I have always been an activist for happiness - for doing what you love freely and truly being yourself. This has always been a pillar in my natural character, even when thrown life’s devastating curve balls. A couple of years ago something tragic happened to me, and that resulted in creating a hierarchy to “my happy.”
I lost my best friend, my soul sister, and my partner in crime to a long battle against cancer.
Just about everything I knew had flipped upside down.
But the importance of being my full and honest self, the importance of giving my everything to the world, and the importance of giving all that I can in every single moment… was so incredibly clear.
Life is beautiful and strange and simple.
It is short, and it is a gift.
I grew up in Texas. My family moved down from Canada (Mississauga, Ontario) when I was just two years old. I met my best friend that same year. We were inseparable, always chasing the sun and laughing through every adventure.
I have always traveled a lot. When I was younger, it was mostly to visit family… However, I later discovered that it allowed me to understand distance and love’s immeasurable strength. As I got older, I began traveling to simply experience life in new places and expand my worldview. I very quickly developed an understanding of how connected everything is. I discovered a different sense of being.
I worked in an orphanage in India and spent weeks communicating with children, without sharing any of the same words. I captured moments of The Great Migration in Tanzania and felt the bite of a tsetse fly. I built houses in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina’s cataclysmic effects and made Jambalaya with a man who lost his home on Music Street. I learned how to oil paint in Tuscany and lived on a vineyard where a wrinkled old man joyously worked every day perfecting his imperfect wine. I danced in Iceland with a person whose soul I love and collected rocks from the most magical of places. I chased Komodo Dragons in Indonesia and I searched for Nemo in the Great Barrier Reef.
I booked a flight to New Zealand with my best friend after she finished chemo, knowing how fragile life was to us. We slept in a camper van, jumped out of an airplane, and drove to every beautiful place that we could find… simply, to be there with each other. We talked about life, and it’s meaning. We talked about everything and their in-betweens, but mostly we talked about how to be…how to exist the way we believe we are meant to.
After she passed away, these existential conversations have been endlessly repeating in my mind.
Life is meant to be lived, and lived happy. We are all beautiful and unique, and should express our uniqueness.
I love art. I love color and I love light. I love nature and I love being a part of its simplicity. I love creating images with lines and making messes with paint. So, that is what I have decided to do, in this place and in this lifetime. I am making art, with the happiest and truest parts of me, knowing that this is how I am supposed to be. I am making art, as part of my personal campaign to strive towards more ‘happy’ in the world. Because, after all… I am, I have always been and will always be an activist for happiness - for doing what you love freely and truly being yourself.