Personal Life Story: Friendships
This blog will be in diary format as this is a personal post and less business related—but it is in a way. You will see. It will be straight from my thoughts and perhaps not organized into a well thought out piece of writing. I’m just going to lay out a whole lot about me in a few ‘pages’. Maybe this is unprofessional to post on my website but its happening!
When I was young, living in a small town, I felt very alone and I kept journals about being a teenager. Stories of young love and dreams and also the horrors of childhood? Bullies, mean kids, and people i could never relate to. I was teased from grade 2 on. In high school i kept to myself as the quiet kid and never partied like the others. I had a small circle of friends very much like I do now.
I wrote in journals day after day. I expressed myself openly to the blank pages of the book and wrote my life as I saw it. In those days, I never imagined I’d own an art gallery or even be an artist. My mom always knew me as a creative while my dad, who didn’t raise me, claimed to never see me create art. I was creative with everything: pots and pans, melting crayons on a lamp to make a mountain out of crayons, sand castles at the beach. I was inventing and creating around the clock with forts and cars made out of cardboard. I always knew I’d be a hard worker. I always knew that I would put work ahead of my own health, friends and family. This is a problem. I know this but I can’t stop it. Supporting my artist community and surviving in this world is absolutely necessary and one of my biggest priorities. I turn 40 this year (2019) and 39 has been a giant leap in trying to focus on my health and my art.
My art voice, is the only voice that strongly speaks the truth of my feelings. I see myself in my paintings, I feel the energy of happiness or sadness or confusion. There are also the pieces I enjoy creating. As an intuitive painter, i never have a plan but once i start ‘seeing it’, i keep going in that direction until i know every inch of the painting is the way that I want it to be viewed. Perceptions of my works have been mixed by viewers. I think i like that about my works, you see what you see and I see what I see and I also know what i know! I like to make people think. I don’t want my art to give all the answers but I want the viewer to ponder what it might be. My intent is there but it might not translate. My art listens to me the most and that’s how I pull through my hardest days.
I don’t have anyone else to speak to about how i feel, without judgment or opinions. I know when I post this, people will say, “we can chat about anything at anytime, my door is always open” which is great but i also have a hard time trusting people with the info that i share. In the position I am in, I’m not supposed to let anyone know about the hard days, only the great, wonderful and positive days? I’m kind of tired of that bullshit that I see with other people. I prefer the real and genuine posts on social media. I’ve spent the last few days being quiet on my personal Facebook account. I can only imagine how many unfollowers I’ve had on my account or people who are just there to watch from the side lines. I wish more people interacted with me on a personal level. Sometimes I feel so alien in this life. I spend too much time alone.
The journals I wrote were lost to a BFI bin in 2006 when I moved homes too many times to count. I was tired of hauling around the old Jordan, which is still very much the same Jordan. It was clutter in my life that only made me sad when i flipped through the pages that were once written. Flash backs of childhood. I made people believe that I was always okay that everything was normal but really, back then I had no real friends no matter how much I tried to be a friend. I have made attempts in my life, however, it seems that I prefer time working or time alone. There are some exceptions for certain people in my life. When I was a teenager, i loved hanging out with my parents and their friends at parties. I loved grown up chat even if I didn’t understand it. Perhaps I was just beyond my years? Diabetes at a young age made me grow up incredibly fast. These days I can’t help but explain that introversion after work is my thing. I need recovery time. I also still connect more with those who are ten to thirty years older than I am.
My partner in life doesn’t like to talk. He keeps everything bottled in. I can’t be like that. I need to say what I need to say. I can scream it only so loud when I am alone in my mind. Maybe nobody will be listening or reading and that is okay. The internet is always watching and keeping tabs on us anyway.
My mind is full and although I know a lot of people in this world, I feel like I don’t have the connections of people that I wish I had on a more personal level. Friendships, yeah, i have those. It just seems that everyone, including myself, is far to busy to really stop and listen and focus on each other as we are. So Internet, maybe you will listen? And just maybe, you will give me some answers or the universe will just kind of spin in its lovely horseshoe felt ways and start to make the cup a little fuller again?
My life these days is really full of work, stress, diabetes management, carbohydrate counting, infusion sets, continuous glucose monitors, financial management, portfolio management, and earlier this year, an unfortunate incident of identity theft which keeps me a bit stressed every day. Hard to learn to trust what is happening around us when its so easy for someone to steal who you are?
In terms of living with diabetes and diabetes management. I’ve been setting aside time each day to learn how to properly manage my diabetes. At age 40 (its coming up fast) I don’t want to feel sick like I did all the way through my 30s. I dreamed about buying an insulin pump since the late ’90s. With the passing of my grandma last year, when the money came my way I was able to ‘afford it’: in theory. I bought the machine and I’m hooked up to it for as long as I can manage. Its a game changer for me. I know it is. With every moment of my day, if I am having a good day, I really feel a difference. Feeling better means more time to focus on my art. Along this journey I’ve made a new friend with my nurse who actually cares about how i feel. Its refreshing to have someone in the medical field who really wants to help me be a stronger person. My doctor, although I’ve been with him for a long time wasn’t encouraging like she is. I’m in good hands.
One aspect of living with diabetes that people don’t understand is it isn’t easy to maintain and feel wonderful every day. In fact, self care is a huge part of survival. Until I started to speak out about my condition I don’t think many people understood what I was going through. I never know if today will be a good day or a bad day living with illness. Its hard to plan a social life when i just don’t feel well.
Recently people have said I shouldn’t put so much out on social media. Why? Because people don’t need to know everything about me. Let’s just say I don’t put it all out there. A lot of who I am hides very much on the inside. I maintain a private life and I maintain my own private moments in my life. There are definitely stories that i am not comfortable sharing with the world. And even some that are not my stories to share but affect me on a daily basis. At the same time I wish I could share more because everyone would understand me a little better. There have been so many occasions where i begun writing a personal post and quickly erased it. You wouldn’t believe half of what I could say, if I said it. Perhaps people would think i was exaggerating. I’m pretty real. And I’m not going to pretend that everything is ok when it really isn’t. One thing I’ve learned is lying to yourself is also lying to others. I live my truth so I will share about my truth.
It feels like the art I want to make has been on the back burner for the past few years while I manage a few stressful situations in my personal life. This year I’ve been trying to carve out more time but that also means I can’t find the time to spend with people either. Friendship is hard. Life is hard too.
I guess I better get back to my art now.
Do you follow me on Instagram? You can do so here:
This is where i share the most about my art practice these days.
Thanks for reading along and feel free to comment below. I’m listening. I’m a good friend if you want me to be.
Jordan Miller, Visual Artist (friendly person with a real life, a type 1 diabetic, and an Introvert)