When The Walls Come Down...
I'd like to dedicate this blog post to some of the women that inspire me each and every day. There are so many to list that I couldn't possibly begin in fear this would be a neverending post. There is one standout though that I must give a shoutout to because she's been through the fire with me hand in hand not only in business, but when it matters most. My dearest friend and true partner, Karen. Girl, you just get me!
My year began in tears. I spent New Year’s Eve in the Mexican beach town of Tulum with kind strangers dancing near a beach fire under a canopy of stars, salty breezes in my hair and nursing a terribly broken heart. How I mustered up the strength to drag myself out of my Airbnb apartment and attend a big, boisterous party at a glamorous hotel I’m still not quite sure, but it was motivated by art. I hadn’t packed appropriate going out clothing with the intention of being completely miserable and alone for 10 days. I don’t think I smiled much that entire trip or ate a solid meal. I even managed to look like the definition of lovelorn if you could imagine how charming and fashionable “bereft” can appear. My hair was in desperate need of a trim, my eyebrows overgrown and my general composition was...messy. Who would ever believe I ran a luxury beauty company?
I knew I was about to officially end a long term relationship when I returned home to Chicago. The purpose of the trip was to analyze all the reasons why my relationship was indeed over and mourn the loss in private. Perhaps some of you seek the comfort of others when romantic relationships go awry. I do the opposite. I seek peace, quiet and some time away from the norm to collect my thoughts and process emotions. I’ve never been one to overshare feelings. In my circle of close friends I’m the caretaker, the one people come to for advice or comfort not the other way around. I hit the road as soon as our busy holiday season was over intending on lying in bed all day watching Netflix movies while drinking rum and cokes. It didn’t quite work out that way. I now see it as a sort of blessing and the first steps towards something else.
One morning while I was making a pot of coffee I found a large sheet of blank white cardboard stock in the recycling container. I stared at the clean smooth surface with profound existential angst. How appropriately ironic was this white void of nothingness? What did it mean or matter when I would probably die alone and life would continue in its vast meaningless madness? (I can be funny even in the middle of heartbreak.) I decided to pull out one of my superfine pens and I began to draw. It kind of felt right. I kept drawing, then I drew on both sides of the stock paper. I found a brown paper bag and began drawing on that, then on sheets of my notebook paper and I just couldn’t stop. The dopamine high I was experiencing was like an IV pumping nutrients back into my aching soul. I decided to leave my apartment that afternoon in search of a few art galleries. When I came home I started researching works of art I wanted to see around the world. It was just the beginning to my current art fueled haze and the reawakening of myself. My real damn self. A complex, quirky and motivated creature. The foundation in which I was built would once again sort me out.
It’s October now and the year has seemed to fly by faster than I’ve ever remembered. As I sit here writing I feel I’ve been on a train wreck of endeavors and downfalls that drove me to be fully present in this moment. For some reason I have an acute understanding of what this means. Being present and accepting all the walls I’ve let down. It scares the hell out of me yet anything in my way better watch out. I’m living for the moment now. I’m still not in the best of spaces, but I’m allowing myself a little room to be vulnerable and curious. I write this because it feels natural to share a part of myself that leans towards honesty, unveils an intimate side and I’m more than okay with being flawed. I hope whomever is reading this and may be feeling the same is comforted to know, it’s all going to be alright. We all go through our own private little hell and still have to show up for life. Personal happiness has seemed to become an entitled epidemic driving us all crazy. So many of us feel we deserve it yet lack the courage to make it happen for ourselves. Happiness is not alienable, transferred or achieved by another. I think I am learning that I can be happy sometimes, miserable others, good, bad, weird, different, brave, stupid, lustful, passionate, wrong, broken, scared and whatever I feel like at any stage. I will continue to work, make a fool of myself, complete projects, dream and struggle when life has taken a turn south. I try to remain mindful of all the complexities being human consists of. It helps me to deal when a product doesn’t launch in time or the sadness I feel cooking for one now or worrying about my aging parents. There is too much lurking around the corner in this life to be stuck in fear. Here’s the funny thing; I also love the tenderness of the fractures just as much as the excitement of the ride. I know that may sound weird, but how would you know the fragility of love without also knowing it could just as easily slip through your fingers? All kinds of love too not just the romantic kind is a beautiful and strange phenomenon we humans sometimes don’t cherish enough. Losing love the way you know it is painful, rich in regret and it rocks the best of us. Most often, if we listen and pay attention, the end of a relationship is just a manifestation leading us towards new awareness and deeper truth.
This awareness returned me to art this year. After Mexico I began to draw and paint again and I submitted work to a new museum that accepted my piece. (How crazy is that?!) Subsequently, I began to write again and a few of my short poems (a written extension of the art piece) are currently being read aloud by local artists in the LA area. Some are funny or sardonic, if you know my sense of humor and others more raw and revealing. I also recently began dating and while I feel shy about sharing full details about that I must admit meeting new people, hearing their stories and feeling attraction again is pretty exciting stuff. There is a current of electricity that aligns you with what you need when you get over the self doubt and battery. I’m going into all of this with a new level of expectation (which is none actually because expectation kills imagination) and being very honest about what I want and need at the moment. It feels grown up, honest and good. Because the love I give is big and intense I’m taking it slow for now. I only want to cultivate connection with those open to accepting it without limits and I require it to be returned on those exact terms. I’m excited for when I’m ready for it.