Hey hot stuff. I hope you are having a fabulous week so far. I’ve been running around like a mad person, trying to get as much content prepared for August as possible so I can focus on my book! This weekend I’m doing a last-hurrah camping/tubing trip in the woods and then hunker down! Hunker bunker dunker. Dunk her. Dunking booth. Can you tell my brain is frying? Frying like an egg. I need a root beer.

This is your weekly reminder to support my Kickstarter! I’m almost to my Stretch Goal, and if we get that far everyone gets an extra reward! Get yourself some rewards, support my book, make me happy! It’s all good. I really appreciate all your donations and shares! It’s overwhelmingly awesome. Okay, here are some happy photos of things.

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
1. Pastel tutus

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
2. Trespassing on a cool property called The Blurple House, and ending up making friends

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
3. Cristen abandoning art she made on the streets and realizing this piece perfectly matched Asterid’s outfit, who we met as a result

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
4. Rainbow afros

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
5. This photo capturing a specific moment perfectly

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
6. Documentation of a planned surprise

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
7. Solid Mylar balloons

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
8. Daydreaming about road trips with Joe

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
9. Gay Pride bike gangs

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
10. How hard and fancy Bug rages

What’s on your happy list this week?

When I’m talking to you in person, about eighty-five percent of the time, I see the words I’m saying typed out in front of me. In my mind. Kind of like closed captioning, if you can imagine it. It’s almost like an invisible screen is in front of my regular scope of vision. It’s like I’m constantly viewing a karaoke scene. Certain words are in a different font, and some are always in the same color.

That’s weird, right? I’d say the majority of you reading this right now can’t identify with that, but it’s okay! Growing up with a lot of weird stuff like tics, OCD rituals, and seeing words in front of me as I speak made it difficult for me to love myself. I had a hard time feeling like I was as cool as other people at my school, and lots of things didn’t even have labels or explanations till I was an adult. These days, my quirks make me love myself more, not fear that it will hinder leading a fabulous life in some way.

Synesthesia is a condition where some of your senses basically link up, joining your perceptions. Sometimes two or more senses occur simultaneously, and sometimes letters, numbers, or names get paired with colors, scents, or flavors. You know when you hear people talking about acid trips where they say they could “smell colors”? It’s similar, just in every day life! And it’s a part of my every day life.

Life With Synesthesia | Uncustomary Art

My visual senses are heightened in general because of synesthesia, and it links over to my sense of sound most of the time. Concerts, especially ones with light shows, become incredibly overwhelming to me. Certain sounds are associated with colors, as well as physical feelings. I get a dark navy blue color when I listen to any jazz music, and hearing a symphony of violins feels like someone is softly stroking their fingers down my forearm. There are many different types of synesthesia, and ones I experience are Grapheme-Color, Chromesthesia, Auditory-Tactile.

I also have some psychic abilities like clairvoyancy and claircognizance, which should probably be a post of its own, but having all these things in my head does make it difficult to draw a line and distinguish what sensory experience comes from which condition inside myself. For a while, I didn’t have names for any of it, and it was actually easier because I didn’t have to label anything or talk about it with anyone, I just kept it all to myself. Now I feel the need to understand the root of each experience, and I don’t always get a clear answer. I learn more every day, though.

For example, I can see auras, and my close friends are all associated with a certain color in my mind. Some of them match their auras, but lots of them don’t. What creates this distinction? I have no idea.

Life With Synesthesia | Uncustomary Art

As far as I know, science doesn’t know terribly much about synesthesia. They think it might be caused by some “cross-wiring” in the brain, but don’t really know what what parts of the brain. It’s not exactly something that can be officially diagnosed, either. Women are much more likely to have it, but they don’t know why. It always seems like the things I’m diagnosed with have very little research or understanding in the medical community. I wonder if that theme means anything!

Anyway, I just wanted to share that part of my life with you today. I experience colors very vividly, so now you might have a little more insight as to why I’m so obsessed with it! It’s important to accept all parts of yourself, even the not-so-common ones, and sometimes sharing your experience make it easier to accept them!

Do you have synesthesia or know someone who does? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

If you think you might have it, there’s a few questions you can answer here that might give you a better idea!

Music is something that always has the power to change my mood. There are certain artists I listen to when I’m feeling specific emotions, and it can pump me up on the way to an event or calm me down during a fit of anxiety. There are countless research studies of how music affects our psychology and physiology, so I figure it’s pretty important to make sure that we’re surrounding ourselves with the kind of music that we want to emulate. If our music is positive, it will make it easier for us to be positive people. Remember that positive thinking isn’t a magic fix, but it isn’t bullshit either.

50 Songs About Self Love | Uncustomary Art

Today I’m going to share my ten favorite songs about self love, complete with videos and my favorite lyrics. After that you can find a list of forty more songs to help you practice self love, and a link to a playlist I made for you compiling all fifty together!

1. “Freckles” by Natasha Bedingfield

“I wondered if I could trade my body with somebody else in magazines / Would the whole world fall at my feet?
Sometimes I still feel like the little girl who doesn’t belong in her own world / But I’m getting better and I’m reminding myself”

Lots of Natasha’s music has a very upbeat theme to it, about making the most out of your life, but this one specifically talks about overcoming self doubt and embracing your imperfections.

2. “Video” by India Arie

I’m not the average girl from your video / And I ain’t built like a supermodel
But I learned to love myself unconditionally, Because I am a queen”

India Arie is kind of the musical self love goddess you’ve been searching for. If you’re not familiar with her, I strongly recommend going on a Google Deep Dive this evening. She is utterly real, and sends no apologies for it.

3. “You Learn” by Alanis Morissette

“You live you learn / You love you learn / You cry you learn / You lose you learn / You bleed you learn / You scream you learn”

I’ve just always loved the message acceptance and the importance of trying that this song sends. Always keep going, even if you fuck up, because you’re always learning.

4. “Transgender Dysphoria Blues” by Against Me!

“You’ve got no cunt in your strut / You’ve got no hips to shake / And you know it’s obvious / But we can’t choose how we’re made”

I’ve actually written an entire article about Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! and how she connects to the topic of self love as someone who experienced transgender dysphoria, and this song is kind of the culmination of all of that at once.

5. “Unstoppable” by Kerrie Roberts

“Be strong, be brave, be beautiful / One of these days you’ll have it all / If you believe you can”

This song just screams of optimism and positivity about oneself and I love it!

6. “I Feel Beautiful” by Fantasia

“Nothing you can do to me / Could take away my right to feel Beautiful”

This song is all about standing back up and loving yourself first when others try to knock you down. It’s empowering as all hell.

7. “Who Says” by Selena Gomez + The Scene

“When it comes to me / I wouldn’t want to be anybody else”

This is probably the most teeny bopper song on this list, but that’s kind of the reason I chose it for the top ten. I’m really into the fact that self love is being preached to the masses on the Top 40. It’s not the most inspiring message of the bunch, and focuses a little bit too much on rhyming, but I’m so glad its message of only ever wanting to be yourself was widespread.

8. “Dancing On My Own” by Robyn

“I’m giving it my all, but I’m not the girl you’re taking home / So I keep dancing on my own”

This song isn’t a classic message of self love, but it’s helped me many times. It’s a really important message for anyone who is out there trying to find romantic love and hasn’t yet. You don’t need anyone else, just yourself. So keep dancing, gorgeous. Dance all night long.

9. “Who You Are” by Jessie J

“It’s okay not to be okay. / Sometimes it’s hard to follow your heart. / Tears don’t mean you’re losing, everybody’s bruising, / Just be true to who you are!”

This song is a great reminder that you can still be experiencing mental pain and anguish while practicing self love. It’s okay to not be the best version of yourself yet, you’re on a journey just like everyone else!

10. “Sexy And I Know It” by LMFAO

“I’m sexy and I know it.

And the last one, just for fun, is this ridiculous song by a band who used an internet acronym as their name. The whole song actually borders on pompous, obnoxious, and narcissistic, but it’s okay to be a little full of yourself sometimes, babe! Put on your favorite outfit and strut your hot self outside. You ARE sexy. Own it.

11. “Titanium” by David Guetta featuring Sia
12. “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson
13. “I Love Myself Today” – Bif Naked
14. “Unpretty” by TLC
15. “Brave” by Sara Bareilles
16. “Express Yourself” by Madonna
17. “Everybody Is A Star” by Sly And The Family Stone
18. “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus
19. “Roar” by Katy Perry
20. “Bulletproof” by La Roux
21. “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga
22. “I’m Real” by J. Lo + Ja Rule
23. “Greatest Love Of All” by Whitney Houston
24. “Shine” by Anna Nalick
25. “Hero” by Mariah Carey
26. “That’s Why You’re Beautiful” by Beyonce
27. “Hold Your Head Up” by Argent
28. “I Am Not My Hair” by India Arie
29. “Pocketfull Of Sunshine” by Natasha Bedingfield
30. “Superwoman” by Alicia Keys
31. “We R Who We R” by Ke$ha
32. “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera
33. “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor
34. “I Am Not A Robot” by Marina And The Diamonds
35. “Miss Independent” by Ne-Yo
36. “Extraordinary Machine” by Fiona Apple
37. “Gold” by Britt Nicole
38. “I Love Myself” by Kendrick Lamar
39. “Fuckin’ Perfect” by Pink
40. “Firework” by Katy Perry
41. “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction
42. “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly
43. “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift
44. “Can’t Hold Us Down” by Christina Aguilera
45. “Love Me For Me” by Ashlee Simpson
46. “All I Do Is Win” by DJ Kahled
47. “Not So Average” by V. Rose
48. “Flawless” by Beyonce
49. “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield
50. “Float On” by Modest Mouse

Listen to this playlist on 8 Tracks! Or on Spotify!

I would love to hear your input, and more songs you can think of that promote self love! What do you listen to that makes you feel empowered, that boosts your self-esteem and confidence? Share in the comments! 

If you’re interested in the topic of self love, consider donating to my Kickstarter campaign to help me publish my first book on the subject!

I want to thank everyone who has donated to my Kickstarter. It’s only been a little over a week, and I’m completely overwhelmed with your generosity with not only backing the project with your hard earned money, but sharing my campaign with your friends and followers on the internet. It’s made me feel more grateful than I ever realized was possible, honestly. I owe you all so much, and you’ve given me SO much hope.

In case you didn’t notice, I’m FULLY FUNDED! That means that the amount I set out to raise was donated, and everyone who pledged to get a reward will get it, it also means that this book is happening! Yes, you can still donate even though the project shows as being at 100%. You can still get rewards, too! I can be as over-funded as you allow me to be, and every bit still helps! The $2,600 I originally asked for was just to cover the costs. So anything I make over this mark can help me to actually make a profit, not just break even!

[edit] I’m announcing a Stretch Goal, which means that if the fundraising hits $3,300 then all the backers will receive an award ribbon in addition to the other rewards they’ve claimed. If we get past $3,300, I will make another Stretch Goal for a second additional reward. Keep it going!

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
1. Ferris wheels at dusk

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
2. The Beach ball pit installation in DC

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
3. Rainbow books

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
4. People dancing their faces off at Artscape

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
5. Gorgeous fiber art

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
6. Iridescent triangular bunting

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
7. Having a Skype date with Mariëlle of Magical Daydream

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
8. Making bubble wands out of pipe cleaners

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
9. A colorful card from Charlotte in support of my Kickstarter

10 Things Making Me Happy | Uncustomary Art
10. Dressing up with April at her baby shower

And yes there’s a giveaway today! Enter the Rafflecopter widget below for a chance to win $175 to Kate Spade!

The Siberian American // Anchored to Sunshine // Uncustomary Art // Deloom
Anna in Wonderland // Hel On Heels // HerBearings // Rhyme & Ribbons
a Rafflecopter giveaway

What’s on your happy list this week?

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