The What If Carousel?

Ladies, do you ever find yourself laying down, minding your own business, and suddenly there’s a pain that shoots right through your boob? In that moment you think “oh god this is it! My time has come! I see the light!”

I’m not here to talk about random titty pain. In that moment, even if just for those few seconds, I hop onto the “what if” carousel. What if it’s breast cancer? What if I’m having a heart attack? What if this is something serious? What if I go to the doctor and they don’t take me serious? What if I die because the physician is racist and didn’t think I deserved the correct test? What if I die right now and when people find my body they find my vibrator next to me instead of a bible?

All jokes aside the What If Carousel is a scary place and for those with anxiety the ride is longer and much harder to hope off of. I find myself settling onto my horse, holding onto my pole, going in circles, completely ignoring all the signs saying I’ve exceeded the expected ride time.

My days are filled with thinking of possible negative outcomes, ignoring very possible positive outcomes, and these days often I become void of any action at all because of it. Just imagine the viciousness of the What If Carousel of someone with agoraphobia? It breaks my heart to even fathom.

What if my candles aren’t good quality? What if I don’t pass this exam? What if I can’t pay rent next month? What if I’m deathly ill and unaware? What if my friends think I’m super annoying and just put up with me? What if I’ll be alone forever? What if I’ll always be reaching for success but never grab it? What if Jehovahs Witnesses are right and I’m gonna die forever? What if I’m the only one that thinks what I write is worth reading?

Lately I’ve been riding on my own carousel moreso than normal. I really want to get off and get shit done.

These questions or similar ones occupy my mind often. The other day I had to scrape up some weed (too poor to buy some because ya know priorities and shit). My carousel had started moving waaaay too fast. It wasn’t a fun ride. Scary is what it was.

I sat on the edge of my tub with the shower running, paying no mind to the water covering the floor, and exhaled through a straw. (A breathing technique I’ve learned that has carried me through many panic attacks) Eventually I felt Mary Janes presence, took my shower, ate the food I had previously lost all appetite for, and went to sleep.

When I woke up you know what I said? My first thought the next morning was “what if I always need Mary Jane to save me?” And then I started my carousel up for the day………

Are You Ok?

So, I was scrolling twitter (instead of doing homework) the other day and I saw a tweet that got me thinking.

It basically said acting like you’re looking for something to stop from crying in front of someone is a skill. It’s definitely one I’ve perfected lol.

So how the hell does one get so good, like myself, at hiding when we aren’t ok and why is it so normal to do so?

I could tell you but nobody has time to read that dissertation.

Nobody is telling you to cry in your managers lap at work everytime something isn’t going swell in life. Don’t do that.

I’m just saying I’ve gotten really good at pretending to be ok when I’m not, especially in public spaces. The pressure of having to constantly hold those emotions in for the sake of being strong and persevering and optimistic has effects on you trust me.

Most of the time we learn to do this because it wouldn’t be beneficial to not “suck it up” and push through. For example, if you really like your job maybe wait until you aren’t on an important conference call to break down.

Disclaimer: Crying at work may prohibit promotions

I’d be a liar though if sometimes I didn’t want to say “yea well I feel like I can’t breathe because my throat is getting tight because the stress I’ve been feeling lately is so overwhelming I want to rip apart my garments and cry out to the heavens “WHY GOD?!?!?”

But alas, I usually settle with a “oh no girl I’m fine yes I can have that done by Monday no problem.”

The question becomes how do we remain strong but in those real torturous moments of weakness how do we learn to simply say “No I am not ok.”

P.S. If you can’t make it home to go cry in the shower like all of the rest of us do, I will not judge you if you only make it to your hallway.

February 1: Things Unsaid

So for this prompt I would like to write a few letters to my immediate family. I’ve always felt like letters are a way to say things to someone that the tongue doesn’t allow to be set free.

To my oldest sister Kattie,

I am sorry. I am sorry that you lost your father and your mother and could not verbally express your sorrow. I’m sorry that I didn’t feel like I could handle taking care of you by myself at 20 years old after mom died. I’m sorry for all the mistakes I may have made during the months that I tried. I’m sorry your autism causes you to view familiarity and routine as comforts and those comforts were taken away from you. I’m sorry I don’t come see you as much to check on you and that I make an excuse because I know you’re being well taken care of. I am sorry I’m not a better little sister.

To my second oldest sister Lisa,

I want to know why? Why I can’t see my niece, why you haven’t called or text me in years, and why I had to find out you were pregnant via social media. I know why. Because Jehovah told you not to. So I guess I mean I want to know why the love you have for me isnt strong enough to push through that. I held your hand during many dark times and it’s insufferable to constantly realize that during my dark times you’re voluntarily staying away. It hurts deeply and you plan on continuing on with your life not letting that pain affect you. I wouldn’t do that to you if the roles were reversed and let’s not forget that at one point they were. I still love you with all of my heart…..even if you only love me from outside of the cage you have sentenced me to.

To my third oldest sister Alex,

Alex fighting! I miss how we used to be when mom was alive, playing video games in my room or you forcing me to watch a Korean drama that shortly thereafter I’d become obsessed with. Though I don’t miss those times as deeply because intertwined in those memories are memories of my toxicity towards you and your being. Your nature differs so much from mine in many ways and my lack of understanding for such a difference but yet annoyance of it during our younger years sickens me. You still piss me off just as much but if I had realized how much I need and love you perhaps I wouldn’t have been so mean. I’m sorry for the role I played in certain past traumas you hold and hope that before I leave this earth I can prove to you how much I love you.

To my fourth oldest sister Latrice,

Yes I have you blocked on Facebook. I find it hard to deal with how your mental disorders manifest and how they make me feel. I often think of our biological mother and traits we may share from her. Or our dads, whoever they may be, and how different they may have been. I remember being bonded together simply in the fact that we shared DNA and the other sisters couldn’t say that. Hell, I have yet to be able to say that to anyone in my life but you. The truth was there than and it’s here now: You scare me. I constantly fear your mental instability is one of the shared traits and mine has just yet to manifest as fiercely. I wish you were just a tad more mentally stable. I wish you could come visit and we could go for coffee and I come play with your children. I wish I didn’t fear for their wellbeing when with you and I wish I didn’t fear for yours. I pray that the universe or whoever is in control of our lives watches over you in ways that I can’t.

To my fifth oldest sister Jasmine,

Bitch I fucking adore you and I cannot stand your trifling ass! Hahaha. The relationship I have with you is the most fierce and complex than the other sisters simply because we are connected so strongly but the deep love for you all is there all around. We are the babies of the McClendone clan but the crazy ones as well. The ones cracking jokes at family reunions and getting in trouble for giggling instead of bowing our heads during prayer. The first person who taught me about sex and that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I decided to put my mouth on a mans appendage. The first person I called whenever I was in trouble and needed a way out without getting caught by momma. I want to tell you that you underestimate yourself and there’s a part of our bond I believe that solely relies on me trying to change that. We argue more than anyone in the family but I also believe it’s because we become so frustrated when the other is not doing what we know they should and could be. I’ve always thought your promiscuity stemmed from lack of self love and the search to find it in others. I wish more for you. You make the stupidest decisions sometimes but I’ve learned not to get so angry because you are always the first person to walk me through my own.

To my mother,

I am mad at you. Livid. Furious. YOU LEFT ME HERE! You left me here to deal with life without you and I wasn’t prepared. I’m having such a hard time without you and you should be here. PERIOD. I’m angry at you for dying and I’m angry at myself for being angry at you. As if you had a damn choice. As if you didn’t fight hard for me everyday. But I was your baby. I AM YOUR BABYCAKES! Please come back to me. Even if just for a little while. I promise not to be so angry with you anymore. I’m so sad without you it is sometimes physically unbearable. My existence is in constant turmoil without you mommy, I miss you and I’m just simply not ok without you and never will be. Come back to me. Please

Black and Badass

I searched Facebook tonight for events happening in my area and what I stumbled upon made me realize I might have bigger issues than what to do on a Friday night.

BlackGirlChatt’s 1st Annual: The Launch Party. A night of drinks and conversations with some motivated and determined black women sounds right up my alley.

I am determined to make 2020 matter. These past few years I have been simply trying not to drown and I think 2020 is the year I start swimming (even if I have to start off with an enthusiastic doggy paddle).

My excitement grew as I explored the event page. Cocktail attire meant I finally would have a reason to attempt to beat my face, which I am sure would be only slightly successful. Drinks would be available and that is always a plus in my book.

Though I adore the friends I have made here in Chattanooga, I cannot dismiss the fact that throwing some much needed melanin into my circle of friends would definitely make me happy. It’s kind of like how no matter how many languages you may be fluent in, it will always feel good to have a conversation in your native tongue.

What would I know though? I barely made it out of Spanish 4 alive. Dios mio!

As I clicked on what the event was geared towards and who were some of the figures attending, my desire to attend waned.

Scared isn’t the word. Intimidated is more like it. I slowly started to convince myself I would not belong.

Am I a black girl? Yea. Do I want to chat? If you met me you know I never shutup. But am I doing absolutely anything where I would be able to bring something of value to the conversation?

No.

I don’t have a business. No grand innovative idea to bring the community closer together. No works to share or services to offer. No advice to give.

I realize this event is to build connections not just have fun and I simultaneously realize I lack any outlets for someone to plug into.

Anxiety, my old friend, how are you? Staying long?

On the flip side, I have been telling myself that perhaps this is where I start in order to gain these things. Perhaps I need to surround myself with the kind of people who are already doing great things so I can follow in their foot steps and eventually pave my own way.

I want to hear how people got their ideas/goals to become tangible sources of income. I want to talk about my ideas, though they seem small and insignificant at times.

The reason why my goals usually begin and end on paper is because I am too scared that I am not enough to carry them out. Just like I am too scared that I am not enough to converse and mingle with these women tonight.

Fear of inadequacy is a bitch and if I decide to fight her tonight and attend this party I promise to let you know how it goes! I think it is time for me to not only be black but black AND a badass!

-Mac

Put It Down

I am one person. One friend, one sister, one student, one employee, one body, one brain, one heart. Knowing this to be true, I am not sure why I feel the need to be more for others.

I am never helping someone or supporting someone for selfish gain. In fact, if I were selfish I wouldn’t do half the shit I do for people. Now I am not saying I’m a fucking saint but I really hate to see anyone I love down in any way. If they’re stressed, I’m stressed. If they’re heartbroken, my heart aches. You get the point.

Lately I have found myself constantly trying to heal and help others. Where’s the issue? I need help. I need to heal. I am always going out of my way to do so for others and often end up also having to do it for myself.

I threw a pity party recently and just kept asking myself why. Why did I offer to pay for their meal when I barely had enough for mine? Why did I agree to going out if I was already overcome with anxiety? A plethora of like-minded questions circle my brain as I laid in the dark.

I’ve talked about being insecure before with you guys and though this may have a little bit of “wanting to be liked/loved” involved I have decided that’s not it. Not this time.

I get it. I understand it. I feel it……deeply. Too deep. I know what it’s like to have your heart ripped away from you from the person you trusted it with and have to carry on like you’re fine. I know what it’s like to look at your bills and being nowhere close to paying them. I know the stress of not knowing how you’re going to get from point A from point B. I feel so so so deeply the pain of internal struggles and having mental conflicts within. I know what it feels like to feel alone and without support.

So I make it a goal to do what I can so that my loved ones and people I care for don’t have to feel that way while in my presence.

But who’s doing that for me? Is that my issue? Are my boxers all in a bunch because I don’t think I’m getting proper return on my “investments”?

I just want the people in my life to act like they appreciate what I do. Not do it for me in return. Just at least act like it’s acknowledged. SOMETHING.

It’s just I am trying so hard to deal with myself. I am a handful. A complete mess. An utter fuck up of mental health. So fucking appreciate the fact that I’m smiling and helping you figure your shit out while I secretly and simultaneously am searching for mine. Act like you understand I have nothing to gain but satisfaction out of knowing I helped you out because I care and still don’t know how to help myself. The five dollars you asked for might have been my last. The time I offered to go do that activity with you, I might have previously dedicated that time to a self care activity. When you lay on my shoulder crying, try to understand more than likely my sleeve that makes that same shoulder so soft has tears of my own soaking through it.

But guess what? No one forced me. Not one person said “if you don’t come we won’t be friends anymore.” Nobody said “if you don’t help me pay for this you will die a horrible death.”

At some point I confused feeling someone’s pain with fixing their pain. I think the worst part is the select few who make me feel bad for deciding I can’t handle their pain after trying to for so long. SO not only is it not appreciated but I am made out to be a bad guy if I don’t. Again, no gun to my head but the subtle implications here and there that I am not as good of a person as they would like me to be for them is loud.

I AM TIRED. I AM TRYING. I AM CARRYING BURDENS THAT AREN’T MINE. I AM HEAVY. I AM DROWNING.

I carry a bag of burdens on my back comprised of certain loved ones struggles. It’s neither appreciated or reciprocated and it’s time to empty the bag. Actually, it’s just time to put it down.

Dropping The Ball

Happy August! Pushing good vibes and positive energy to all of my readers as we begin a new month. I love the beginning of the month because I always view it as a fresh start and no matter how much I thought I couldn’t handle living the month before I still managed to survive. So I am actually really happy to see August arrive because whew chile, the ghetto!

The month of July was a motherfucking shit show guys. From losing prized possessions to crying in the freezer at work next to potatoes and hot sauce. Yesterday, I watched as my friend lit a torch to her wax rig and handed it to me so I could inhale slowly as I swirled the hot pipe around in the sticky substance. As I exhaled slowly, watching the smoke dance in between us, I let out a sigh of relief. It was the first of the month and we made a pact to simply do better, be better. As I got ready for lunch, she artistically drew up my budget for me down to each day of the month. I felt like finally I was in the right mindset to get back on track.

budget saving money GIF

With everything that happened in July I felt so disappointed in myself. The pity party was in full effect. I constantly found myself reminding myself that things were not going at all how I envisioned they would be going at this time in my life.

When I spoke with close friends and family about what I was going through and the feelings of guilt and failure I was overwhelmed they all said pretty much the same thing:

Shit happens Brit. It’s life. Life goes on. Life is full of lessons. Some lessons require a bit of pain. Learn from it and move forward.”-

Big Sis Jazz
hot mess hug GIF by OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

It still took some convincing on my end. I prided myself for quite some time, especially after losing my mom, on being responsible even through the hardest situations. I genuinely just felt like I dropped the ball, and I did, but the ball was heavy to begin with and I had to remind myself that all I had to do was pick it back up.

It’s August 2, 2019 and dammit I am picking that ball back up. Is it still heavy? Hell yea, maybe even more so than before! I am a strong ass bitch though and I’ve got this. I need to incorporate positive affirmations into my self speech because if I tell myself I can’t do it then I never will. (I can be pretty damn convincing.)

I am excited to see what I do with this month and what I can accomplish. I am rooting for Mac and I am rooting for any of my readers that need to pick up that ball, as heavy as it might be. You can do this!.

Figuring Out How to Figure It Out

In my absence from this blog I lost my mind. I could not seem to find the common sense and thinking abilities needed to function successfully in society. Since you last heard from ya girl I impulsively quit my job (the one I previously wrote about being so grateful for),dabbled in some drugs (do NOT judge and I will explain later), got into fights, stopped paying just about every bill in my name, and barely left the house.

I won’t lie and pretend that by returning to the blog and writing again it is an indication that I am much better. I AM NOT! I can’t say I’ve come here to share with you the breakthrough I had and provide with you the experience of much needed reflection either. I ain’t got none of that shit for you bud. I’m just here to tell you I am trying to figure out how to figure it out. This is me making a plan to make plans. Setting a goal to make and achieve goals. Making a good decision to make good decisions. I started this blog to provide an outlet and a space for people who felt like noone understood or who just wanted to know there was a girl out there also trying to stay alive despite her fucked up mind. Sometimes, I get discouraged from posting because I feel like nothing will make sense and it will defeat the purpose. But that’s just it! Feeling like nothing I say will make sense and having a hard time expressing, well…..my hard times, is probably the MOST relatable thing I can say on a blog like this.

I need to shower and get ready for work in a bit. (Yes, I found another job and managed to keep my apartment and car) I don’t want to constantly abandon this blog because though I have very few readers I do recognize it as a very important part of my goals and aspirations as a writer and communicator. Later we can discuss why I ALWAYS self sabotage by distancing myself from beneficial things when I become severely depressed, anxious, or saddened. I don’t know why but we can certainly discuss it. See you soon! I fucking promise!!!!!

Are You Part of the Social Media Switch Up?

The social media switch up is RUTHLESS these days! What is the social media switch up? Let me tell ya.

The social media switch up is when social media completely switches their view or mentality on a person or a subject. Now of course this is generally speaking and not for every individual on the internet. This switch up is not necessarily a factor of “cancel culture” either which is another storm in itself. The social media switch up will turn stans into hecklers over night. This activity thrives on the Twitter front and some victims are well known with names in the lineup like Jaquees, Ariana Grande, and Ella Mai, and most recently Demi Lovato (we most definitely will be discussing her soon).

The victims of the social media switch up that’ll be covered today came as a pair in a way. Ella Mai Howell is an English singer and songwriter who rose to fame with her single Boo’d Up in 2018. This single was EVERYWHERE! Everyone knew the words and were singing along including men with their timbs on and glocks in their pants. It was a whole bop and to top it off Ella is fiiizziinnneee so everyone was stanning. Everything was going great until along came a Jaquees.

Rodriquez Jaquees Broadnax, known as Jaquees, is an American R&B singer. He is most popular for his single B.E.D. in 2016.

When someone decides to “cover” a song that means they sing a song they do not own and that is exactly what Jaquees decided to do with Ella Mai’s Boo’d Up AND her single Trip.

Ella received backlash for removing the remixes and sending cease and desist. It was confirmed that Ella Mai was not to blame because her label sent the documents and removed the covers not her.. However, after seeing support of his covers, Jaquees began to cover more and more songs from other artist and well people got tired of him soon after that. Here is some evidence of this particular social media switch up.

Act 1 of the Quemix Switch Up:

Act 2:

One minute they love you and the next they want you to shut the fuck up. OY VEY!

Now even though these are different people this is the way the general public reacted. This is just one example but it shows that it doesn’t take much for the twittersphere to drag you from a pedestal that they put you on in the first place. So if you’re in the limelight now be careful! The social media switch up could be right behind you!

P.S. Boo’d Up is great but shouldn’t have been Ella Mai’s debut single. Her song “Naked” is MUCH better. Check it out below, see if you agree with me, and have a good day people!

Deep Breaths

I am taking a deep breath before I begin.

I do find solace in the fact that this blog has like three readers and I won’t have to try to confront these issues with someone who is “worried” and I can just go on with my life as I normally do.

Still, this is not something I have ever shared in writing.

Not for others to read that is.

The Open Owl is an open space and I created it to be a haven for positivity. It would not be a genuinely open space if I wasn’t open myself and admit to my readers that I struggle with positivity and having positive notions. I am not a hypocrite and I DO practice what I preach, doing so just seems to be harder for me than it normally should.

Where is this coming from exactly? Last week I was just discussing living for your passion and how happy I was to be in school to pursue mine. So what happened?

Well first just a little background.

2018 was a really hard year for me. I finally cut ties with a narcissist I had been involved with. I can not say I was dating him because it turns out he had an entire family and….its a long story. Basically, I was a dumbass who ignored the signs of being a sidechick and I heavily beat myself up for not realizing how manipulating he was. That was just one issue. Work was really draining me mentally. It was a commission based job selling cars for Nissan and business was slow and paychecks reflected that but the people were also so drama filled and superficial. Again, that was just another issue.

It seemed that suddenly internal conflicts I thought I had a hold on were surfacing and becoming louder and louder. I was drowning in my thoughts and it manifested physically. I seemed to really start to feel my mothers absence and not just in my life but as an entity in the world. She was really gone and, alone in my apartment every single night, I felt more and more empty. I got sick more frequently and also developed sciatica which made doing anything involving my lower back so painful. I began to feel like I couldn’t do a damn thing right. I couldn’t stop eating, I couldn’t sell cars, I couldn’t keep my house clean, I couldn’t pay my bills, couldn’t get a decent man and one that loved me, I couldn’t be a good Jehovahs Witness. Hell I couldn’t even bend down.

Eventually, something else I couldn’t do was get out of bed. One morning I called off from work with the legitimate reason that I literally couldn’t sit up in bed because of the sciatica. Being in bed the entire day I felt pathetic as food wrappers and cups littered my bed and Netflix flashed on the screen.

But I felt safe in my bed.

In my bed I did not have to seem composed when all I wanted to do was scream. I didn’t have to smile and keep it together when I didn’t want to. In my bed it was ok to burst into tears over anxieties I couldn’t explain.

Many things transpired after that day and not necessarily for the better. I didn’t go to work for a more than a week and probably only kept my job because my boss liked me. He assumed my depression could be attributed to me cutting ties with the guy previously mentioned. Considering how the guy was a previous coworker my boss saw first hand how that could have been a big blow and even though I tried to discuss with him that it was more than that I eventually allowed him to think I was just heartbroken. Honestly, it was better than trying to explain something I was unsure about myself.

Like I said a lot happened in the earlier half of 2018 and it was dark but the last few months of 2018 brought some light. So whats going on now?

Well I don’t know. What I do know is that today I didn’t go to class and I have been in this same spot for the entirety of this day. Now someone may say well it is ok to take a break and a day to relax and that is true. It is what I thought about as I lay in this bed and stagnant in this same spot today that scares me.

I started work as a server yesterday in order to pay the bills seeing as how I have been unemployed for about three months.

I laid here in bed with my feet throbbing thinking, not about the physical aspect of going back to work, but the mental aspect.

It haunted me. It haunts me.

I keep remembering how good it felt to not punch those numbers into the time clock and then begin to feel like a prison mate for the next 8 hours. Being told what to do, how to do it, and even when to eat.

Every time I thought about it today my chest tightened with a daunting intensity.

I then began to chastise myself for such a lazy and ungrateful attitude.

I should be happy to have a way to make money and as an adult what do I expect to do? Live my life without working and hope money falls from the sky?

I laid there and read emails about homework that was due either in a few hours or the next day. I read each email and then made no effort to do any of the assignments. I kept checking my work schedule and just staring at the hours and the days I was being told to report for duty and it made me nauseous.

Just a few days ago I was extremely excited to add work to my list of responsibilities as if being a full time student wasn’t enough. So what happened? I don’t know but the complete mood shift is familiar. Being sad and suddenly having no energy or desire to do absolutely anything was familiar. Being extremely hungry and then having no appetite at all was familiar. Thinking about all the ways life wasn’t how I imagined it should be was familiar.

Constantly seeing my life as a botched plan is heavy but yup you got it…..familiar. Why am I here? What purpose am I serving? Why aren’t things bringing me real joy? Again my chest tightened.

What’s worse is I don’t think my pride will ever allow me to sit and attempt to express these feelings. Would they be conveyed accurately or would I just be viewed as a lazy millennial who has no worth ethic? Or worse yet will I be sent to the top floor of a hospital where I am questioned and have my cellphone and shoestrings taken away?

It’s hard to breathe with all this crashing in my head and its much easier to catch my breath if I lay here and do nothing. Perhaps for today that was acceptable but it wont be tomorrow when its time to clock in. It won’t be acceptable tomorrow when those assignments are due?

So I’ll do what Mac always does and that is pull it together. I will take deep breaths and force myself out of bed. I will go to work and work my shift with a smile. I will go to class with those assignments completed and with a smile. I’ll act like I don’t have these thoughts and I will smile.

Matter of the fact is though (lets keep it a secret between us)………I don’t want to.

Artist Asylum: Middnite Designs

The Open Owl is dedicated to the creatives and artists who support our vision and use their talents to inspire others and spread good energy to all who come in contact with their work. The first artist to escape from our new segment Artist Asylum is the wonderful and extremely talented Anna Richardson. She is the mastermind behind Middnite Designs. I was able to chat with her and it was the most delightful interview I am sure I will ever conduct perhaps for my entire existence. *Law & Order: SVU intro voice* Here is her story.

Anna Richardson is an exceptional artist in many forms. She draws her characters but also writes in order to bring her visions to life and add exceptional depth to their stories. Her main character Middnite, being a comic personification of Anna’s own identity, is vibrant and strong.

Spending time in her Texas home with her best friend was crucial to her development as an artist. They enjoyed everything together and her world was changed for the better when the duo discovered Pokemon. “We watched tv shows and saturday morning shows too, so when Pokemon came out in our 4th grade year, we threw ourselves into it completely!” They completely immersed themselves in the art world growing around them with Shaman King, Digimon, Kirby, and SailorMoon being the basis of the projects they created for themselves. Soon after, she developed her first prototype comic Dare the World and the creation of that story is what she credits as the moment she knew that this was her dream. Her dream has allowed her to continually grow and progress and an example is the evolution of Dare the World which introduced its prequel, the dynamic story of Dare to Hunt.

The impact of her friends on her progression as an artist did not stop there. As she grew older and entered her highschool years she was fortunate to have a group of friends who were extremely supportive of her dream and efforts. Her access to certain art tools were limited but her friends shared their knowledge and offered how to draw and photo reference books. They also would have “art jams” which if you ask me sound really fun and I can’t even draw a circle. As the oldest of 7, Anna opted to make her family a priority and forego the college experience but in no way did it deter her from pursuing her art. She spoke with artists online and again relied on the support of her art friends who were attending college. Her support group in the art world was so grand she decided to spend the rest of her life with one of them! (Lucky guy!)

As a comic artist, Anna wishes to create many worlds that fester in her “creative mind space.” “Search for the door and push the door open.”- Anna Richardson. She is an avid reader and though I may be biased as a writer I find readers some of my favorite people to converse with. She is influenced by writers like Stephen King, Julie Kagawa, J.K. Rowling, and my personal favorite James Patterson. She studied writing on her own for a long time as well as recommendations from writers friends and her husband who does most of the writing for works that they collaborate on. As a child, though she spent a lot of time taking in the warmth of the Texas sun, she also spent time reading and as a result exploring different worlds. She is a dreamer and began to write down those dreams, scenes, and random ideas.

“Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all too real.”- Nora Ephron

So who is Middnite? Middnite is Anna in comic form. Inspired by Stephen King, Middnite is “a lone gunslinger searching for her friends in a post apocalyptic demon infested world.”

The Cast of Dare to Hunt w/ Middnite centered

With a father who was heavily into poetry and often held poetry slams in their backyard, Anna also began to write her own poetry. She wrote her poetry at night being the night owl that she still is today. She would wait until midnight and she would write down her dreams, stories, and her poems. When she formed herself into this beautiful comic character in the midnight hours she gave the character midnight blue hair (lightened over time) and thus the name Middnite came forth!

I love hearing artist speak on why they do what they do. It fills my soul. Inspired by other peoples creations and life, which we all know in itself produces so much to work with, Anna decided to create too and join the fight. Soon she realized that as she was creating very few other creations were ones she could identify with. One black token character is not enough. Where was the diversity?

She wasn’t able to see herself in art and she wanted to change that. She became a voice for her friends, strangers, and artist who looked like her and who all had phenomenal ideas and stories being overlooked and not being represented. Anna exclaims, “it made me push harder to scream out, HEY! WE DRAW TOO! WE GOT IDEAS!”

When you look at her designs and read her stories she wants you to smile. She wants you to feel special. Being able to connect with a cartoon and stories is prevalent and so when she is selling her art and attending conventions and she is stopped and thanked for providing this diversity it is truly grand. People are happy to see her art and see themselves in it and those words of thanks mean so much to her and she holds them close to her heart.

Originally, Anna wanted to be more than a “girl artist” and she wanted to make sure people focused on the art not the artist. After encouragement and reassurance, she is done hiding behind her own drawings. In order to show the personality behind her ingenious characters she is being more transparent and creating even more content like her new vlog and podcast.

Here is the link for her podcast that she created with her husband which is focused on creating and diversity. The podcast is called ArtistWife, WriterHusband! Click here to check it out!

There’s more! I really recommend also checking out her youtube vlog ArtistWife, WriterHusband and you can do so by clicking here.

Not done yet! You can also follow her on Instagram @middnite_designs

“I can’t avoid creating. It’s my passion, and my obsession also.” – Anna Richardson