to say and taking offense that wasn’t intended, nor did I feel implied, I’m glad I said it. It’s important to stand up for what you believe. Don’t shove it down someone’s throat, or harshly judge another’s shoes that you haven’t walked in, but stand up for what you believe in), but I do like it. It’s a bit unsettling, but it feels right somehow. I guess because, though I always try to live my life according to the best piece of advice my father gave me, which was “Let go, let God, and be true to you.”, I feel like I’m being more true to me and God than I ever have been. Even putting God and I in the same sentence so openly has been something that I realized I don’t often do. Not because I’m ashamed of my faith, but because in 2012, if you say that you have an unshakable faith in God, that most people assume that they know exactly what you believe, without bothering to ask (not all people that believe in something larger than themselves are judgmental, bible-pounders, you know). I detest having myself and The Big Guy thrown into a box – especially when it’s crappily constructed and full of misguided assumptions and crap. It’s so unfair, frustrating and usually quite ironic. Ironic, because the people that might condemn me, will condemn me as a preemptive strike, because they think I have nothing better to do but to sit about condemning them. Silliness, I say. The philosophy I subscribe to is, as long as no one hurting themselves or anyone else then what the big hoohah?

“Harm none and do as ye will.” – The Wiccan Rede

“Split a piece of wood and you will find Me. Lift a stone and I am there. I am not in houses made of stone and wood. I am everywhere and all around you.” – Quote from the movie “Stigmata”, talking about God.

Ghandi once said something along the lines of “I believe that there is a religion higher than Hinduism and Christianity, we just haven’t found it yet.” and he was a devout Hindu. These are the some of the things that my faith and philosophies of life are built upon. We are individuals and should be able to express are faith however we feel is most true to us, or how else can we follow it? Faith is not always supposed to be easy. I believe that life, amongst many things, is a series of tests to test our faith in ourselves and whatever or higher power may be (I believe God has many names and facets – “God” is the name I chose to use to simplify my conversations with Him – I don’t even believe He’s a him; again chosen for reasons of simplicity), integrity, and our relationship with our world and its inhabitants.

Be good to one another. Help yourself and another when you can and sometimes even when you think you can’t. Live comfortably and happily, but not excessively. Work to live, but don’t live to work. Be there for your children or don’t have them. Are you working as much as you are to give them a happy life of security, or are you trying to make sure they have a “better” TV, gaming system, or brand name clothing? The life we lead, the things we work for, and the crap we buy, will determine what our children will deem as the “necessities” of life and the way that they should be to properly navigate their way through it. Be careful. Think twice before you buy that “top of the line” (for this week), or work overtime to to get it. Our children need that special thing once and a while to show them what we are willing to do for them and one of the ways that hard work and patience can pay off; but more than ANYTHING, they need our love, time, and guidance.

We all have to stop living in this Great Depression after shock, which caused us all to think we have to work ourselves to death, take ourselves away from our children, so that we can amass as much as we can, because “tomorrow it could be gone”. Eat as many chocolate bars as you can because tomorrow the Great Depression could strike again and they could be made with rags and glass again (yes, it happened). Well meaning intentions. We can’t be blamed, or called bad people/parents for trying to make what we thought was a “better”, more satisfying life for ourselves and our children, but I think we missed the true meaning of the point “tomorrow it could all be gone!”. If it was all gone tomorrow, I would rather know it ended with me spending time with my daughter (she’s a currently 1 and a 1/2), who had a safe roof over her head, clothes in good repair on her back (labels not mattering more than the letters they were constructed with), a stomach full of foods that had actual nutritional value, a teddy bear to cuddle up to (her favorite is Theodore, who belonged to me), some things she can learn something from and just enough for “just because”. I’ll work myself to death for that and nothing more. Those are the Necessities of Life and what we should strive for. It’s not worth it to live excessively and only I and her father can make her think it is. The most important things in this world only cost time and sometimes a bit of gas in the car, yet most of us find ourselves living beyond our means. This all comes from someone who isn’t perfect and has also been a part of the well meaning “problem”. I am however making great efforts to tear it all down and have my family live the way that I think we all should – for the betterment of ourselves and the world we live in. Living beyond our means caused the Recession. We all have to remember that our individual actions can effect our entire nation, our entire world. Maybe that’s what has changed in me. I had a child and, as introspective as I was before, began over analyzing everything and began thinking more globally. I realized that, though my actions may seem to only really affect me and my tangible world (the world my eyes see in front of me and not the larger one, “Earth”, that I’m a part of), because what I do may be common actions and reactions, it will affirm to the person next to me that this is the acceptable norm and continue (or begin) to follow suit and if my actions/reactions were selfish and misguided I will have helped lead our world into some form of devastation. I know, I know, it’s pretty intense thinking for a Saturday, but these are some of the things that I believe in and felt compelled (for better or for worse) to share. After all, I think it’s my job as a person a part of this world to voice my opinion, if I think it’s worthy of another’s consideration. I will rarely ever say that “I am right” (though I often am, bahahaha – just kidding ;p), nor be so arrogant or self-righteous to say that my way/opinion is the right one that the world should follow, but I do think that I am onto something and what I have to say is most certainly worth everyone’s consideration. Just food for thought and perhaps to some, nothing more.

I don’t think that I was put here to convert anyone into anything (I don’t even subscribe to an organized religion to follow – maybe “People Who Give An Actual Crap and Don’t Condemn or Badger People All Willy-Nilly”?), but I do think that I was meant to make people stop, take their heads out of their to-do lists for minute and think about who they are, what THEY believe and hold dear to them and why. I believe that we should all know these things ourselves. I nearly feel arrogant stating such a purpose. I’m a modest person, though no longer afraid to say that I’m good at something – I’m a good artist, parent, and person, though sometimes still a bit materialistic (baby steps ;)) and am always trying to improve, in all ways; which means, I think I’m on the right path, but am not closed to other peoples thoughts and beliefs. We all need eachother, in some way or another. I think that’s the point of everything – to realize that we all need eachother, even if only to find out what not to do.

Well, this post certainly took a most unintended turn! A MAJOR digression and I’m not sure I even did said what I initially set out say – considering it went into spirituality/religion, I’m inclined to think not, but whatevs. Go with the flow, everything happens for a reason and THAT’S what I believe in ;)

Have a beautiful night, or day (whatever it is for you). Better go before I break into politics (they say “don’t talk about religion or politics” – already broke one rule ;p), but fortunately, I haven’t much to say on political matters. I’ve never voted. Never found anyone I really wanted to vote for – they all have something they’re for that I’m against and what I want changed, I’m not sure they have the proverbial balls to change it. My greatest hope when it comes to politics is that someone runs and makes me want to vote.

Sleep well. I hope you find all of what you need and a bit of what you want.

Wishing You Well,

~Amanda~

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