It's said by someone I'm sure, you should never measure yourself to your heroes. A quote I came across earlier this week though said that "you shouldn't be trying to network up, you should be networking across". I don't particularly remember where I saw this quote, as I have a shitty memory, but I know it's been at the forefront of my mind. I also think the latter quote has been the cause for my personal introspection, and now I turn that outwards to you. The idea is explained that you shouldn't be trying to network with those who are already established, yet with your friends and neighbors who are establishing themselves. To this concept I say yes. That's why I work very closely with a network of like minded individuals and groups like Mehji Ent. I myself run a blogsite I just started up called The Renaissance Project. It's an art initiative I started to follow happenings if the underground art communities in Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania currently. I hope to cover more as I get the chance to travel and meet more artists. I have been inconsistent in my content upload though. Not because I don't have things to post. The Mehji's have almost ten tapes on Spinrilla alone. Most of which were uploaded in the last couple of months. It's because I have been doubting why I even do what I do. I look to others who are more established than myself and think that I am foolish to be doing it all. It makes it hard because there are peers I have, that are significantly more successful. And admittedly sometimes, I wish to reach out to them. Sometimes I feel guilty for even wanting to say hi. I don't want them to feel like I'm mooching off of their hardwork and successes, so I leave them be. Honestly though, I needed to. I needed to stop putting so much pressure on where I wanted to be as an artist and start focusing more on what I wanted to produce as an artist.
"I want you to consider yourself on the spectrum." Certain words or sentences have a way of sticking in my head. I wasn't surprised when this one decided to stay. I was, however, surprised by the weight it seemed to carry with it. When we think of autism we usually think of either Asperger's or typical autism. My younger brother was diagnosed as having Asperger's at a very young age. Maybe it was because of his inability to talk at the recommended age or the way he acted out. Between my older brother, my mom, and my little brother... my household was saturated with mental health diagnoses. Sometimes I attribute this to why I didn't even seek therapy until my later years of high school.
"Can you tell when your significant other is happy?"
According to the World Health Organization, one in four people will be affected by a "mental or neurological disorder." They claim 450 million people are currently suffering from some form of mental illness. So there is a rather decent chance that the person you are going to fall in love with, or have fallen in love with is dealing with some phantom trauma. For me, it's living with anxiety, mania, depression, and autism. Mental illness isn't some fun thing you get to claim as an excuse to bask in the toxicity of your behaviors. It's a real, life altering, problem. And it makes things so much harder than they need to be. Especially relationships. There are, however, a few things you need to remember if you are dealing with a mental disorder.
I'm just going to go ahead and say it. Recognizing our own toxicity can be challenging. Sometimes we don't really have the vantage point to see, and sometimes we just keep turning our head because we don't want to. It's a huge pill to swallow, and one I have had to take without any water. We can sometimes and often let the toxicity that once slow dripped into our system, in turn, poison someone else. That's because being problematic is a virus, and if left unchecked, will destroy everything in its path. It's consuming. Again, I know. I have been there. But I know you like lists so here the top ways to recognize if you are being toxic and how to change. I mean it's not enough to just KNOW you ain't shit. You have to actually work on being an "ain't shit" type of individual.