I Am Not Alone

Sometimes we create art for fun. Sometimes it’s for homework or money. Sometimes we make art in remembrance, joy, sorrow, etc.  

Sometimes we make art because we don’t know how else to open up our heart and let out the hardest emotions to face. I’m sure you know the emotions I’m talking about. The why-is-this-happening-to-me, no one-could-ever-understand-what-I’m-going-through, angry at God kind. 


Today, I learned some tough news about someone I care about. 

All I wanted to do was reach out, turn back time and use it more wisely with them, find some way to make the situation suck less. But I can’t. 

So instead I went home, told Alexa to play my worship playlist, and let God choose the tracks I needed to hear. 

Within seconds, the music flooding my soul was so powerfully and painfully exactly the message I needed to hear. I can think of few moments in my life that were so overwhelming that I fell to the ground and cried. It was all I could muster to ask for guidance, hope and strength for myself, but more so for those I know that need it most. 

Since high school, I’ve used music as a source for my art. Back then, it was how I doodled during class and created textures and even portraits. In the piece shared above I used the three songs that brought me to my knees. For me, writing out the lyrics of a song that touched my heart is just another way for me to draw the connection to it. 

Life can be incredibly challenging sometimes. My advice? Love each other. Make the most of the time you have on this rock and leave no stone unturned. You never know when you’re going to end up crumpled on the floor with nothing left but a prayer, faith, and the air you breath. 

The Hardest Things

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” -Theodore Roosevelt 

What are some of the most difficult lessons you have had to learn?  

It seems like most of the lessons I’ve learned were hard lessons. Perhaps the challenge they presented is why I remember them.  


For me, the hardest lessons always begin with a test of my willpower. I’m trying to get healthy and sometimes my workouts are really hard. They push me past my presumed limit every time and challenge me to “dig deeper.” Who better than ShaunT to remind you that you are strong while also making you feel like you are getting repeatedly hit by a train? 

Today’s workout was so difficult. I cussed at the TV so many times that I think even a sailor would’ve had trouble keeping up with all my “F” bombs. Sweat was dripping off of me and I often felt like there was no oxygen left in the room. Amidst all of that, while I convinced myself that if I started crying it would only make it worse, I realized that becoming a healthy individual is going to be one of the most difficult challenges of my entire life. 

While this realization could’ve been daunting, it was actually followed with relief and anticipation! In my whole life, the things I’ve had to truly break my back for have been the most noteworthy, memorable, and unbelievable experiences. 

I worked tirelessly to get into a theater camp my family couldn’t afford to send me to, which lead to many great experiences, lifelong friends and family, and design work, not to mention I met my husband at that camp. 

About two years into my relationship with who is now my husband, we had to fight through some really deep cuts and bruises in our relationship. It could’ve been so easy to give up, however, the most wonderful life I could never have imagined has become of that once broken relationship.  

College presented its own set of adventures, and getting my degree was only a small part of it. Learning that some friends were only meant to pass through my life was an unexpected and painful lesson. I had to learn to let go of people who weren’t truly invested in my happiness and wellbeing, people whom I loved deeply but couldn’t find that love for themselves, and people who just weren’t meant to be a part of my life forever. Amidst those people I lost, there were many friends I was lucky enough to hold tight to, and build real friendships. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to meet them. Without the struggle of getting through college, I might not have bonded with any of my friends and wouldn’t have the amazing life I do now. 

I face challenges in my workplace everyday. Sometimes with my coworkers, often with a project, deadlines, creative block, physical aches and pains, honing my professional development, etc. None of those challenges have convinced me that this job wasn’t/isn’t a complete blessing. Not only have I learned so much, but I met one of my best friends at this job, am provided insurance and fair pay, am regularly put in situations to network with movers and shakers, and am always supported by the team I work with. Like with any job, there have been many moments that made me want to give up; moments that had me so close to quitting and finding another job that I had other job openings in my hands and only one click away from applying. Something held me back...

Challenges are a blessing and often lead to something very special.  

As I lay on the floor and think of all the goals I want to meet, the person I hope to be, the family I want to have, and the lessons I’m sure to learn, I have to keep reminding myself that I am bigger than the pain I’m feeling now. That these challenges will become blessings. That every drop of sweat hitting the floor is a reminder of my strength, hard-work, and soul-deep belief in my ability to conquer each challenge. 

Whatever your challenges are, whatever has you on the floor struggling to get back up, just know that at the end of this race you’re running there is a treasure waiting for you.