Toodle-oo 2016

Happy end to 2016, all! And man, am I glad for it.

My best analogy would be a roller coaster. The year started as a steady climb, up up up towards the sun, elevating my excitement, then a nominal twist around, a clear view of my surroundings, lush and lovely, before plunging, straight down, body lifting away from its harness, into a cavern of no end, in complete darkness, only to shoot out into the brightness once more, theme park camera flashing to capture the stoic expression upon my face before the rasping cart slams to a complete stop.

There might be a poem in that…

All in all, it was a year filled with hope. Hope that my independent productions would find happy homes or an interested audience. Hope that my love life would improve in a new domesticated living situation. Hope that my illness would stabilize, allowing my physical, emotional and mental health to be balanced. Hope that my inner circle of trusted friends would expand exponentially. With hope and a super injection of faith, these events did occur with great success. For that I am grateful. But there were costs and consequences, as described by that speeding coaster above.

One double-twist I didn’t brace myself for was merging my artistic process with another person’s standards. We were not on the same page with that. Living on my own I was able to carve out a creative space within my home, but combining two households, and the forces within, left me with no creative wiggle room. I felt my creativity fizzle, as you can witness by the dearth of blog posts this year. I overcompensated, helping others out with their life plans, supporting other artists with their endeavors, more caught up in their needs as opposed to my artistic process. The costs of supporting my productions was a giant loop with nauseating hang time in the middle. Fortunately, I didn’t get to a-block-of-ramen-as-my-one-daily-meal broke, but I’m still recuperating from such a dizzying situation. I asked myself, has the Von Simeon Experience reached its zenith?

Because of the intense focus away from my artistic self, I felt my confidence wane. Then the response to The Living Goddess Exhibit happened. I didn’t know what to expect, but what I received was a strong indication that the Von Simeon Experience is far from over. I’ve carved out a niche, a nice one, one that I can expose with the right resources. The fatalist in me of course then asks, but can you keep it up? I hope so. I really hope so.

I did step up my mental health advocacy this year, reaching out to fellow MIs, sharing poetry, participating in local mental health awareness events. I’ve renewed my NAMI membership, and am thinking of doing more with the Pinellas County charter. I’ve been invited to contribute articles and poetry about living with bipolar disorder. After Carrie Fisher’s passing, I’m encouraged to do so in her honor.

Thank you for reading this far. Thank you for reading, period!

May the new year be a gentle undulation through soft blue skies, easy coasts and mellow bounces, feather-light in ride.

And now, this video of the height-defying coaster I actually rode in July 2016. It’s gnarly!

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