Keep Showing UP
Wow! I have not done a blog post since April of 2021. That's a big gap. And yet I value this medium so much. The cover of my most recent Uppercase magazine says "Keep Showing Up" and it's just what I needed to hear. In reality, I have been showing up in so many ways and life is full. I finished my 100 day project and kept going. I built a larger portfolio of work and I got better at posting and sharing. Just recently, I had my first client who found me on Instagram and hired me just to do illustration for her website. And my images will be animated! They are flowers that will appear to be be blooming. But the amazing thing is that I am not doing any of the technical part - just the artwork. It's a wonderful feeling. And it happened because I showed up.
This summer, I showed up for my kids. I made it happen. We traveled down the state of California for two weeks, went to Monterey where my daughter did Junior Life Guards and met some of the best friends she's ever had, stayed in San Juan Capistrano at a dear friends house while they traveled. Went to Legoland for my youngest's birthday surprise. Had dinner in Encinitas which is as close to Hawaii as you can get on the mainland . Later in the summer we were back in Monterey and I got a paddle board, a dream I had for years and finally showed up for. It's like walking on water.
In the fall, the kids actually went back to school and stayed in school. Even through a new surge, which we got, and all the twists and turns along the way, they are in school. So the days are full. Mostly with my "day job" but I have also found the time to do amazing work with Herb Folk to complete her tea line, to do new packaging for her broth herbs and to start the design for her bath salts. The creative process of working with Erin Wilkins has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. We both show up. Every time. What a gift.
Since last May, I have been showing up for myself, physically. I started doing ParkFit with Jen Stoneman. I had been eating well for over a year, taking huge strides towards health and balance, but I needed strength. Showing up for ParkFit has been the best thing. I learn something new every time. I have collected equipment to work out when I travel or can't get to class. I have consistently worked out 3-5 times a week since May of 2021 and it feels so good. I am strong and lean and more powerful than ever as I enter the second part of my 40's.
And the most vulnerable part of showing up lately has been that I'm stepping out of the relationship I have been in for over 26 years. It has been a long, slow process but it has been consistent and clear that it is over. Doing that work is the hardest thing I have ever done. Out of respect for my family I can't share all the parts right now, but it's been a journey of self discovery, loss and growth. It's not over yet but 2022 will be a year full of shifts and new phases and I will need all of my strength to get through it. I am so grateful for the community that I have around me who show up consistently and in all the best ways. I have often felt alone in this world - only child, alcoholic mom who I lost too young, working and living on my own from a young age - and yet as I have grown and evolved I have learned how important it is to connect with those around me. To have strong roots in community. And the fruits of that labor of love are so sweet.
So I will keep showing up. I will keep drawing, I will keep posting, I will keep lifting weights and running hard, I will keep traveling, I will keep adventuring, I will keep helping, I will keep cooking and collecting. I will keep showing up.
Sometimes I wonder if I was born in the right time... I long for a bygone era and yet I dream of a future that holds the best of technology mixed with the “old ways” that are so much gentler on us and the earth.