Getting Off the Struggle Bus

mixed media silhouette scream

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]e were clinging to the last of our hope and positivity, collecting microtraumas like the scars on our hearts would be worth something someday.

Trading energy drinks for a good night’s sleep.

Do you know how many Rockstars™ it takes to survive a year like that? Let alone 2 years and 7 months? Neither do I. And I’m pretty happy that Nikki and I didn’t tally ‘em up, because if we had an actual number, I would likely be quite concerned for our health. However, having studied wellness and alternative medicine for the last 15 years, I’m pretty intuitively aware of what we were doing to our adrenal glands and our kidney qi (according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the kidney functions kinda like your body’s battery).

We were draining them both with our energy drink survival strategy.

I know there are probably better ways to survive hard shit, but I don’t fault either of us for the paths that we took as we trudged through our own undoing.


“Everyone’s survival looks a little bit like death sometimes.
-Andrea Gibson


The struggle is real.

Real enough that I haven’t painted anything since Not-So-Spooky-Bunny back in October of 2017.

Real enough that I haven’t really been writing, and while I have been taking some pictures… I haven’t been “making” photographs for longer than my heart cares to recall.

Real enough that I began to ponder whether or not one could wind up in some sort of emotional vegetative state from trauma. And if that were possible, what were the odds of soul death? Wikipedia states, “The chances of regaining awareness diminish considerably as the time spent in the vegetative state increases.” If this were true also of this emotional trauma/soul death theory… I was running out of time.

And what is life without soul?

So… YOLO and shit.

We bought an R.V., packed our lives inside of it, and headed home to Missouri to rediscover community and have a safe space to lick our wounds. We’ve been here more than a month now, on a beautiful 105 acre farm with two of the very best people, that just so happen to be two of our dearest friends. For the past several weeks we’ve been rediscovering life outside of fight or flight.

Bonfires and BBQ’s, poolside chats with fabulous humans, and the best damn birthday I’ve ever had, I’m beginning to feel like I’m ready to work on rediscovering the artist in me. So I guess I’m putting this out there as a promise to myself that I’m going to do the work it takes to sharpen my rusty skills, and as I journey down this path to becoming myself again I’m going to do my best to remember that even bad art is good.