Hello and welcome! My name is Patricia. I live in the rural community of Sparta, Tennessee, USA. It’s part of Middle TN’s beautiful Upper Cumberland Region where you can find miles of hiking trails to picturesque, rocky bluffs or a multitude of scenic waterfalls or simply to take a calm, peaceful stroll through a forest. It’s a quiet, simple life here, not much hustle and bustle. The natural beauty of the area keeps me inspired to constantly practice my hobbies of photography and drawing. As my tagline says,
Our creativity, our ingenuity, and our gentleness should be our legacy to our children…
I choose to share my life in this way.
Nature, hiking, graphic design, illustration, drawing, photography, piano, psychology, sociology, philosophy, & inspiring creative thought are just a few of my obsessions. Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog! ~Patricia
13 Facts About Me That Make Me – Me
1. I created my internet “identity” many, many years ago. I’ve kept “pixygiggles” because it describes me to a “T.” Pixy – because I’m petite and a friend in college said I looked like a little pixie sitting on the small granite bench we made for our Japanese Garden Project in 3-D design/sculpture class. Later, it took on a secondary meaning for my love of photography, pix-y.
Giggles – because a good friend pointed out that I always giggle, which I do. It’s a nervous habit. So from that day on, she and her husband always called me “Giggles.” I loved that nickname so much because it was like a faith confession of my intent to be happy despite so much adversity in my adult life.
A note about nicknames: Please, I beg of you, never call me “Pat” or “Patty.” Those two shortenings of my real name grate on my nerves like nails on a chalkboard! I stubbornly ignore those people who make this mistake.
2. Beside my passion for all things art (photography and drawing being my main focus), my other passion is music — listening to it, playing piano, singing. I enjoy singing very loudly in my car when I am driving alone. Art and music seem to go hand in hand, perfectly. Much of my inspiration for art comes to me through music.
As far as learning to play piano, I’m self-taught and play mostly by ear. I also taught myself to read music by the time I was in high school; however, my reading skills are sorely lacking. Piano will always hold a special place in my heart as it was something that came naturally to me and helps me manage difficult emotions.
3. My first free-hand drawing was of Beetle Bailey in second grade. I’ve loved drawing ever since. My first camera was a Kodak Disc camera that I received as a Christmas gift from my parents as a kid sometime in the early 80’s. I’ve loved photography ever since.
4. I’m very much a loner — shy, socially anxious to the point of avoidance, and also an introvert. There’s a difference. An introverted person requires alone time to de-stress and usually has a rich “inner world,” among other things, whereas “shyness” denotes a fear of others’ perception that can be as extreme as social anxiety. I’m all of the above. I don’t talk much. I’m more of a quiet observer. I was always very shy throughout school, but singing karaoke actually helped me break through my shyness quite a bit in my adult years. For the past 10 years, however, social anxiety wreaked havoc on my life which brings me to my next point.
5. Being around many people (or even a few) is exhausting and overwhelming for me. I must have my alone time to function properly and decompress. On top of the social anxiety, I’ve also struggled with Depression (big “D” Depression — the illness, not the emotion) for many years and PTSD symptoms since 1998. This makes it particularly difficult for me to keep a job because so often social phobia (that borders on agoraphobia) prevents me from leaving my home. A “good” week means I get out at least 2 or 3 times per week. A “bad” week is more like once, if I’m lucky. Still working on this one….
6. I hate to have my routine interrupted. Change is bad, mkay. Change causes me a great deal of distress. Being highly sensitive and oftentimes hypersensitive in almost every way is like being constantly bombarded by unseen daggers. Over-stimulation has always been a huge problem for me. I also get distracted very, very easily. Look, a bunny!
7. I often have great difficulty in expressing myself verbally. I don’t think anyone would ever call me quick-witted. I think slowly and deliberately and far too often second-guess myself whether I’m talking with someone or writing a quick email or blog post or whatever else. I often struggle to find the “perfect” word to describe what I mean. A lot of times I make no comments or write nothing as a result. I put a lot of thought, effort, and time into what I do write; but I have to admit I’m very slow. I’m also a bit dyslexic. Reading can be a chore at times when distractions seem constant.
8. I am not a phone person — never have been, never will be. My family didn’t even have a telephone until my 4th grade year of elementary school. Oddly enough, I can remember that first phone number to this day. Ask me my phone number now, and I have to look up the number on my phone every time!
9. I obsess over certain topics. Examples: insects, flowers, plants, trees, animals (in other words, pretty much anything in the natural world); religion; life; philosophy; psychology; photography; art. I’m a “Jack of all trades, master of none.” But try to get me to take an interest in something I have no interest in and forget it. My eyes gloss over, and I’m lost in my imagination in seconds.
11. I’m very much a cat person. I share my life with 4 cats. Yeah, I know, that’s A LOT of cats; but they keep me entertained and love unconditionally. I sometimes believe that I am more their pet than the other way around. Above all else, they are a family.
A quick update: I couldn’t bring myself to write a blog post about this yet, even more than a year later as of this update. This broke my heart. My sweet girl, Dasha, was euthanized on January 11, 2016 due to an illness that caused her kidneys to shut down. The pain and sorrow of losing a pet, a cherished family member such as Dasha, is truly a great loss. She will be dearly missed and forever hold a special place in my heart and soul.
Rest in peace, Dasha — September 2006 – January 11, 2016. All my love.
So… I’m down to 4. Kat was born sometime between October and December 2005. Sasha (Dasha’s sister) was born around September 2006. Moses was born in April 2000. And Sierra was born in May 2001.
More photos of our fur kids are located in my Pet Photography set on Flickr.
12. My goals in life are to survive, experience as much as I can, and to learn as much as I can to help others along their path as well. I find very little value in “things.” I’m a minimalist. Nature is a great source of strength and energy for me as it reminds me to be mindfully aware. I hike to re-energize myself. I hike for not only my physical health, but also for my mental and spiritual health as well. Go ahead, you can call me a hippie. I won’t take offense to that label. Labels are just our mind’s way of trying to organize a chaotic world.
I value reason and rational thought above belief and perception, even if my own beliefs and perceptions can sometimes be skewed. I believe that our beliefs and perceptions are meant to constantly change, perhaps many times throughout our lives; but that is also a belief and may be subject to change (haha). Sometimes, faith is a necessary tool to hope for a better future.
There is no one label that defines my spiritual beliefs. I hope there never is because I challenge myself every day to look at something from a different perspective and hopefully, gain a bit more wisdom about my place in this world. The meaning of life is simply what you make of it. Find your passion, define your role, set goals and work towards those goals to find your peace. For everyone else, the answer to life is 42. Yep, I’m also a geek.
13. I’m a kindhearted, highly sensitive, self-conscious introvert who can sometimes be a bit neurotic. I’m a strong-willed survivor who faces life’s challenges with determination and persistence. I refuse to give up. I’m a conscious observer who values kindness, compassion, empathy, and understanding; yet, I have no time for nonsense and drama. My impassioned curiosity for everything in this world and this life experience fuels my creativity and imagination into artistic expression through writing, photography, art, and music that I hope somehow leaves this world a better place just for my having lived for this brief moment in history.
Still want to know more about me? Visit My Favorite Things. Feel free to add me to your circles on Google+! I’m always interested in making new friends whether it’s online or real life. Suggested circles: artist, illustrator, hobbyist photographer, snapshot photography, blogger, or social media.
Contact Me: firstname.lastname@example.org