8.21.2023 It's possible to love someone from afar. It's something I try to practice everyday. Sometimes, we have to do it out of necessity to keep our peace in tact and sometimes, we have no choice because geography. But isn't it cool how even the people you have to love from afar for peace reasons have made an impact on your life? Even if it was a negative impact initially, it still makes a positive change in your life. Because now, you've learned another lesson and you adjust. Now, you know yourself better. Now, you value your peace. And if you pay close enough attention, you'll notice you can love the jerk faces, too. Just love them from afar. Jerk faces need love, too!
6.23.2022 it’s weird to think that Alice in Wonderland was published in 1865. so much time has passed since people first read it. and still, it’s remembered. vividly. it’s one of the most enduring stories ever written. when you think about your life and the impression you will leave on this world… when you think about all of the souls with which you have ever come into contact… when you think about all of the delicate hearts that have been left in your hands for safe keeping… will you smile or will you be overcome with sadness and guilt? will you be sad that maybe you treated someone a little too harshly that one time? would you be sad if that person was no longer here because they allowed your words and actions to be the last things filed in their memories? i think about that a lot. especially, during pride month. just like with each adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, only the illustrations have changed over the years; so it goes for humanity. we have mostly only changed on the surface. the heart is where the change has to happen to make a difference, i think. if it’s not in our hearts, it’s not real. love louder. always. happy pride!
5.26.22 lez be honest, here… i’m not going to stop painting what has set up shop in my heart. this whole series has guided me, in the most effective way possible, through something i like to refer to as a shituation. i definitely need a break to do some more light-hearted paintings, but this love thing will never leave my heart. it’s just being distributed in a different way. our hearts are like a ball and chain that we lug around with us everywhere we go. if we try to drag it behind us, instead of listening to it, it feels heavier than it should. that’s what happens when i try to force and control what my heart is going to do. she’s a rebel and ultimately more stubborn than my brain. but, if i just leave pieces of her where she asks to stay, pick up the rest, and carry it with me, there is less of a struggle. i mean, it’s still heavy at times, but at least i’m not dragging dead weight behind me. love is a shituation that cannot be undone. it cannot be forgotten. you cannot get away from your heart. no matter how fast or hard you run. no matter how hard you try… no matter how pissed off and mad you get about it… it’s not happening. it’s attached to you. the moment you stop listening to it, you breathe differently… if you even breathe at all anymore. and we all know if we aren’t breathing, our hearts aren’t beating. duh. when the beat stops, it’s over. don’t let the ball be stuck in your court when that last beat hits… pick that bitch up and drop a piece of it off on the other side like a boss. i don’t think it‘s possible to regret loving someone as loudly as we can. especially when our hearts finally stop beating. i have definitely dropped a part of mine off on the other side. aaaand scene…
5.23.22 raise your hand if you’ve ever seen actual hearts in your breath when that one person is around. heart-shaped smoke rings don’t really count! that’s kinda cheating… love is so mind-altering. i imagine that it’s almost as if it’s all the drug highs bundled into one and it just pounds you in the chest until it finally breaks open. that’s the scary part. when your chest breaks open and you allow yourself to be vulnerable and trust that this person will be gentle with your heart. sometimes, they manhandle it and sometimes they are genuinely gentle with it. the shitty part is that we can’t always tell what’s happening in the moment. it’s hard to see clearly when your heart is pounding out of your chest. it’s hard to see with any clarity at all when she’s dressed in 80’s hawaiian gecko pants with a laser tag gun on her hip (honestly believing that she’s a sniper), a glass of wine in her hand, your super inappropriate hat on her head, and playing in the middle of a hurricane in near pitch black darkness. ***squirrel - “pitch” is the sticky, black or dark brown residue that comes from the distillation of wood tar or turpentine. it was used for waterproofing ships. and that’s where the term “pitch black” comes from. you’re welcome. so, as i was saying, before i was interrupted by the squirrel outburst… when the smoke clears… when everything has become quiet around you… when you go to sleep at night… when you wake up in the morning… when you hear that song… that’s when the clarity arrives... who is on your mind? who would you give your last breath to if it meant you could spend one more second with them? my dudes, just tell them.
3.9.22 it is so strange to me how i can see someone totally different than they see themselves. how is that even possible? obviously, my perception is accurater than yours. what makes it so difficult for someone to see that and change their own vision? if we could install windshield wipers on eyeballs, i’d make sure you had a lifetime supply. but, none of that works because no one has developed windshield wipers for eyes yet. we have feet graters. gross. but we can’t have windshield wipers for our eyes. whatever. that’s so dummy. does our clarity fade sometimes when we love someone that hard? i feel like maybe it’s like taking a hit of ecstasy or lsd. is that what drugs make you feel like? someone once sent me a video entitled “love is blind”. i think she may be wrong. because maybe it isn’t. maybe, just maybe, love can help us see really well, but it scares us. the whole time you wonder if this is really happening. is it real? it can’t be. how is it possible to have someone so perfect in your life and watch it disappear so quickly, just like your high from the ecstasy or lsd? so, then i think… oh, damn. maybe that wasn’t true. maybe, it was all a lie. wait… was she insinuating that i was blind to something? shit. maybe this is where the addiction comes from. maybe it comes from your heart not matching your brain’s thoughts. maybe that’s why we get addicted to things. follow your heart. no, wait. don’t do that. use your brain! i think that’s where mine comes from. i am constantly trying to get my heart and brain to agree with each other. my problem is i listen to my heart over my brain. or is that really a problem? i mean, hearts are so much prettier than brains. lez be honest…
3.2.22 the setbacks come and go. i’m not a fan of them coming, but it’s even harder to watch them go sometimes. you get used to someone else controlling your heart. it’s. just. so. much. easier that way. when someone else controls it, you can sit back and blame them for every undesirable thing that happens in your life. but when those ties are cut, you realize the entire time that you put yourself in that whole “i know slamming my finger in this car door is going to hurt, but i’m going to do it anyway just to make sure” situation. that absolutely doesn’t negate the intentional or unintentional shit they caused. it just means that i also share that responsibility with them. and i recognize that now. i was just talking to my very irreplaceable dude-bro yesterday evening and shared with her that i have always been that person to just delete people from my life when i feel hurt or let down by them. i’ve deleted countless memories and photos over the years. and i have never backed down from that. until now. this one is different. i actually still thank God every day that she crossed my path. twice. and no matter how shitty it feels to not have her in my life, i still can’t find one reason to be angry with her. not one. hurt? yes. angry? no. i try to see the good in people. i won’t ever change that about myself. i actually live in a pretty joyful world that i created with my little circle. people who were once in my circle may attempt to break bonds due to their own insecurities, but it’s impossible to sabotage a relationship with a concrete foundation. when people genuinely value each other, they never allow a strange hand inside that cookie jar. and that’s why i wouldn’t think twice about cutting someone, with love in my heart, for my people. she doesn’t know, but she has definitely taught me quite a few lessons. the biggest ones having everything to do with unconditional love. i wish i could tell her thank you in person. maybe one day… but, until then, i’ll paint until i can no longer see. and with every brush stroke, i will remember her with a smile in my heart… unless I wake up with the urge to rent a billboard. that’s also entirely possible
2.26.22 addictions are hard to kick. especially when it resides in your heart… and even when you know it may or may not be bad for you… but, so is bacon. gross. also, who was the jerk face who decided all addictions are bad? as far as i can tell, that’s false. when i started this series, the only thing in my brain was “why?” why am i so addicted to someone who clearly, in my perception at the time, just wanted to play a game? why did i allow that to happen? you know why? because you cannot control your heart, no matter how hard you try. you can adjust your thoughts in your gray matter, but your heart? nope. not happening. and that is just one joy of being an overthinker. it’s kinda like when someone gives you an incredible gift. they put so much thought into it. but, when you receive it, you just see it as a waffle. like, dude… you just gave me a waffle. why? i mean, it’s a pretty awesome waffle, but why a waffle? why now? you see what i mean? does this paragraph make sense to you? of course it doesn’t. and that is how much sense it made to me to try to force myself to kick this addiction. none. i ain’t doing it and you can’t make me. when someone loves you and shows you that in every way, it feels amazing. when someone shows you what it feels like to be adored in every way, you don’t want that to end. this is the point when “want” turns into “need.” i’ve never been a drug addict, so I can’t say for sure, but i imagine this is exactly how they feel. they don’t think further down the road. they take for granted that there will be more when they need another fix. i will never take that for granted again. one more adulting lesson in the books, baby! being addicted to something is not something to be ashamed of. i mean, i’m not ashamed. when there is someone who makes you feel differently than anyone else ever has, in a good way, how is it possible that it’s bad? do i really need to waste my time trying to overcome that addiction if it isn’t hurting me? i have other things to do with my time and i actually like that those memories have set up camp in my heart. it’s actually enjoyable to think of those things on occasion. especially, since i’ve been notorious for deleting all those moments/people from every aspect of my life. it’s different. sometimes it’s the process of determining if an addiction is bad for you that sucks the worst. it’s hard. and right now, it’s hard to think of one thing that’s bad about it. now what? i think i’ll just try to figure out how to keep my syringe full for now.
2.17.22 nom nom nom.... king cake!!!
1.13.22 now that i have all of the sugar-coated trauma out of the way i can start recognizing what i have not fully understood until this point and start learning what to do with it... aaaaaahhhhh... the fuckery that we refer to as love... i'm clearly addicted to it. i don't feel like it's necessarily a negative addiction. and i am not looking to change that; however, i am definitely changing how i handle it and how i allow it to affect me. they say sometimes people only stay in your life for a season. i wish the seasons lasted longer. every time the seasons change, i get sick. i'm not good at being sick. and i'm even worse at letting people i love go. no matter how much i try to tell myself i am. and even when i tell myself how bad they are for my path. they could be the one square tire on my bus and i would still be like, "it's cool. it'll work itself out." love is a drug, for sure. it can kill you or it can heal you, like the right prescription. always give more than you take. the chances of being healed by it are far greater than being killed if we are more cautious about the amount of love we take rather than give.
11.21.21 This is Lil G, a sweet long-haired dachshund. He was FULL of personality and I feel super special being asked to sling some paint for this adorable little fella. Obviously, he was pretty gangsta!
10.24.21 back to my roots, baby! who knew? in my decision to love without hesitation, it became clear to me that love simply begets more love. it’s insane that it took me so long to get to this point because this is one of the most important lessons my momma and daddy ever drilled into my brain. i obviously didn’t really recognize that until now. it’s true, though, you reap what you sow. life is amazing, and while I rarely forget to do stuff like stop on the side of the road to smile at an incredible sunset or stomp in the middle of a water puddle (as long as i’m not wearing my gangsta kicks), i’ve never taken the time to focus on the incredible amount of love in my life. i had no idea i consumed so much. i’m definitely a fatty for love. my parents, God bless them, were/are incredibly loving. there was never a day that passed without a kiss on top of the head and a hug that would make all the darkness in my sky disappear. there was never a shortage of i’m proud of yous and i love yous. oddly enough, my parents have been divorced since i was about 2 years old. i’ve been hyper-aware for a long time that they were a couple of weirdos, according to societal standards. only because they were so respectful to each other. they were so supportive of each other. and they never made us feel bad about loving the other parent. it’s weird because we all know divorce doesn’t just happen. things don’t end because everyone is happy, yeah? but, they also never travelled the same path that so many divorced parents do. weirdos… but i’m so grateful they’re mine. my mind is completely blown by the fact that I was so ignorant to what they were teaching us all those years. it’s like i wasn’t even present. so, maybe i’m the weirdo? probably… whatever… my point is, you get what you give. sometimes, it’s hard to not be a jerk face, especially when i’m hungry or when i can’t get my hands on the latest nike sb releases, but i work on it every day. i feel like if i navigate my way through life with nothing but love in my heart, i’ll receive so much love that i’ll have no other choice but to give it out in larger and larger quantities. like costco-sized quantities, because i don’t have that kind of storage space to keep it to myself. and that makes my heart smile.
9.21.21 I finally found more time to reflect on the common denominator of every aspect of my life... love. it dawned on me that, too often, i subconsciously offer my love with an expectation of receiving some absurd ROI; thereby, rendering the term "unconditional love" as an outright lie. while it's completely possible to love someone unconditionally, i'm afraid i haven't really practiced that in my past. as i was painting this piece, i couldn't help but think about all the conditions i put on the love i gave. i treated love as a "pay-to-play" situation by placing expectations on people, unbeknownst to them. what good is love with conditions? there is no "payment" large enough for someone's love. it cannot be bought. there is no expense report. it's not a business transaction. if the only thing we do in this life is provide a never-ending supply of love without hesitation, i believe the sun will never set on our souls. maybe i'm wrong, but what if i'm right? with all these realizations floating around in my brain, i decided right then to just love people, no matter what. i mean, what do i have to lose? my time? i don’t even know when my time will run out, so what does it matter? maybe i lose another piece of my heart… again, it doesn’t matter. the heart regenerates every time. like a little starfish who lost a battle with a pair of scissors or, more likely, a crab. i don't care who you are or what you've done. we are all human and create messes daily. that doesn't make anyone unworthy of unconditional love. i like to imagine love being like this gumball machine. it's full of eleventy-thousand reminders of how much i love you. but wait, there's more! it's free!!! take as many of those little reminders as you need... i love you... all the time. seriously... bigger than the whole sky.
8.4.21 i'm naturally a joyful girl... but, just when i thought my heart had been healed, she spoke up to remind me that I still have more work to do. she does this every. single. time. this was a dark period for me. very dark. in my mind, my heart was destroyed by the carelessness of another person. but, it was my fault because i allowed someone so incredibly unhealed to do that to me. (in hindsight, i feel like i should have paid more attention to this person's fear of being vulnerable. that meant something. and i didn't catch it until it was too late. there are not enough apologies i could say or give that would ever erase the immense guilt i have for that.) i woke up one morning, though, and realized i had shit to do and meetings stacked up all week. while my heart was destroyed by someone who had yet to deal with their own trauma, that didn't mean that i had to ignore mine and let it fester. keep. it. moving. i have too much love in my life from genuine people to stop. they are the reason i am here. i never would have realized my heart's worth had it not been for them. i was completely spent and they knew i needed them. here's to all the special people who never let a girl down!!! my guardian angels have gone to war for me every single day and i am not going to repay them by turning that battle into a waste of their time. i'm not trying to disappoint angels. no, thanks. i like my phone and computer screens in dark mode, but not my life... my dudes... love your people louder!!!
7.29.21 sooooo... that whole vulnerability thing i was talking about before... it sucks because it's really hard. it sucks because there is always the potential for rejection. it sucks because most people walk around all masked up (figuratively speaking), never allowing themselves the freedom to be who they really are. it could be for a number of reasons... maybe they're scared of rejection themselves. or maybe they're insecure. maybe their ego won't allow it. or maybe they're just narcissistic. whatever the reason is, it's certainly a valid one in their hearts, so i have to remind myself constantly to be gentle with people. i face come of those things, too. being vulnerable is not easy. i learned that very quickly. it's not for the weak or faint-of-heart. after contemplating all of this, my mind led me to the octopus. what i wish more than anything is that i could have EIGHT arms, just like this little guy, with which to love you. i wish i had THREE hearts in which to store my love for you, just in case you ever need a refill... the octopus is my favorite sea creature. and you are my favorite everything else.
7.10.21 so, there's this girl... she's never realized how amazing and beautiful she is. that's just one of the things i find so endearing about her. she was also very hard on the outside... walls covered every square inch of her heart. she tries, never fully succeeding at tearing them down. when the distance between us started, i felt like my heart was exiting my chest cavity in a pretty violent way. it was the weirdest feeling i've ever had. i never recognized how much she truly meant to me until it was over and she was completely gone from my life. i honestly didn't do ANYTHING to help the situation. i made it worse. i was hurt and my brain justified my behavior with a little chant... "retaliate, retaliate, retaliate...". my heart, though... that was a completely different story. every time i was in her presence, i felt like i was floating in space. everything was super peaceful and beautiful. no worries. no concept of time. never any anger. always just love and amazing, magical moments... just like floating around in space with ALL of the galaxies right there, within reach. i felt like i was cuddling all of the stars at once when i was with her. this painting is my perception of being in the presence of someone so magical that my heart never stopped dancing and then experiencing the sudden loss of said person. unfortunately, this whole situation brought me back to how it felt when my daddy committed suicide 7 years ago. it made me realize, AGAIN, that having the sun set another day without my last words to my people being, "i love you" is unacceptable. i decided i would love louder and be okay with that. i don't ever want to wonder if my people know i love them. that's stupid and dangerous; and this is the reason for at least one trumpet and one heart in my paintings. moving on... that's when the lessons really started for me. and they were LOUD. ugh. adulting is so complicated. the interesting part of this whole thing is that she was the reason i decided to sling paint on the very first canvas over ten years ago. and here i am painting again, all these years later, inspired by her madness and inability to be vulnerable or truly happy. what's weird is that i noticed that about her before i noticed it about myself. so, when i noticed its existence in my own heart, i decided to change it. forcefully. i can feel my heart kicking and screaming every time i force myself to be vulnerable with people. but, little by little, it gets easier and easier. it's a learning experience for them, too! i'm so grateful they've hung in there with me on this journey!!!