A Second Chance

In May of 2014, I did a project where I painted faces each day and then coupled those paintings with some quotes I liked. I then took the opportunity to write about the quote. This gave me an excuse to do art every day and to write here everyday; i miss both of these things dearly.

So I’ve decided that for the month of September, I will try to draw a quick girl and watercolor her everyday and couple her with quotes again. The drawings will be quick and imperfect and likely I will not like many of them. But the goal is to start flexing my drawing muscles again. I miss drawing. I miss watercolors. I miss doing creative things. September promises to be stressful so I am not sure if it will work out. But I will try.

We have to start somewhere, right?

So, for today, I drew this girl. I drew her in about 10 minutes and then spent the next 15 tinkering with her because I didn’t like her. I considered ripping the page about 11 times but wouldn’t let myself do it. The fact is, I make more bad art than I make good ones. I never really studied art. I forget how to do it right. I don’t have the instincts. I don’t like most of what I make. But I still keep trying. I like doing it. I like trying. And when, in one in a million chance, it looks like what I intended, it feels like my birthday and Christmas rolled into one. So I keep trying and I will keep trying. Nothing is wasted.

Today’s quote says:

You decide every moment of every day, who you are and what you believe in. You get a second chance, every second.

I believe this with my whole heart. It is never too late to be who you want to be. I believe all humans mess up. None of us are perfect. But I also believe that every moment is a new opportunity to do better. When I yell, I apologize and start over. When I make unhealthy choices, I try again for the next meal. I think there’s so much grace in giving yourself a second chance. So much kindness in allowing yourself to start over.

But it’s more than that. If I don’t believe that I get a second chance every second, then I give up. Which then gives me an excuse to continue the behavior that’s out of alignment with my values. I am constantly going against them and there’s nothing quite as draining as stepping on one’s values. Then I feel bad, then I do more of it, then I feel really bad, I feel ashamed, and that causes me to behave even more badly, and this story never ends well. Yet, if I believe in second chances, every second, any moment is an opportunity for me to course correct. Any moment is an opportunity to step into who I am. I don’t have to wait till tomorrow or monday or the beginning of the month. I can do it right now. I can be who I want to be. That’s so liberating. So empowering.

And as I grow older, I realize that I am allowed to change my mind, too. I am allowed to change my mind about what matters. About who I wish to be. Life is short, and I am only bound by the rules I create for myself. I get to choose what matters most to me and then I get to choose to be that person. When I mess up (which I always do), I get to get up, dust myself off, apologize, give myself grace, and then try all over again.

And, if I am lucky, most days, I do more good than bad. But, either way, I get a second chance, every second.

And thank goodness for that.

And So It Starts

karenika.com

School started yesterday for us, so I figure it’s about time I go back to writing here. I have so much to say but I never seem to be able to have enough time to sit and put thoughts down on paper. So I figure we’ll start with snippets and maybe it will help me get in the habit of writing again.

I’ll share some of what’s going on with me and I’d love to hear some of what’s going on with you.

  • This summer has been long and hectic and I have been completely thrown off my schedule. I haven’t touched art supplies in months and I am craving it so much but I also feel so insecure. It’s been so long that I am not sure I remember how to do anything. I am dreaming up ideas in my mind but then never delivering on them. The only art I’ve done all summer was my class for Brave Girl University. I keep thinking about creating  a schedule for myself for the fall. Something to get me back on track. Something that excites me but I am too wiped to even make plans most days. I am even behind in my Life Book classes, which never happens!
  • My oldest one started Fifth Grade and around here that means Middle School applications, shadow visits, interviews and exams. I am not looking forward to any part of it. I am going to try to go through it as gracefully as possible and I am hoping we come out of it with as few scars as possible. Most importantly, I hope he ends up where he will be happiest for the next seven years. I wish him belonging, contentment, and enthusiastic curiosity.
  • Brave has been a really good word for me this year and I am hoping it will continue to serve me well. I’ve been braver this year I can remember in a long, long time. I’ve already chosen my 2016 word and I think it will serve me well, too.
  • I’ve been pretty bad with taking photos, too. I am going to make more of an effort this fall. Even if the days are busy, I know I always love looking back at them and I want to make sure I have some from this moment in our lives.
  • I finally said good-bye to the last scrapbooking commitment I had. I am not sure what this mean for my scrapping. But, for now, it was the right thing to do.
  • I am always trying to work on my schedule and always trying to be healthier. I find that exercise, eating well, journaling more, and getting the “best” schedule are always on my list for things I want to be better at. I don’t know what this means but I am making peace with the fact that I might never get any of them perfect and they might need to have permanent residence on my todo list.
  • I am deeply grateful for my husband and my family. They are the rocks in my life that always always make me feel like everything will be okay.
  • I was doing my August OLW page a few weeks ago and one of the things I realized is how amazing my life turned out. How it is above any expectations I could ever have had. I was born in Istanbul, Turkey and have dreamt of moving to the United States for as long as I can remember. And here I am. I live in beautiful California. Have an amazing husband, incredible kids, wonderful job, and so much more. How did I get this lucky?
  • I’ve been listening to a lot of books on audio lately and I’ve been loving it. It allows me to walk while I listen or listen while I drive. It’s reduced TV time because I so often prefer to listen to books instead. I really have been enjoying it. At the moment I am rereading 1984 so I can discuss it with my nephews and I am listening to The Corrections because I never read it way back when it came out. I cannot wait to start reading Brene’s new book.
  • I cannot, cannot, cannot wait until Brave Girl University launches. I hope you’ll join me. Kathy and Melody never create anything that’s not magical, in my book.
  • I really love my job. It’s not perfect and some days I wish many things were different but most days I am really grateful for it. I’m so glad I took the leap.
  • Some days I feel so on top of my life, my choices, my values and I feel like I behave the way I’d like to. Other days, I’m a total mess and do the exact opposite of everything I claim to want to be. I really disappoint myself. And then many days I am too tired to even figure out what to do, how to feel. I find myself living day to day more than I ever have and while this is good for some things, it’s not good for many others. I like having a plan and working day in, day out for my plan. I would like to be able to be flexible but still have a plan so my goal is to have it be so by mid-September. I hope I can do this.
  • I am thinking of starting to do some Yoga. It will come with this magical new schedule I will create.

So that’s a bit of what’s going on with me. How are you? Here’s to a magical Fall!

A Book a Week – the enchanted

I read The Enchanted because amazon recommended it and I just kept coming back to it like there was something calling to me.

It was also so very short that I felt like I should at least give it a chance. It takes place in jail, so I knew it wouldn’t be all that uplifting.

And it wasn’t.

But it also wasn’t all that great. Not the worst book I read but not as interesting as Amazon made it sound like it would be.

Everyday Brave – Week 25

Here’s this week’s layout:

The left side here is a door. It’s a bit crooked:

And the right side is a pair of sandals.

And there we are. Here’s another week of practicing courage.


Fifty-two stamps is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

You Choose - Week 26

It is not what you look at, it is what you see. This one is about being alive. Having fun. Seeing what’s possible.

shiny bits:


You Choose is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

A Book a Week – the bone clocks

I read The Bone Clocks because I am a big David Mitchell fan. I loved The Cloud Atlas and this was compared to that and it was also long listed for the Man Booker.

And it didn’t disappoint.

With the exception of the last story, which was a little out there for me, i loved all of the book. I read it relatively quickly but still savored it and found myself looking forward to it.

If you’ve never read Mitchell, I’d say start with Cloud Atlas, but if you’re a fan like I am, this is a good one to pick up.

Note to Self – Week 28

This week’s page was for One Little Word. The prompt was about music but I decided to do mottos for myself instead. These are all notes to self. They are things I want to remember and use as mantras for myself.


Note to Self is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Everyday Brave - Week 24

Here’s this week’s layout:

The left side here is a teapot, I don’t like how it turned out but here we are:

And the right side a crooked teacup so here we are:

And there we are. Here’s another week of practicing courage.


Fifty-two stamps is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

You Choose - Week 25

This week’s pick is about being alive. Sometimes what makes me come alive is the human touch. This week, I’m honoring and remembering and choosing the touch.


You Choose is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

A Book a Week – afterworlds

I read Afterworlds for a book club. I had read Uglies by him before and hadn’t liked it so I wasn’t sure about this book but I did finish the whole thing. I didn’t like it. It’s an unusual book with alternating chapters where one story is about a girl who’s writing a book and then the other one is the book she’s writing.

very meta.

but maybe because it tried to be gimmicky, it was just too shallow. too stereotypical. too uninteresting.

i’ve said it often i know, but gimmicks are hard to get right.

Note to Self – Week 27

This week’s page was another inspired by a Life Book lesson. But It’s just one I did when I decided I wanted to do something, anything.

Message says: Everyday has light and dark in it. Remember: there will be light tomorrow, too.

Here are a few detail shots:

Note to self: i want to remember that there’s light even in the darkest day and dark in the light days. Each day has elements of both. I want to be able to see the light in my dark days and notice that they are there. This is how life becomes magical. In always seeing the light, no matter how small it is.


Note to Self is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.

Everyday Brave - Week 23

Here’s this week’s layout:

The left side here is a kitchen table:

And the right side is supposed to be a perspective drawing. these are always hard for me.

And there we are. Here’s another week of practicing courage.


Fifty-two stamps is a project for 2015. You can read more about it here.