Speaketh the Oracle of Shrimphi

Meow Wolf’s own Shelley the Shrimp returns to drop some knowledge, get a little obscure, and help you navigate what love actually means.

Can you believe it, can you even? I have resurfaced from the deep to float in the depth of questions that you all have, and to sift through them so that we all can move boldly forwards through the kelp and curiosity and brine. We’ve all gotta swim towards the sun for that nice, little boost of vitamin D and some time to breathe.

How do you know when it’s time to go?

There are certain circles in life, that you may or may not be a part of, that ask you to engage in a fearless moral inventory. This involves objectively looking at your feelings– your resentments, your reservations, and critical issues that stand in your life — as an exercise to parse through what has served you and what has not. In order to determine whether or not it is time to go, you have to analyze without bias what the situation is. Are you trying to leave a relationship? Is a friendship becoming one-sided? Has the party devolved into being too drunk and are people  falling asleep on the couch? 

Consider what you ultimately want, if the concessions of staying are worth it without dishonoring yourself, if your feelings are that you would rather be single, if you would like to cultivate better friendships, or if it’s time to call a friend to pick you up and take you home. Just honor yourself and your feelings.

neon lights in waves overhead in a dark room with seats on the left
Meow Wolf Santa Fe. Photo by Kennedy Cottrell

How can I make my husband feel appreciated?

Operating in disparate love languages can be difficult! However I, a crustacean capable of more emotions than exist in the realm of human comprehension, believe that appreciation is most romantically and genuinely shown in small, considerate actions. 

There is so much love in cleaning the kitchen, or finally putting up those artworks he has been wanting to hang since the move, or even in just making a hot meal and putting on a movie that both of you have been meaning to watch. Love consists of not only constant large gestures but is also made of small foundations that uphold the two of you. 

Of course, if you have the means, go on a vacation, buy that car for him —all of that big stuff — but you must consider the foundations. Creating a life together does entail adoration, and adoration means taking care of the small stuff when you can.

I’m starting to feel burnt out. What should I do?

Know that you are not alone in this. Wherever you are finding yourself to be burning out, take a break from that thing. Rest is an integral part of life, despite what capitalism and your boss and whoever else is telling you. 

You are not a content or art or film or writing or career factory– you are a person with thoughts and feelings and loves and hates. Ponte las pilas literally so you can ponte las pilas in the figurative sense. Change out those batteries. You have to rest.

If rest is not within the realm of possibility, consider speaking to your peers. See what they do to combat the burn out and what techniques you can instill into your routine to keep the scorch at bay. 

I find that accepting the winters of my creativity to also be somewhat liberating– knowing that I will not permanently and unflinchingly be creative, that sometimes I am doing nothing but cooking poop in my own brain, and that is also, veritably, life. 

blue tiles on the floor and walls of a room with a bank vault door on the left and a galaxy on the ceiling
Meow Wolf Denver. Photo by Nikki A. Rae

Should I quit my job?

Is it fun? Are you being adequately compensated? Do your boss and coworkers treat you with respect? Honestly, if the answer is no to any of these despite your best efforts, absolutely quit your job. 

We have to unite and unfortunately threaten non-compliance with capitalism and corporations and greedy CEOs who feel no shame towards their workers (who, by their labor, place them in expensive penthouses or mansions or wealthy cities) having to seek out food stamps or be unable to pay medical bills or simply be overburdened with debt because being poor is incredibly expensive. 

Force them to feel shame, force empathy, quit your job, and find love and respect over everything. Release your job.

projection of hundreds of eyes on a 36-foot-tall canyon inside Meow Wolf Las Vegas
Meow Wolf Las Vegas. Photo by Atlas Media

How do I find love?

That is a complicated question that I do not believe has a linear, concise, or even real answer. A lot of people will tell you to love yourself, to be unendingly genuine in your endeavors, and that love will come when you’re not seeking it out. While I think all of this is good overall advice, I do not think it’s particularly conducive when it comes to romantic love, which is what I assume you are asking about. 

I think we put far too much weight on romance. It is wonderful to be in love romantically; some people love it so much that they seek it from multiple sources. However, I think we all ought to analyze internally what sort of emotional completion will occur once we find this romantic love. Does this validate something that would otherwise remain incomplete? Is there a bigger question of identity without love? Truly how long have you been single, or even when was the last time you were single? Have you ever been truly alone? These are all things worth considering. Genuine, true, and unflinching romantic love and the Rudolph’s Revenge slot machine have more in common than you think.