BY TIFFANY JOHNSON
New #ArtMoTiFFation has been added to my collection, meet "Kayla" by Manasseh Art. I first saw this drawing when the artist posted it to his Instagram in November 2019. At the time, I had a lot going on in my life and barely had control over my own schedule between life's twists and turns and work projects, and this piece of artwork spoke to my soul. It's like on the one hand, I had things somewhat together but on the other hand I was fighting to regain control of my life in many ways. Just like how I view "Kayla" in this drawing. A mess, yet stunning and confident.
Fast forward to 2020, more stability is back in my life, but I must admit that everything that is going on these days with the COVID-19 pandemic, publicized incidents of racial injustice, the upcoming election, and the crushing news of Chadwick Boseman's death has taken a toll because it's just a lot. If you remember my Quarantine Strength Check post from March 2020, I was surprisingly calm at the start of it all. Well, that came and went honey!
I am beyond grateful to still have my health and employment during this time, and I work hard to keep that in perspective. For some reason, these emotions and feelings of mine have been ALL over the place. My energy has feels depleted most of the time, and finding energy to consistently workout, cook, and do my hair or my make-up has dwindled. I've looked in the mirror many of times and thought, ma'am who are you right now? Basically looking like "Kayla" on the left. Notice how her upper body isn't put together, but that left Air Jordan shoe is perfection. This drawing reminded me then, and now, that it's okay to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress at the same time.
This pandemic is coming at everyone differently, and it's okay to feel your feelings, no matter how much they may trip on you. If you are feeling anxious, know that you aren't alone. I'm not sure if it's a good thing, but one thing that's brought me comfort is seeing that almost everyone seems to be struggling too whether people speak on it or not. When I scroll through social media, I can see the pain and panic in the eyes of my peers and there's something that's comforting in knowing we're all going through the struggle together, apart. When you become anxious, try to tap into what happens to make you feel that way, so you can either combat it or be better prepared when it happens again. . . and remember to breathe. Take a moment and breathe.
Whether you are having bouts of anxiety, or low-grade depression like Michelle Obama referenced in her podcast, know that it is okay to NOT be okay. Whenever you feel alone or over it, try to tap into some things that can bring you comfort whether it's your favorite movie or talking to someone in your circle of support. Continue to strive towards self-care and peace.
Art helps to bring me peace. After my mom passed away in 2016, I got one of our selfies commissioned as a painting and it provided an ounce of joy during an incredibly difficult time. Honestly, it's still difficult. Grief is one of those things that hits hard and often and I am definitely feeling it during this pandemic. In an effort to bring me more comfort during these times, I reached out to the artist this summer to see if the original drawing was still available for purchase. I lucked up and it was, so I bought it to add to my collection and seeing it each day has helped me!
I don't really have a list of tips or advice for you to aid in maneuvering through the current times, because I'm still trying to figure it out myself.
One of the reasons I wanted to start this blog was to help eradicate the idea of perfection that many bloggers portray through social media and their websites. I want to keep it real with my audience, while also maintaining a level of privacy to a certain extent. I don't want this to turn into a diary, though there is something special about sharing your story with others which helps people feel like it's okay to be human, to make mistakes, and to be lost but have the will to eventually find your way. So, there you have it, I haven't really been feeling "it" for a few months, hence mostly throwback photos on my Instagram feed, but brighter days are ahead.
Getting more sleep SHOULD help with my energy level. I keep planning to go to sleep early, but the NBA is back and it's playoff time. Sports also bring me peace, so I need to work on finding balance in that area too. I know that I WILL get back to me at some point while continuing to find my "new normal," whatever that really means these days. My lip gloss will once again pop like "Kayla" and new selfies will appear again on my Instagram profile.
However, for the time being I'm going to continue giving myself permission to feel what I feel in the moment. Let's be honest, we all have a little "Kayla" in us . . . at all times.
Take care & please stay safe!
How have you been feeling during these times? Share in the comments section below! It may help another reader to know they aren't alone.
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