‘On Wednesdays, we wear pink.’

So I have this whole new ‘employment’ type thing, since I’ve been in touch.

I paint. A lot.

And I work at a co-op art academy in the amazing setting of the Cuyahoga National Valley Park once a week.

AND I work as an educational aid substitute for the local school district 2-3 days a week, depending on order schedules.

So I am kind of spoiled with great jobs. Which has always been a habit of mine as you can read in The FUN Element

But I feel exceptionally fortunate to have a job with such an awesome opportunity to see such a variety of settings of people becoming…..people.

Six elementary schools. One middle, one Jr. high and one high school.

I never know where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing until the morning of that day.

Anything from lunch monitor, office, escort for behavioral issues, librarian, special needs and classroom assistance to bus monitor for special needs children transport.

It’s always interesting.

First day working at the big scary highschool, there was an ALICE drill where I had to barricade the doors and have students crawl out the windows to meet at a rally point. Wait,WHAT?

This is a huge school mind you. I didn’t know the layout and the secretary gave me my folder, ID lanyard and said (on the way to the room) We would be having an ALICE drill (no idea what that was at the time) sometime between 4th-5th period, and info will be given over the PA. 4th, and most of 5th period was torture. Then we heard the announcement that the armed perpetrator was in the front hallway. It was then the teacher’s discresion to barricade and hide, or barricade and flee. I was told by the other teacher next door that we would be fleeing.

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So that was a crazy day.

The Jr. High is actually more Formidable than the highschool. These kids are just testing boundaries and experiencing hormones and it makes them kind of challenging as masses.

My first few days at all the schools were intimidating but I got the hang of it.

Sometimes I feel among my peers with kids more than the ‘grown ups’

And I have learned the ropes. Sort of.

I no longer let kids leave the 11th period study hall 10 minutes early because they have ‘project placement at the library’….seriously fell for that. I mean, what does that even mean? or ‘Ms S let’s us every Fri’

When little Avril Lavine comes to class late smelling like an old school Perkins smoking section, and there’s nothing I can do (without visual proof) than remind her how terrible and ‘unbecoming’ smoking is these days, and follow her to her next class with a big smile.

I learned that it’s truly best to walk with the herd in the hallway and brace yourself for constant collision.

That there usually is in fact, an up and down stairway.

And that ….they’re just people.

We’re all people.

These kids that are figuring out who they are …and the kids I knew, when we were trying to figure out who we are….

We’re all just people. At certain points in our lives.

And no one is perfect.

AND people change.

Sometimes it’s so hard to let go of  negative feelings, and impressions of people, kids, girls- that we had when we were in middle school. When we were in high school.

I emphasize girls because I remember how certain girls made me feel.

How I wonder how girls are going to make my daughter feel.

I see these young girls, these babies, and I know how much effect they have on one another. 

So it’s interesting to observe it all from this side of the field. The experienced side. From outside the bubble where life was all about you.

I want to say to them, be you. Be yourself. Don’t stress over them.

Just like my teachers and grown ups told me.

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And so goes the circle.

So I am reminded when I see people everywhere around me; my friends, colleagues, people from the past on social media, on the TV, in the news….we’re all. just. people.

We should remember that when we deal with each other. What influence we have on the little people around us. On the big people around us.

No one is perfect.

People change.

And from the ultimate wisdom for young girls, from Cinderella’s mum herself,

~Have courage and be kind.

 

1st 2016 Giveaway!!

Hey klinkers!!

Y’all ready to do this??

valentine

 

 

Let’s give TWO winners a chance To win TWO shooters each

go to

https://www.facebook.com/makikisart

to enter

This time we really want to

Let. Love. Win.

Hello Again!!!!!!

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Did you miss me?!

I did.

I missed this.

SO COME WIN A CUSTOM WINE GLASS!!!!!!!!

https://www.facebook.com/MaKiKisart

And we’ll start all this madness again.

let love win.

There I Went Again

SO it happened. Again.

I recently had a manic episode.

It may be cyclical, seasonal, annual, whatever it is, it happened again and threw me for a loop. Again.

What most people (myself included)  may not realize about mental illness, is that you really have no control over it.

Capture

I got happy. Too happy, again.

I was on an a healthy exercise kick, again.

I got too grandiose with my thoughts, again.

And it stinks too, because once again, life was feeling good. I was feeling happy and off to a great start in a new year.

But I went too far and started sleeping less which led to full blown mania.

I was not as hysterical to as many people as last time. But my thoughts were delusional.

I was receiving a message from God that doesnt sit right with this world.

SO I had to go on medicine to bring me back down.

So here I am. Feeling down.

Which depression is expected as you recover from mania.

And I am meeting with my psychiatrist to try a new medicine because of potentially bad side effects.

I dont feel as low as last year. Yet.

And heres to hoping I wont have to feel that low.

I am optimistic that each and every episode from here on will be a learning curve with less and less negative side effects.

As many people who deal with any form of mental illness, learn.

Just know that there is no shame.

No matter what you are going through, there is a betterness in sight.

And if you have a loved one struggling with mental illness, try to be patient and be and  remain a positive influence for them.

If I didnt have such an amazing husband who is so patient yet pushy-when-he-needs-to-be, I dont know where I would be.

But I know it would be a lot worse than it could ever be. Because of him, and his love for me.

SO continue to be supportive of others.

Even strangers. Be kind. We have no idea what they are going through and what kind of/or lack of support they have.

Not all battle scars are easily recognized. Find the beauty in each other.

Be blessings to each other in this world.

Let. Love. Win.

My Best Friend’s Pet Names For Me

Ground stomper.

Cliche Butcher.

Baby house.

House.

Succubus.

Keemee.

Reaseon why we cant have things.

Reason why we cant have nice things.

Reason why we cant have ANYthing.

Beautiful.

Gorgeous.

Sweet.
Awesomesaucemomma.

Baby.

 

What You Guys Are Teaching me

All I can say is that my faith is renewed every second. Especially my faith in humanity because you guys show me DAILY how much peace and love is out there.

We ALL have our own stories, our own ‘heavens’ and ‘hells’.

But what I know for 100% (for anyone who knows anything about cognitive dissonance) is that I am SUPPOSED to be sharing everything with you all.

And my husband, my gift from God himself; my psychiatrist and my psychologist (yes, I have both) are ok with me sharing this

LOVE. IS. WINNING.

and i have peace with that

My message for you.

*footsteps to center stage, drops soap box and steps up*

H-hi.

So here’s my message from my soap box.

I have purpousfully left religion at a minimum on my blog and off my page.

I would rather be an example of a Christ-like person without offering people’s immediate bias or opinion to impair my message.

I was ok with ‘Quiet Evangelism’ (I learned this term from an amazing on line friend).

But … I.m bipolar.

And my ‘mania’ is recieving a direct message from the big guy and trying to convey it to….. someone.

It didn’t work with my family like I hoped it would. My brain had a surplus of thoughts and understanding and I couldn’t translate with words without seeming like a …maniac.

Then I was drugged which silenced my thoughts for a long time. And I was sad. Sadder than I have ever been.

But then, I started being happy and feeling like my old self again which guess what, is a little manic.

So this time My husband was the only witness and he was able to follow me down this mental rabbit hole of trying to figure out whether I was receiving a message or not, and whether or not I had to deliver it for whom ever it is for.

Crazy, huh?

Well I have heard this voice (because it was my own voice in my head)- and I have heard it all my life.

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I haven’t been crazy or wierd, I have been ECCENTRIC right? That was my first post.

I cannot even try to explain everything that has happened in my brain (especially prior to this typing of this post) without sounding like a maniac.

So maybe I am manic now. Maybe I shouldn’t be writing a post to the public.

But I am.

I have been trying to figure out the message and who it is for,  for way too long.

Whoever you are that this post speaks to…. you are the one. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

I have faith.

I have more faith in my God than I have ever in my life.

He has answered every question and every concern and every doubt I have laid before Him.

My merssage to you is….give Him a chance.

You may not need Church, you may not need docterine, you may not need a sermon (which is ok that many many do) but I questioned all of those things myself over the years.

You just need to give Him a fighting chance.

He will meet you where you are.

It is not supposed to be about who sins or what is or isn’t a sin or any judgement or debate or schism in the church.

It is about love.

Learning about HIM and His love for you.

Read your Bible. Not the study, or the sermon or the textbooks-others opinions of what their impression of God has to say from their life’s experience and history and education … try the word for yourself.

I am all for church and fellowship and learning from one another. I am afraid so many people let the politics of it all hinder their opinion of what needs to happen to meet Him. It’s not. You can meet Him all by yourself.

And once you recieve that opportunity to feel Him -you will be changed.

It is about love.

And loving EVERYONE.

It is ok to not understand the ‘why’s’ and the suffering.

That wasw a HUGE concern for me.

I got pregnant before I was married with (lets be honest) a practical stranger.

And I have been secretly worrying about what my punishment will be for that; illness, disease, any developemental issues…. but guess what I was told-

It doesn’t work that way. None of this works that way.

You can be angry with God all you want. I know I have been.

But give a relationship with Him a chance. And he may show you the answers.

I am finally at a point where I truly understand and am able to follow His word.

Just give Him a chance. A real, honest chance. You have nothing to lose.

I am going to continue my irrationally happy life with my wonderful perfectly imperfect self and family and treat each day like the gift it truly is. And I no longer pray for nothing bad to happen to me or my loved ones, I pray to handle whatever comes with grace and understanding. To use what I am dealt to better things. Even if it is showing someone how to live a Christ-FILLED life under negative circumstances.

And that my friend, is my sermon.

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I heart you, Severus

So I recently watched a documentary that I cannot get out of my head. And I don’t want to.

It was compelling, it was heartbreaking, it was raw, it was real.

A Path Appears on PBS was a three part documentary about making a difference in the world.

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‘The title is from Lu Xun, a prominent Chinese writer who said that Hope is like a path in the countryside. First, there is no path but as more and more people walk again and again…a path appears. Meaning a solution appears. It’s about innovative  strategies for making a difference.”     -Sheryl WuDunn

Watching something like this not only inspires a desire to make a difference. it makes you look at your own life in a new perspective.

I know it is not possible for us all to make the change we would like to.

But in a parallel thought, as these individual stories are drops that make ripples and spread positivity, so can our daily thoughts and activities.

We can have a positive influence on our surroundings all the time.

It is how we treat eachother.

Kindness.

Kindness goes such a long way.

Doesn’t that person whether it was a server or casheir or postman or the person in front of you in line, who was so happy and smiling, bubbling over…..didn’t they make you smile?

Smiling is contageous y’all.

And that can be a drop that makes ripples and spreads positivity.

It may not be a solution for the world’s issues, but it helps.

And to those who seem immune, you never know what they are going through. You may never understand their perception.

The Severus Snapes of the world- mind you, I recently finished the Harry Potters so spoiler alert if you, like me, are so behind pop culturally and have yet to finish the Potter series-  the misunderstood, often seeming negative folk may be just that. Misunderstood.

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Their expression may not be percepted properly because we don’t always get to see the entire backstory and thought process at the end of interaction we have with people.

So, even though it is our nature to jump to the defense over every interaction, even the way that driver looked at you when you drove by, we don’t necessarily perceive their expression properly.

It is so easy to snap back.

It is hard to smile and let it go.

It is harder yet, to be positive with the people in our lives that just bring us down. Whether it is judgement, criticism, cruelty or just plain jealousy, we should try to stop it. Stop that negative ripple and counteract with a positive one.

Be an example to those around you.

Life can be yucky.

For everyone of us.

But we can choose to make a difference no matter how small it may seem, we will never know how big it can grow, if we choose kindness. If we choose love.

Let love win.

Mark 12:29-31

“The most important one” answered Jesus, “is this: love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”

 

 

 

 

So whatever happened to that Makikisart?

Hello you!!!

Happy New Year!

You may have (but probably not) noticed that I have been MIA from the whole social media scene as of late.

I have been kind of not myself for a long time.

Good news, I am feeling back to normal. Well, back to normal-er.

I’m not totally completely sure what normal is for me anymore.

I would assume that anyone who has struggled with mental illness can relate.

It is a new chapter…..but it is still a great book.

I painted a series of butterflies which after a conversation with my bff, I now call Bipolar Butterlies. Life can be ugly and beautiful. Pretty and a complete mess.

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So 2014 didn’t end up being quite what I thought it would be.

I was sure it would be the year of Kimmy.

That as I turned 35 I would be in the best physical shape of my life. That Makikisart would really take off and become more established as a business. That I would get my finances and priorities in order and finally get it ‘all’ together… be an official grown up.

And I was off to a great start too.

Until life threw a big ol’ wrench smack into it.

Having a new living arrangement and stressing myself out over finances and such, I started taking an antidepressant for anxiety.

Well, turns out… if you have an underlying chemical imbalance that makes you bipolar (especially when you had NO idea)… the antidepressant can send you into the mania stage.

It was not a fast process, we are talking months here.

I was slowly feeling better and better and loving life and loving exercise and eating less junk and although I didn’t realize it, I was sleeping less.

It was  in May, when I started having irrational thoughts and ideas that loved ones recognized the symptoms.

I was in denial. Which is typical apparently.

I was convinced, literally convinced that I had a pivotal roll in mending conflicts on a national if not, world wide level.

I will share specifics in a later post but for now, let’s just say that I was sure that I knew things that were going to happen, before they would happen. I knew and understood issues that man has been debating for all time.

At the climax, I was not sleeping. At all.

My poor husband was watching me lose my mind and couldn’t help me.

Beyond fortunately, I was blessed to experience this with loved ones who knew how to handle it.

I was able to avoid being hospitalized (which would have been inevitable) and spent a week at my parents with my family, away from my children.

I was given serious sedatives to sleep and began meeting with a psychiatrist.

I feel like I truly lost the rest of the year.

I was in such depression as my body was recovering and restoring balance.

I lost the urge to paint. And the few commissioned pieces I did paint were not fun to do. It felt like work. And it wasn’t the joy it used to be. And although others insisted I was, I felt I wasn’t as good as I used to be. Like I had lost my touch.

I no longer wanted to exercise. I had lost any progress I had made and ended up gaining weight and being in the worst physical shape.

There were many points where I hated my life.

I just felt like everything was all wrong. I couldn’t explain it, it was all just…off. There was no joy. I was sad all the time.

I remember sitting at a lake, next to my husband, watching my children laugh and swim …and crying. Thinking that I knew I should be happy and enjoy this otherwise wonderful afternoon, but crying. And feeling that I would not be upset if it all ended. If my life were to be over.

Luckily, I never reached a point of being suicidal or hurting myself, but I could relate to how people get that desperate.

Anyway, long story short, it has been an uphill road, but I am feeling much more like my old self. I take a mood stabilizer without any real side effects.

While business came to a practical stand still, I am ready to start painting again. I no longer want to hide under a rock.

I started the INSANITY workout again (ironic, huh?) and I really feel the difference natural endorphins create. While I don’t LOVE exercise like I did, it’s work to get out of bed early and it feels like work all throughout, but it feels amazing when I’m done. And I feel better the rest of the day. I eat better. I sleep better. I am just….better.

So here’s to continuing this journey.

To getting off the bench and back in the game.

I will be more present and keep you posted with my progress.

And here’s to 2015 and turning 36 , which is actually my second favorite number (after 6, which is 6×6)

While I am not making any major resolutions like being in the best shape of my life, or running half marathons, or launching my own line of signature glassware on my own website, I am going to keep working on being better than I was yesterday. Keep moving forward. Just keep swimming.

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Which is a way better. And more realistic. Life is stressful enough.

I am learning to love myself just as I am. To enjoy this ride called life.

To focus on being happy, finding the silver lining and spreading love in this world.

I am taking my own advice and going to continue

Letting. Love. Win.

 

 

Broken Glass

So I just broke a painted sheet of glass.

:(

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Aaaaand I need to take a break from painting.

I am trying to get back into the habit of enjoying painting while preparing for my next art show aaand it’s different.

Different than how it used to be.

Life is different than how it used to be.

I don’t feel like I used to.

I don’t feel all energetic and emotional and motivated, listening to loud music and just feeling… the mood to create.

I also took a bit of a hiatus from socializing (physically and virtually).

However, school starts Monday for both my miniature people and it is high time I start living this life again instead of hiding out and waiting until I feel normal  again.

Because apparently I never felt ‘normal’.

After developing a very new relationship with my new Dr. I have come to accept that I have been experiencing minimal mood shifts and hypomania for most of my adult life.

Upon moving into our new living situation I started taking an antidepressant to help me deal with stress and anxiety, which apparently lead me [slowly] into full blown mania.

It really sucks. And I hate that word. But it fits.

I will share more details of my whole ‘adventure’ (which quite honestly, was the best time and the most fun I have ever had) in a later post.

This one is to get reacquainted with the world.

The sucky part started immediately after the fun part. I had to take some heavy hitting medication to bring me down and I have been down for awhile now.

I wish so badly I could go back up to my functional irrationally happy/slightly annoying self. And I may never get to.

But we are working on it.

I am on two mood stabilizers and am hoping once school starts and my family is back on some sort of schedule, to return to a healthy lifestyle and recommit to exercise.

I just wish painting was as freeflowing as it used to be. And I am anticipating it to be so.

Here is a peek of a few of the pieces I am currently working on:

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Things are starting to get better already.

I am no longer crying for no reason or experiencing moments of ridiculous sadness and hopelessness.

I am back to feeling like life is worth living.

And I hope to soon be back to always finding the silver lining. That gift I seem to have lost lately.

But…. I’m here.

SO here’s to finding my path again and to sharing love -because that part I thought I lost but now I know I cannot-

Let. Love. Win.