Knight of Hearts comic, Melbourne city trip, self help notes on managing emotions & update

** This post is a 24 minute read! **

Knight of Hearts comic: Take courage!

In light of how I really lack the confidence in myself 💙 Something I have to keep working at :’)

I came up with this during June and it took many months later for me to actually illustrate it since I’m so super uncertain about my art :’)

Leonie’s art from the past week

#60 I don’t know anymore

#61 Nier Automata doodle

Because why not <3

#62 Baba is Cool

I only watched streams of this, it’s super charming, cute and clever puzzle game! It’s not for everyone as it doesn’t suit people who just brute force things (like me sometimes when my brain is too tired for logic puzzles) :’)

#63 Quietly Excited!

Most people don’t even notice though :’)

Summary and reflective notes from reading self help stuff so far!

I’m slowly going through and interpreting some of Kara’s podcast transcripts and other internet articles (since I like to read from other sources too).

Note I don’t claim that all the ideas are mine, I am just summarising, interpreting, reflecting and adding my own thoughts. Lots of this is me reminding and talking to myself. I’ll continue to do this next year as I go along. Maybe these notes can help you too!

Anxious Attachment Style with people

That I need to meet my own needs and take responsibility for my own feelings. Change my “anxious attachment” style to a more managed, mindful, helpful one.

It’s super unhelpful that I assume the worst when people don’t reply anymore. It’s all going on in my mind :< I need to leave them alone – especially those who are uninterested, unavailable, uncomfortable to be with and out of reach. I can’t control them.

In turn I’m probably like this for almost everybody since I’m a picky, solitary homebody. People don’t control me either. Ultimately I have no patience for people who have no time, respect nor interest for me. And neither do they.

As blunt as it sounds, my impatience, discomfort and fears of rejection, hurt and abandonment is on me and my thoughts, not on others. Same goes for you and your feelings; it’s on you.

Plus in the past I have been attracted to or want to befriend unavailable people who would probably reject me and are incompatible. All this is because I am afraid of getting close to someone and then getting rejected after. Now I’m just accepting the reality that I’m simply not interested nor available anyway. And that’s okay! I have my art and life to work on already :’)

Goodness emotional intelligence, maturity and mental health is difficult to manage and nurture. We’re full of silly feelings and thoughts! I do feel much more liberated, knowing that I don’t really *control* the actions, thoughts and feelings of others because ultimately a lot of other factors, experiences, circumstances, upbringing, health struggles and so on come into play.

On building self confidence

Build self confidence by having your own back with compassion, accepting yourself no matter what and letting go of thoughts of unworthiness and judgement.

For me I need to stop focusing and clinging onto the things I need to improve on, just because I’m afraid of plateauing, being a fraud and being arrogant. Let go feeling like I need to be like other people in order to be accepted as a good friend and person. Acknowledge my thoughts, experiences and the truth. From there is where I can build my self confidence.

Oof I think I’ll keep struggling with the art and life improvement part especially. I think I can work on the “unworthiness” feeling by learning where I thrive and where I don’t thrive.

Maybe. We’ll see.

This is a huge area I need to work on because I’m quick to self criticise and downplay myself, my abilities and my way of being. Quick to exclude myself from things and lower my expectations too. I strive to keep things logical and rational where possible while my fear of disappointment and hurt is very real the more I care about someone, something, opportunity or a project.

Learning to accept and embrace how I am, is a difficult day to day practice where I need to consciously take my reactive and unhelpful thoughts and change them into neutral or even positive ones.

What currently works for me is that I usually go for “let’s just have a go at it as if I have a chance” and then forget about it and not worry about the results. The “just do it”, make mistakes, learn, try and believe in my progress – as a way of living. I might flail, fail, disappoint others and get anxious, uncomfortable and growing pains along the way but it’s part of the process that will hopefully get better and less emotionally draining the more I do it.

Well that’s the hope! What do I know! I’m just trying to get myself out of my gloomy rut by reminding and learning about my sad little slow brain better.

The downsides of confirmation bias

How I seek evidence and things as failures sometimes through the filtered lens of my negative beliefs. And I gloss over the positives and reality sometimes. In turn that makes me believe that I’m unworthy and a failure in the industry, even if it’s unhelpful, flawed way of thinking and not based on the truth. It comes up within many people, I’m sure. It’s just self doubt screaming at you to back down :<

Hey at worst, maybe I’m not that great at things and I’m not an industry, community person. But I can keep working at being my best self!

I guess my negative beliefs and thought patterns with being unworthy come from my art, my career, that people would actually be my long term friend (since that’s super rare to have and build towards) and that I’ll ever find a partner in life ;P

Honestly I find it hard to believe that I’m “loveable” because I’m not that expressive, quick and articulate in person with my feelings and I lack in experience when it comes to human connections. People are overwhelming and complex. That and I focus on all the qualities I lack in my imagined version of a good friend or partner :’)

I’m pretty much in denial if I suspect someone’s possibly and vaguely attracted to me because they’re indirect! I can’t really get my head around subtle and I don’t want to expect anything and get disappointed :’) Or get creeped out, uncomfortable and sad for not returning the same feelings.

Also socialising requires me to get out. But I am not bothered going out much, unless I feel like it’s fun, worthwhile, convenient and interesting for me. That’s why whenever I do go out, I make the best of it and take photos (see my city trip)! This is LeonieBear the reclusive grump talking really. Gosh I don’t look forward to more train works and replacement transport in January again though. Going to be a hermit, not out of choice there :<

Digressing! Sometimes I find myself saying aloud”I hate you” out of frustration or discomfort, probably in response to the negative thoughts and memories coming to mind. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or bad thing but at least I’m at the point where I’m not reliving the past too long, it brings me back to the present, I realise that I’m having unhelpful thoughts of my own making and then I move on. I don’t know if I should replace the “I hate you” phrase when it allows me to release some of that emotional anger, hurt and irritation in a given moment :< It allows me to express negative feelings in a healthy way I guess haha

Anyhoo! They say you have to believe in positive things and that you want to do it before you can actually create evidence and experiences that back up that belief – which I agree with!

You are the boss of your own brain, thoughts and manager of your feelings! Be willing to be wrong, make mistakes, try things, face some discomfort and still be a great person! Don’t let your lizard brain tell you how terrible you are! Don’t waste your emotional energy, beating yourself up and creating self-centred drama around yourself. It’s not all about you. Your life isn’t over if you make mistakes in work or life. Stay strong and brave instead and live without dwelling and being eternally paralysed by potential regrets. You can work out solutions for your life, work and relationships and still be great at what you do and who you are as a person.

Definitely easier said than done of course but at least you are doing your best, taking it slow, managing your feelings and not giving up on yourself and hope for a better future.

Still my priority is in my working on my unstable freelance career, family and a few friendships right now. That may change but it’s how it’s usually been. I don’t really want to actively socialise and/or date somebody that badly because it forces me to get out of my hermit art life and change my whole way of being. I don’t want to start a family nor have children either. Maybe I’ll find somebody who shares the same sentiment. For now I’ll enjoy my quiet, little, solitary, mundane life even though it feels lonely sometimes :’)

I think I’m getting better at managing lonely feelings. Just being grateful and taking things a step at a time.

Not worry about managing the emotions of others and not using others in order to manage your own

Manage your own emotions and don’t worry about doing the same for others – is a good part to remember. Don’t bother chasing and demanding someone to meet your needs because people don’t exist to do what you want.

Meet your own needs, feed your own emotional hunger and love yourself instead! And sometimes others in your life may choose to support and help out! All the self love fluffy stuff!

Enjoy others as they are rather than trying to change them. They treat you however they want anyway – just make sure that’s the kind of person you’d want to be around. Sure you can have desires and things you want in others but they should not be demanding and determining whether you’re worthy or not. Don’t chase it in order to feel okay about yourself. Your ego doesn’t matter.

You don’t need to stress, understand and know the “truth” of why people do what they do, how they think, whether they like you and why they are so fickle, mean, cold, distant, angry, sad, annoying, hurtful, confusing and so on. Worrying about their thoughts and feelings doesn’t matter.

Just focus on what you want and whether the person is making the effort to make things work, together. Focus on what you want to feel, the actions to take and what results you want to create.

Personally, I would just make sure I’m relatively calm, bluntly talk about the situation, ask clarifying questions and focus on resolution. Or give personal space if it’s for the best, especially if they are or I’m still emotionally charged and hurt.

It’s better overall when everyone is calm and on the same page when working towards solutions. I don’t think there’s an easy solution to be found when emotional disagreements occur. There’s always the “agree to disagree” resolution and staying respectful of each other. But life tends to be more complicated and messy than that :0

How my feelings are only created by my own thoughts

That other people do not cause and control them.

In turn I do not create or control other people’s thoughts and feelings. It’s not my responsibility. I do not exist to make other people feel good, to make it as friendly as possible for others and to make them feel good about themselves (as much as the “How to win friends and influence people” book says you need to do it to get friends and influence). As much as people praise that book, I don’t really fully remember the book because I’m not consciously trying to influence and win over people. I’m a hermit after all! It does seem to make sense since we all have egos :0

As much as I agree that my life doesn’t revolve around other people (and nor do theirs), it’s super hard though when I have a family member who blames, yells and guilts me for things not going his way. And generally lots of people are constantly stuck in the mindset that others are to blame for their own negative thoughts and feelings and use emotional manipulation to get what they want. Ah well we all have our emotional baggage. Out of my control but something I tolerate day to day.

Ultimately thoughts come from our own brain, filtered through our own interpretation of the world, mood, any mental health struggles and how we’re feeling about ourselves. Same goes for others.

So don’t take responsibility on how people feel. Stop trying to give and force people to have good feelings, actively avoiding bad feelings and changing your own behaviour based on what they think and feel just to show that you’re not a bad, selfish person and more of a good, empathetic, compassionate person. Stop trying to emotionally control others as the basis to shame yourself and to be okay with yourself.

Please don’t force others to feel the way you want them to by trying to change them. You can’t stop them feeling upset; you don’t actually control that.

Apologies don’t really help when people are still having the same hurt, sad thoughts. There’s little difference because the feelings of hurt, resentment, resistance and anger are still there from both sides. The hurt one wants to blame the other for their sad feelings and the other takes responsibility from guilt. The “responsible one” then tries change the hurt one’s feelings so that they feel better but they can’t really change someone’s feelings! So they’re resistant, defensive and resentful because they can’t free themselves from their guilty, uncomfortable feelings. Then they resist responsibility because they feel bad about it and they want to rush the hurt one from their feelings in a futile attempt to make them feel better. It becomes a game of both parties trying to change the other person, just so they could feel better, over the other person.

These are all thoughts in the end. The cycle ends when you understand someone’s suffering is created from their thoughts. Not you, there’s nothing meaningful about you nor is it your problem to solve. Based on this you can have space, understanding, compassion, kindness for them, that you’re not trying to change them and you’re not making it about you.

Personally I have felt guilty for detaching myself emotionally for others feelings because it feels like I lack empathy and don’t fully understand others. Now that I’ve read my notes and thoughts here, I feel less guilty for others’ feelings and thoughts. I am reminded and understand that I can never fully understand another person’s mind.

What I can do is to do my best to support and not judge nor change others. No need to be defensive or reactive when they happen to blame you for your feelings. Because you know it’s not true. They’re just in the moment and mindset and it’s up to them to decide if they want to listen and/or change. There’s nothing you can do about their feelings and thoughts anyway.

By taking more emotional responsibility for yourself (and not for other people), you can now have room to be more kinder and compassionate to others feelings and thoughts. Focusing on what you can control and accept people as they are. They do how they like, as do you too!

As I think back, I think this philosophy is what I try to tell myself whenever family drama happens throughout most of my life. I just have to make sure I have space away from the drama, isolate myself if I’m too emotional, be selective with my battles, not let them emotionally manipulate me and just do my own thing :’)

Letting go of stress with making decisions

There is no right/wrong choice – it’s just a passing thought and self judgement in the end. Don’t let analysis paralysis and predictions hold you too long as the only fear you have is regret and your own self criticism, shame and blame. Commit to not shaming, blaming, guilting and criticising yourself for the decision like a perfectionist.

Deal with the outcomes as you go along. Live with your decisions!

Be able to internalise that you can feel good and back yourself up no matter the choice. Happiness and success is just driven by your thoughts. You can always choose how you think and feel.

Allow yourself the space to feel negative feelings too! It’s normal and okay! Just embrace the discomfort and uncertainty because we all deal with it. Stop trying to avoid mistakes and the feelings of shame, fear, guilt, regret, self doubt and anxiety. It’s really your thoughts causing them. They will come up anyway. Try your best to manage it with kindness with yourself.

I think since doing these notes and interpreting them I have been more keen to commit to a decision and go along with it. Learning that it’s not worth adding emotional stress to my life because of worrying about making decisions and choices. Yes I may do my research but eventually I have to decide! So I go with my gut reaction on whether I want to do it and after acknowledging and allowing some feelings of guilt, I do it anyway. Try stuff. And I move on quickly. Change course where needed. Face consequences and responsibility. Get help and support when needed.

It feels nice to be decisive sometimes, albeit a bit impatient and stubborn. I am the kind of person who likes to deal with an issue or thing swiftly and efficiently if possible while it’s still in the present :0

Allow yourself rest and alone time too.

Make sure you unplug from the internet, especially social media and create your own adventures that nourish you. Allow yourself downtime to rest and just have nothing scheduled. Scheduled unstructured time is the best!

Be okay with being alone with your thoughts (like I am now as I type all these reflective notes). So I’m fine with this one ;D

Being self aware means nothing if you don’t act upon it

Be reflective, self-aware and insightful all you like but it doesn’t transform you. Knowing your feelings and thoughts doesn’t change them nor make them less intense. One needs to apply and practice changing each thought everyday D:

I feel called out! Eep! But I do feel like reflecting on what I’m learning here is helping me to be mindful with my outlook and who I am as a person. Great reminders too so I don’t fall into the spiral of negative emotions all the time. I hope to keep growing and reminding myself!

Phew! These notes and thoughts are long! This is all I have for now. I don’t know how I will remember everything but what I got from it all was to be:

  • compassionate, patient, mindful and kind to myself, thoughts and feelings
  • that I am ultimately in control of my self-beliefs, thoughts and feelings (not anybody else)
  • that you have to be willing to face, accept and be compassionate with others’ thoughts, actions and feelings without taking responsibility and blame for them
  • I can direct my emotional and mental energy towards positive solutions, decisions, actions, thoughts and adventures <3

Melbourne City trip photos from earlier in the week!

I had no electricity for a day so I had nothing to do at home. Originally I wasn’t intending to go out because it was apparently super hot at 39 degrees but the weather forecast changed to different days instead. Note that I haven’t been out for 2.5 months. So here’s Leonie’s day trip to the city again!

Morning! I was admiring the huge xmas tree in Federation Square and wondering how it stays up with so much bulky decorations on it D: Steel supports maybe??

I don’t know what they’re building here but okay? Bright rising sun too! It’s becoming icky summer with annoying flies alright.

It feels more relaxed in the morning for some reason here, even though people are doing daytime 9am-5pm or 10am-6pm workdays still.

So my brother led me to the city’s Lune Croissanterie to actually try them for my first time! And actually eat breakfast! I was keen! My brother ordered first and it was quick as he got two traditional ones.

I was told to come down to the counter and got directed to wait to the side by the server guy for someone else to serve while he stood to the side to serve my brother. When he was done, he came to serve me again (nobody else came to serve me) and I asked for a traditional one and an almond croissant. Note that afterwards I checked if I was actually charged for both. I was.

Aside from the initial greeting when I was coming down to the counter, I was mostly avoiding eye contact, was quite uncomfortable as this is the first outside person I’m talking to so I was just keen on getting my croissants and observing things from the corner of my eye instead.

He put the paper bag to the side and he seemed to be facing towards my direction or probably looking way past me. I don’t know what he was doing and he wasn’t talking. Eventually after some deliberation and distracted, bizarre behaviour, he hovered his hand over what seemed like the traditional croissants as he kept looking behind him at or past(?) my direction. I zoned out a bit here, believing that he was serving me properly and I didn’t want to stare but in hindsight, I didn’t see him put any of them into the bag. Then finally he stopped facing towards my direction and bent down for the almond croissant and picked one to put it in. He then closed up the paper bag and gave it to me with a serviette and then went onto serving the next person.

‘Oh I got my croissants!’ I thought.

Walked several blocks and found a place where I could sit and eat. Pictured above was the almond croissant when I took it out to eat it.

With the almond one, it was super messy to eat but delicious (see above)! I scooped up the mess back into the bag afterwards 😀

Now I thought I had two croissants. So I dismissed the weird feeling when the bag felt light. So when I reached out into the bag for my second breakfast treat, it was empty.

I felt scammed. I bought it but I didn’t get it. 🙁

The empty bag. Where’s my croissant????? I would have taken a photo of it too but I didn’t get it 🙁

Was the server distracted? Why was he deliberating so much? Was he expecting something from the line behind me? Was he actually looking at me or past me? Why was he taking relatively slow and didn’t grab the traditional croissant when he was actually hovering over them? Did I miss some body language cues? Am I just simply dumb and naive? Why didn’t he say anything if he needed my attention? Who knows. I just felt unhappy, mad and robbed of my fancy, quality food.

As a super, frugal recluse, I was looking forward to it!! Still sad that I bought two croissants but only got one 😭 Whyyyy!!

Maybe I’ll ask someone else to buy it for me and try other ones next time :< Then again, I don’t know if I can buy there again.

Morning city skies. I knew about the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory musical but I did not know there was a Shrek musical going on here too :0 I can’t afford them though.

Festive and vibrant flower arrangement 😀 Went to Target to get some pants for summer too. The stuff my mother sewed for me and hand me downs aren’t going to last for long if I’m doing Ring Fit Adventure in them :0

Lots of these nutcracker soldiers here and there!

Also that sign does make me feel easier with breathing. What I don’t like about the city is when it’s crowded and randomly smokers are around me and then I can’t breathe properly :/ It becomes a game of struggling to run ahead of them and not walking behind them and their smoke.

I already have a smoker who refuses to quit in the family, I don’t need more passive smoking forced onto me. Don’t force me to breathe your passive smoke please! :<

I went to Daiso! It’s not as huge and amazing as the ones I explored in Japan but it’s still great because I actually understand more with a bit more english on things! And the selection of things is still decent 😀

I really like these gummies because they don’t stick to your teeth and are super tasty and fruity. They’re super sweet though but that’s probably because I ate a pouch of them, all at once hahaha

Hope to try different things next time; I just don’t understand what the text and labels say :<

A little selection of cute stationery and money envelopes! 😀 They have a larger range in Japan but I’m glad the the shiba inu dog is here!

My Daiso purchases! Things to help cut my hair with (I decided against getting a haircut from a salon to save money), some food treats to try and cooking chopsticks (saibashi) with cat patterns on them for frying things. I thought I could use them for cooking with boiling water but nope! Whoops!

And I got more brush pens, a watercolour brush and cheaper markers!! I wish I could get more and more colours plus some other self care things but the guilt of getting and hoarding too much stuff got to me :<

I can get the self care things when I actually need to use it. And I should probably save up for better quality art materials instead of being cheap :’) Executing self control and saving my money! I don’t have freelance work lined up after all!

I went to an innisfree store and I bought too many masks to try! I’ll probably space it out over two to three years. Kudos to the generous Lauren for buying me one to try earlier in the year; I still haven’t tried it yet but I think I need it from all the stress, jaw and body tension I’ve been having :’)

Since I was told to try it for a while now, I got treated to my first Halal Snack Pack (HSP) without the chilli sauce! At this point was pretty exhausted, hot, sweaty from the weather and walking around the city all morning so I was not keen on eating hot food. But I was committed to trying it so I bought it anyway.

It was super good to my surprise! It looks like a mess but it’s quite delicious! I ate slowly to enjoy it, got full and couldn’t finish it so I saved the chips to eat after the movie. I was also surprised that I didn’t feel sick of it!

I would definitely eat this again but not anytime soon! I know how unhealthy it is :’)

Went to the movies on my own and I picked this exciting, thriller, comedy, whodunit movie called Knives Out! Super glad I watched this one, highly recommended, tight storytelling and was super entertained throughout the whole thing!

Best that you go into it blind, like I did 😀

This is me admiring the christmas decorations around the city as I walked about window shopping and getting from A to B. I also got lost at the Emporium. Then I sat at the food court and hibernated from exhaustion for an hour :’)

Finally I got treated to a delicious medium box of rockmelon cubes (I love the juicy parts), a mango juice Boost smoothie and a cup of soy milk as a light dinner. I was super overwhelmed and fatigued for the rest of that day! Sleep was desperately needed that night for a hermit like me haha

Update rambles

My contract work has ended last week, now with no further, concrete plans. Finishing up loose ends as best I can too. I don’t have substantial work lined up so on the bright side, I have more time to go back to arting and learning :’)

At least I don’t feel too gloomy right now and I hope it stays that way.

Yeah the rollercoaster freelancer life! Hope to work on more interesting projects next year! Do better at the freelancing process too with experience. It’s a juggle :0

Anyhoo thanks for reading this super long post and although I don’t celebrate it, please enjoy the xmas shenanigans with your loved ones, family, friends and take special care of yourself! 💖🎄

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