May 11, 2010

Blank Slate

So, y'know how I took some time off a few weeks ago? Just wasn't feelin' it? Well, there have been some aspects of my life weighing heavily on me as of late. Don't worry... I'm past the "pity party" stage at this point, Kids, so you should be fine. But, I've felt restless, anxious, and, as is typical with me, worried. About career, money, family, aging parents, health, etc., etc.

All of this has me looking at things a bit differently. Trying to come at things with fresh eyes or fresh perspectives. I don't know. It just has me thinking more about what's important and that this life we're given is all too short and fleeting. Not in a morbid way but in that, "What the hell am I doing?!!" kinda way. Do you know what I mean? It has me thinking more deeply about the choices I'm making for myself and what I'd like to see be a part of my life... or not a part of my life. People, places, things, jobs, food, home... (again) etc., etc. It has me thinking about authenticity.

Okay, y'all know I love me the blogosphere. It can be a fabulous place full of fabulous people. But, as I will find the topic of conversation when I get amongst a gaggle of bloggers, it can really work a number on your sense of self. Everything can appear so polished and so put together that you leave a plate in the sink and suddenly you're feeling a little "less than". I mean, ultimately we make those choices but it does make me consider part of the artifice that can become all too tempting when blogging. And, I kinda wanna bust through that a bit here.

Kids, I really try and keep things on the positive and clean side here at The Bedlam and, lord knows, I clearly love me some pretty, pretty a good portion of the time. But, behind the scenes, I'm working with popcorn ceilings and a serious potty-mouth. Don't get me wrong... I for one appreciate the art of editing. And, believe me, right now you do too. Trust me. But I'm also sensing a personal need to be a bit more forthcoming.

I sit here for hours every single day sifting through emails, phone calls, blog posts, websites... working to bring together a post or two for your perusing enjoyment. Afterward, I'll usually guzzle some kind of lunch, head off to work, come home, late dinner, hour of some TV, sleep... repeat. Meanwhile, I'm scraping together the means to pay bills and wishing I had "that house", "that job", "that life". The reality is I'd probably spend a little less time wishing if I spent a little more time doing. I say that but don't really know what "doing" would mean...??? But I'd really like to find out.

Y'see that photo up above? A bunch of blank pages surrounded by a cacophony of clutter? That's pretty much a visual metaphor for your Uncle. I have tried on SO many hats in my life but still find myself a blank slate. Part of that comes from spending too much time being a beefy-of-all-trades-master-of-none, part from your everyday creative a.d.d., and part from spending way too much time trying to be what you think will make you rich, popular, praised, and/or liked (preferably a full-meal-deal combo). But enough with all of that I say! I mean, I'd be lying if I said I was completely beyond the aforementioned temptations but I am tired of them. I'm tired of a lot of things, frankly. And now I want to do something about them.

What does that mean exactly? Hell if I know?!! But I will, for now, be spending a bit less time blogging and a bit more time doing, well, something. No lofty plans at the moment and no high-horse pontifications to brow beat you with, Kids. Just a guy who's looking to be a little more himself and needing to make a little more time to figure that out. But the top hat stays!

I'll see ya' around, Kids.

p.s. - Kids... to clarify... I'll still be blogging just not as much for a while. That's all. Okay? I ain't takin' the saddle off the horse just yet! So stick around.. ya' here?


  1. wow...I am at that same exact spot(mostly) expressed it just as I have been thinking it. My best to's hoping we figure it all out....

  2. Mon Oncle. You are engaging on a very valid exercise. Everything has a season. I hope that the blogging season for you is not over, but if it is, you came away from it having gained a lot of new friends and having given your readers a lot of your joy. Potty mouth or no. I wish you lots of fun, more great CUPCAKES, and all the best on the rest of the journey.


  3. So much of what you're saying is something I've felt before. It can be overwhelming. And whether or not you decide to stay on this path or try something new, you're foolish not to question what it means and where it's taking you. I'd say I'm going to miss you, but I'm lucky enough to think of you as a friend outside of this world, so I'm just going to wish you the best of everything. I'm sure a big weight has been lifted, and I'm excited to see where you take us next, Beefy. BIG kiss! xo

  4. hi honey

    you are an amazing writer, you have a natural ability to connect with people through your musings, when you are being honest/authentic about where you are at it is your best writing.


  5. I love you uncle Beef! I empathize with the book title: my life would be perfect if only i had THAT house. ha! thanks for all your blogging, you add sunlight to the blogosphere with your funny writing. I urge you, and me, et al (who ever he is) to find that thing to do that will turn this around for you/ all of us. Other bloggers are feeling the same way, from what I can gather. hugs.

  6. I think the key really is in doing something with all the inspiration, no matter what that is, or even whether the results are blog-worthy. If I fill up with too much inspiration and don't do anything with it, it starts to overwhelm me and make me unhappy.
    Good luck figuring out what you need to do!

  7. Sure, you can take a 'blog-vacay,' even cheat on us, if you will, but don't you dare leave us, now. We need you! For inspiration, for drool-inducing images, for smirking (maybe that's just my reaction to your humor) and most of all, for the unique and totally 'you' voice you bring to the blogsphere. Nobody writes like the Beef. Thank you, thank you. But no divorce, y'hear? (Now go and get rid of that popcorn ceiling, it is clearly driving you to the edge.)

  8. I hope your 'search' leads you to writing a book because your words inspire ~ they possess a lovely magic that is so rare to find in this big ol' world! Your penchant for all things beautiful paired with your off-the-cuff-sass of thoughts are a highlight of many days.

    This being said, I will miss you Unc, but I completely understand. Blogging is a 'time sucker'. And it has to be balanced and enjoyed or it just isn't worth it....

    Cheers to you finding that "it"!


  9. Way to be yourself and to us...only good can come of it and I just know you'll find that balance of inspiration and doing. I can identify with the "jack of all trades" thing...being creative and interested (and talented) in many things can be trying and confusing, so many loves...

    We'll all be here, we're all rootin for ya, and we're all behind you 100%! Your blog is a definite "do" so I can't wait to see what your other "do's" produce!

    And speaking of *do's*...remember the doodling's your's if ever you need a doodling/chitlin fix.

    Take care U.B. & go get em (especially that ceiling)!
    xo Jessica~

  10. hey- as an outsider looking in, you really do have a gift, and i know at the end of the day, it can often feel like you are peddlin'/admiring crap, albeit beautiful crap, but hang in there... the fact that you are struggling means that you are changing and i am a fan. kind regards, nan

  11. I know you know that I know...
    but here's something you may not know (or fully believe): You are truly cared for. Sending you a big bearhug.

  12. oh how refreshing! i read all these 'super blogs' and feel so inadequate. i just want to share what i find to be beautiful, and i love peeking at what others find beauty in as well. when those overlap; i get excited! but the sheen and the polish that a blog exudes is almost otherworldly...and unbelievably intimidating!! Thank you! and please don't be gone too long :)

  13. Uncle Beefcake. I. Can. Relate. Literally, I wrote this same blog post in my head about 6 months ago. For me, it was quitting a full time job to pursue the other full time job (letterpress) that I really loved. But it came with lots of questions, uncertainty and frankly, some ugly baggage (we're not talking Louis Vuitton here, either.) For me, it required a spontaneous 10 hour road trip to Kansas and back to Texas (3 days, mind you) to to have a point of comparison. Turns out, all I needed, at least for the time being (I AM a Sagitarius, after all), was to sign a new studio lease, paint some godawful paneling white (and about 15 trips to IKEA) for me to really find a place that has renewed my creative spirit and sense of direction in my personal/professional life. Maybe that's all you need, as well - a change of scenery? Come on down to Texas for a spell! You're always welcome at my humble abode (although I may put ya's to work gettin' inky!) xoxo

  14. Good idea to take a break Beefy. Zoom out and take a look at the bigger picture. Sound like you've lost your focus. I'm a firm believer in the value of having a focus. Take your time, hey maybe take a trip. I have always found the best way to get out of a rut is to move - like change locations. I bet most people feel like you do on a regular basis but they are too busy being busy to pay attention and try to figure it out. I don't comment too much on blogs because I'm not much of a writer but just wanted to tell you that your comments on my Poppytalk guest post 2 years ago meant a lot to me and I remember them clearly. Now go, figure it out . . .

  15. relax, recharge, regroup.

    all the best to you sir,


  16. A blank slate, how refreshing! Happy to help, to give a
    little push for you to crack those eggs, lift that pencil, paint that paint - you can do it!
    Thanks for sharing your beefy bedlam.

  17. This so good! Everybody should take a good reflection of what they are doing!!
    Good things always come from it!!!
    Enjoy!! All The best, Connie
    Fantastic Blog by the way!!

  18. Beef! We'll miss you! Come back soon! xoxoxox, Laura P.S.: a link that reminded me of you...

  19. It's always a pleasure to hear what you have to say and see what catches your eye, whether you decide to post once a day, once a week, or once a month.

  20. live simply.
    give simply.
    live in the present.
    know that it will all be okay.

  21. Awww Beefy, so many of us are in the same boat. I'd reach over and give you a hug if I could. You are an amazing, amazing writter, you brighten my days. I so appreciate you.
    Keep your head up uncy. Love, Hugs, and Smootches.

  22. You know what? I know you might be in a whirlwind right now and wondering where to go from here but, I applaud your desire to figure it out and we will always be here waiting to hear how you are & what beautiful things you have found in your travels. I try to keep things positive over on my blog too but, I also swear like a sailor and have a dark sense of humor & am often cleaning up poop & pee from one of the creatures that live here in our home. :) I have no doubts you will find something lovely for you, now that you are letting it in and I can't wait to hear all about it. Know that I am rooting for you & wishing you all the very, very best.

  23. I think everyone feels like that sometimes. ;) Blogging can really become overwhelming and eat up so much time- I know what you're saying. The summer is a perfect time to spend less time at the computer and more DOING. You're so talented- you'll figure out what makes you happiest and works best for you before you know it. And really, down the road, you'll have more to blog about! Ha! (And I think maybe a little summer trip to CA might be in order??)

    I hope you have a great day- and talk soon!

  24. i often wonder if what you feel is more of how we should feel...curious, unsettled, (holy unrest is the artists state of being, is it not?), dissatisfied and wanting something more. take time to feel restless because it's that feeling that spurs us on to do something MORE than what's expected of us. good luck uncle. and don't worry, no one's going anywhere.

  25. your inspired me over and over again.
    you are definitely not alone.
    you need to take your time and when you are "in the blogging mood" i will be waiting and ready to take on a curse word.

  26. You know I'm right there with you. And presenting things as polished? pssht, come on over to my blog, you know I'm the queen of honesty. It's not all rainbows and unicorn tears (god, how many times have I said that today?). Look at all the drama that happened over on my blog today because of that. But it's ok. And you're ok beefy. Promise we will have some tea when we come out there in august, ok?

  27. Blank slate? - well, lucky you. And they come in so many wonderful colors these days. Pick one today and change it tomorrow. A warm orange slate goes well with something baked from the oven to share with someone you love. Yesterday, it was chocolate pumpernickel bread with spicy raisins (uh huh; went over real good). Today, who knows.

    Simply put, we're all feeling it.

    You're so eloquent, and editing yourself must be a task... so why don't you take your show on the road and get a few bookings musing for us in small venues? I bet the full monty of you is even more entertaining. Find a sponsor...Uncle Beefy's Cupcake Fantasy Tour. Need an east coast agent? Be well and journey on. Patricia

  28. AY-MEN!! I hear you loud and clear. I am in the same boat and at a major crossroads right now. I have been laid off from my job and am trying to figure out next steps. I hope you'll share with us here your path forward so that we can all be inspired by it, no matter how trial-and-error it may be. I wish you the very, very best and can't wait to see where you go next.

    P.S. Oh, and aren't the best days when you're actually out and about, being productive, in real life?! I have drastically cut down my online time and know I'm better for it, no matter what the number of unread items in my Google Reader says...xo

  29. Its always good to step back, take stock and take new steps forward. I must say, I look forward to the posts on this blog- I find them all so beautiful and inspiring. I almost always find myself taking a journey from any given post I read and that sincerely warms my heart.

    I look forward to future posts - no matter how many or few they are, and am keen to see where you take yourself creatively and all else in the future.

  30. i recently found you and i would just like to say THANK YOU, your blog is just ... awesome. thank you and all the best for your adventure! love from manila and san francisco <3

  31. I'm so glad you wrote this!! I think most of us have been here at some point in our life and I too am there at the moment.... its not fun, but its not hell either and I'm hopeful that changes will happen. I feel you wrote exactly what I couldn't express.

    Thanks Beef.

    ps. keep those posts coming even if they are far and few between.

  32. I think this was the post pensive and meaningful post I've read in a while. I can totally relate. Thank you for sharing. I feel relieved that I'm not the only one who suffers from self-imposed bouts of anxiety.
    Lila Ferraro
    Queen Bedroom Sets

  33. Monsieur Beefy! Mon dieu, quel mots.. d'vraies émotions! Showing us the flip side, merci à toi. Thank you. We'll all still be here for you when you do post a little something for us. Scraps, I will take it! Take your time, do your thing. Looking at this, your baby this blog, I'm sure whichever path you take you will make it a great walk! Who cares what we think, just go! Allez allez, t'es capable!

  34. we will enjoy anytime you drop in... and my thoughts are with you... take care of you and your family...
    xx pam

  35. Just know we love your writings and all you share with us, from every perspective you have a way of getting everyone on board and I think we all feel confused and wondering about the purpose but find it hard to share those feelings, I am adding two more arms to Jane's bear hug.

    PS. I swear like a sailor, loathe my job, leave paper all over the place, never do the washing up until forced and my laundry basket has taken on a monstrous form that scares me every time I step near.

  36. I've been feeling the same exact way. Actually for the past 6 months I've been feeling this way. I think it's something we all go through, and you know this already...for me, blogging was a creative outlet and a way to connect to people when I wasn't quite as busy with life. Right now I'm a full time grad student and I'm almost 6 months pregnant. The first trimester I was miserable about blogging because I used to love to do it in the morning, then I was constantly nauseous and unmotivated to do much of anything then. I don't know if/when I'll be able to go back and say I'm 100% back in the game.

    I can't offer much advice because I'm totally with you, but I have to express what a talented, unique and funny person you are. I don't know if you hear it all the time or what, but there isn't really anyone else like you out there in the blogging world. And I should know....I have subscribed to them ALL! It's tough being a blogger and only other bloggers really know that.

  37. Love you so much and know the feeling! Lets get together soon. Coffee, lunch, drinks? -Amber

  38. Just seen this. It seems like we're all doing it! (Blog vacations that is).

    I hear you loud and clear anyway, but look forward to your return.

    BTW, did you take that photo? It's gorgeous....

  39. Uncle B., I finally caught up and read this post. I think so many of us can relate to what you're going through, and so sorry that you're going through it. Juggling so many things gets overwhelming and we must take some things off of our plate to regroup. I don't mean to be "preachy," but take your needed time off from blogging. We'll all be here when you return. Your life is more important than trying to keep up with the madness of the internet. That's why I rarely comment on blogs. I just don't have time. I'm take care...smell the roses...and we'll all be here doing the same old sh*t!!

  40. Great post, Uncle Beefy. Thanks so much for sharing – I can relate. Looking forward to see what you'll do next. Bon voyage!

  41. I've always been drawn to your blog - more so than any other one. I love the way your write, your wittiness and your style.

    I congratulate you on getting out and living your authentic life -your real life- and are not just living vicariously through the pretty one you've curated here on the blog.

    It's out there for you, I am sure of it -- as a creative I know it's hard to find a comfy place. I have tried on creative careers like hats, I tell you...and I am still looking for the right one. That hunt, does it come from being highly visual person who is easily inspired to create beautiful things? I don't know. But I am proud of you for taking a step back to really suss things out and make new, smarter choices for yourself.

    Like you said, a break, blogging less NOT never blogging again - I think we can ALL deal with that idea. Cuz we'll miss you on the days while you are away! Maybe all of us should take a lesson from you on that. It's time to enjoy this beautiful life, flaws and all.

    Now let's get out of the house and go eat cake.

  42. I love you U.Beefy! Yes, yes, yes a hundred times.

  43. Hi, Kids...

    Well, what do I possibly say? Look at all these comments! I wish there was some possible way to convey how much each and every one of these means to me. I mean, really. I've been reading and re-reading over them and they are of enormous comfort and support. In ways you can't imagine. Please know that I don't take any of these or the thoughtful people behind them for granted.

    Every day... I can stop and look, read, and remember... 42 blessings. Each and every one.

    Thanks, again, Kids. For everything. :)


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