november or december, last year, when we first met!
devin’s dad posted an adorable earth day hippie picture of us… found here on his blog.
so, i have always been a strong proponent of being multidimensional in life… doing what you love, not being afraid to try new things, not getting in a one-path rut, and being successful (whatever that may mean) at several, or many, things at a time. when someone asks you, “what do you do?” you should have many answers! the choices you have in life are limitless, and to not take advantage of that easy fact is a crime against yourself, and those who you directly and indirectly affect throughout your existence. variety in experiences is like free education.
being aware of the values of a multidimensional lifestyle is one thing…but to truly understand it and embrace it is another. the recent years of my life have been sort of a survival struggle, and each day is bringing me new lessons. the amount of knowledge i am still gaining is incredible, and sometimes scares me when i think about how many years i hopefully have left to continue learning… i have felt many pressures… from friends, family, bosses, coworkers, teachers, neighbors… and often when you feel pressure, it is not direct. it’s hard to pin what is making you uncomfortable, and which direction to go with it. sure, it’d be great to make something positive out of every situation, but frankly, not everyone thrives off the same types of pressure.
moving on to my point.
i am almost always happy. i am very good at keeping my head up, and making the best of things (i wasn’t in the past, and i realized how stressful it made me and others, so i put full effort into developing a more positive daily outlook). still, the last couple months were fairly rough, when you lay it down on paper. work was slow as all hell, boyfriend broke up with me, i got hit by a car on my bike (hit and run style), boyfriend came back to me (phew), i got a serious bike injury, i lost my job very unexpectedly, boyfriend left to the wilderness for 5 months. each of those situations was fairly complicated in itself, with lots of flying emotions. here i was afterwards, with no job, no money, still injured from the 2nd bike accident, no companion at home, and 5 long months ahead.
sounds crappy, and it was, but what i discovered was that it FREED me. i am 1500 miles away from my family and my old friends (close to many new friends here in california, and i love you all), which can feel very alone at times… but it can also create a perfect environment for self-focus.
i’ve felt limited many times in the tattoo industry with what type of art is expected…whether that be tattoo styles, painting styles, or what i find attractive artistically or not. honestly, i’ve yet to feel full acceptance in that field, regardless of how much i love to tattoo. i’ve felt limited in the world of academia by its rigidity and silly structures. i am good at it (school) but getting a political science degree from texas a&m wasn’t the most fulfilling learning process. i’ve felt limited by many people over the years in terms of “choosing” a path. get a masters degree and get a real job. delve fully into tattooing alone and dig through the mess of (mostly) scummy asshole tattoers to the top. sounds fun. choose a different path, because artists never survive. “how will you make a living?” how? how? i don’t know. i just will. and, i’ll be HAPPY doing it.. dare me to?
suddenly, i was very alone at home here, with no pressures from ANYONE really. i mean sure, in the background, but on the daily? nothing. me and izzy, chillin in meg’s world, my tiny cabin on a canyon in beautiful san diego. i have enough clientele to make a living from home before jumping into a new shop, and i began taking classes. new inspiration and education time. taking track racing classes at the velodrome. taking collage/painting/photography classes at ucsd. starting to do more long rides. starting to experiment more with painting in ways i hadn’t been able to channel out in the past. i bought a one way ticket to the oregon/ca border, and i am going going to bike down the coast with a new friend…who also offered me a position at her shop, after we met to discuss the 3 week bike tour. reconnected with some old friends. getting in great shape. getting stronger, physically and mentally. have a pile of art projects, paintings, oil, watercolor, acrylic, mixed media, all going at once.
being free, trying new things, embracing a multidimensional lifestyle… learning more, experiencing more, refining some things more than others. finding a more suitable niche this way. amazingly, i’m getting better at all of those things, rather than spreading too thin. it’s a wonderful feeling of growth, and the events of this spring have set me up for a much better future for myself and those whom i can hopefully positively affect in my path.
in the fall, i will be submitting a more thorough portfolio to several schools, and hopefully enter some MFA program (illustration/painting) in CA. the last years were struggle, survival, searching…. and now, finally, i’m feeling like i’m on track again.
“…be yourself- not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be.”
-Henry David Thoreau