The break

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You may or may not have noticed that its all gone a little bit quiet round these parts. Well let me explain why that is.
A few weeks ago I had my latest round of treatment which has left me very tired and weak and in a bit of a daze really. The summer has also started bringing with it the sweltering heat. In general I have just felt a bit BLEURGH. I am struggling and its not been easy.

I have been thinking a lot lately about taking the time to step back, cure, get better and breathe. Maybe it is something instilled in me from childhood, that summers are the time to rest and relax and enjoy ones self. I haven’t been able to do much of that (Primavera SOB!). However my head hasn’t been in a great place and I just wanted to retreat a little to gather my thoughts and get back on my feet a little bit. I am still kind of in the hole but am beginning to learn how to turn down the volume a little on the should do/want to/can do thoughts. By that I mean not forcing myself, doing things at my pace and relearning my limits and knowing its ok just to live a little. Everything goes in peaks and troughs. Especially my disease, in fact I think that more than anything else, this disease has taught me that. Patience and listening and taking the time to stop and breathe and its ok if you can’t balance everything in the air. That it is ok to do things little by little and not try and balance everything for it all to come crashing down.

Here are some of my tips to live a little slower and self care a little more:

Take time out:
You are not always missing out, things do not always have to be done in that moment and you don’t always have to follow your dreams. Baths, walks, sitting, reading and just doing nothing at all are ok. I think there is a lot of pressure on instagram and other social media to be the best person we can be and do live the dream etc. However all these memes don’t really account for things like illness, lack of money and other circumstances. Learning to disconnect and take a step back is amazing and its in these moments we can really appreciate and take stock. So taking time out to breathe and just be your rather than having to be the person you think you have to be is bloody nice.

Disconnect from things:
I am currently taking part in a draw everyday project. I got a bit fatigued by it and the pressure of having to come up with something everyday took its toll, I was even fretting about it whilst being plugged in receiving treatment. It also took on a life of its own where I would find myself constantly checking for likes and followers and others feeds and comparing myself to others. So I took a step back and some time off to realign and realise why I decided to do this project. It was also nice to step back from that constant comparison and need to be validated by likes and followers. I found I was really stuck (I am still a bit) and wasn’t allowing myself to really heal. It’s also moments that I don’t want to share and I wanted to just rest and be private and feel like it is ok to recover without the need to record it all. Try to minimise the amount of aimless scrolling and phone time. Try to switch off and be a little more present.

Not everything happens at once:
I want to do everything and I want to do it NOW. I want my work to be an immediate success (and the fact it has not been makes me feel like a failure or I am not as good as the next). I want to try and do too many things that I end up doing nothing at all. I also need to realise my limits and still need to learn that living with this disease means I have a VERY limited amount of resources that I can give to things and sometimes its actually enough just to get better and fight this thing that I have. Also I have a million and one ideas and I always seem to talk the talk and not walk the walk as it were. I need to focus, prioritise and be super realistic about what I can actually achieve. So why not pick the things that bring me the most joy and try just to do one little thing a day?

Don’t expect the world:
So the same as my above point really, but steady and slow wins the race and at some point hard work should pay off. I went in expecting everything to happen and gave my self a lot of pressure of being something and someone and making it into this super successful thing, which it will be. However this isn’t going to happen over night and thats ok, it doesn’t equal failure. Its great to have goals and things but when you find these goals are tripping you up maybe its time to let go and readjust them a little. Little bite sized manageable pieces rather than massive chunks that weigh you down.

You can only do as much as you can manage:
This rings so true for me. I want to do everything and have this amazing instagram/pinterest/perfect action packed life where I am super successful at churning out amazing products and running a successful illustration business whilst being a good friend/girlfriend/sister/daughter etc. Also throw in a debilitating disease and treatment and frequent trips to the hospital. Realising that some days I am just simply managing trying to be well and better and that is quite enough. I know this sounds defeatist but it isn’t, it is about realising reality and working with that and taking a step forward to embracing and being realistic with myself.

Turn down the volume:
I have been thinking a lot about this recently. I am my own worse enemy. I over think and over do and over repeat and that little horrible voice in my head that tells me I am not worth it/ there is someone better/ I am a failure because I got sick/ I am guilty because of this and that etc/ I am so boring /my illustrations are shit etc. Its all silly, why does this negative voice speak and ring much louder than the positive one? I have been slowly learning to turn it down a bit by imagining a literal switch in my brain and tuning it ever so slightly. I try and distract myself when I notice the volume is really loud by reading/ breathing and just by doing something else. Also trying to catch myself before these thoughts weed their way in. Being tough with ones self and saying NO! Also no one judges or cares about the things you over analyse as much as you think they do.

Asking for help:
Its ok to ask for help. Help doesn’t equal failure. Its ok to let it in and be a bit selfish once in a while. Borja’s mum has come with me to the hospital and has sat in the waiting room for hours whilst I get my treatment and knowing that emotional support is there has been so good. In the past I have always gone alone and felt it was something that I had to deal with alone. Mainly because I didn’t want a fuss and also because I didn’t want to be accused of being a hypochondriac and it being all about the other person and them not getting it. I have always felt like it is my problem and just dealt with it. However it is nice to be looked after.

Everything is a work in progress:
Realising that we are always learning and making mistakes and evolving and nothing has to be perfect. Taking a step back to think about how we can improve and then experiment. Nothing is perfect.

 

So these are the things that I am slowly realising and writing it all here has been good as its good to get it all down and out and onto paper as it were. It serves as  a future reminder to myself that having a break and letting go a little actually can be a lot more productive in the end.

 

 

Snail mail #2

Last week I was feeling so very down in the dumps. Everything was getting  on top of me and I was feeling lonely and missing my friends terribly. When this package arrived it really brightened my mood so so much. For this was a care package and a half. I have written on this blog about my love of snail mail before. It really is the best thing ever to receive a package in the post. Full of treats and nice things, the best part about it? The person/people who have taken their time and resources in putting it together to make you feel better /happier and to let you know they are thinking of you and care. Thats the best bit for me and really made my week/month! Oh and lets just talk about the contents of the magic box shall we?

DSCF8315DSCF8308Camille’s MAGIC lettering, even the address was pretty!

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There were many a treat for us all, including this doggy one for Came. He sniffed it out and said “Woof thanks Baku woof”.DSCF8328DSCF8334 DSCF8338DSCF8332
Loved my little bag of treats, Camille knows me so well! Perfect gold HAY scissors perfect for my paper cutting illustrations as well as a doughnut (yum) sticker and a wowee pin that went straight on my jacket! LOVE them all!DSCF8339DSCF8342
Also lets just talk about the treats shall we? TWIGLETS! FLAKES! MINSTRELS! English treats don’t last long in this house, they are like gold dust. Thanks guys, you know the way to my heart!

AND lastly but by no means least, THE BEST BITS:
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Camille and Blake are both awesome artists, Camille is a lettering extraordinaire and I want to live inside Blake’s weird world for a bit with his amazing creatures! You can find their work here & here. SO much love for you guys, currently constructing a reply parcel. We all really miss you guys terribly, its not the same without you here and our pizza dates and hang outs. Come and visit soon xxx

My week in photos 17


Good things:

This week started by going to “the top”, whilst Borja runs I sit and watch the view with this chap. IMG_4285

A few new updates to my shop, some new things added.IMG_4288 IMG_4289

Daily life things like spaghetti and comfy patterns.IMG_4301 IMG_4306

Sketchbooking some idea’s. More on this in another post 😉IMG_4316IMG_4327

Felt very lonely and a bit lost this week. My remedy for that is to get my self out of the flat for a walk and an adventure. I need to listen to the warning signs and listen to when things get too much and get out and distract myself.

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A giant massive 8 kilo tortilla de patatas at my neighbours birthday party (convenient social events next door means I can see people and literally go straight to bed!).IMG_4334

This baby boys sleeping smile <3IMG_4272

Walking around Poblenou (love it here).DSCF8379DSCF3900
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Not much to say about this week that isn’t a repeat of last week and the week before that and so on. The treatment has left me really knocked out with very swollen glands and a very swollen knee. I have barely left the house. I did venture out around my barrio of Poblenou though and snapped a few of my favourite bits.
Next week I have the second round of treatment so I am expecting much of the same then. Heres to naps, sleep, comfy beds, puppy hugs and good books.

See you next week xx

What Sarie wore/ capsule no 5

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DSCF8283 DSCF8273 DSCF8265 DSCF8266 DSCF8270DSCF8284 DSCF8292 DSCF8290Jacket – Monki / Enamel bird pin – Gift from friend / Blouse – Monki / Jeans – Monki / Shoes – Clarks / Super cute pup – Models own.

So a quick outfit post on the roof terrace. What a difference it makes to ones mood to slap on a bit of makeup and play dress up in ones favourite clothes (which all happen to be from Monki- oops!). I love my silver disco dancing shoes (even though they are scuffed- sad face). They make me feel like dancing…even if I can’t. This outfit is my feel better and face the world (well the seagulls on my roof terrace). Also there is nothing better than being interrupted mid photo session by your pup who wants a stroke/thinks you are a bit of a weirdo for standing in weird uncomfy positions ha!

My week in photos/ notes from this week 16

Well if this wasn’t the week that never was I don’t know what would be. That sentence made sense in my jumbled thought ridden brain.
This was the week that was AKA Treatment week Cycle 2. AKA the week that almost did me in mentally and physically. I recorded my treatment day on snapchat (hello- addicted much?) and that was basically it. I didn’t venture outside in all the week. Felt like I had literally had a tonne of bricks fall on me and was in All.The.Pain.
ALSO would a liken it to having the worse flu that ever existed. What hasn’t helped is the fact my knee has swollen up. Which it shouldn’t, thats why I had the operation. My hands also.
So this week has been a blur mainly spent sleeping (can’t literally physically lift my body up before 12). I know that sounds LAZY. I feel lazy and lethargic. I feel guilty and crap and just not good enough at LIFE. Then I remember fuck that, my body was pumped full of all sorts of drugs plus the normal daily intake and I am currently fighting this beast of a disease that despite all the doctors best efforts just won’t calm the fuck down (there really is a lack of a better phrase for it). So yes, pain and my bodies immune system being forced to be more crap (thanks chemo) makes me one tired lass. I must keep reminding myself that, might get it as a tattoo. Not to force myself. To take time, to heal, not to compare to others, to realise that I am doing the best bloody job actually. All things considered (always all things considered). I deserve a bloody medal or something with coping with shit. I deserve a medal for brushing my teeth, getting dressed, making lunch and doing all those small mundane things that you normally take for granted. Those minute things that make me feel like I am literally climbing the biggest mountain at the highest altitude and can’t breathe. Those things are too much on weeks like this week. I went to the supermarket yesterday, highlight of the week innit. It literally did me in. I then watched eurovision on my sofa like an over excited child. Has my life actually come to this? Chronic disease brings on all sorts of bad feels. Like guilt and the feeling you are never enough or can never do enough. How does one break this cycle of feeling like that?
This week saw me start a project on trying to put all of this into some sort of cathartic, tangible form. For me that is through drawing and art. I hope at the end it will be good. I need to get printing stuff. I need to release all of this. I also need to remember I am doing it for me.

So the week that never was, I survived it (just…kicking and screaming if I had the energy). Medal please!

 

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BTW I added some originals to my shop, so if anyone fancies supporting me through this it will muchly appreciated (especially as not earning a great deal- the spanish SS is not that great yannow): SHOP SHOP SHOP.

 

What sarie wore- capsule #4

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Jacket – Vintage / Shirt – Pull & Bear (a few years ago) / Dress- Monki / Boots – Dr Martens.

This was taken a week or so back, and its one of my very favourite outfits. One that makes me really feel like me. I love the colours and the fact that this dress can be worn in so many different ways. These boots are still going strong and I love them dearly and are as comfortable (well nearly) as my trainers. Perfect outfit for exploring on a grey Barcelona day.

A week in photos / Notes from this week 15

Well this week. Not much to say apart from the fact that I have been under such a big black cloud this week battling ugly thoughts, anxiety, illness and other goings on. This has made me feel quite lonely and isolated. So there. Thats all I am going to say on here as I don’t want this blog to be a weekly moan.

There has been some shining lights through the black clouds though. Like having the time to catch up on my Lost girls series and experimenting with different materials etc. Also Saturdays quick outing, to the print studio in Gracia to see a friends work (it was great). Through all this I have realised that I am motivated and a fighter, even if I don’t feel like one. Despite everything I keep going and I am doing well. So yes.

Next week will be treatment week, so a quiet hospital recovering one. Its probably what is needed. I also need to see my family, so will have to arrange that happening.

This weeks glimpses of light (light chasing all the time atm):
1. This message from last week really rings true this week. I should get these as tattoo’s just to remind my self (a la Casey Neistat’s “DO MORE” tatt).IMG_3992IMG_3995

2. My lost girls. I love drawing them and seeing their different characters and stories come to life. I often feel like a lost girl with a lot of stories so I guess this translates into my drawings. I have really enjoyed this week, and working on the tiny postcard size drawings. They will be for sale in my shop next week and through instagram. Watch out for them. IMG_4104 IMG_4097 IMG_4072IMG_4063 IMG_4062 IMG_4058 IMG_4054 IMG_4051 IMG_4050 IMG_4046 IMG_4001 IMG_4034 IMG_4031 IMG_4036

3. Spotting the little tiny details in life.DSCF8017 DSCF8015 DSCF8002 DSCF8019 DSCF8018 DSCF8039 DSCF8072

4. Spontanious adventures and stumbling across good things like Els Gegants.DSCF8026 DSCF8034 DSCF8036 DSCF8037

5. Gracia’s streets and getting lost in them.DSCF8006 DSCF8079 DSCF8099 DSCF8096

6. Random nice/funny things.DSCF8102 DSCF8108 IMG_4040

7. Rainy Barcelona is the best. Its been raining ALL weekend and its been GLORIOUS!DSCF8008

8. Inspiring places and people (even if it was so very crowded).
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9. Watching these naughty birds squawk from my balcony.
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THE END, see you next week 🙂