Last summer, I did an audit of the top six people I was spending my time with. It turns out, I was spending most of my time with friends or lovers that weren’t showing-up for themselves in the same ways I wasn’t showing up for myself. I knew if I was going to move forward I would need to end those relationships. Afterwards, I worried that my life would feel empty. I needed to replace my negative friendships with people who were making better decisions in their lives. Pick your flock, that’s what my foster mom says. We are a reflection of those we surround ourselves with.
Here are three positive changes that cultivate community and helped me build healthier relationships.
I truly believe each and everyone of us is destined to have an exceptional life. I also believe providing for yourself, emotionally, financially and physically is the key differentiator. A large contributor to me struggling to get out of bed last summer was financial. It got so bad that I had to go to the Salvation Army because I couldn’t afford groceries for my brother and I. I was living in scarcity which naturally hindered my drive, creativity and ability to show-up in my own life.
Here are 5 ways to start saving money today!! It takes a series of small change to see a lifetime worth of results and to shift your perspective. One daily action (or maybe we only pull it off 3 times a week, maybe only once a week to start...) reminds us we are in control of the money we spend and can curate our budgets however we deem appropriate. You got this curators!
Before I went on my writing hiatus I met with Sacramento’s artist Sarah Golden. I first saw her work at the Urban Hive, a local co-working space. Normally, I’m not drawn to a pale palette or the color pink (which was prominent in this particular series) but her work stopped me dead in my tracks. The first series I saw used color and simple shapes to pull the viewer in closer to the canvas. I was surprised at how moved I was by her work. It’s stunning.
Abstract work is a hard sell for some people. If I had a dollar for every-time I heard someone say, ‘Oh I could do that,’ I’d be rich. The thing about abstract work is that it comes down to the artists’ style and use of composition. It’s almost like a signature. Sarah’s abstract paintings remind me of poetry or music. Her use of negative space weaves your eye in and out and around corners.
Growing-up I didn't have good financial modeling. When my biological family fell apart my parents were hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. I have struggled my entire life trying to learn how to manage my money appropriately.
I almost had to drop out of UCLA my junior year because I decided to stay in LA for the summer and take on a multicultural internship with the Getty Museum. When I accepted the position, I didn’t realize that my first paycheck from the Getty wouldn’t arrive until after my apartment deposit for the following semester was due. I simply miscalculated when the funds were going to post.
If you know me, you know that in moments of discouragement or frustration, I turn to art. Lately, I’ve been learning a thing or two from Banksy, an artist notorious for his political street art and controversial pop-ups. Bansky, who once broke into a museum and installed a fake painting that sat on display for months before it was noticed. Banksy, who recently installed a shredder into the frame of one of his own works so that the piece would self-destruct after being sold at auction. Like Damien Hirst and Marcel Duchamp, he gets his audience thinking.
Are there people in your life trying to dictate how you should be living? Are there voices casting judgement on your dreams? Audit the naysayers. Take charge, like Banksy, and don’t let a stuffy, fearful culture keep you from experimenting, taking risks, and having fun.
I was going through an awful depression last year, and there were people spreading rumors, saying cruel things about my running my social media marketing business, raising my brother and purposely trying to damage my reputation in a small community. I’ll be honest and take accountability, my reaction was full of self-deprecating victimization and I defensively said some not nice things while drinking copious amounts of booze. Not my proudest moment. However, once I finally got myself out of bed, I realized….I don’t want to be that person in anyone’s life and we all are capable of growth!
Lately I’ve been posting a lot on instagram. Whether its been running or doing my morning pages people keep saying, “Wow, I can’t believe you are up that early!” And yes, 4:30 am is early but its the only way I can get exercise and my writing practice in before I head to work. I love my job, it’s super cool but requires a lot of focus. I’m my best when my plate is full to the brim. It’s balancing act really.
4:30 am isn’t unachievable and my exercise routine DID NOT happen overnight. This time last year I was so depressed I couldn’t get out of bed. We are talking a deep depression, that had been lingering for about two years. I hit rock bottom.
In my post last week about SF, I made a little art historical reference that may have been missed by some. One thing that is incredibly annoying about the artworld is it’s pretentious intellectual currency. There is an air the permeates these circles making it hard for commoners such as myself to break-in. I always have a hard time wrapping my head around it. Now that I officially do marketing and sales for a living I can’t help but wonder from a business and industry standpoint - don’t we want the masses to buy more art? Don’t we want people to become collectors so more artists can subsidize their lives and world becomes filled with more creative energy?!
I remember I was working with a former friend, putting together an interview. We had asked the interviewee what her top interior design tips were. One of the answers was, spend money on having expensive or artistic staple pieces then save money on different items and build your design off those pieces. My former friend, scoffed, “So, obvious.”
I felt little. It wasn’t obvious to me. I thought her response was perfect...elegant, even. A major reason that friend is now a “former” friend, is because while this person taught me so much about the finer things in life...this person also never truly respected me and often said things which implied I was unworthy or not capable.
The fact is: I am unpolished! Does that mean I don’t deserve entry into the artistic spaces I desire? No! And it doesn’t mean you don’t either. We are the curators of our own lives and can design them as we see fit….