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Can’t grow without it… but damn it’s scary af.

Real talk here: I have been STRUGGLING.

Old habits die hard. Old thoughts might be even harder to change:

“I’m not good enough to be a professional artist. Maybe a hobby but professionally?”

“I’ve never been a high earner… There’s no way I can be the breadwinner on my own!”

“I’m SO socially awkward… I’m can’t GO OUT and TALK to STRANGERS about my art???!!”

”Fuck this… I CAN’T do it.”

”It’s not like I’m ever going to be a famous artist anyway…”

Know where that mindset is getting me?


I’ve been learning that my thoughts = my results. Same old shitty thoughts about myself… same old self doubts… same old insecurities… same results: I procrastinate… I buffer… I don’t work like I should… I don’t show up like I should… and I fail (just like I said I would).

Bummer fest.

I fight change HARD.

We all do. It’s human af. Same old same old is safe. Same is cozy… even if it’s getting you nowhere… NOWHERE is safe. You can’t be awkward or weird if you don’t go out (here’s to embarrassment free).

If you stay in you’re Safe. But… no one is going to know you (or your art exists)… Fail.

I tried to tell myself that EVERYTHING doesn’t have to change. That I DON‘T HAVE TO CHANGE.

I was so wrong.

My grandparents had an absolutely darling beach cottage in a quaint little sleepy beach town on the Connecticut coastline. The town was made up of mostly blue collar families and retirees with some upper middle class families sprinkled in. I spent my summers as a child, teen and even my early 20’s there and I have so many fond memories.

One of the things I absolutely LOVED about nana and grandpa’s beach house was that it had an outdoor shower. When it was time to come home my nana would meet us outside with fresh towels that smelled of the cedar closet in the hall. We would hang the towels over the outdoor shower wall then wash under the sky. A massive Oak tree rose up from the neighbor’s yard just a few feet away. I would wash the salt water out of my hair as I stared up at the massive canopy. I did this for decades.

Then nana and grandpa died. I moved away and I didn’t go back to the beach house for nearly 15 years.

Coming back was hard. So fucking hard.

I didn’t think it would be. But holy shit: nana and grandpa were gone and I hardly recognized the place.

The blue collar families and retirees were gone. Long gone. More than half of the little cottages had been torn down to erect massive summer homes for the rich. One of the most ridiculous things I saw was a modest sized home that must have belonged to an older couple who didn’t want a large house due to age and upkeep but who also didn’t want to appear “middle class” and so they erected a grand portico, with columns and a huge chandelier over their driveway so that they could better show-off, er… protect their luxury vehicle. A garage would have been over the top. This was just visually insulting.

When we walked the beach in the evening, gone were the scraggly kids ”crabbing” on the pier. We were instead “greeted” and I say that loosely because I can assure you there was no “greeting” from the yuppiest yuppies I have ever seen in my life… They sat glaring at us from their Ralph Lauren beach chairs with their Rolexes, perfectly coiffed blow outs and massive diamonds as they defiantly poured from bottles of expensive wine despite the prominently displayed “no alcohol” signs… do as we say… not as we do.

The town felt sterile. White washed. Unaccessible.

The place I knew and loved as a child had been bought up and sold to the highest bidders.

I was despondent. I was so sad. I felt like I had lost nana and grandpa all over again.

”Everything has changed!” I thought, my eyes blurring with tears as I walked home from the beach. I came back to the cottage, grabbed my towel and stepped into the outdoor shower. I turned on the old metal knobs and the familiar sound of the water on the stone paver floor and the familiar smell of the wood panel and shampoo flooded my senses. When I opened my eyes and looked up… there was my tree: the same canopy I had stared into for the entirety of my life, the tree that had probably sat on that very spot for some 100+ years… I smiled: comfort. Not EVERYTHING had to change.

The next morning it was time to leave. I had a feeling I‘d never be back. Things HAD changed. I was grown up. I lived 1200 miles away. Nana and grandpa had died long ago. Prior to this trip I hadn’t been there in 15 years. I knew I wouldn’t be back.

But first… one more shower.

I was so wrapped in my thoughts that morning that I didn’t even notice them. It wasn’t until I was in the shower and starting to set out my shampoo that I noticed the voices. I suddenly heard the sounds of chainsaws and heavy machinery and then I saw them… the tree crew. One man was perched in a bucket truck high above me. Another man dangled in the air, strapped in with his harness, chainsaw in hands. They were taking my tree down. No trim. No shape-up. This tree was coming down. My tree. My comfort. My ONE THING HERE safe from change. GONE.

I cried. I sat down on the old wood bench in the shower stall. Full out ugly cry.

And when the tears finally stopped there was this realization: that tree was at least 100 years old. That tree had been there my whole life. That tree had been there when my great grandfather and grandfather built the cottage. That tree had been there even before then. And now here I was, I hadn’t even been here in 15 years and on all the days that had come between back then and now… that tree was coming down TODAY. Right now.

That tree was coming down for me.

It was a lesson I needed to learn: EVERYTHING CHANGES.

I wound up laughing my ass off. “Good one, universe… thank you!” I said.


Change is inevitable. Change is growth. Change is part of life. I realized that I can resist and stick with the safe same old, same old… or I can put myself out there… (in scary-ville…) do the work and walk away with something new… maybe even something better.

Change is hard. Change is inevitable. Change isn’t safe. Change is unknown. But change? Change is also growth.

I need… no I WANT to CHANGE my mindset. I want to change my thoughts about myself. I deserve to change my thoughts about myself. I want to change my thoughts about who I am and what I’m capable of. I don’t know what that’s going to look like… and hell, I know the scenery won’t be the same but maybe, just maybe, I’ll wind up with a better view.

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