A Letter to My Twenties (Age 23)

Five weeks down and going strong! If you just tuned in please go back and start with Age 19.

Age 23

Looking back I have no idea what I was expecting to happen once I got handed my College Diploma. Would all my dreams come true? Would I be happy or loved? Nope, big fat no. After graduation I lived in Brooklyn for two and a half months. In a over priced, over crowded apartment in NYC. I remember riding the subway to my minimum wage job in Manhatten, thinking how Im supposedly living the dream of every artist. I loved the city but I felt so disconnected from it all. My creativity was on a complete shut down. Thankfully A good friend picked me up and drove me back home to the little state of Rhode Island. 

Unfortunately it would take another few months into my boyfriends next relationship that I would then find out it was over. As much as it hurt, it was a great opportunity for me to leave that situation. I struggled for a long time not knowing why things had happened the way they had. Why I wasn't enough or why I was treated like nothing. Was there ever regret or remorse over treating me so poorly? It might have taken me a long time to realize sometimes there are no answers but I am so proud of myself for not giving into that negative mindset. I didn't let it destroy my life or self esteem. I made the best of things and eventually turned out ok with a amazing group of friends. Not to mention the cutest musician ever but thats not for another three years from Age 23. 

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A Letter To My Twenties (Age 22)

One month down for my Birthday project! If you just tuned in please go back and start with Age 19.

Age 22

Age 21 was about my mental decline, age 22 became more about my physical health. First it started with the migraines and brain fog, Like I was always half awake. As a senior in college it was understandable to be stressed out with hardely any sleep or homemade meals. I was advised to carry around water and snacks with me at all times. Everything from crackers to cookies or baggies of cereal. It did help for a bit but never got rid of how I felt completely. One day I had woken up feeling incredibly weird and different. I didn't understand basic questions like "whats the weather like?", "whats your name?", "How are you?". All the stress had finally burst a blood vessel in one eye and thats when I decided another visit to the college nurse was needed. Having Von Williebrands Disease (hemophilia) I was immediately rushed to long island hospital to get my odd symptoms and eye checked out.

Now being dazed and confused with bloodshot eyes for an art student didn't get me the greatest treatment. It wasn't until all drug tests came back negative that they started to listen to me. Even then I felt forgotten. It was busy so my cot was in the hallway. They a took few blood tests and left me there while my boyfriend at the time flirted with a girl at the reception desk. At that moment something changed. The world blurred around me and my body suddenly felt like it was on fire. The best comparison I could think of is when you drink too much and feel like your going to puke. It was the heat right before you get sick but I never got sick. My skin and insides burned and burned. It consumed me till there was nothing but darkness. I forgot everything at that moment accept my grandmother. I talked to her for hours in a beautiful garden in front of my childhood house. It was covered in vegetables and roses. All I remember her asking me is, "why are you treating yourself like this?" When I woke up I felt an overwhelming feeling of peacefulness and complete calm. I had a breathing mask on with about ten doctors above me and heart monitors covering my head to my toes. I wasn't scared, just present. I then had a brain scan just in case they had missed a possible brain aneurism. They found nothing and eventually I had signed a form consenting to my release against the doctors advice. I guess that was that. 

I thought A lot about what this experience had taught me. Im glad I had a boyfriend at the time to stay with me through that scary night. At the same time I didn't appreciate him spreading the word of his heroic efforts in coping with my illness. It hadn't made me appreciate life more ether. After writing this blog post out I realized what its purpose was. I think my grandmother had given me the confidence and peace I needed to finish school and move to the next part of my life. I never really found out what caused my seizure. Looking back at all the wheat, barely, rye, malt and gluten I ate I think I have an idea but it will always be a small mystery. 

A Letter To My Twenties (Age 21)

Were now at week three of my Birthday project! if you skipped week one please go back and start with Age 19.

Age 21

You think this year would be about drinking and partying especially when living in NYC. But it wasn't at all. This year I had fallen deeper into a self hating spiral. As my relationship became more mentally and physically abusive I became more angry at others. Partially for not saying anything and some for being able to replace me so easily. I was fed lies that I was in my situation because I wasn't good enough. I obsessed over everything wrong about me and everything great about everyone else. I was drowning myself by trying to be this beautiful flower when in the end I was just another weed. The thing that stuck out most this year was a lavender plant my boyfriend had kept from another girl. I hated it so much that I think how I felt was eventually what killed it. It was a constant reminder that I would never be enough. 

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A Letter To My Twenties (Age 20)

Were now onto week two of my Birthday project! if you skipped week one please go back and start with Age 19. So far I think its really interesting to see how my mood over the years has changed and the affect t had on my appearance. Very excited for myself for the final post. 

 

Age 20

This year is the most difficult to explain in a short paragraph without sounding spiteful or intense. There is one story that comes to mind that I feel like fits my mood and the feeling of the year perfectly. On my 20th birthday I received a birthday cake from my mom when in school. I was working till 2am in a computer lab that day. I spent the night alone and when it was time to leave there was a passing snow storm outside. I was ashamed of the cake. I didn't want anyone knowing it was my birthday because that year everyone had left me. There was no breakups, no conversations and no opening up. I felt replaced and forgotten. So I took off my coat to hide my cake while I walked across campus to my dorm. I didn't even keep it in my own room. That year had made me ashamed of who I was. I felt like I was a burden and I don't think I could forgive myself for that. 

Looking back I think its hysterical I carried a cake in a mini blizzard. That year helped me leave my childhood as painful as it was. It helped me discover my two best friends as well. Even though it would be many years till I overcame how I felt and get away from people who treated me poorly, I think it was very important in shaping who I am now. If I could give myself advice I don't think I would. I have no idea how I managed that year and even if I changed one thing, everything would be different. 

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A Letter To My Twenties (Age 19)

As I come closer to turning 30 I cant help but contemplate over my twenties and everything Ive been through in those ten years. Every year had it's own purpose in shaping who I am as a person now. I thought of everything I wish I knew and the advice Id give to myself. Those thoughts led into my current obsession/ birthday present to myself. "A Letter To my twenties" is a project I'll be working on from today (Sept 20th) till my birthday (December 3rd). Each week will be a different age with a page of doodles reflecting how I felt and a self portrait. Im not sure how this will end but Im excited to see my first self portrait to the last and how things have changed in that time. Maybe some age's will have comic spreads but i'll just take it as it comes for now. 

Age 19

This year had been amazing in so many ways that now it just seems cruel. Everything was new and great, first year of college, first roomates, first love, first kiss and a feeling of complete acceptance by my peers. I felt as light as air like my feet couldn't touch the ground. When I think of this year I always think of an old sailors quote, "Red sky at night, sailors' delight. Red sky at morning, sailors take warning". Its like the entire year was blind to the storm on the horizon. 

Coffee Shop Reset

All artists need a reset at one point in time. I recommend finding a coffee place with amazing smells and a corner to sit and watch people in. I did a lot of drawing this past weekend. It helped me free up a lot of headspace. I'll try to continue as I go.

Hello Autumn!

As sad as it is to watch the summer end I am so excited about the return of Autumn and all the odd traditions that come with it! The weather is perfect, the smells are amazing and baked goods are always delicious! Enjoy this apple orchard recipe to sooth your taste while I continue to force myself to draw people and other objects that are under the not so tasty list. 

Check out more of my recipes at TheyDrawAndCook! 

Check out more of my recipes at TheyDrawAndCook

Goodbye Summer

Hopefully I get one more beach day but for the most part the summer is almost over. Its been a rough summer so this time i'll be ok with Autumn approaching. I really think i'm heading into fall with my best foot forward. There are so many new and exciting things i'm working on, I cant wait to share them all! Hopefully everyone will enjoy my last two summer themed hot chocolates. Please visit TheyDrawAndCook to see more recipes by me!

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Island Life

I know my blogs been pretty empty lately but for good reason. I spent sometime off of work and enjoying Rhode Island for all it's beaches and summertime things. I think I needed sometime to evaluate my life and just ponder on where im going. No real answers but a great vacation. So for this week I give you a image from westerly, Jamestown and Narragansitte beach. I also have a cute little painting I did for a friends birthday. better things to come, i promise! 

 
 

Luau Chocolate

Another recipe for another season. It has been such a challenge trying to find different ways to make hot chocolate a yearly thing. I'd have to say this has been a fun obsession for creative thinking and inspiration. Hopefully it's another step in the right direction towards a career that truly makes me happy. 

Recipes For A Heat Wave

New England weather has always been up and down but after this week it has gone completely looney. Days of intense heat led up to 95 degrees with thunderstorms and now 75 to 54 for the rest of the week. As much as I love the summer I hate when its unbearably hot with humid conditions. With that said, no, no i did not get any artwork done. I did run to the stores to get some popsicles and melted with my cat on the floor. So for this week i give you some fun, tropical recipes ive done in the last year. 

Popsicle, because...

What ive learned from all my years of trying to figure out what it is that I do, ive realized the best that you can do is whatever comes to your mind at that moment. I love planning my posts and creating different themes to them. But sometimes the artwork just wont happen. I now jot down random, cute ideas for just that reason. 

Doodles and Sketchs

In the last two weeks its been like a crazy surge of thoughts for me. Ive been sketching, doodling and writing more then ever. Unfortunately nothing has been finished but Im at least getting lots of ideas onto paper. For future reference i think i'll be posting character designs/ drawings whenever I feel this way. So theres always a new post to look forward to. For this week i'll put up these sketch's of one of my friends. I have many more of other people but I think im going to group them in sections and be more organized about it. 

Also, tomorrow begins my year sponsorship with TheyDrawAndCook

Sorry For The Germs!

Somehow during the past week I ended up getting obsessed with another hot chocolate. I blame Mothers Day for making me overthink my plans and what a good gift is. The first thing i always think of is breakfast in bed. As a kid this looked great until adulthood hit and i realized i sneezed all over everything I ever touched or made. sorry mom! 

Smores With A ZING

A late post tonight but well worth the wait! This week is another hot chocolate recipe. Its influenced/ inspired from the beginning of summer and the camping spirit. Ive never been one to enjoy sleeping in a tent but I always loved s'mores. Also as a side note, why do we spell it that way? Oh the mysteries in life. Expect to see this one on TheyDrawAndCook by tomorrow and a part two for camping by next week. With that said, have a great rest of your week!

Love What You Do

One of the hardest lessons Ive have learned from being a Illustrator is loving what I do. Obviously I always cared about it but when creating my style I accidentally went with what people liked instead of what made me happy. I used to have a lot of paper collages but slowly overtime Ive been replacing them with my new paintings that are half digitally collaged. All my work still looks great and like me but now I enjoy what I do. Todays painting is a remake of a seagull I made in 2012. I still love the older painting but the newer one made me happy and I enjoyed doing it. I think i'll always love the charm of the first one but I cant say i'll ever use it again. Hopefully I can find other paintings I love and make a more modern and happy version of them as well.

Birthday Turtle

This cute little guy could have been last weeks post but considering my moms birthday wasn't till the Saturday after i decided against it. So thats my last weeks excuse. I am happy to show him in all his cuteness. Im slowly starting to introduce my new and improved style with more digital collage then physical. I have so much more fun in the process and the results have always made me happy! 

In the last week I have made my plan to become the illustrator ive always wanted. I know it seems a bit far fetched but Im actually excited about the future possibilities. For starters, from this Friday till next year I will now be promoted and advertised by TheyDrawandCook! Super exciting! Who would have known I would find a community of Illustrators obsessed with food. My Family! Also next week I will release the new artwork for my next round of post cards and im taking online courses in freelance and business.

Small steps into the world I love. 

Hot Chocolate Obsession

As you can see, I have been obsessed with hot chocolate lately. So far this would have to be my favorite one. it's a bit more playful and bright then the others. If you would like to know more about my recipes please check out "The Hot Chocolate Project" under the Work of my website or check out www.Theydrawandcook.com.

My Creative Depression

In the last year Id wake up with a sense of dejavu and a heavy feeling in my chest as if I couldn't breath. At work I would feel isolated and incompetent. It's like the harder I try the worse I become. With every decision Ive been making it seems theres always a door to a more miserable place. On bad days Id tell myself "Look on the bright side, tomorrows a better day". Even on those good days its the same cycle. Unworthy, incompetent and worthless is what goes through my head. It's a difficult feeling. The anxiety attack that time is running out and I should have accomplished so much more at this point. 

Many artists I have met have experienced similar experiences. I love my life, my friends and family, my home and relationship. Im even coming to terms with having Celiac disease and being extra annoying when eating out. I think the best way to deal with a depression is to draw. Create what you can with how your feeling. Self portraits have always been my go to for this type of thing. For once I don't think I need to explain it ether. I leave this painting up for your own interpretation.