My Story So Far...

Dear reader, 

I grew up a total weirdo. Lucky for me, that turned out to be a good thing. I think we all start out weird. All kids are weird. Sorry, but...c'mon. You know they are. They are all little weirdos. 

Until the "real world" hits them. And I put "real world" in quotes because it's really up to us to decide for ourselves what our version of "real" is going to be. "Real" can describe the social timeline in which we work hard in K-12, get into a "good" college, choose a "good" degree, and use that degree to get a "good" job --- all before the pineal gland in our brain has fully developed. I don't know about you, but that sounds a little like taking a toddler to a shoe store and setting them loose to choose a pair of shoes for themselves before they even know how to walk properly OR what kind of shoe they need. So they choose. And low-and-behold, they choose an adult business shoe because they don't know it doesn't fit them. Then, imagine the adult shrugging and saying, "well, you should have just picked the right shoe." Not a perfect metaphor, but it makes me chuckle.

Anyway, I did the whole social timeline thing. I graduated high school, got into a good college, DID NOT major in art like the good little socially indoctrinated robot I was, graduated, and then went to grad school because by the time I turned 23, I had no idea who I was outside of 'Student."

If grad school taught me anything, it was that following a generic social narrative would NOT bring me happiness, regardless of how successful I managed to be. I did everything right. I devoted 18 hours a day to both teaching ENG 101 and acing my graduate courses. I wish I was exaggerating. I'm not. I was a certified perfectionist and hating every second of it. 

So, to shorten the story a bit, I moved with my husband to Austin, Texas December of 2019. I never really decided to quit my grad program. I just...never re-enrolled. 

The move reinvigorated my creative mind. After six years of having no time to myself, I suddenly had time. And I was determined to waste none of it. I held a deep grudge against my inner perfectionist for ever letting me dive so deep into unhappiness. 

Cue "beautiful trash." A technique I started using to help me get over my fear of messing up. Because that's what perfectionism is. It's fear. Somehow, we have been tricked into thinking perfectionism is something to be proud of. But it's a barrier we build between ourselves and potential rejection. That's all it is. Perfectionism is an inner bully. How rude. 

Because of beautiful trash, I have been able to grow more as an artist in 2020 and 2021 than I did the previous 6 years combined. I am also an abstract painter, but I had let my practice plateau because of my perfectionism. Perfectionism told me that the less I painted, the less probability I had of being rejected. Which is true, but rejection is part of the game, baby! It is much better to collect rejections like medals than avoid them forever. 

Now, I am a working artist in Austin, Texas. I create content to help other artists reconnect with their creative selves. I visit the world of Lava Lamp Coffee often (IG: @lavalampcoffee if you wanna know), and I am enjoying my life for the first time in years. A master's degree never would have come close to making me as happy as I am now. 

And I think this is important to share that with people. And I am so grateful for everyone who has given their love and support for me and my work. Thank you so much for being here, from the bottom of my heart.