Art Journaling

Personal, Writing

Disclaimer: Not all of the art in my journals is my original work. Some were recreated from images I found online. I in no way take creative credit for these drawings and give it fully to the creator of the original work.

I have been keeping journals and sketchbooks for as long as I can remember but it wasn’t until fairly recently that I began to completely finish them. When we were younger my mom showed me sister and me how to make collage journals and a few years later, I elaborated on that idea by starting my  first art journal. It was red, with thin blank pages, and I found it up in my mom’s art stuff. It had french writing down the side that meant draft book and with the addition of a couple stickers, it was incorporated into my daily life. All though I consider it the first journal I finished it is in fact blank for the last ten pages because the binding broke from overuse. Since this journal that began in 2015, I have completed two others and am in the middle of my fourth.

IMG_1154

from left to right: oldest to newest

Everyone is always impressed by how full they are and I attribute that to the fact that I don’t give myself a lot of limits with them. Except one which is that I’m never allowed to rip pages out. If there are pages I absolutely hate, then I cover them up with scrap paper drawings when the journal is complete. Other than that I keep my journals completely free. Sometimes other people draw in them, I write lists in them, and I doodle in them when I am on important phone calls. Besides my work notebook and my planner, my art journal is the only journal I have so it literally holds everything.

I think that once I let go of the need for my journals to be chronological and aesthetically pleasing, I was able to fill them, and usually by the time they were done I was pretty pleased with the final result. It’s nice to just have something that has no limits. Something that can hold all of my bullshit in one small place.

I also became a lot more comfortable with expressing my feelings and more confident in my drawing skills. Art journaling was one of the main ways I combated my social anxiety in high school.

I love looking into other people’s journals, so I thought maybe you would like a peak into mine.

Happy July everyone! Look out for lots of new things on the blog this month!

30 Before 30

Personal, Writing

Here are 30 things I want to do before I turn 30.

  1. be published somewhere that’s not this blog or a school publication
  2. start my own podcast or be a part of one
  3. read 100 books (or more) over a 12 month period
  4. travel to Europe
  5. stand in every U.S state at least once
  6. have a Youtube channel to partner with this blog and my other writings
  7. get my degree and have $0 in student loan debt
  8. get full sleeves of tattoos on both my arms
  9. travel to Japan
  10. read all the “classic” books I’ve wanted to read.
  11. give some kind of public “talk” like a speech or a panel
  12. have a 401k or similar saving plan
  13. produce at least one of my screenplays
  14. have some semblance of a healthy diet
  15. get a pet (preferably a dog)
  16. give more to charity and have a strong role in a cause I believe in
  17. learn how to cook actual meals that aren’t ramen and cereal
  18. live more sustainably and create less waste
  19. learn to speak at least one other language fluently
  20. ride a horse
  21. start playing music again
  22. visit Canada
  23. live alone for awhile
  24. watch all the t.v. shows in my Netflix list
  25. meet Kathleen Hanna
  26. write at least one full length book
  27. buy a sports car
  28. buy a dishwasher
  29. go to Sasquatch or Bonaroo or both
  30. buy an espresso machine

Turning 20

Personal, Writing

Almost 20 years I’ve been on this planet and I’m still sitting by idiots in coffee shops, that are trying to explain why the earth is flat. It’s definitely round. Just so we’re all clear on that. Last year for my birthday I wrote a poem about being 19 so, because I am feeling less creative this year but still wanted to make it a yearly thing, here is a list of 20 things I learned in the past decade.

  1. The earth is flat. JUST KIDDING. But if people believe that they’re not going to change they’re minds so don’t even bother trying to explain it.
  2. That goes for most things that people believe.
  3. Don’t punch cars. You won’t win, the car will.
  4. If you’re trying to decide between getting coffee or getting to school on time, always pick getting coffee.
  5. School is hard once it’s not required.
  6.  The best way to make friends is to message them and hang out with them until they just eventually adapt to your annoying presence.
  7. You can’t tell your car is making a weird noise if you turn your music up louder.
  8. Time goes by very slowly and very quickly at the same time.
  9. People leave but they also usually get replaced by new people.
  10. I don’t know it all. Just most of it.
  11. People can make you feel like shit to the point where eventually you just are shit.
  12. Ice cream fixes most things, except your triglyceride levels.
  13. If someone hits you, always hit back
  14. Boys are actually stupid. No joke.
  15. Love is an even worse disease than life.
  16. Music helps always.
  17. Healing is never linear.
  18. Pain is never permanent.
  19. Pretending to be something you’re not is exhausting and hardly ever worth it. Unless it’s Halloween or something I guess.
  20. The only person responsible for your pain and healing is you.

While I can’t say I’m looking forward to the next decade, I can say I’m willing to live it. I can also say that I am thankful for the stuff the past ten years has brought me. From a “gap toothed” 10 year old to a “gap toothed because she broke her retainer shortly after getting her braces off” adult, I’m a completely different person with a completely different perspective on life. I’m sure that when I turn 30 I’ll say the exact same thing because I think that all life really is, is learning and moving on.

 

Religion

Non-fiction, Personal, Writing

The kids behind me in the coffee shop were trying to find a bible verse to describe love and all I can think is that the bible can’t describe love. The connection between someone and an idealistic figure whom they have never met and the connection between two humans, are two very different things. As I thought about this, the conversation behind me progressed into one about mental health and how everyone who was depressed, simply needed god in there life, and this is where I start to have a problem with religion.

I was raised agnostic in a state that is predominately christian, so from a young age I was exposed to the division between those that believe in god and those that don’t. The first time I was told I was going to hell was by my classmate in first grade, and I remember going home and asking my mom if I was going to hell because I didn’t believe in god. This was the first of many incidents involving religion in my public education, including arguments with teachers over the use of religion in teaching materials and many fights with other students over whether or not there was a god. What I think is funny, is that they were always started by the people that claimed to be the good ones. The followers of this god, who are supposed to be accepting of everyone and who are committed to a guide that is supposed to be one of love and caring, not me, the Satan loving abomination of an Atheist.

I started identifying as an Atheist when I was 16 which means simply that I don’t believe there is a god. Look, I get it ok, there are a lot of people that in order to have a meaning in their life, need to feel that they are headed for something greater. I also want to mention that I have no issues with people doing good things, and living there lives with belief in a higher power. The thing I have an issue with is organized groups that use a text and fear to control a group of people into spreading something the world doesn’t need. When a religion needs to put down others beliefs and spread hate for people that aren’t like them ,that’s not religion anymore, it’s just a power trip.

I think we all know God didn’t hate the gays, or black people, or anyone that believed in anything that wasn’t him. If god was this all knowing, loving, image he’s supposed to be then he would not be susceptible to such human emotions like hate. I think a lot of people lose sight of what their religion is supposed to be. People use religion to fuel hate and hurt others and somehow still put it on people like me, who simply choose to accept an ending at the end of life.

I remember when I was young, that even though me and my sister didn’t believe in god, my mom taught us a lot about the Buddhist and Hindu religions. We learned about enlightenment and karma, and were raised on ideals of love and caring towards our fellow humans. I would even argue that my mother is a better person than any god fearing christian, because she believes in the world, and her small role of taking care of it, which I think is an ideal that gets lost among the things god did and didn’t say.

 

 

Coffee Convo

Non-fiction, Personal, Writing

Ok, so it’s not really a coffee this time. It’s actually a green tea with honey and an asiago bagel but that’s only because it’s 8,000 degrees here today and I couldn’t be bothered to drink anything that wasn’t refreshing. It’s only May and I’m already so over sun. I mean I’m not asking for 7 foot snow again, I would just like it if it was always 60 degrees and cloudy.

Since I am posting regularly again I figured I should give you a bit of an update and since I haven’t done a coffee convo in a hot minute, I figured I would share my asiago bagel with you all.

For starters, I am turning 20 in a few weeks which feels bizarre. A lot of me still feels like I’m only 14 and the other part of me is coming to terms with the fact that my sister graduates in a couple days. YES MAISY JAM HAS A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA. I’m honestly probably more proud of her than I was of myself. She works insanely hard and is also incredibly smart in ways I have never been and I can’t wait to see where her life takes her now that she has been released from prison/the public school system.

Summer has also officially begun which means lots of plans are being made. I am making a trip to Idaho over the 4th of July with my family as well as trying to figure out all of the logistics of moving, which, if everything goes to plan, should be happening in late August.

My asiago bagel and tea

My asiago bagel and green tea.

I’m trying to find time to spend with all the people I’ve known for years as well as make connections with new people and it really brings to light just how many people come and go in your life. There are people that I still have genuine love for that I haven’t seen in years. It really puts into perspective how much time we set aside for things that don’t give us the love that family and friends give. We put work, money, and material things over interactions that could change our lives and that’s crazy to me.

I haven’t been reading hardly at all this year, which is frustrating because there’s so much I’ve been wanting to read. I think I need to work more on prioritizing the things I love over the things I have to do. I put work over a lot of things, and while I do generally like my job, My life has taught me that I need to make time to do things I like because, I don’t get to re-do life, and I should probably spend it doing things I love.

I’m also working on not caring what other people think about my life. I generally don’t care what others think when it comes to the way I look or act, especially when it comes to strangers. Lately though, I’ve been focusing on not needing validation from the people I’m close to. Even the people I love aren’t going to understand me and I need to accept that and be ok with it.

These are just a couple things that have been thinking about lately. If you have anything to add, I always appreciate your comments and messages, and if you want to see more photos like the one in this post, please follow me on instagram @avejam_ . Thank you for reading and you will hear from me on Monday!

– Avery

The Ice That Cracks In Your Lungs

Personal, poetry, Writing

So this is the first compilation of poetry that I wrote for second semester. I hope you enjoy!

Winter

I’m feeling a lot.

The icy numbness melting.

This is almost worse.

 

Which way would hurt less?

Feeling no pain or all of it?

 

Mermaid

Stuck underwater.

Voices of those above speak,

Muffled without pain.

 

Why can’t anyone care when

I can’t ever seem to stop.

 

She go lost somewhere

Now she only floats around,

Faking who she was.

 

Poem for a Yandere

Standing there across the yard,

A girl with a knife in her hands.

 

Slowly stepping closer,

This girl holds your life in her hands.

 

Imagining sticky red blood flowing out,

Veins pouring into her hands.

 

Seeing pain mirrored in her eyes,

Memories of you holding her hands.

 

Coming to hurt you like you hurt her,

Heart barely beating in her hands.

 

It’s too bad you didn’t think to call,

Her phone sitting silently in her hands.

 

It’s too bad no one will help you now

Today you die by my hands.
Ouch.

That’s my heart lying on the floor.

A limp organ pulsing unsteadily

Dripping in a puddle of my blood.

 

Sticky and

Dirty and

Oh so alone.

 

That’s my empty chest cavity.

A hole gorged where that heart was

My ribcage

 

Cracked and

Bruised and

Hurting to breathe.

 

Pick it up.

Force that ugly thing back in your chest

Choke through the pain in your lungs

 

But I can’t and

It wont fit and

This hole is too big to be filled.

 

Who’s gruesome heart is that.

Filled with swollen veins.

How’d it get so torn up and cold.

 

The scars and

The aches and

My heart still lying on the floor.
Have Fun Throwing Your Petty Little Fucking Fit Avery

 

New Message: sorry the only thing

You have to deal with is

 

Mental illness. I’m sorry

Too, that I can’t function

Like a normal human but

 

Believe me when I say that

I wish I could take care of that

Baby that you leave alone instead

 

Of taking care of the crying child

That is my mind. Give me something

I can control. New message:

 

take your fake ass shit somewhere

else everyone sees through it anyways.

I wish I was faking, so I could feel

 

The pain your words are

Supposed to inflict but I don’t

And I won’t so

 

I hope you like being alone because

I do. It has become my home.
Vacation Pt. 1

It was raining

The rain dripping down the car window

Like the rain dripping down my cheeks

Mom staring with worry

 

Bright red emergency, and my hand being held

Like a small child who might wander

Sat in a chair as they pulled up sweater sleeves

sticking to severed skin with dried blood

 

Nurses eyes filled with pity

Led to a room and placed in a bed

Removed of clothing and belongings

Fragile, pale, staring at the ceiling

 

Hours passing

Eyes dry up and gasps grow silent

My brain feeling like it has melted

Green-blue scrubs on a shivering body.

 

Down the hall

Someone is crying in pain

The world continues around

But time stood still in my tiny room

 

Two in the morning

How are you feeling?

mom sits in the corner crying

I explain the feelings in the brain that turned against me

 

More waiting

Picking at scabs forming in long clean lines

It starts to rain again when I hear what I already knew for the past 5 years

We recommend you be committed.

Note From The Devil, My Lover

Dear you’re my human sacrifice

A gift to those in pain

Your sad solemn words that entice

Umbrellas protecting those in the rain.

 

Nothing you ever write is nice

Because you do it to sustain

To fight against the constant malice

That I stuck inside your brain.

 

How did it feel when you started to slice

When you pierced those precious veins

The blood that dripped from that vice

It left a very large stain.

 

Dear you’re my human sacrifice

Heart dark and deep and maimed

Happiness will never suffice

Because I made you to be insane.

 

Vacation Pt. 2

Eyes blurry, ears ringing

We’ll give you a minute to get ready

No phones allowed. your mom can bring more clothes the next day.

Here’s phone numbers and your socks, I promise you’ll be ok

 

Are you ready

You have to go in a wheelchair. Why? Because you’re sick.

Eyes filled with pity staring sadly at me

Skin becomes itchy. Ok I guess I’m ready

 

Through winding hallways

The nurse and the security guard talk about who didn’t come to work that day

Their lives so normal, and mine so crushed

Eyes glazed over but out of tears to cry

 

Nurse said I like your socks

My socks said bitches get stuff done

I didn’t get stuff done

If I had I wouldn’t be in this elevator

 

Finally sat in a dimly lit room

3 a.m. with rules set out in front of me

Paper titled “Your Fall Prevention Plan”

Too late for that, I’ve already hit the ground.

 

 

Doing College With Depression

Non-fiction, Personal, Writing

If you’re like me, then you are a person that the modern world was not made for. When they were building the schools, and the jobs, and the basic human interaction they forgot a whole group of us who, you know, can’t function. How are you supposed to go places if you can’t move from your bed? How can you learn new things when your in the middle of disassociating? How are you supposed to write a paper about what you want in life when all you really want is to die? Well here are the answers…not really answers though. Here are the ways to kind of make things easier maybe!

  1.  Doing The Most – Everybody has good days and bad days. In my case, I have highly productive days and what I like to call, “slug days.” One of my number one tips for acquiring a higher education with a mental disorder is to get ahead on the good days. If you are feeling productive one day, and have already finished your homework, do tomorrows too. Take advantage of every moment that you feel like being busy to do all the shit that you know you won’t when your curled up in a ball eating ice cream and crying.
  2. Keep It Manageable – There are tons of classes that I want to take and it would be great to get all my courses out of the way as fast as possible but I know how my brain works. I know that if I was to take a full 15 credits I would get overwhelmed and ultimately give up. If you know you don’t do well when you have a large amount of work then don’t give yourself large amounts of work.
  3. Make A Routine – It really helps me if I make a plan for my morning in advance because then I’m more likely to do it. If I come up with something I want to eat for breakfast and what I’m going to wear then I’m a lot more likely to actually get out of bed.
  4. Don’t Skip – This isn’t really a tip that I follow because I skip a lot, but I find that if I skip school, it is very likely that I will skip the next day too. However, If I go then I usually end up going the next day as well. If I do skip I always try to find something class related to work on at home.
  5. Using College As Therapy – you obviously have to write a lot of papers for college and sometimes you can tie your paper topics in with your mental illness. It’s a lot easier to write a good paper when the paper is making you feel better as you go. Writing stuff out always makes me feel better and if it also helps me finish my homework, then why not kill two birds with one stone.
  6. Know Your Mental Limits – This kind of ties in with tip #2, but it’s important to know what your brain can and can’t do. Know what times of the day you work better, and how long your attention span will last. If you cater your schedule to your needs then you will have a lot more success.
  7. Use College As An Excuse – Personally, I find that sometimes I can convince my brain out of a depressive episode if there is something else I know I have to do. If I tell myself, “Hey, you can’t take a 6 hour depression nap right now because your paper is due in six hours,” sometimes that’s it takes for my brain to come back to earth and get some stuff done.
  8. E-mail – There’s this handy dandy messaging tool, where you can just e-mail your teachers and classmates to get answers about your class or find out what you missed. This way you never have to make eye contact or worry about your voice being shaky.
  9. Online Classes – If you are someone who can work from home and still manage your time wisely, then online classes are ideal for depressed people. It’s a class you can do straight from your bed on days when you are feeling crappy and always be caught up on subject matter.
  10. Know That It’s Okay To Fail Sometimes – Sometimes we fuck up, or procrastinate a day to long, or forget to study. That’s Okay. We can’t always do everything perfect. Just because you messed up something doesn’t mean that it’s all over. Just say “well fuck,” and put everything into your next assignment or class.

So there are 10 tips for going to school with a mental illness. I hope you find some of these tips helpful. Do you have any tips of your own? Let me know in the comments and share this post with people you think it could help them. See you Wednesday!

Holy Heck She Lives: Florida and Future Content

Personal, Travels

So I want to start by saying that it’s only been two months since I last posted which in comparison to some of my other hiatuses is not that long. However, after a spike of followers and a comment made by my Grandpa about how I should start posting again, I decided I should probably write this.

If you’re new here, welcome. please don’t leave, I promise to be better. I tell this to almost everyone in my life and it’s almost never true so do with that information what you will.

Over Easter, I took a trip to visit my grandparent’s in Florida where the weather was amazing and I didn’t have to go to work or school. Now I’m back in Montana, where I have to do all those things and it’s also snowing…in April. What the actual fuck Montana.

Here are some highlight’s from the trip:

In case you hadn’t noticed yet, I dyed my hair blonde.

Now that I’m back in Billings, it’s back to the daily grind of college which I actually haven’t attended in a few days because I feel empty and like lying in bed all day. (Wow Avery, you haven’t changed a bit.) I have decided that with the end of the school year coming up I will be posting every Monday, Friday, and Sunday and I have put it in writing here so you all can yell at me when I inevitably don’t post.

Some content I have on my to-do list includes:

  • A new coffee convo
  • College with depression
  • Books I’ve read so far this year
  • journal flip-through
  • 2nd semester poetry compilation

I love feedback so let me know what you would like to see next on the blog and also since their are so many new subscribers tell me something about yourself in the comments! Thank you for reading and I’ll see you on Monday!

These pills are getting hard to swallow.

Personal, poetry, Writing

A poetry collection by: Avery Jam

 

How To Be Better

I am constantly saving myself.

Pulling myself up from the sad things that put me down.

 

Hardly anyone notices and hardly anyone cares

but I keep doing it so I don’t drown.

 

I fight so hard for myself.

I fight so hard against people who lie,

 

or say I’m hormonal,

 

or say it’s natural

 

or say I need to take vitamins.

 

The pain I feel is not normal. This can’t be normal.

Because if this is normal then I don’t want to fight anymore.

 

So I will rage against anyone who tells me otherwise.

 

Disturbed Sleep

I keep having nightmares about you.

 

Ones where we get back together.

 

In the dream I let you hurt me just to feel less alone.

Like I did before

I left.

 

I relive that year and a half every night and every morning

I wake up with a new memory of something

that you once did to me.

 

The only thing worse than the nightmares

is just how stupid I was to fall, for any of it at all.

 

Good

Apparently personal

Not supposed to talk about it

Bringing everyone down

Am i making you uncomfortable

Good.

Being sad all the time makes me uncomfortable too.

Sorry I’ll keep my pain to myself

 

His Bird

When I left you,

i thought I could walk out

of the cage

 

But when I look around me

i see

steel bars with a lock and no key

 

In the anger

i haven’t felt

for so long

 

In the smoke

of my memories that you lit on fire

until I forgot

 

In the stab of guilt

i feel

for things I never did

 

I walk in circles

untangling the rope of lies

that you tied me up with

 

Your precious rare bird

wings clipped so she can’t fly

always stuck

 

Fucking Asshole

Fuck you.

I was always sad.

Now I’m just sad

And angry.

 

Vanilla Flavored Vodka

It burns

It stings

It warms

It aches

It helps

It calms

But I can’t stop remembering

That I’m supposed to forget you

My mouth overwhelmed

By the taste of vanilla flavored vodka

June TBR

bookish, Personal, Writing

June is starting, I will be relaxing and vacationing, so here are the reads I picked out this month for long flights and sunny days:

  1. Almost Adulting – Arden Rose: An adorable book by a youtuber who I actually really enjoy. This book was given to me by my sister and the cover was just to dang cute to  pass it up. When picking books for this month I was looking at books that would be good for planes and beaches and this seemed good for both.image4 (10)
  2. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han: Recommended to me by the fabulous Grace, I picked up this book for some light YA reading. This one will also be tagging along to the beaches of Belize.image7 (3)
  3. The Nest – Cynthia D’aprix Sweeney: If I’m being honest, I’m not to certain what this book is actually about, I was distracted by the gilded cover. 🙂image5 (9)
  4. The Wicked + The Divine: The Faust Act – Gillen McKelvie and Wilson Cowles: It seems like I pick this graphic novel up every single time I’m in a book store and even though I am not certain I love the plot, I adore the art.image2 (12)
  5. Through The Woods – Emily Carroll: In keeping the spirit of Halloween all year round, I picked up this illustrated collection of scary stories and I am in love. Every time I flip it open I get tingles.image3 (11)
  6. A Different Shade Of Magic – V.E. Schwab: Sound familiar? The book club book for last month has been moved to this month! We all got really busy and didn’t have time to start it so it is now June’s Tender Warriors Book Club pick! If you want to read along with us feel free!image6 (7)Those are the books for this month! image1 (13)