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Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Is T.S. (Tinty Sun) inspired by T.S. (Taylor Swift)?

This music video was released a few months ago, but I've been waiting to bring it here!
Welcome to guard my site like protective jewels. But for real, I loved this music video.

I don't get tired of the Cinderella theme and variations of it. Especially after having had the misfortune of dealing with treacherous beings similar to those at the beginning. Loved the colorful clockwork dance, the castle with the dragons, that beautiful yellow gown with the T.S. hairpins, and basically everything in it!

If you're new here, you may not know my history of frequently posting relatable Taylor Swift stuff everywhere I go. It started with the irony of my life turning dramatic beyond what I was used to, but then it became a habit. To the point where it was as though I was often living a small-scale version of her songs. But that's one of the many things Taylor Swift excels at; she has a song for almost every kind of heartful or heartbreaking situation.

Yet, although I won't deny that I appreciate Taylor Swift's work and resonate with it, the initials (T.S.) matching is merely coincidental. I picked the name in the year 2012, maybe earlier, and noticed the match but didn't make a big deal out of it and kept it.

That said, at this point, it is fair to say that I am indeed inspired by Taylor Swift. I grew up with Britney Spear and NSync as my favorite pop artists and, ever since, haven't quite been anybody's hardcore fan (anticipating releases, following closely, getting merch, etc.). Yet, I keep coming back to Taylor Swift when something new is out. So, in this house, you may or may not stan Taylor Swift, but we certainly respect her!

Quite honestly, I'm glad that it is her who is dominating in music. I don't expect her to be Mother Teresa, but I've always applauded how she has stood for women, anti-bullying, and more. I think many people gloss over that when they decide to attack her. But it would seem that, at her core, that's who she is. Plus, she can be so quirky and modest!

On top of that, she is an extraordinary example of going against the odds and overcoming adversity. The amount of criticism and opposition she has faced is something I do not wish on anyone. Most of it is completely unmerited. With people missing the point, ignoring context, or expecting artists to cater to their every whim. Not to mention, the typical hate for whatever is popular. Makes me sigh, roll my eyes, and shake my head. But to each their own.

Personally, I've lost count of all the songs by her that have a special place in my heart. Either because they helped me through something difficult (life is easier with background music) or because they put words and melodies to cherished moments and people. Or both. They may even be gateways to points in time and space. For instance, New Romantics takes me back to something I never want to forget. And talk about castles again!

Chances are I will keep posting T.S. She'd have to descend from the heavens and tell me to stop 'cause I'm embarrassing her or something! Yet, rest assured, Swifties and whatnot, that I do it with appreciation. ♥

It Has Also Helped and/or Is Currently Helping me…

Now, for credit where credit is due.

You can tell that I’m not new at being online and dealing with online people and events (been around since mIRC days and in and out of various platforms). What I’m new at is at last having something to fully and gladly commit to for the long run and adopting video and audio for my media.

Directly and indirectly, however, some have helped the ride…

On Tumblr
Formerly known as the Hellsite, where some of the most brilliant people and some of the densest people are combined and have takes on culture and more while being unhinged. For a while, I despised the place. Though, lately, I keep fond memories.

Then, going into other platforms (like Instagram, TikTok, etc.), I feel like a Tumblr ambassador. “Oh, you’re obsessed with views and follows, who has them and getting them, no matter the cost? Understandable but unrelatable." Sorry, not sorry. And often, when I happen to do or say something reasonable, or considerate, or spirited, or even humorous, that can be traced back to it, I recognize all over again how enriching folks there have been.

Many of us are fatigued or busying ourselves with something other than internet discourse these days. But I still get nostalgic over the old days when we all actively exchanged and discussed various topics. If they ever wish to return to regular posting and come out of anonymous and/or low-key blogging, I’ll be happy to welcome them! Whether I have 20 followers or over a million. (Just shamelessly hit me up, whenever ready, and I’ll include you and properly introduce you.)

That advocate for the neurodivergent and disabled that has been with me since the very beginning, showing compassion where others wouldn’t. That witty and clever “anomalie” that feistily fought incoherences and got on the nerves of others. That super practical and blunt woman who had my back before she could even get me and that also happens to be hilarious with crass memes and more. That history & philosophy person that at first I couldn’t stand but then became the reason I have a strong backbone and can go against the odds. That environment & philosophy person that also led me to being able to speak up more against any mistreatment or disrespect. That neuroscience & sociology blog that’s still going, being informative and sober, at times sisterly with both soft and tough love. That psychology blog I read weekly for thorough and accurate insights that preserved my sanity. And that classic nerd that, in my opinion, is not so typical and is one of the most generous humans I’ve ever met. Y’all are treasured!

On YouTube
Believe it or not, I’ve been wishing to make content for YouTube for over a decade now, since I was in university studying advertising and saw it as a fun way to practice creativity and more. But knowing it would be very consuming (especially for me, having a tendency to hyperfixate), I kept putting it off until I couldn’t anymore. I may not be as enthusiastic about it as I once was, and things have changed, but I still look forward to it and everything it will lead (or even force) me to practice!

Making Content
Think Media
Sean Cannell and the Think Media team have been more helpful than I could have ever expected! I watched a ton of their videos and, although eventually stopped watching them all, continued to follow his posts on other sites. I believe he lifted my spirit more than he would imagine by being constantly encouraging and by simply being the genuinely kind person that he is. I haven’t and can’t apply all his advice and tips, so if I’m not growing, that’s on me. But I keep in mind and at heart those that are applicable to what I am trying to do.

Roberto Blake
Roberto Blake was and continues to be one of my top favorite educators there. Partly for how no-nonsense he is. And partly for how much he stands up for others despite insisting that “nobody is coming to rescue you”. I don’t know if he hasn’t noticed that he’s doing plenty of rescuing in his own way. Also, we share similar backgrounds as web designers and that drew me in to watch many of his videos too. I enjoy the Lives the most, though have missed them lately.

Sorelle Amore
Coming across Sorelle Amore was such a relief! The fact that she is both in touch with the spiritual and with the material makes her such a rare find in my view. How she seeks, embodies, and celebrates freedom on different levels as a woman is something I resonate with and find affirmation in. I cannot work a 9-5 to save my life. Call me lazy, undisciplined, or whatever. I have my reasons. It kills me. So it’s great that she provides resources for those looking to have their finances in order without necessarily going down the conventional route.

Matti Haapoja & Teppo Haapoja
Matti Haapoja and his brother were the first YouTubers I started consistently watching while trying to learn about YouTube. I eventually fell off, since it’s not like I can keep up with fancy photo and video production just yet anyway, but their enthusiasm was contagious and basically kickstarted me on this trip.

Peter Mckinnon
Peter Mckinnon’s art is so impressive that I’m almost envious. Almost. Okay, maybe I am a little (but that only means I neglected living more artistically and resent it). Still, seeing him so into it brought back magic into my life that I had lost over the years, dealing with the crude day-to-day stuff. Childlike wonder and all that. He's also often promoting other photographers to help them gain exposure and, although I'm not one, I'm glad there are still people doing this because that's how I roll too, whenever I have enough traffic.

Chris Hau & Lizzie Peirce
From the same group of friends, I wandered into their channels. Again, eventually fell off as I won’t be doing any fancy production (just my phone for now). Loved their vibes and personalities, though, and it was super interesting to see how they went about some of their projects. Plenty of valuable tips and ideas, too.

The Greats
Hard to miss. It seemed like, at one point or another, somebody would casually mention him as exemplary. MKBHD this, MKBHD that. Eventually, I gave in and checked out his channel. Then I learned more about how he came to be. I really appreciated how he stuck to what he enjoyed and had relatively slow yet sure growth. I admire that kind of devotion and perseverance. Some of the advice he gave really fit with me, too. The making things I would want to watch, especially. Which naturally moves me and is primarily what I’m trying to do, given that it would both please me and those with similar taste and interests. Yet, I’m still far from meeting my own standards. Getting there, though!

Definitely not even fantasizing about ever matching him, but he’s another one I kept hearing about and eventually checked out. He gives us mere mortals newbie advice, too. Quite frankly, even. And is on a mission to better the world. Not without controversy surrounding him. But despite whatever is in his heart, I root for him to continue with his good deeds.

Science and Culture
John Green & Hank Green
When the topics of Shorts and Revenue Sharing came up, I came across posts by Hank Green and remembered again how much I like Crash Course (and similar) and how many times it spared me from research headaches. A couple of John Green stories also happened to come out during times in my life when I deeply needed them. How thoughtful, sincere, and charitable these brothers are keeps the faith in humanity up.

Comedy (& cause)
Emo’s Not Dead
I actually first came across a video of this channel on Tumblr! It was so freakin’ amusing that I lost count of how many people I shared it to. As a former emo kid myself, yet unable to take myself too seriously, this brand of humor is medicine to me. Matt Cutshall and Arielle Vandenberg are such a phenomenal duo! Furthermore, the fact that they’re unironically bringing back Emo makes me feel less alone. No kidding.

Other Sites
Amazon and I go a long way back. But I’ll be relying on it more than ever now. What started with occasionally purchasing computer parts and accessories, to then continue with books on topics of interest, now becomes one of the main ways to completely turn my life around and at last curate the lifestyle that gives me the most peace and joy! Shopping on amazon isn’t only convenient in my case, being on a small island, it opens up many possibilities for me. It means so much and I could wax poetic about it. Some of the boxes I got but haven’t yet opened are sure to make me emotional when I do. And that’s just the shopping. Amazon is heaven-sent for people like me in other ways too. Besides helping me save time, energy, and money, it provides extra sources of income. I haven’t yet taken advantage of any of those, but they align with things I can and want to do. So, likely, in the not-so-far future, I’ll give them a try as side hustles to keep me afloat while I continue to work on my projects. Do people even realize what a lifesaver Amazon is to many of us? I heard a lot of negative things about Jeff Bezos when he became the wealthiest man in the world, but thank goodness he made Amazon and facilitated so much for small businesses and people in general.

I happened to be active on Twitter when Elon Musk decided to buy it. And sort of kept up with the ordeal. Been suspicious and skeptical of his motives and intentions since day one. But, hey, he’s gotten so far already, would he really let himself go down in history as the bad guy? That’d make no sense and would be such a waste. So I’m not too concerned. It would seem that he is indeed open to discussing matters and issues, serving truth, and can be held accountable in that regard. I’m not sure exactly why he chose to deal with that mess, but someone’s gotta do it - and he’s powerful enough for the job. “Political correctness” did get too far, in my opinion, and was becoming asphyxiating and sickening. I, too, care for freedom of speech. Freedom of thought and freedom of expression included. So him fighting for that benefits me as well. Also, just being his weird self gives people breathing room. Furthermore, in the process, I noticed the doge account he usually interacts with. That Shibetoshi Nakamoto is delightful! Elon Musk is fortunate to have him around. Quite conscientious yet pretty laid-back. More ease throughout it all.

Last, but not least, Unity, precious, I can’t wait to build worlds and universes with you. For many, many, many years to come. And what a wonderful and solidary community you have! Makes me feel at home. I still mourn and miss Flash days, but I’m ready for designing and developing more elaborate and sophisticated games and apps. Thank you for accommodating newbies along with more advanced users.

And this is basically what is at the foundation of where I’m heading. There is more to include but this was particularly prominent for me. The list, however, will grow with time…

Family & Friends’ Support

Speaking of pursuing, I’m about to officially begin a new cycle of my life, one in which I embark on taking on more challenges and getting closer to my dreams. And although it may seem insignificant on the outside, it is actually one of the best things to ever happen to me and I rejoice in that fact.

I honestly would not have made it to this point without the support of my family (by birth and chosen) and my friends (in person and online). And I’m not ashamed to admit that! In the past, I was the type to be proud of accomplishing goals without anybody’s help, but that burnt me out and I realized that it’s not how I wish to live. Today, I feel fortunate beyond words to be able to count and rely on people that care about and for me - which I cherish. Not only does it help in what they personally do and give in contribution, but also in fueling me to continue to be kind throughout it all even when I am tempted to turn cynical and give up.

You all know who you are (if you read this). You would also know that you can, likewise, count and rely on me for anything I can contribute. This is a period of my life in which I am mostly filling my cup rather than pouring from it, but your generosity will not be forgotten and I look forward to when I can give back as much or more.

I have been given a safe and comfortable space to stay in while I study and work. Monetary donations that brought me much relief and wiggle room. Paid classes, courses, and books relevant to my interests. Electronics that make possible and facilitate my tasks (wider monitor, tablets, phones, microphones, headphones, etc.). Instructions and assistance in setting up, enhancing, and fixing things. As well as other priceless gestures such as being there for me when I am down and bringing me back up.

I honor all of this and am deeply grateful for it! So I get especially mad at myself (and at others) when I am distracted or delayed for no good reason. Regardless, I also have to thank them for their patience while I pulled myself out of a dark place and took my time figuring stuff out. For believing in me despite it all. This has allowed me to focus on my long-term plans and finally stop putting off what I wish for the most.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

The Costs & Rewards of Pursuing Art

Whether or not you are willing to accept the trade-off of pursuing art is something to ask yourself before too long!

Art can be intriguing and fascinating. Enticing and enchanting. So meaningful and significant. It is rewarding, but it comes at a cost. At many costs, actually.

However, both the rewards and the costs are quite proportional to how much you put into it. If you’re only putting a 1% into it, then you don’t have to worry too much about costs (but don’t expect great rewards either). If you’re putting in more than 20%, though, I’d suggest paying attention to what you’re signing up for.

And no, when I say costs and rewards, I'm not referring to only those regarding fame and fortune - those aren’t guaranteed and there’s much more to it. Generally, regardless of area, art can cost and reward you in several ways. And many of these are just different sides of the same coin (i.e. you can’t have one without the other). But as you pursue art, and what it implies and entails, you will obtain capabilities, get opportunities, and increase your chances to make it through to what you set out for. Then on and on as you continue pursuing.

Pursuing art can cost you one or more of the following, depending on how far you go with it and how you go about it:
- Time & energy.
- Money spent on supplies & resources.
- Money spent on classes & courses.
- Money spent on events, works & merchandise.
- Peer approval & understanding.
- Mental & emotional simplicity & permanence.
- Ignorance & indifference.
- Complacency & conformity.
- Playing it safe.
- Steering out of hard, difficult, and unpleasant reflections and confrontations.

As for rewards:
- Impressive and bewildering knowledge & skills.
- Outlets for thoughts, feelings, sensations & more.
- Ability to materialize ideas, bringing imagination to reality.
- Making healing, empowering, and inspiring contributions to self and others.
- Alignment with your true self, your unique gifts, and your untapped potential.
- Developing and evolving views with nuance and literal or metaphorical accuracy.
- Broadened and deepened perception and comprehension.
- Spiritual awakening and advancement.
- Possibility of more than sufficient recognition and/or profits.
- Mastering your inner world.

Points on Service

 #1  Service, in numerous forms, keeps life and the world running. Our gifts, what comes easiest and best to us, are the primary way in which we can be of service and contribute. However, at times we must also be flexible and make an effort to assist in ways that are not particularly natural or abundant in us. This can be especially draining, rather than fueling, and keep you from being a bigger help, so don’t stick to it for too long and make it back soon enough.
 #2  Service to self is important and not necessarily “selfish”. It is reasonable and considerate to take care of yourself when you can. Doing so puts you in a position where you can better serve others and where others won’t have to serve you too much (e.g. if you’re self-sabotaging or self-destructive). But beware of falling into hyper-independence and closing yourself off to assistance that you are better with.

 #3  Service to others is important and not necessarily “sacrificial”. You can put a suitable limit on how much you extend yourself and provide for others. Serving a bit is still better than not serving at all. How generous you can really be without betraying yourself or resenting it is for you to figure out. But you might find that, for the right causes and the right reasons, it is both relieving to others and fulfilling to you.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Artist: Visionary, Crafter, Performer, or Director?

Do you fit the profile of an artist? What even is that anyway?

Typically, when we don’t know any better, we form narrow and closed views about what makes someone an artistic person meant to become a great artist. We might go to the concept, often portrayed in fiction, of the extremely artsy person that is impulsive, uninhibited, emotional, and so forth, but that is only one way to get to art.

I’ve come across people concerned that they were never going to get far with art because they didn’t have these traits, that they were never going to be artsy enough because they were more logical or calculated or restrained. At one point, I was concerned, too. However, art can be tackled through different approaches and still turn out outstanding. In fact, there must be different approaches to it or much would never be done. Whether these traits are possessed or not is not completely indicative of the quality of the art.

The way I view it, there are 4 main categories in which you can fall to as an artist (or person involved in the arts): Visionary, crafter, performer, and director. You can be in one or more of these to different degrees, with more aptitude for some than others or in some kind of balance. You may be able to be more than one (though still choose a focus or switch between them) or be so clearly into only one that delegating the rest isn’t even a question.

Imaginative and transcendent. Often revolutionary. This is where novel ideas are born. It isn’t about following trends, but about foreseeing them or setting them. Visionary folks might be ahead of their time, their notions overlooked if not downright rejected or even mocked by their short-sighted peers. But they have a knack for spotting potential and figuring what things could become beforehand, before much or any proof is available. If they have faith and get their timing right, they can make a difference.

Dedicated and resourceful. Often meticulous. This is where skilled works are shaped. With time, effort, and attention to detail, possibly immersed in the pursuit of perfection (or at least something close to it). Crafters are in their own bubble during the process, pleased to tune out from everything else while they are at it. The result matters, but also how they get there. Whatever medium they use and whether they are more industrious than sentimental about it, what they produce becomes their signature. Hence, they strive to meet high standards.

Engaging and impressive. Often charismatic. This is where splendid proficiencies are shown. There is more than meets the eye, however. They can make the difficult seem easy for how graceful they are at it. Unknown to most what amount of preparation went into it, how many times they got it wrong until they got it right, and how much practice it took to not only get it right, but be unlikely to get it wrong. It may be talent but chances are an admirable level of discipline is behind it too. 

Communicative and decisive. Often strategic. This is where complementary contributions are assembled. The director is there to guide and correct, encouraging and pushing people toward accomplishing the common goal, which is to make something bigger than its parts. They have the overview and at least a bit from everyone else’s point of view. Strict yet accommodating, and something of an outsider, they leave the spotlight to others but their role in making everything come together is essential for the extraordinary. 

Points on Relationships

 #1  “Forgive and forget” doesn’t always work for the better and is often a tool for abusers to continue their abuse. “Forgive but NOT forget” would, despite not being as freeing as the former, be more sensible in a world like ours. You can release the weight of the negative emotions that misdeeds caused in you but remember them so that you can treat them as data that may or may not be relevant in given situations.

 #2  “You attract who you are” but you also attract those who benefit from who you are regardless. If you’ve been attracting terrible people, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are the same as them (and it might be a stretch to find anything in common with them). These people are not rare. However, you can certainly repel quality people if you’re terrible and attract more terrible ones. So, keep working on who you are as a person. 

 #3  “High maintenance” is a term favored by low-effort people, those unwilling to invest much in relationships. It is okay to prefer light and casual relationships, but it becomes a problem when this preference bias casts judgment on more intense and/or devoted relationships as though they are universally too much and should cease to exist. If within reason, you give much in relationships, you deserve someone who also gives that much (whether it comes in the same or other forms). 

 #4  Having standards is a prudent filtering tactic. You may need to revise them so that they are well founded on what you truly need and want, but you don’t have to lower them just because somebody demands you do. However, be aware that the more and the higher they are, the fewer people will meet them and you might find yourself alone for who knows how long. Which would be fine if you’re fine with solitude.  

 #5  Setting boundaries is a sane preserving tactic. They may be hurtful and feel like rejection, but you don’t always have to set them in a cruel or harsh way. If the other person is someone you care for, take a moment to explain to them why these boundaries are important to you or the relationship and consider alternatives if they will serve better. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Relationship Hints

As part of the Relationship Hints Series, here are this year’s relationship hints:

• If your friend genuinely likes a person and is treating them well in the pursuit of their affection, you’re a lousy friend at best if you compete for them despite not even having stronger feelings for them.

• If you are in a committed relationship (married, engaged, or partnered) and experience attraction to somebody else, it doesn’t automatically mean that you’re morally lacking. Sometimes we’re in relationships that are not the best for us or that have died out and sometimes we mistake chemistry that could be pointing to a different kind of relationship as something romantic. But you should still strive to act responsibly.

• Racism and classism are stupid and lame, pathetic even, but you’re entitled to have preferences. However, if you’re inclined to look down on others because of race or class despite being attracted to them, better keep it to yourself, leave them alone, and not come close assuming that they should chase you and convince you of their worth.

• Clear communication is indeed key. Even the most intuitive and empathic people aren’t absolute psychics. Learn to communicate properly.

• If you have to run matters through a congress each time you must make a decision, even if it is a personal one or one involving only you and another person, you should work on your character.

• See people for who they really are in the moment and for who they could authentically become by your side and/or with your support. Not as how you wish they will be for you.

• Your looks, wealth, and popularity don’t mean much, if anything, to someone who can love truly. They will, however, mean everything to fair-weather "friends" and social climbers.

• If you’re looking for an exact reflection of yourself, you’ll be missing out on personal growth and you might need to check your ego.

• If you refuse to be of help to others out of fear that they will only like you for that, what are you bringing of value to the relationship? The privilege of your acceptance and presence?

• Putting others down and throwing mud at them won’t make you shine brighter.

Relationship Hints Series

I’m normally reluctant to give out relationship advice because relationships are complex, delicate, and unique. And the advice may not be applicable to a person’s specific situation, which I wouldn’t know all the details of. Plus, there are too many F-ers around ready to falsely and/or superficially utilize relationship advice for their own selfish benefit and I’d rather not facilitate matters to them.

However, we’ve reached a point in time where legitimate, positive, and constructive values and principles are lost under all the noise made by those that do not understand nor appreciate love, but believe themselves in a position to dictate how to go about relationships. And I want to begin contributing to counteracting that.

This will be a series of articles, releasing one or more each year, on February 15th, after the day that celebrates love. For, as you may know, it is the basis for relationships, though not necessarily of the romantic kind. I’ve chosen this date to not interrupt the anticipation and eagerness prior to the day with any harsh or crude truths I may deliver. But even then, you are not obligated to read. This is for people who prefer to go into relationships without any illusions even if it is painful when they are shattered.

The article you can expect every year will be called Relationship Hints and, depending on what happens that year, I may or may not include additional ones for the date with a different structure. I’ll call it that to emphasize that they are mere clues, in no particular order, and it is still up to you and your own judgment to figure out where, when, and how to implement them. And you’re also welcome to think of and share more!

With all this said, let’s begin:
• 2023 // Relationship Hints

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Is Art for You?

Maybe you’re more fated for art than you currently believe. Or maybe not?

There’s this myth surrounding art, that only those rare few showing to be outstandingly gifted at an early age are meant for art and justified in pursuing it as, otherwise, it would be a waste of potential. But the path of art doesn’t have to be so all-or-nothing. Furthermore, being born a “prodigy” isn’t the only thing that determines competence and success (in fact, prodigies frequently fall off).

Many, many artists will tell you that, as they developed, they often heard “you’re so talented” or some variation of this from others. Meant as a sincere compliment but one that didn’t always land so well (you’re safer complimenting their art in terms of what you appreciate about it instead until or unless they respond to the intention behind it and bypass the rest). Because talent is only a fraction of what got them where they are and it would be inaccurate and dismissive to attribute all the work to talent. Some may not even consider themselves talented but they devoted and committed themselves so much to art that they eventually caught up and passed as such.

So if I were to pick a quality to determine whether or not art is for someone, it wouldn’t be talent. It would be Interest. How interested are you in absorbing, comprehending, producing, and polishing art? If you are strongly and actively drawn to this, it is worth at least considering. As a main career, as a side activity, or anything in between.

Artistic talent gives you a headstart and speeds you up, but an art interest moves you and keeps you going. Then, from devotion and commitment to learning and practicing, you gain artistic knowledge and skills. Which increases your chances of achieving results with your art that go beyond the satisfaction and fulfillment of making it. Although there’s nothing wrong in making art for the love of art either. Especially if you have the resources, which is another matter.

You can see it like this. If you have one or more of the three (talent, interest, resources), art is at least a bit for you. And if you have all three, it’d make no sense for you to completely ignore it. The overlaps between just two could also tell you something about where you stand with it. But again, I’d deem interest as the most important factor.

It can also be seen within the spectrum of artistic inclination. Some of us just happen to be more inclined toward art than others. And if we were fortunate, were also able to dedicate our lives to it. Regardless, art remains a human need inherent to most. How much is enough to sate you would then be a relevant question. One that would lead you into identifying how invested you can or should be in it.

In any case, alike other fields, there are different roles for artists to take and different levels in them. You might have to explore and experiment before finding what best suits you. Maybe it is in literature, music, or painting. Maybe it is in the culinary arts. Or it spills and spreads onto almost everything you do. Maybe you’re the poem and not the poet, or maybe you’re both.

Points on Attachment Styles

There are four styles in the Attachment Styles model. The combination of traits and patterns of behavior manifesting in regard to relationships. Influenced by upbringing and conditioning. But not forever established. And then there's the quality of being detached.

 #1  The Secure Attachment style is one to aspire toward. Characterized by not taking things too personally, not jumping to conclusions, having reasonable expectations, setting sensible boundaries, practicing proper communication, willingness to sort out problems, and gracefulness in letting go if it can’t or shouldn’t be helped. People with this style feel genuinely safe and comfortable to be around, although some may call them boring and lacking in spice.

 #2  The Anxious Attachment style is one to heal from. Characterized by fear of rejection and fear of abandonment, reading too much into words and actions and misinterpreting them for the worst, constant worries and concerns, becoming controlling if extreme, and more that is the result of inner torment and turmoil. People with this style require patience and reassurance that will lead them to regain their confidence, although some may find them irritating and not worth the trouble.

 #3  The Avoidant Attachment style is one to grow out of. Characterized by trust issues, neglect and denial of emotions, keeping it casual and distant, being closed off and guarded, perceiving or assuming others to be too invasive and demanding even when that is not the case, choosing what is most convenient to them, and so on that they believe will protect them. People with this style will change only if they wish to and that should be respected unless they are harming others with their carelessness, although some may futilely attempt to fix them regardless.

 #4  The Disorganized Attachment style is one to sort through. Characterized by mixed, contradictory, and conflicting behaviors, indecisiveness and cluelessness about true desires, moodiness and volatility, push and pull, and ups and downs, getting self and others tangled in an unclear mess. People with this style can be unpredictable and dramatic along with frustrating, although some may develop an addiction to them.

 #5  But what about Detachment? Being detached is neutral and inconsequential by itself - unless there is indeed an obligation to be more than that for someone. It is a state that is advisable if you seek to have a higher, objective, and impartial view of matters and make decisions accordingly. People who are detached come across as aloof or even cold and cruel, although some may be fine with them being that way. (And it depends on how far it is taken.)

Sunday, February 5, 2023

What is Art?

One of the first questions one would ask themselves when getting into art would be what is art. But there seem to be so many different answers to that.

Definitions for art abound. In the dictionary, in encyclopedias, in textbooks, and as takes, from artists, art enthusiasts, and art critics. They may be contradictory or appear to be so. That’s because art is not something simple to define. It can even take philosophizing to do so.

When defining art, it can be looked at objectively or subjectively. When you view it objectively, you essentially look for attributes that can be valued and measured externally in the external realm. Such as how it relates and compares to other things around it or even how it influences them. When you view it subjectively, you essentially look for how you, personally, value and measure it internally in your internal realm. What meaning and significance it has to you or how it holds up to your own taste and preference. Neither way is wrong. They are merely different dimensions that aren’t necessarily separate.

Typically, though, there are standards to be met before calling something “art”. And these can be anywhere from quite strict to quite loose. But basically, these standards can be in regards to skill mastery (where it must show dedication and genius), genuine involvement (where it must serve as expression and transformation), cultural impact (where it must address and affect important matters), and by sales and recognition (where it counts how demanded and acclaimed by people it is). I happen to lean the most into the genuine involvement category and the least toward sales and recognition, but that’s just me and there is undeniable merit in all of these.

Here is how I like to define art, with a more widely encompassing definition: “Art is both the means by which life is manifested or portrayed and what results from it, through the individual or collective use of knowledge, ability, tools and/or other resources, regardless of technique and style.” And 'life' here, also being widely encompassing and referring to anything in life or coming to life.

But there are other ways to see it that I also appreciate.
For example, here are three of my favorite celebrated quotes about what art is:

• “Art is the lie that enables us to see the truth.”
• “Art is the bond between the material and the spiritual.” 
• “Art is the signature of civilizations.”

So, do you make art?

Points on Love Languages

There are five languages in the Love Language model. Each is a way to give and receive, as well as interpret love. Whether from others or from yourself. No shame in that! You may require it to be well. There may be an inclination to some more than to others, but this may also vary according to circumstances.

 #1  Words of Affirmation refers to encouraging, reassuring, validating, approving, venerating and other kinds of positive and constructive words directed at the person. It becomes particularly significant when you’re unsure and insecure about yourself, what you’re being or doing, and whether it is fine or not.

 #2  Quality Time refers to time spent in a manner that is comfortable, pleasant, enjoyable, memorable, or even ideal for the person. It becomes particularly significant when you’ve been through harsh, stressful, and overwhelming times.

 #3  Acts of Service refers to actions that serve, especially for the better. They could be chores, errands, work, or any type of assistance that will ease or facilitate matters for the person. It becomes particularly significant when carrying a heavy load or taking on a large project.

 #4  Gift Giving refers to giving in a tangible or concrete form. Anything from small gestures to over-the-top luxury items, depending on what is suitable and shows consideration for the person’s needs and wants. It becomes particularly significant when on a tight budget or past due for a treat.

 #5  Physical Touch refers to physical closeness and sensation (not necessarily sexual or romantic). Hugs, kisses, hand-holding, massages, pressure, and more that is consented and welcomed by the person. It becomes particularly significant when lonely, disconnected, or tense.