This is a piece I made way back in 2003 during an especially stressful time in my life. I think they may call them zendoodles nowadays. 
 
I would take colored cardstock and a sharpie and write out a meaningful quote and fill in the background, camouflaging the words. I made more than a few of these drawings and they helped pull me through a lot of rough patches.
 
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about my artwork and hobbies in the time before social media. I created for myself, my family, and close friends. The “pressure to be perfect” was from an internal source*. 
 
Nowadays, I have built a small creative business and the “pressure to be perfect” is still there internally (but minimized thanks to therapy and modern medicine). BUT, there is now an external pressure to produce perfect content, to post pretty pictures, to make reels to entertain the masses.
 
I realize I’m not for everyone. My color palettes may be a bit too bright for some and my reels might not be lip-synced to the latest audio snippet to maximize the entertainment. Cool. That’s ok. Not everyone likes cake, but cake doesn’t care…it’s still delicious.
 
I was unfollowed by someone late last week after my quilted scarf trio release. No problem! It happens everyday. But, they went out of their way to message me and say that they didn’t like my stories mentioning my cats or the cows. They especially didn’t like the frequency of my “good morning” and “good night” sunrise/sunset stories. In their mind, I was only supposed to post about quilts and quilting. 
 
Anyhoo, I disappeared for a few days and now I’m back with a new perspective on this space and what it will look like moving forward. I hope you enjoy the scenery. If not, you’re more than welcome to leave…quietly, please. 
* My background story…
 
I was mentally and emotionally abused as a child by a narcissist parent. I grew up in a home where it was expected that I be nearly perfect in everything that I did.
 
Despite freeing myself from my toxic parent after graduating college, I carried this need for perfection into adulthood and into my career. I had a narcissist supervisor at work. I had anxiety attacks, mental breakdowns, and developed insomnia.
 
I discovered the joys of beer and quickly became a fully functional alcoholic. I drank to deal with the stress and to numb the mental turmoil in my brain. 
 
A few years ago, I hit mental rock-bottom and started seeing therapists. After several misfires, I finally matched with the right one. We worked to find the right medications & dosage to ease my anxiety and depression. She helped me muster the courage to climb out the of the hole I had dug for myself.  
 
I’ve been sober for nearly 4 years now. The perfectionist tendencies are still in the background of my life, but aren’t as prevalent as they were. Failures don’t result in mental breakdowns anymore; they are viewed as learning experiences and gently placed in the trash can. If you’re struggling, there is hope and help out there for you. 
 
Also, EVERYONE is silently carrying a burden or an internal struggle that they’re not sharing. Let’s all just be KIND to one another, please.  
 
Take care, everyone. 

Luv, Rachelle 🙂

Here are a couple more of my drawings from “way back when”. I hope you enjoy them.

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