Kaoru from Rilakkuma and Kaoru [Fanart] & being existential about life

* This is is a 10 minute read! *

“It rains non-stop every day. It constantly rains in my heart too.”

– Kaoru from Rilakkuma and Kaoru

Mood. I’ve been gloomy, tired and lonely with life and my art.

Sometimes I forget about it when I’m extremely focused on something. Or I distract myself doing other things. Or I’ve accepted and learned to manage it better along the way. Or just talk about it once again, to let the thoughts out.

Why stress about something and other people, whom I have no control of? Just focus on doing better and learning from my mistakes.

But I’m always managing the rain in my heart.

Yes I’m sappy. ;P

The show itself and Netflix

Art style was jarring when Kaoru was next to Rilakkuma and friends (noting the different character designer) but it does make you think how they coexisted with humans before they lived with Kaoru. Where did they come from? I have no idea! Why is one so lazy and the other so cheeky? Just go with it ;D

The production design of this show is wonderful, intricate and charming too. Three years was spent to create this stop motion TV series! Super impressive! 😀 Admittedly I had to speed it up while watching because I had no patience with the pacing and wanted the story to get going :’)

Speaking of Netflix shows, I don’t have Netflix anymore as it’s not something we can afford or have a lot of things to watch. I did watch some movies or comedy shows though. Batman Ninja was super stylish, over the top and goofy. I really do like The Good Place, Aggretsuko and Russian Doll and am looking forward to future seasons! And I’ve lost interest watching Stranger Things since season 2 as much as season 3 seems to be better and Steve is great (I spoiled myself already) ;P Ah well.

The show’s existential themes & on romantic love

I related with lots of the “being left behind and single” existential themes of Kaoru’s life. Alone, finding ways to deal with it and enjoy life as is. Witnessing how other people seem to be super brave, have their life put together and closeness with career, finances, relationships, families, partners and friends and feeling disappointed when comparing your own. Feeling like you can’t fully relate or connect with them. The tension between wishing for something and appreciating things as they are. Ah well. I’m doing the best I can. :’)

Kaoru as a character sometimes makes me think of Retsuko of Aggretsuko (I’ve seen season 2 as of writing) in some ways. Retsuko dreams for love, marriage and kids, comes to terms with growing up in a modern world, experiences relationships and through them, learns for herself what she really wants. Many people are driven by an innate anchor (family, friends, loved ones) or dream (future, way of life, vision) as a reason to keep living. There are other wonderful ways the Aggretsuko show deals with the bittersweet reality and modern, everyday life lessons that I appreciate – so consider watching it yourself ;D

As much as I’m a day dreaming, sentimental butt who has no lived experience with it, it feels easier not revolving your life around dating and relationships. I appreciate when most people are brave to experience them, take the risks, put in the time to put themselves out there with people and are lucky to find & maintain partners in life though! It’s such a special, scary learning process and gradual commitment to love and grow together with one another in life.

Personally I don’t know nor have experienced what that kind of love means or feels like to me but as much as I sometimes day dream about it, I won’t obsess about not having or living it. I believe I enjoy the *idea*, fantasy and day dream of love, joy, belonging, connection, cuddles, attraction and romance since in the past I’ve admired and crushed on people whom within my gut, don’t really care for me through their actions, whom I haven’t really spent quality time with and ultimately aren’t right for me.

I don’t actually want or need it enough to seek, commit and experience the sadness, suffering, reality, messiness, grief, uncertainty and painful side of it too. It’s hard, emotional work and dedication. I’m pretty okay with solitude and doing my own art learning most of the time sprinkled with rare catch-ups with a few friends. And I’ve mentioned how I’ve got lots to work on, if I ever want to be an “equal” in any form of partnership so that no one feels burdened. It’s by being around people that overwhelms me sometimes and makes me realise my way of being is so different, isolating and that I have much to learn.

And crushing on people ultimately ends up hurting myself as I dwell on things that don’t even exist, feels incompatible and not mutual. I don’t want to go through the confusing, horrible heartbreak of silly one-sided things again which is why I refuse to check social media profiles and posts if I feel it’s happening in a bad, uneven, intense, awkward way ;P No thanks, I am not stalking people! It needs to be a slow, mutual dance Leonie!

Perhaps I won’t find the right person. Perhaps I’m rationalising and I’m super lazy to put myself out there. Perhaps it’s not right for me anyway because I’m comfy in my homebody ways and am definitely not ready for commitment. Perhaps I’m terrified of being with another person when I’m pretty content doing my own thing and managing my own emotional baggage, growth and way of life as it is. Perhaps I’m just too nervous when it comes to these things. Perhaps I don’t see myself capable as a partner. Perhaps I just find it difficult to believe anybody would be interested and to expect too much from other people. Perhaps I’m a super selfish, boring frog, only looking up above her solitary, little well.

Who knows, it’s probably a mix of the above! My realist and idealist sides clash with one another, leaving me conflicted sometimes. Being a human being with fickle feelings is confusing and frustrating sometimes. I feel like I’m turning off people from being interested altogether anyway by simply talking about this. Thanks for that, netflix show! ;P I’m a little more aware through all these feelings that surface and at peace and honest with myself at least!

For now I just want to appreciate art and friends plus figure out my art career. :’) Manage the hopelessness, anxieties and gloominess I feel and stay optimistic in the face of it (it’s okay Leonie!) Just enjoy things, grow to be a better person and appreciate the few people in my life as an isolated, introverted homebody. I think I’m getting better at it and I’ll keep reminding myself :’)

I won’t worry too much about love or about fitting in. I got my own life to manage on an ongoing basis anyway. We all do. :’)

Grass always seems greener on the other side

The Rilakkuma and Kaoru series also reminded me how life doesn’t really work out in the way you expect or desire it. Feeling like you’re not where you want in life right now. Gosh the human condition. Life is full of magical, fleeting, hopeful, hurtful, disappointing, isolating moments and plenty of mundane, quiet & peaceful ones. The “what if”s come to mind.

How you’re just doing your best to be good and be considerate of others. Sometimes miscommunication happens. Sometimes you push back or get selfish about your needs, boundaries, hopes and dreams. Sometimes you feel slow and gullible with the short end of the stick, realise you’ve overlooked things and missed the chance to speak out. Sometimes you’re feeling slow or disconnected with others and their point of view.

Sometimes you forget that people don’t really care about your day to day life. Sometimes you hang onto the resentment because of the feelings of hurt, disappointment, abandonment, worthlessness, distance and rejection resurface from the few interactions you’ve had (such as unfollows, being ignored/excluded, being ghosted, being lower priority to somebody than you’d hoped for instance). Sometimes you realise that you’re just somebody’s one casual friend and/or option out of many.

Sometimes you don’t know how to best express, help, bond and entertain other people when you’re clueless, selfish, reserved, ignorant and low energy turtle. Sometimes you just let things go and let connections fade because effort, care, attention, time and trust isn’t mutually given anymore and it’s exhausting to pretend. Sometimes you have to be understanding and it’s just not the best time since it’s an incredibly busy struggle for everybody. People and circumstances change. Sometimes you just have to cherish and appreciate the rare times you get to spend time and talk with people.

Sometimes you got to remember that being different on your own path is okay.

Well I’m reminding myself and rambling here since I’ve been struggling with my self doubts, purpose and fears. Yes I think a lot about things and then I move on again. Reflecting, reminding and accepting. Being intentional.

It’s also scary when the career you want feels so out of reach and impossible. I don’t miss this feeling as a freelancer. Back on ground level, looking up at the mountain again. I want to turn that anxious mind off but I know it will never completely go away :'(

Changes are made and risks are taken because you take responsibility of your own choices and experiences. You define what values, meaningful success and relationships means to you. You grow to respect yourself better and gain confidence, hope, clarity and courage through the journey. Personal growing pains – mistakes made, lessons learned.

You keep trying things anyway. Experiment. Taking things day by day. Staying compassionate with yourself along the way. Believe in the positives of the world and the people in your life.

That said, I’m glad I’m lightly exercising during the mornings again and slowly getting into a creative routine. Sometimes I’m just super sleepy, lazy, slow, not bothered and silly sad feelings get in the way. I’m better at doing exercises in the morning regardless for the most part! Yay!

I recommend taking care of yourself and stick to a morning routine, even though you don’t want to. Been doing it since mid last July and it’s already a huge achievement towards overcoming the apathy, anxiety and hopelessness for me. I’m not there but I feel slightly less gloomy and hopeless overall because it feels good doing things for your own health and well being :’)

The hard part is doing it everyday.

Sometimes you simply shake your pom pom sticks for others, just like Kiiroitori!

You got this!! (shake shake shake) Seeing people being brave in the face of their fears is inspiring too!

Quick clipstudiopaint play and study with another brush! I think this hardworking, nitpicky yellow bird is cute in this show. Still I don’t have a favourite character because I was watching more for the story. ;D

Been managing self doubt a lot but trying to take things in stride. It’s scary but I’ll keep experimenting in character design, illustration and comic strips. Hopefully one day I’ll have enough good work and demand to have great clients and prints. Aargh :’)

Additional Patreon cheesecake tier art

Added a tier because a lovely generous friend had to go beyond early last month so I dedicate this to her <3 Plus I also enjoy cheesecake (without the cream)! It’s a rare, fancy, delicious, pricey and occasional thing in my eyes.

I also took away the $1 tier since there’s no longer a patron there (or so I thought that was the case until later whoops apologies) and if someone could only give USD$1 a month, I’d rather that they save their money and keep it to three tiers. I won’t dare add further tiers until I feel ready for special, limited ones one day.

Much gratitude and appreciation for my small handful of kind patrons for supporting my art journey on my first month back and also peeps who like, share and respond to my posts!! Thanks for helping me out and for sticking around!

It helps a hermit like me feel somewhat connected to other human beings and gets my work out there as a freelancer too :’D

Thank you.

See you next week! ♥

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