Actually Seeing.

I am preparing myself to get in my car and drive fourteen hours along the entirety of Lake Erie, across the whole state of New York, to the edge of Massachusetts, north along the Atlantic Ocean and half way up the coast of Maine to an artists’ residency in Rockport: alone. I am terrified, but I am also so incredibly excited.

Throughout the entirety of my life I have been placing myself in high anxiety situations just to prove to myself that I can do things. I am scared of quite literally everything, but the fear that trumps them all is the fear that I will miss out on living because I was terrified of life. This is how I became the 2011 Wyandot County Jr Fair Queen. One day I thought to myself that I would like to represent my county, so I sent in my application before I could change my mind. An essay, interview, spaghetti dinner, patent and fishbowl question later, I was crowned. Winning that title lead me to the Ohio State Fair Queens’ Pageant in Columbus, which I will admit not only had I never even heard of but had no clue it was apart of the fair queen gig. We got to stay in a fancy hotel and walk across the stage in prom dresses, we were interviewed and forced to answer questions into a microphone in a room full of at least two-hundred and fifty people. I placed in the top fourteen out of over ninety queens. Similarly, junior year of college they introduced a study abroad program in Ireland. I was deathly afraid of flying, so I signed up and paid my nonrefundable deposit. Desperate to see the world, I knew my fear of flying needed to be overcome and that it wouldn’t unless I made sure there was absolutely no way to back out. Up until then I had never flown, never even stepped foot in an airport. There were quite a few tears in the terminal, but once we were airborne I fell in love. A little under a year later I (without hesitation) flew again, this time to Vegas, on another art related excursion.

Maine was no different. I had no clue how I would get there (quite honestly I am still somewhat trying to figure that part out) but I knew I wanted to go. When the opportunity arose to apply for a scholarship to an artist residency there I jumped on top of it and I won. This will be the longest I have ever driven anywhere alone and I am sure that I will learn so much about myself. I will cry, I will laugh, I will talk, I will pray and I will sing Taylor Swift at the top of my lungs. Even though I am scared, I have to keep reminding myself that while I might not be able to see it now, this adventure will make me stronger, both as an artist and a human being. Like every other trip I have managed to see myself through, if I can do this, where else can I go? I refuse to sit around daydreaming of all the things I want to see when I could be out there actually seeing them.

The purpose of this trip is to create. Basically, I will be wandering around the wilderness in Maine for a week, guided by an instructor and fellow artists. I will be fully emerged in my craft amongst creation. Who knows what this kind of environment will do to my practice, but I am looking forward to watching it grow. I have wandered around the Midwest for so long, it is time to take my camera and my curiosity elsewhere. I hope to write everyday while gone, although I am not sure when I will be able to report back with all of you. There will be words, photographs and a renewed spirit ready to keep pushing herself further into the art world.

Because I can’t have a pictureless post, below is a throwback to a few photos from my series In Green Pastures made in Ireland, 2015:

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