Getting Better

View South From the Start of the Pipeline Route Toward the Brooks Range. Gray Band on the Horizon Is a Rain Squall 08/1973

I look forward to writing these daily missives, and the burgeoning interest in Getting Better, Man. Blogging exposes me, and that’s what I need.

Not all feedback is what I expect, but I choose to look at life as a chance to learn and grow. Yesterday, some things happened that made me rethink the way I use the photos on my blog. I’m currently researching the Creative Commons license, and making sure I’m using the photos correctly.

I’m choosing to create instead of react. I could wallow in negative emotions about a difficulty, but I don’t have to. Instead, I’m practicing the things I write about, and using my experiences as a way of self-improving.

There will always be challenges in life;
it’s how you deal with them that matters.

A good mind-trick to use if you’re reacting negatively to a situation is to get curious about it. We tend to be afraid of what we don’t know, so look at fearful situations as a chance to learn something new.

We’re all in the same boat, after all. Everyone’s trying to be happy in their own way. Compassion and understanding goes a long way in this journey.

Another way for me to practice self-improvement is with my current financial situation. From what I’ve seen, the trend is to either flaunt your wealth, or complain about how bad the economy is. As someone who was a refugee of the Vietnam War, I’ve grown up poor and don’t have much to my name. In other words, the economy has always been bad for me. Having money is also not something I can shout about. I chose to be an artist and have, at times, lived the stereotype of the starving kind.

It’s a humbling and humiliating feeling having to borrow money. I know I’m not the only person who has hit hard times. There are people who have worse financial problems than I do. I’m grateful that I have so many opportunities, yet it’s stressful all the same. When you’re stressed out about money, it’s difficult to sit down and write a blog post. The inner critic constantly berates you for getting yourself into this situation, and what an irresponsible person you are. Of course, judging yourself harshly never helps.

There are things I can do to improve my life, and I’m doing them. Sometimes it’s tough to stay optimistic when things get challenging. Things get tougher when your sense of who you are as a person gets thrown into the mix. I’ve worked on my self-esteem and it’s helped me deal with life’s challenges. There will always be challenges in life; it’s how you deal with them that matters.

One of my goals is to create more of a conversation on Getting Better, Man. I want to be candid about what I’m going through, but without self-pity or self-righteousness. I want GBM to be about, not surprisingly, getting better.

Thanks for reading, and remember to make today a better day!

I welcome your conversation. Please feel free to leave a comment or ask a question.

image by The U.S. National Archives, on Flickr

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Artist | Writer | Musician

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