Good Bye, Norfolk

Why am I leaving you? I'm afraid in life, Jasmine has always been drawn to the most exciting, the most daring, the most weird. There is tell of a mystical place, far north of here, called Reston. Exciting, because it contains a my childhood home and what I perceive to be my ruin. Daring, because it has the potential to lead to my future and be better than I fear. And weird, well, because I live there (again). And the craftsmen of fantasy, for ladies, gentleman, and those of you who are yet... ...to make up your minds. Tonight I give you, the Kinky Boot Factory.

Well, I don't give you the Kink Boot factory, but I love that movie and some of the monologue, with a few tweaks, works for this announcement. To tell you all the truth, I'd rather not leave Norfolk, I don't want to go home. It's my past, and maybe I don't want to face my past and remember things, and maybe I'm afraid of figments of my imagination but I'd rather not live there again. I sometimes think of myself as being akin to a shark, I need to always be moving forward. That has not been happening these past few months and I've stagnated. 

In January i did produce a mini and I am always working on more comics and things but I'm not doing anything with my life. Like many graduates I haven't found a job yet so I have to move home because I can't afford to live here anymore. It has been an experience but I've always said and I've always known that Norfolk isn't where I was going to stay. Maybe I haven't tried as hard as I could to enjoy my present and make stronger connections with people, or maybe I don't need too many close friends, but like I said before I don't feel like I'm integral to anyone's life so mine (and my brothers') are the only lives that I feel will be affected by my soon exodus.

I'm going to be around for the next few weeks, I'm still looking for work, just not permanent work in Virginia, I need to live somewhere else. I've felt I needed to leave Virginia for years and there is a part of me that still hopes that will be possible soon. I mean, I'm currently dreaming of having a chic apartment  a cat and living on my own in California. In my dream I live not too far from a studio space and I work on my comics professionally. I get to go to cool things, shows and events and I am what society consideres a successful adult. My success is leaving home and being able to support myself. Maybe that movie will happen before long. I have known for years that Reston is not where i belong, living in Reston will be detrimental so wish me luck that I won't be there for long and I can get on with my life. 

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This has been sitting waiting until I felt ready to share this. I think I've told most of the people I think would care, which really isn't that many. I don't share every post I make on facebook but they're are posted here, in the open, for any one to read. i don't know who will miss me, I don't know who values me. I feel like no one does but that doesn't make me cry as much as how much I just want encouragement from my family. My brothers are fine, it's the extended family I'm thinking about. I don't need a stern talking to, I don't need or want the lecture right now. I want to not feel like shit about what I have to do because I feel like shit crawling back home, my proverbial tail between my legs and can't I just get a fucking hug? Can't I just get some vague placating nice words and be told it will all be all right instead of being told that I was wrong and I did the wrong shit. The disappointment in their voices hurts so fucking much, but it's not like there's a handbook. It's not like there are job just ripe for the plucking waiting for BFA graduates to rifle through and choose. I just want to feel like something is going right in my life and nothing feels acceptable, let along right, right now.  

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One last thought, this was written at three different times because of three different emotional states. My brother came down to Norfolk the other day and took away a bunch of boxes of things. Left in my apartment is mostly trash and things that need to be taken to thrift stores and put to use. It's all in good condition so I'm taking some bookshelves to Hope House. I just have to sift through the refuse left and figure out what's really refuse and what's worth to holding on to. I guess that can be said about a few different things and this entire moving situation but it feels different when it is objects and having to figure out what is trash. There are a lot of bags around my apartment that just need to be put out. i think i've accepted what has happened. I hope I find a job soon and can save money and move for real. I have to get some things organized at home when I get back, but if I make a nice stab at putting away some savings then I'll be better prepared to straight up move when the opportunity arises. 

Hell, who knows, maybe i'll be lucky and yes, I'm packing now to move north to Reston, but maybe i'll get lucky and find a job somewhere away from here out west soon and I can really move away. That would be the bee's knees.

But with this I say goodbye to you, Norfolk. It has been some years. Neither my best nor my worst years but this has been a formidable experience for me. I've grown from a depressed 18 year old to a depressed and panicky 24 year old over the past few years here. I've had experiences I never imagined as a kid and I've met some very special people. Most importantly, I've had a taste of not being in Reston. I got away and I can psychologically survive on my own away, I now just need to be able to do that financially. I'll be back for visits when possible, and I'm always somewhere on the Internet and pretty easy to find.

Oh, this feels like I'm shutting down my site and not physically moving, but I'm physically moving. I'll try to have a new thing written to post here soon.

Who Needs Me?

I've been quiet for a bit here. I posted some new art at the end of February and I have posted a few videos on Youtube recently, cooking videos. I've been painting recently and not drawing, kind of, so I haven't done any new drawing videos. You saw the Valentine's Day Love Bites embedded in my Valentine's Day post, here's a link to me making Breakfast Puffs

I've recently started noticing the early signs of my depression, it's vague, maybe I'll avoid it, or it's just a slow descent into unease. Maybe i'll share something when I figure out what's wrong. 

After slacking off on looking for a job I looked not too long ago and I for a response from one, possibly promising. I tend to live with no regrets, which mostly means for me not feeling guilt over my decisions. Giving my current situation and the fact that I might be moving back to Reston soon, I regret not looking for a job in earnest in January and February. That's my fault, I might have learned my lesson to not procrastinate and be so self serving. I may have learned that too late, or I'll luck out, get a job and avoid the move of shame. 

I just bought Cake's Comfort Eagle, I really like this version of Short Skirt/Long Jacket, it's more relaxed compared to the B Sides and Rarities version, but both are good. The B Sides version seems to have an earnestness to the wants expressed as opposed to the calm acceptance of the situation that the narrator has in the Comfort Eagle version. 

I've been thinking about the things I share online. The music, the videos, and the people who's stuff I promote and for what it's worth, I only promote things I really like. I mean, I sometimes mention and criticize things I don't like, but I don't have the energy to tell people I don't like them. I don't understand what people get out of actively listening to something when they seem to not like the person hosting or creating that something and then they spend hours antagonizing that person. Are they just upset that this person has and is achieving success where they have failed or have never attempted something for fear of their own success or failure? I'm actively afraid of failure, I'm afraid that people won't like my cartoons, my comics, that people won't like my videos and essays, that people won't like me. But there seem to be plenty of people who like me well enough, not always enough to share my things but should I ask people to share my stuff? I share stuff because it's right, I share stuff because I find it cool and I think the people who follow me will find it interesting. I like to tell people when I like their products, the comics, podcasts, videos I enjoy. If I don't like something, I don't tell the creator, what I dislike isn't all that important. I don't understand the people who go out of their way to tell other people their content is terrible or that they're terrible people for making that content. But I like to let people know that their efforts are appreciated and that enjoyed. I guess it's that simple maxim of 'don't be a dick' I try not to be a dick to people online. People work hard on things and i like to think I'm helping my letting them know that their efforts are appreciated. 

There really isn't a point to anything I'm saying right now, I'm kind of adrift right now, my thoughts are all over the place, I'm not focusing well on anything. Whatever's in front of me is interesting and i've had very little motivation to put anything new in front of me. It's lethargia, I guess. I'm not so far gone that laying on my bed in the dark is an idea to have, I just can't find the point in doing things or not doing things. There's no value to my life right now. 

I think that has been a problem for a while, what is the point of my life? I'm feeling existential or nihilistic, just inquisitive. I don't know what other people get out of knowing me or my existence, and I have nothing to do. I wake up and any plans for my day that i make are pointless. I have to plan what I'm going to eat to keep from reverting to eating empty calories and fat. i have to plan to draw something, or plan to read or watch a TV show. I have to plan to leave and paint. When I don't make these plans I spend my day playing dumb games on my phone, or i do spend my day reading but I get antsy and want to do anything and there's nothing to do. It's too cold to just go for a walk and get out. But anything i do has no value. I'm not bettering or enriching anyone's life and i'm not learning or improving my life, so that's the point? I need something to give my life value, i also need a job. I need to feel needed, which is the crux of my depressing every time, a need to feel needed. Who needs me?

I'm Bad at Being Whatever I Am

Every now and again I'm reminded of how bad I am at a) being me and b) being a black person. I don't know where the fault in that second part lies but it is a truth in  my life.  

I grew up in the suburbs, mostly around white people. I'm not 'hood', I don't want to be. I don't want to be whatever the black stereotype is. I don't know if I want to have the black experience, whatever that is. Is it institutionalized racism? Is it being shot at and speaking poor English? Is it being Christian and super religious? I don't know, I just know that when I'm around a lot of black people I get really uncomfortable. I know it's my fault and not them.  

As I'm writing this there's an event going on at the coffee shop I frequent called Weapons of Mass Construction which I've been ignoring. It's so far been a gathering of black people, spoken word poetry, an a Capella quintet and it's currently someone playing bongos or and some cymbals and such. I get anxious in group settings to begin with, I'm not apart of this group, I don't know any of these people, there are far too many for me to want to try. I'd be awkward and I'd focus on how I'm not like them.  

I know I have a superiority complex, I don't know how to rectify myself with that other than acknowledging that I have one. Hell, a few years ago I was insulted when someone asked if I was from Hampton, a historically black city in Virginia. I guess compared to Norfolk it's well educated but I'm from Fairfax County, better educated. I speak proper English, I have the capacity to utilize a broad vocabulary when expressing myself and blah blah blah.  

I'm never more aware of how rarely I'm around black people than when I'm around a bunch of black people I don't know. I do well enough with my family, they know what to expect out of me, I know how to present myself around them but I don't know how to deal with urban or rural black people. I'm not country, I'm not urban, I'm from a city of readers who like stupid sci-fi things, I listen to rock and I guess I'd generally be considered 'white' but I'm not white. To people who don't know me but would see me walking down the street, when I don't look like a man (I need to write out those instances here...they're fun and anxiety inducing), I don't know how often I look like someone from a bad neighborhood or poor education.  

I generally don't notice or think of these things until I'm presented with a lot of what I'm not. I have the intelligence to hold my own around white people and not feel negatively judged but I sometimes feel if I were to act that way around black people I'd be judged for acting like something I'm not even if it is what I am. I'm making negative assumptions now, I'm no better than people on the street, but I don't know where I stand usually. If I ever see a black person like me on TV I'm the friend to the white person. When it's a black show it's some weird type of black person I don't relate to. I don't relate to Tyler Perry, I also never really related to Moesha when it was on in the 90s, I don't have black friends like that or live in a black community. I'm a black person in white communities and I need to learn how to be a black person around black people. I need to work at not making uneducated judgements about black people and accept how they act without acting like I'm better than them or thinking it, because it's probably not true. Everyone has their issues and the things that fuck with them, no matter the color of their skin, I just don't know how to do it because I don't spend time around black people that often. 

I don't know what type of person I want to be but I think to figure that out I have to deal with and accept the type of black person I am. Hell, I never acknowledge that I'm Dominican either. 

What I do know is I'm someone who draws, I'm someone who likes men, I'm someone who like reading, I'm someone dealing with anxiety problems, I'm someone who reads, I'm someone who has graduated college, I'm someone who happens to have brown skin, I'm someone who's over weight, I'm someone who has glasses, I'm someone who needs to understand who they are so they can become a better version of that.