Hard Things.

Lately I’ve stepped away from social media, and had to put my phone away more than normal (both things that are good to do from time to time anyway!).

I’m going through some very Hard Things in my personal life right now. I’m not in a place yet to talk about it, either in desire or ability. I’m digging into my own self care, extra therapy, time with my kids, and getting out in nature. This is my time to rest, to heal, to learn. Right now, mostly, I’m just surviving. But I know this will pass, and one day, I will be thriving again.

I know how hard it is to go through deeply personal, intensely hard things in private. If that’s you today, you aren’t alone. I wrote this blessing for you – and for me. I am sitting with you in that Hard Place. We will get through this. Sending so much love, my friends.

Full text:

A blessing for those who are navigating tremendously Hard Things in private.

I see you, in your dark & lonely space. Trying to smile at life. May you not feel swallowed up and cast aside – but kept safe and protected.

May you have the courage to feel it all. The grief, the pain, the loss. Let those waves wash over you. It is the only way through. 

May you say to The Fear: not today. Today I choose to slow down, to listen for what is True inside of Me. Whatever that may be. Because whatever is True, will liberate all.

May you find the support and love you need, in those moments and on those days, when even breathing is a task too large to bear. You are loved.

May you unearth the tender grace, the wide open space, the caring compassion that you have for others – for yourself. Maybe even lean into it.

May you remember, like the changing of leaves, the setting of the sun, these deep despairs will not last forever. The sun will rise on a new day, the joy will knock you over again. 

May your tears be the water that nourishes this dry ground upon which you stand. May you believe that one day, new life, new hope, new growth will tenaciously appear through the cracks.

May you take the pressure you feel – to be perfect, to make everyone happy, to hold it all when it’s too much – release your grip on it with each exhale. In this moment, just be. You are enough.

Beautiful You, may you stop where you are, place your hand on your glorious body as it sits or stands or lays, and say – I am good. I am doing my best. I will get through this. 

STILL STACE AUDIOBOOK – out today!

Today’s the day!

STILL STACE releases into the world as an audiobook, using my own voice.

This is really scary, exciting and honestly vulnerable for me. Probably, the most vulnerable thing I have ever done – put my own voice to my own story. I hope my heart comes through, I really do.

**The publisher has given me a few giveaway codes, so if this is something you would love and money is an issue, please shoot me a DM or email, and I can share a code with you. I only have a few, so please reach out right away if so. It is available everywhere audiobooks are sold, but here are some quick links:

If anyone is interested more in the process of recording this, here is my longer post about that experience. Sending love, light and courage to you all, my friends!

Some British Paints.

Oh gosh. My time here in the UK is not over yet, but this place has changed me somehow. There are things I didn’t know I needed to see, things I didn’t know I needed to feel – or experience. Maybe it’s just that it’s my first solo trip in so long, and after the pandemic… who knows. A friend told me recently that this trip sounds like it’s been a spiritual retreat, and that’s so accurate.

I made a promise to myself before I left that I would wander the streets of London and paint whatever inspired me. I did that, and it has been incredibly inspiring – for myself. And as an artist, to feel inspired again is everything. If you have any interest in seeing my process and you have about 4 minutes, check out this video 🙂

Here are a few I have done so far. Sigh, I must have some British blood in me (I think I actually do) because part of me has felt like coming home.

ALSO the next kids book I do feels like it should be watercolour! I had so much fun doing these.

A blessing for Pride Month 2022

I believe so strongly in the power of our words to build each other up & give life. So I will keep writing Blessings, because I just believe they matter. As Pride month draws to a close, these words rose to the surface of my heart. Much love to you, wherever you find yourself on your journey.

Full text below the slide show.

Full text:

A queer blessing for you, on this Pride Month 2022

As this Pride month ends, may you feel a renewing sense of courage swell inside of you. May it help propel you forward, even a little further on your path.

May you feel a solid steadiness planted in your core identity, one that will hold you up when you feel those waves of fear or shame hit you.

May you wake up tomorrow feeling a deeper sense of appreciation towards yourself, towards your precious body, towards your one and only life.

May you feel surrounded with extra tenderness & support, if you see the road up ahead may be arduous. May you even be brave enough to ask for more support where you need it.

May you know that you are capable, you are strong, and no matter what is in front of you, you will overcome. May you see your joy and tears as the light and water needed to grow through this season.

May you find the clarity you seek, to those unspoken questions swimming inside. And may you rise to freedom with the answers.

May you never doubt your goodness, your uniqueness, your exquisite beauty. My friend, you simply glow as you move through this world.

May you make it your hard and holy work to listen for your sweet voice inside. Your voice is a gift to this world, and we desperately need it.

May you have the gorgeous audacity to believe that there is so much more for you. More to do, more to learn, more to give. And may you go out and live it.

© Stacey Chomiak 2022

A poem for me – and maybe you, too.

In tough times (especially), I believe we all need to do what moves us. For me sometimes it’s art, sometimes it’s cycling, sometimes it’s writing. (Sometimes all three in one day.) I wrote this because I needed to, for me. Maybe you need to hear it too. Sending love, my friends.

PS – God is She (Full text below)

Pedaling

furiously

I felt as though

Today

I had

become

The wind

I tried to outrun

The Grief

I tried to escape

The Sadness

But

They grew heavier

Pressing against

my ribs

Willing me

to take a deep breath

in

Knowing

I could not

Feel us

They groaned

Feel

Us

Fully

Their wisdom

called out

To my

Knowing

within

Sobs escaped

up my throat

Found freedom

through my mouth

Into the thick

summer air

filled

with the setting sun

She will meet you

here

If you ask

She—

Well,

She already is

here

Don’t you see Her?

I stared in awe

at the

brilliant

sunbeams

Shining through

the trees

With such fierce

ferocity

As if to

scream

How dare you

question

your

Goodness

What is for you

Is

For

You

And what is not

Is

Not

Let go

And sink inward

Where

the only truth

you need

resides

And then move

forward

In your grief

In your questioning

In your audacious light

To

Where

You

Are

Meant

To

Go

– June 26, 2022 ©staceychomiak.com

Sheridan Sharing

Recently – for Pride month – I was invited to share my story at my alma mater, Sheridan College.

Now, this is meaningful for me on multiple levels. Sheridan was a school I never thought I would get into, or remotely succeed at. But I did. And I’ve had a busy animation career since graduating with my thesis film, “Tah-Dah” in 2009.

Talking about LGBTQ & mental health, sharing my story of being closeted and coming to terms with my sexuality and faith, and it turning into “Still Stace”, was even more special to me, because I was fully closeted for my entire four years at Sheridan. And it was extremely tough on my mental health. But I got through it – and I’m flourishing now.

You can get through those hard times, and you can be better than ever. But we all need support to do it. Watch the recording of our discussion here:

They also wrote an extremely lovely article on me and my journey to “Still Stace”, which went live yesterday, June 20, 2022. Huge thank you to all the staff there for their ongoing support and encouragement! And for their dedication to have important conversations like these.

I’m going to England!

Friends! I’m so excited to be going to the UK for a working trip for most of July!

I’ve never been, but it’s always been on my artist bucket list. I can’t wait to peruse the streets, sample the fish and chips, and try to become invisible sketching at cafes! 🇬🇧😍

I’ll be primarily in the London and York areas, so if there’s a church or LGBTQ event you’d like me to speak at, let me know! I’d love to connect.

Stay tuned for more sketches and musings along the way 🙂

A Book Dream Come True

Photos from the signing on Sat, June 11th – what a great time of seeing people in real life! Thanks to everyone who came by!

UPDATE! – I will be doing an IN-PERSON book signing at this location for Pride month on Saturday, June 11 from 1pm – 3pm PST! Drop by, I would LOVE to say Hi!

In early 2019, when STILL STACE was still mostly in my head, and a book deal was a literal dream away…

I walked to this Indigo bookstore on my lunch break. This is one of their really large and prominent locations in downtown Vancouver on Granville Street.

I slowly perused the bookshelves, wondering if one day, I would ever see my name on a cover amongst the throngs of books. It seemed almost too large to even dare to dream.

ALMOST – I still dared.

On May 2, 2022 – after our final day of recording the audiobook – I visited this location again. This time, I saw my name. And I signed some copies of STILL STACE – which they had even displayed out front!

Just never stop dreaming, dammit.

Still Stace – the AUDIOBOOK!

It’s official! STILL STACE is getting an audiobook – narrated BY ME!

May 24 Update: Releases August 9, 2022!

Pre-order on Audible, Apple Books or Barnes & Noble!

Last week in Vancouver, we began recording the audiobook for “Still Stace“!

WHAT an incredible and moving experience this has been, to put my *LITERAL* voice, to my own words.

Image of (nervous and excited!) me in Vancouver on the third day of recording.

I never thought I would get this opportunity, so I’m making sure not to waste it.

For me, that has meant one thing: vulnerability. It has meant opening myself up again, reliving these moments again….truly FEELING these moments again.

I tried to stay connected to myself the whole time – all the versions of me that needed love and care. I was holding all of you close, too – those of you who have shared your stories with me. This isn’t just my story – it’s ours.

This process has reminded me how important it is, to stay connected to our stories. To notice how far we’ve come. And where we still need some tenderness and care.

For the third day of recording, I wore my rainbow “God Is Proud Of Me” shirt, (@queerlybelovedtees) because it’s been tough & raw to open myself up in this way. But I do believe, God is proud of me. I’m really proud of me, too.

We have one more day of recording tomorrow, and I’m going to try my best to stay open, connected, and soak up every moment. Stay tuned for the release date – this will be on every audiobook platform! (I’ll try not to think tooooooooo long about that, insert nervous laughter here.)

If you listen, I hope you feel seen. I hope you feel connected, and I hope you find some healing.

Never stop telling your stories, my queer friends. We need every one.

Update on May 5, 2022:

When we were recording the audiobook for “Still Stace” last week, I had to make a conscious choice to dig deep into those memories of pain and heartache and rejection. I wanted it to come through in my voice, and the only way for me to do that was to feel it again.

But as I did that, I had this visual of me today, standing beside every version of myself then – with my hand softly on her shoulder. I was finally in a place to advocate for her. For myself. To literally make her/my voice heard, in all the places where I prayed into the nothingness.

This younger version of me was the first concept design I ever did for “Still Stace”. I thought it was time for an update.

Dear Younger (Gay) Stace – we finally got the chance to say and feel all we needed to. God is proud of us.

Oscar Posters for 2022

This year has been quite busy for me, so I had less time to watch all the movies I wanted that were nominated for Oscars. I did manage to watch seven, ending off with Best Picture Winner “Coda”. What a beautiful film, I highly recommend!

This is always such a fun exercise for me – the posters will be more impactful if you have seen the films. 🙂

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