Today is March 24th and I have officially been on the Special Delivery tour for two weeks now. When it comes to writing, Hemingway said to “Write the truest thing you know.” In traveling around the country I have rediscovered a sense of who I am that has been hidden or lost. Sometimes in your life something comes to you and you just know what to do. That’s how I felt about this exhibit. I’m not always in-tune with picking up on that small voice inside of me, or following through with the idea when I do recognize it, but I am aware of what it means. When you hear someone say, “everything you need to get through life is inside of you.” What that means to me is that there is a true sense of who I am and who I am suppose to be and when I align myself with that person then I have found everything I need in myself because I am content with who I am in that very moment.(Whew). On our drive from California to New Mexico yesterday, Jet and I had a conversation about life and art, and love and God, and what it all means and our place in it. I know that when I work on bettering myself then that allows me to give other people the best version of myself and that has the potential to help them grow as an individual as well.

One thing that I want my art to do is to lead other people to the foundations where they can build the best versions of themselves too. With whatever happens after this exhibit is finished, I know that I have benefited on a personal level and anything else is just extra. I’ve had time to think about my family, and friends, and co-workers, and everyone I love and to realize how grateful I actually am. There’s something about an endless sky that gives you the quiet to listen to your own heart. Having the space to be away from everything has allowed me to release a lot of negativity and free myself from anything clouding the truer aspects of who I am. I realize that this is what I need to be doing. Art gives me the space to be able to grow into who I really am. One reason that I have the potential to feel weighed down at times is because I am having to do things in order to survive, that are not fulfilling to my soul. In spite of any circumstance I am in, I put in all my effort and reflect the greatness inside of me. I will always strive to accomplish my dream in hopes to inspire others and to one day be able to dedicate all of my time in to my love of art.

What do I want from my art? At the end of the day all we want is to be loved and accepted, and maybe even more so.. understood. I think one aspect of my artwork is a desperate attempt for me to show every aspect of who I am so that existence finds me worthy. There was a time a few years ago when I had the idea to write “here’s a pretty picture for you” on a large canvas and then to paint the canvas with my brains. Thankful, by the grace of God, or whatever reason, I didn’t. I didn’t see a way out of my mind and I felt eternally damned. And then somewhere along the line I decided to try. I decided to try even though I didn’t see a way out-a clear path. Maybe that’s faith?

I’m writing about this because I don’t talk about my personal self often and I am a highly reserved person. But I think that in sharing what people are afraid of it ends up strengthening ourselves. That is one thing that I see about society, a constant need to keep real life hidden. That is one reason for my insanity-when I see the whole world living contrary to the speeches at a funeral, or a graduation, or a memoir about something important..

Holding all of it in doesn’t help. You’re not alone in feeling alone.

A desperate search for acceptance, relatability, love and all of those things that society laughs at, yet cries about when they’re alone. I started to accept myself. I started to accept how I walk-the sound of my voice-my smile-looking at a picture of myself. It started with me. It doesn’t seem like a big deal to me these days because I felt like I went through it all alone, and then came out stronger. But I wasn’t alone, I was listening to other people tell their stories and what they did with their experiences. I knew that there had to be something more to it then that. The main point that I want to share is that you are not alone. There are people like me who live in similar struggles and stay up late painting in hopes that it may inspire someone else to pursue what they love whether its art or anything else. As people, we are resilient creatures. Today I feel lucky for who I am and what I am able to do.

The last thing I want to add to this section is that I’d like to move to a different city where there is more opportunity for me to forward my career as an artist. I love Chattanooga but I do not have the support that I need to without a full-time career. So aside from this trip be one of personal growth, I’d also like to kind a location that is more accept and sees the worth in what I do.