Comfort Cats, Snapchat, and Finding My Way Out of All the Small Spaces

May I recommend a comfort cat for all your times of angst and stress?
I find them to be immensely effective at reminding me to be human:)

*Any links to supplies found on Amazon are affiliate links. Should you decide to bring home an art tool I’m talking about and purchase it through the links found here, a few pennies of that purchase are distributed to me. It isn’t much, but it (slowly) adds up—it’s a lovely way to support the content that I create, and it comes at no cost to you, which is awesome, too. Thanks, in advance, to anyone who supports my art in this way; I really appreciate it!

So, I’m just going to begin this blogging adventure by pulling some words together in a sentence because if I don’t “just do it,” it will never get done. Ever. (Thanks, Nike.)

I’ve been told for years that I should be blogging...but, it wasn’t until just a few months ago on a beautiful summer afternoon here in Texas that I finally knuckled down and allowed myself to be taught how to set up a blog by my partner in awesome, Steve. And, apparently, I learned how to make my blog page pretty and have nifty buttons and links and everything, because, as you can see if you are here, it is and it does. 
However, quite frankly, I didn’t really learn a whole hell of a lot as I fought the process tooth and nail, cursed like a sailor and gnashed my teeth, among other things. I recognize this is a really unhealthy attitude to have during instruction, but it is my go-to response when I am put into a situation that makes me feel trapped. FYI - beginning a blog makes me feel like I have just been locked in a dark, airless closet that smells REALLY bad.

May I also recommend Snapchat
to diffuse destructive impulses?
Taking pithy pics & attempting
humor is pleasantly distracting to the
demonic inner critic and
harms absolutely no one:)
Full disclosure: I have pretty intense claustrophobia. We’re not talking about the “I don’t do elevators” kind of claustrophobia, although I wouldn’t be caught dead in one of those death boxes. No, my claustrophobia knows no bounds; I can experience emotional, psychological, relational, situational, and environmental claustrophobia. My physical and emotional response to all of those many shades of trapped and small-space-hell-ness is the same: I get rather mean, incredibly chatty, mildly violent and irrational (If you’re wondering, the answer is yes, I make a very entertaining travel companion.). Thankfully, Steve is more often than not incredibly patient with me in times like these, having grown to recognize the signs of my anxiety rearing its ugly head from miles away. I am very fortunate that he takes none of what I do or say personally. To the rest of the world I say you’ve been warned.

But, I am getting distracted from the task at hand, which is creating my first blog post…

Irritatingly, that is also something that happens to me when I commit to doing something that I don’t want to do because it makes me feel like I'm being buried alive: I get HIGHLY distractible. I can think of 10,000 things I have to accomplish BEFORE making my annual OBGYN appointment, and I will absolutely do those things first, even though I know that’s really unhealthy and I would never advise anyone else to allow themselves to live that way. My battle plan against myself is that I demand that my physicians force me to make annual appointments when I am actually in their office so that I can be held accountable. My dermatologist doesn’t run their office that way, and it’s been an embarrassing number of years since I’ve been for a check-up even though I have a family history of skin cancer (Yes, yes, I know, that's stupid, childish and good way to end up dead, go ahead judge me – I will make the damn appointment tomorrow!).

Focus, Michelle!

Okay, hello, for any possible readers who are new to me, my name is Michelle M. Johnson, and I am writing this blog because people have told me to. Why did they think I should do this? I’m not really sure. It could be that perhaps they think I’m funny (I am) or that they know that I like to write (Although I have never shared my writing with a wider audience until now...and I think that revelation, which I just had this very moment while I was typing this, is content for a future blog post. Hey, seems like I’m getting the hang of this! Sorry, distracted again.). Maybe they like the things I have to say about art, creativity, feminism, coloring, parenting, pop culture, social media, books, keeping mentally, emotionally, and physically fit, and music (Ooh, I think I just discovered what sort of blog this is gonna be – a blog about awesome stuff!). Or, maybe they are just tired of reading my novel length posts on Facebook and Instagram and are trying politely to let me know that my wordiness belongs on a different platform (It’s probably that one.).  Who knows why folks have suggested blogging to me because I didn’t think to ask them. I’m the sort of person who typically does all the advising in a relationship because I’ve been an educator of some sort my entire life and I don’t know how to interact with people without teaching.  Oh, and I am the eldest of three children, and I believe birth order has an effect on our personality (Oldest kids like to know stuff and tend to be informative…My sister and brother might choose the words “bossy” or “know it all” over the word informative, but that’s just semantics, really.). I have no earthly idea why people have been pushing me to write a blog because I was too stunned by the rareness of receiving advice to even think to ask them why. Plus, now I’m convinced that I am going to stumble upon the answer to that very question just through committing to the process of doing this blasted thing that obviously makes me VERY uncomfortable. And, maybe while I am learning along the way I might be of some help to someone else, which is sort of the main reason why I have ever done anything in my life, to help others not to have to struggle through the world as much as I do.

So, welcome to Have Color Will Travel, a blog with an odd name that I will absolutely explain at a later date, but this blog post is already rather long, and I really don’t want to screw up anyone’s schedule by making them spend too much time reading this, especially if you’re like me and you’re reading this when you really should be doing something else that's far more important.

Like I said, I like helping people. 

Go do your thing:)

Cheers to us all, and thanks for reading.

p.s. – Omigawd, I did it, the first post is done!!!!! And, I didn’t curse once:)
I don't typically participate in
self-congratulations, but I had extra
space on this page, I was coming
down from the rush of all the
adrenaline and cortisol from finishing
something I was dreading, and I had
new markers to test out, so, Yay Me:)
Some folks celebration-shop or celebration-drink;
I celebration-doodle.
p.s.s. – Steve just read my rough draft, and he totally laughed out loud (LOLed for those who don't enjoy long-speak). Apparently I did curse, three times in fact, and I absolutely didn't notice it. In my defense, they are the gentler curse words, so whatever, they’re staying in. And I still feel awesome – I didn’t hit anyone while creating this!!

p.p.s.s. (Is that how you type that??) Do you also have claustrophobia or an aversion to begin trapped? If it doesn't make you feel like a caged animal, I would love to hear about your struggles with needing to be free in the comments here. I've always assumed my all powerful claustrophobia was a unique superpower known only to me, but maybe there are more folks out there who live similar existences:)


  1. So awesome! It's Michelle on the page! :-) This totally makes sense in light of all your work on social media. You are brave. I don't feel trapped, but rather feel myself drawn to write about those things I hold most private, so fear the vulnerability the most. Hence, I started a blog once, but kept it on private and shared the link with all of 7 people (8 if you were one of them).

    1. I am still trying to work out why I can dance, draw, photograph, sing, teach and speak for all to see, but writing...And, yet I do it all the time (rare is the fb or IG post that is less than three lines!)!
      I was not one of the folks on your blog invite, or at least not that I remember. But, too, I am not a blog reader, so I have no idea why or how or for what blogs are existing for. I suppose now I will find that out.
      I love that you said, "Michelle on the page!" I find that interesting. I don't know that I understand it, but it is good to know that my words and my presence are connected when read:)
      Thank you for reading, thank you for engaging, Danielle:)

    2. I think my "Michelle on the page" response was my feeling that this writing was authentically you, writing from where you are in your life right now, and it felt conversational, like a phone call or the letters we used to write. I hope that helps. I am not a blog reader except what my friends post, though I do read Brendan Busse's, but that's because it shows up on my Facebook feed and it's always insightful in a way that inspires me to think a bit deeper about things that matter to me.

    3. I've not been much of a blog reader either, Danielle, and I think that has something to do with my reticence to embark on this blogging journey. That being said, I plan to continue, so hopefully others find it entertaining and/or engaging:) Thanks, again, for being a reader:)

  2. Really?! I'm funny?! That's awesome:) Although I do use humor as a way to distract from what I find terrifying or if I am nervous, and the concept of blogging creates both of those responses in me, so I definitely can't play it straight!
    I'm glad you enjoyed this first episode (cool to think of it as an episode;) - I have many more ideas, so hopefully I do not procrastinate the heck out of them because this medium still gives me the heeby geebies.
    Thank you for reading, Tabby, and thank you for your always lovely engagement:)

  3. Very good...much encouragement to continue.

    1. Just noticed my profile name. It's been so long since I created it, it took my by surprise. This is Angela (Lee's mom).

    2. Thank you, Angela, for reading it (I knew it was you, it just took me a bit to recall where I knew that handle from;) and for your feedback! It means a great deal to me:)

  4. I too laughed out loud, Michelle! When we lived in Las Vegas I got claustrophobic if I looked at the horizon. There are only 2 ways out of Las Vegas by car - one goes to California and one goes to Arizona. Often one of the roads were closed due to dynamiting work for the dam. It made me sick to my stomach thinking I could not leave! :)

    1. Oh, I hear ya on skylines making you feel trapped, Jean. Driving to Lubbock, Texas, gave me the same feeling! I felt like I was going to drive off the edge of the earth because there was nothing dividing the sky from the road:(
      I'm glad I made you laugh:) Hopefully, I will be able to again. Thank you for reading:)


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