A Letter To My Twenties (Age 30)

If you just tuned in please go back and start with Age 19. Today will be my final painting for this project, although I might have a remake or two for other ages. Next week will show what i plan to do with all the paintings i've made. 

Age 30

Looking back on my twenties and revisiting how I felt and reacted with certain situations only justified my idea that Id change nothing. I would love to know what I do now back at 19 or have the art abilities and focus I have now. There's so much I wish I took advantage of that I know I couldn't have back then. I had to learn those lessons to become who I am now. Going into my 30's I'm trying to not foresee what will happen or be. My goal is to follow my instinct, listen to my intuition and push to do the things I love day by day. 

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A Letter To My Twenties (Age 29)

If you just tuned in please go back and start with Age 19. Today will be my final post before the big 30. 

Age 29

This age I decided to make similar with 27 and 28. I still/am struggling with this constant identity crises followed by a crippling depression. What artist isn't? The difference this year was I felt like I was making choices to slowly walk out of it. I'll always have my feet in the water but at least most of my body is in the night air again. This year was difficult in the way that I had to cope with the bad job that Im still in. I had to find ways to not be so disappointed and defeated on a daily basis. I started my Hot Chocolate series, TheyDrawAndCook became my sponsor, I started this series and hopefully the beginning of an amazing comic collaboration. There is so much good happening it's just pushing myself to get up every day and not criticize all my choices. For my 29th birthday I actually got my first Tattoo as a reminder of everything i've gone through. Its two peonies with a mandala on my hip. It took six hours to complete and I'm proud to say I sat through the entire thing in one go. A few months later I got a peony in a triangle on my forearm. Whenever I felt silenced and helpless Id look at it and be reminded that I am not that person. I try to wake up everyday with the determination to get small steps done towards a better career. I use all my free time at work to look up publishers and work on my photoshop skills. I try to fit somthing thats personally important in every part of my day. I might still have this not so pleasant day job but nothing lasts forever.  

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A Letter To My Twenties (Age 28)

If you just tuned in please go back and start with Age 19. Since Im a little behind today will be age 27, tomorrow age 28 and Wednesday will be age 29. Enjoy!

Age 28

Age 28 was much like Age 27 in the way that I struggled with my identity. I was happy with everything for the most part but the more I tried gaining peace of mind the more split I felt. It was like two half's of the same person reflected. One part had great friends, family, a relationship with a bright future. The other half felt stuck and just wanted to run away to a more successful state. Depending on the day Id wake up as a different side. Granted I did have a rough last few years. I had gone through four graphic design jobs, been laid off twice and with each job came worse and worse treatment. My desire to be a graphic designer as I worked hard for a career in illustration started to crumble. I loved designing but I hated my day job. The more I tried to make things better the worse my situation became. Looking back, if I hadn't been so miserable I wouldn't have started drawing again. I wouldn't be working so hard and often to do the things I love. 

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A Letter To My Twenties (Age 27)

If you just tuned in please go back and start with Age 19. Since Im a little behind today will be age 27, tomorrow age 28 and Wednesday will be age 29. Enjoy!

Age 27

As this project continues i've realized its becoming increasingly more difficult to explain how I felt. It took a long time and lots of sketch's to really think about it. So with age 27 and age 28 I'd like to call these two the "Happy Depression" years. Everything in my life was great and slowly falling together. The problem was I was so used to things being dramatically bad or good all the time that I anxiously waited for the bottom to drop out. It was only a matter of time before someone better and prettier would come along. If someone knew me long enough they would see my faults, my difficulty grasping my own language, my insecurities with my speech and health. It was incredibly difficult to let these thoughts go and just enjoy the present. 

The most memorable thing to me this year were the nightmares I had. Running from tsunamis, getting stuck inside of waves as if I were in a washing machine. What worked for me was a bit of therapy and writing tools to control my OCD/Perfectionistic personality and some reiki meditation. This year was really the start to figuring out who I was and gaining some peace from it all.

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A Letter To My Twenties (Age 26)

If you just tuned in please go back and start with Age 19. Since my last blog post was late by a week I will be posting twice next week. So ages 27 and 28 will only be a few days apart to meet my birthday goal. 

Age 26

To this day this was my luckiest year with the most confidence ive ever had. Everything happened at once in so many ways. I moved into my own apartment finally, I met someone who would become a great friend and ended up being my first Art Director at my first Design job. My social group became filled with amazing, creative and kind people. Most of all I had one of the best nights of my life that went wrong in every way possible and it was perfect.

Let me explain by, "the worst and most perfect night". A month before my 26 birthday I dyed my hair the most vibrant red I could find. It felt great to have my outside and inside voice become so loud and confident. From this my hair dressers friend contacted me. Of corse I shrugged him off at first and then I pushed myself to reach out and maybe meet for a coffee. It was a date but nothing serious. Just a fun night with boring clothes and maybe some good food. I had never expected to meet a person like him. Unlike other first dates we couldn't stop talking. We were so distracted by each other that we couldn't find the restaurant originally picked which we walked past a few times. It was also lit with obnoxious and very obvious pepper lights. We ate at the Muse and talked about our goals and dreams. It was never "I wish I could do this", it was always "I will do this and be amazing". We were equal in bad humor, optimistic bluntness, and a obsession for good food. It was also the last night I would ever eat a calzone. We joked about the possibility of me being gluten intolerant and how it probably wasn't real (hello celiac disease!) He even enjoyed Evanesence. In my distracted state I managed to lock my keys in my car at the end of the night. Instead of being embarrassed we laughed. He bought me a hot chocolate and waited nearly two hours with me. Three months later he moved in. Six months later we got our own apartment with a very sick kitten named Eddie. Godzilla the bearded dragon would come into he picture much later. That date was four years ago and if everything in college never happened I would have never moved home and met this amazing person. 

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A Letter To My Twenties (Age 25)

Very proud of myself for getting this out on time considering how busy things have been lately. If you just tuned in please go back and start with Age 19.

Age 25

If I were to put a word on this age it would be random. Random as in, everything was all over the place and every decision was a bit neurotic and impulsive. I was finally confident enough to be myself again but at this point the person I was and wanted to be were slightly different. I wanted to be smarter so I read more. I wanted to be prettier so I worked out and started penciling my eyebrows. I wanted to be more confident in my looks so I handed out a number awkwardly once or twice. I forced myself to act more extroverted in the hopes of discovering myself again. I even went through a blond period that thankfully only lasted a few months. 

Overall it was a great year. I attended my first SCBWI Children book Conference in NYC. It was incredible and beyond expectation. I worked a ton as a house cleaner/ Waitress at a Chinese restaurant and Illustrator. By the end of the year I had the courage to explore my stomach health which eventually turned into me disowning my father. Random I know but after a lifetime of feeling unwanted and unworthy, the realization hit that I would never be enough for this one person. It finally became too much and I knew I deserved better. Due to health issues i'll always be there for him because its not in my nature to abandon that relationship. But that year I accepted I had no father. It was incredibly painful and relieving at the same time.

A Letter To My Twenties (Age 24)

A little late this week but better to have good quality then rush things. If you just tuned in please go back and start with Age 19.

Age 24

24 was actually very difficult to paint how I felt. At first I planned to illustrate myself shopping with arms filled with bags and box's but it didn't feel right. Im not a materialistic person and I cant say that year was amazing in any way. It was a year of reflection, rediscovering who I was and what I wanted to do with my life. I did go shopping a lot especially with my mom. I had no school or work that year. Just my own thoughts, a chance to catch a breath after years of chaos. In a way it was deeply humbling with a sprinkle of sadness. I still waited for reasons why, for friends who never cared to ask, and for anyone to say I mattered. 

I had a small group of great friends and an incredibly supportive family that helped me through my depression but it still surprised me how many people had dropped me. I tried opening up and admitting my own misdoings as well. I tried to better myself as much as I could. I blogged every week for the next three years, I read everything I could get my hands on and I tried to care about myself. It was a year of nothing and everything. Quiet with a constant "To Do List."

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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.