i'm writing this to hold myself accountable
because i'm incapable of doing so on my own and need to feel the pressure of strangers on the internet
A year ago, I moved into my own place to build the creative environment of my dreams—one I could use to cultivate ideas and rediscover myself.
This space (appropriately named Kate HQ) would be the catalyst for focusing on my art, writing, and other endeavors. I had spent the three years prior doing this to some degree, but I was ready to go all in. I wanted the experience to allow me to come fully undone; I was prepared to spend a year of my life focused on what it means to pour myself into my creative expressions and learn who I am at my core.
And now that that year has passed I can confidently say: I couldn’t have predicted a single fucking thing that happened.
tldr; this past year ended up being about the pain that solitude can dig up, my journey for clarity, and accepting that just because a decision is painful, that doesn’t mean it’s the wrong one. i’m using this blog post as an indicator of where i’m at, where i’ve been, and as a way to publically hold myself accountable for what I’d like to accomplish moving forward. so uh here we go.
I could sit here and tell you all about the thoughts that come with spending prolonged periods of time alone.
The questioning of everything, the constant self-doubt, the inevitable shadow work you have to face from spending every waking moment with only your own company. The time and space to be alone introduced new ways of thinking. While there were bursts of being motivated about a new beginning, it dug up a lot of old pain.
As a highly independent person that’s always thrived in solitude, this twist was shocking (and really frustrating). I didn’t think that living alone would be such a different type of alone that would make me have to, like, face things.
Anyway, this was something that I ultimately chose so I refuse to create some sad narrative around it. And besides, it hadn’t always been like that.
The months leading to what I’ve labeled as my “kinda-on-time-midlife-crisis” were filled with so much: creating in Blender almost daily, making youtube videos, rediscovering my love for poetry, writing, so many late nights at euphoric levels from what I was creating... I felt inspired. I felt like myself.
But then uh take any sense of self I had and throw it out a window.
Looking back, there really wasn’t a defining moment of change. But suddenly my priorities had shifted; I’m only 23, I thought, why am I so obsessed with my output? Why is my sense of self so closely correlated to what I share with the internet?
The constant introspection and questioning is a common theme with me and this isn’t the first I’ve written about it (reference: How Social Media and NFTs Have Affected the Way I View my Art)
But for the first time, I started to resent my decision to focus so heavily on my work and career. While I’m incredibly privileged to work in tech and enjoy spending so much time online, I began to mourn the youth I lost because of it.
I started my career at 20. I turn 25 this year.
When I reflect on the past 5 years, all of the main memories I have are about work, or because of work, or somehow connected to the grind.
I needed to get to know myself outside of work. I’m more than an artist. I’m not just a designer. I sought to remember what life was like without the constant pressure of what to create next? Because honestly? I didn’t care anymore.
So I stopped.
I spent more time with loved ones. I stayed up late to play video games instead of in some rabbit hole about Blender. I went out and enjoyed being in my mid-twenties. I loved and fell out of love. I learned to be vulnerable. I traveled. I took risks and made mistakes. I learned to just sit in silence. I accepted my shortcomings (like how I will never be good at cooking) and took the time to recognize growth.
It’s funny; it took the time to be stagnant in my art to experience so much internal growth—the kind of growth I actually needed.
This article is giving live, laugh, love and I’m sorry but it’s all true.
winds of change
Having healed and ready to live, laugh, love my way into 2022, I tweeted this.
Not to be dramatic, but this yerba mate was not fucking around, took me way too literally, and marked the beginning of some of the hardest times of my life (all within a 5-month span).
Family struggles. Finding out the mental health diagnosis I’ve had my whole life is a misdiagnosis and I’m actually facing something much larger. Pushing people away because of it. Ending a long-term relationship as collateral. Having little to no support system as a result. Making decisions I never would have in the past and no longer recognizing myself. Realizing staying up for days at a time isn’t a ~creative breakthrough~ but actually a manic episode. Trying not to let any of this affect my work after being promoted into a senior position. Questioning what I really want out of my career long-term. Just trying to keep it together.
I’m not writing this out of pity for myself, but I think it’s important to share; too often do we fall into thinking that people are a reflection of what they share on the internet when usually that’s so rarely the case. We’re all hurting to some degree. It’s just easier not to talk about it.
Already it’s been more than a year of living on my own.
A year of high highs and low lows, but I don’t think I regret much. And the parts that I do, I’ll learn to accept.
But moving forward I need to do something with this space, this time, these emotions.
Might as well take the pain and finally put it to good use.
However, I am incapable of holding myself accountable for ANYTHING. So that is why I’m here with this horribly drawn-out blog post—I figure if I write about my goals and share them then maybe I’ll actually stick to them??
OK SO, friends and strangers on the internet, as I look to revisit creative work this is what I’m prioritizing:
Getting back into Webflow and actually updating my portfolio. It’s been years since I’ve updated it and I miss working in no-code tools.
Building said portfolio in public (tweeting live updates etc)
Giving more time to Blender. I likely won’t be able to share things daily (like in this thread…though that was hardly daily lol), but I’d like to share progress weekly at least.
Writing more for this Substack. Writing is always where my heart will be. Whether it be about design, 3D, or life in general, I’d like to start using this space more often.
And that’s it.
If you’ve made it this far, congrats on getting through this (highly personal) article. I spent too much time going back and forth on if I wanted to share this. But I hope it resonates with someone out there that may be going through something similar.
Here’s to chaos and all that it brings—even when we’re the least ready for it.