I spent an entire day packing up everything I had allowed to spill out over the last few months. I organized, threw away and packed up everything except for my screen printing supplies. I even packed up my wallet, which I dug out along with clothes to wear for the last few days. As I got ready for this trip of a lifetime, I was feeling like something wasn’t right.

The next morning I hopped out of bed, feeling light, chock full of inspiration. I’ve reset my intentions, packed up the stuff that has weighed me down, wrapped up any final pressing issues and said farewell to friends I’ll miss. It’s a big transition and one I’ve contemplated, dreamed of and anticipated through each moment of the last year. At times, I’ve allowed this goal to cloud perspective, and affect judgement. Recently in desperation, I unleased catty anger and vicious gossip to a human who unknowingly intercepted a wrath which afterwards I couldn’t admit was my own. It’s forced my right foot to step back and sit down for a second as I re-evaluate the intention behind actions and words I’ve given to my surroundings. Clearly stated, It’s been hard to show and share love.

I’ve been struggling against life, attempting to force what isn’t natural to be. I’m stubborn and kept reaching.. for this moment, for people to understand love, unconditional love that can never be empty because it flows from me to you to her to him and back to me and then to another. A cycle that can for nevermore be broken because it’s been started, not by I, not by you, by the power of the earth for which we stand, by the power of the sun which gives us light and by the power of our human existence and whatever you or I may believe about any kind of power beyond our realm of comprehension. That is why we have love, that is why we may pass it on, and it can only be given graciously.

In an unexpected twist in my life, realizations and culminations of missed connections collided earlier this week. I ran into an old love, a man who betrayed me by walking away with no notice, only texting that I was extra, an unneeded parasite who could be scraped off at a moment’s notice. It hurt differently than any other previous breakup and sent me on a creative spark which brought about my big Strawberry Lady painting and the beginning of StrawberryPropaganda. Him leaving caused me to reach for a greater range, allowed me to explore a wider world and gave me the guts to say Fuck All, I’m an artist. As he sat in the back of the truck I had found and negotiated, he apologized giving me a glimpse into his past anger that I was never allowed to see before. It’s a cycle of remembrances, a reminder that life and gossip and tears fade; karma does it’s job well as long as we keep to the high road and intently follow our own path.

I will be thirty two tomorrow. Two years into my third decade on the last day of the month of February. I bought a second ticket for my beloved partner to experience my other love: Nepal, then broke his heart days before we left as my past came back with a vengeance. It wasn’t fair and it wasn’t kind and I know it hurt him beyond measure. I’m trying to make the best of the situation and I left his ticket open on the chance he still wanted to come. He decided to board the flight, though it’s been tension, fighting and overall nastiness from both sides. We keep apologizing as if it’s enough and it’s left us both broken hearted, each apology leading to the next outburst of deep seated hurt.

This experience though not positive has led me to change seats and led to a conversation with a man who owns an housing company. Apparently he’s looking for artists. I’m looking to be hired. I’m looking to leave the US. I’m looking to explore the world, I’m trying to make the world smaller, to create conversation, to create change, to expose love and all that it has to offer. Positivity and the opportunity to share in a greater vision has kept me going. I only want to learn and grow. I’m curious of other viewpoints, I love perspectives and the education that comes with it.

Nepal has been on my mind, in my dreams and carefully held within my heart. It isn’t just a country to me, it stands for freedom, questioning the truth and accepting the ebb and flow of life. The people, the language, the humble reverence of acknowledging that we are all humans with a brilliant light to share has driven me to return; this time armed with a plan to learn and soak in even more beauty and culture. I’m working as an Artist in Residence at a gallery in Patan Dhoka, older than the rest of Kathmandu. Durbar Square is around the corner filled with temples and stupas of respected deities, unfortunately it was effected by a terrible earthquake about 3 years ago, leaving it with damage. Earthquake damage that has shaken the physical spiritual atmosphere, though as I get to know this country, they seem to be determined to continue and rebuild; even without wealth or resources. Determination that can change the world. That is what inspires me. That is what keeps me going through the rough and tumble of the art world that can be very cut throat.

Art doesn’t have to be competitive. Art comes from within, which is why it is unique to each person. Why do we copy each other? Why do we obsess over details that come naturally to others when we are thinking in a different direction. Is it the insecurity, the fear that we are not the best human we can be? Maybe it’s the desire to be better, to be the inspiration instead of the inspired. Let us not forget, each experience we have leads to the next and leads to inspiration and leads to growth and understanding if we allow it.

What am I allowing from this experience that I’ve just started? I’m determined to have fun, to be positive and let life take the lead for a bit. I’m allowing my heart to be open and light, even through the pain of knowing how much I hurt my travel companion. I’m hoping he’ll decide to grow too and we can share in this trip of a lifetime. Nepal, my love, I’ll see you soon. First, let’s see what Singapore has to offer.