Thursday, October 29, 2015

Blast From the Past

If you've been following my blog since the beginning, you know I make some questionable choices from time to time. There's one in particular that I want to discuss, because I was just reminded of it, on national television.

Let's rewind to 2010. I'm 19, just starting to come out and only my siblings and closest friends know I'm gay. I was also seeing my amazing on-campus counselor Lauren every Friday afternoon. On one Friday, I decided to tell Lauren that I had met a guy on OkCupid who was a model out in LA. We were texting each other on a pretty frequent basis and we were Skyping about 4-5 nights a week, for up to several hours at a time.

I just thought it was fun but knew in the back of my mind that it wouldn't go anywhere. To be realistic, he lived across the country and I was focused on school. He was hot and I was enjoying the giddy feelings I got while flirting with this kid through the computer screen.

Well about six weeks after texting and skyping, he told me he was flying to FL to visit me. I was like sayyyy whaaaat?! So fast-forward,  I agree to this and he flies cross-country to live with me, against my counselor and best friend's better judgment. He and I went out on a few dates, took a weekend trip to Tallahassee and fooled around the entire week.

I was ready for him to leave once the end of the week rolled around. After he left we Skyped one more time before I cut communication between us. I basically said the long-distance isn't going to work and I need to focus on myself and school. So buh bye bro. The last image I ever had, embedded in my mind, was him weeping on our video chat while I was telling him this.

It was hella awkward, so I ended the chat and carried on with my life.

Five years later, I see him while watching the Ellen show the other day! haha I was like 'wait, why does that kid look so familiar? Where do I know him from?? Ohhh he blew me for a week straight, that's how!"

He's "Umberto" in the light blue button-down.
As soon as I made the connection, I dropped the remote and busted out laughing. Life sure has a sense of humor.
 Much Love Guys!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Lauren Daigle

I discovered Lauren Daigle on the local Christian radio station in my area (88.1 Way FM) while driving up to West Palm on a very odd day. I was NOT having it that morning, considering the fact that I had been up the night before till 5 AM working on a commission. My alarm started blaring in my ear an hour and a half later thanks to being summoned for Jury Duty!

I know a lot of people who have never been summoned for Jury Duty, yet I've already been selected twice. If you've never been chosen, here's how it goes down:

You enter the Court House, empty your pockets and walk through a metal detector, similar to an airport. Once you've successfully snuck your pot in, toke up in the furthest stall of the closest bathroom and than all the jurors head to the Jury room. The three women at the front of the room standing on a podium ask everyone to form two single-file lines. Come to find out, I was supposed to bring my parking stub in, so I had to walk all the way back to my car and retrieve it and repeat that entire process over again. It was also 85 degrees by 8AM that morning, so I really enjoyed that stroll back to the parking garage and back up the stairwell that smelled like a McDonald's Play Place. The woman told me she wouldn't call my name for a case until I returned, so you best believe I took my sweet damn time strolling back.

I wandered back in and the room was completely packed by this time. I awkwardly found an empty seat in the center of a row, so I shimmied and shuffled to it, repeatedly whispering "excuse me, pardon me," like an asshole. I read about two pages of the book I brought along, before some annoying bitch simultaneously pops up on all of the TV's in the giant Jury room. After the video recording finished, the lights dimmed and some horse movie began playing on the projector.

Twenties minutes later my name was echoed through the speakers, along with two dozen other jurors, and we awkwardly walked in silence to the entrance of court room 14B on the 14th floor.

When I'm anxious, I can't eat, and I was stressing over that commission I had been up all night working on, which needed to be expedited the following day. I was so nervous that I was going to be chosen for that case, that I lost my appetite, wasn't able to eat my lunch and I was basically a hot mess. The lawyers asked me and the other two dozen jurors question after question and I legit thought I was going to fall asleep in the wooden pew they had us sitting in. My eyes were so heavy and I felt so disrespectful for yawning every 30 seconds.

Luckily, I wasn't one of the seven jurors selected for the specific case. Probably because they could tell I looked like shit. Just kidding, I was looking mad cute that day. Speaking of which, the man pressing charges for this personal injury case, was hit in a car accident and suing for back pain and medical bills. But more importantly, he was super cute and I couldn't stop staring at him haha He was in his late 20's, tall, wearing sexy nerd glasses and had a baseball player's body. To be honest, I would have probably voted in his favor just because he was cute. How bad is that? I just sat there praying that the lawyers wouldn't call on me to speak, so I could sit there in my half-asleep state, fantasizing about having sex with the sexy, injured man.

Luckily, after three hours of playing 20 questions with us, the judge and lawyers deliberated and the seven jurors were chosen. I ran out of there so fast, handed in my badge and booked it for the parking garage. I was so exhausted/hungry that my brain was in a complete fog at that point. The only things on my mind were FOOD and NAP.

On my way home, I turned on the radio and the same Lauren Daigle song called First was playing. It was like this blanket of peace wrapped itself around me during the entirety of the song. I went from feeling anxious and ungrounded, to very calm and tranquil. It was such a strange, yet beautiful feeling that I can't really describe. All I can say is that I really felt God's presence in those three minutes.

As soon as I returned home, I inhaled food, passed out for a solid four hours and than jumped on my computer. Whenever I hear a song I really like on the radio, I write down some of the lyrics in the notepad app on my phone. That way I can figure out the song on Google and look up the artist on Spotify. That day I discovered Lauren and fell in LOVE with her entire album. She is the first artist that I've ever truly enjoyed every song off an album. Her voice is so damn beautiful.

For the past several weeks, I've been listening to her music on repeat and I feel so uplifted and happy! In honor of how much I appreciate her, I decided to draw her!

She's preforming in Fort Lauderdale on October 30th so I'm framing the drawing and hopefully I can give it to her in person! I'm also going to write her a note and tape it to the back of the drawing, which will pretty much consist of a condensed version of this story as to how I discovered her. haha

Moral of the story: God is looking out for us, always. Notice the messages He sends us, some can be as simple as a song. A song that leads to the discovering of a new favorite artist, which leads to seeing them in concert, which might lead to a cool new connection! God works in the weirdest, yet most wonderful ways. I must have prayed to Him 50 times that I wouldn't have to go to Jury Duty, but I'm so happy I did, or else I probably would have never discovered Lauren when I needed to.

If you've never listened to her music before, check her out!!! I hope her music encourages, inspires and uplifts you like it does for me.
Much love guys!

Friday, September 18, 2015


Hi everyone!

The reason why I've been MIA from the blog world is because I needed to take a step back, refocus and than share my life-experience.

What I've learned most over the last few months is: Don't be afraid, just have faith. It's so simple, right? Just have faith in God and in yourself. Choose faith over fear.

What I struggle with is doubt. Especially doubt that I won't succeed.

I'm 24, self-employed as a free-lance artist and living with my parents. I was embarrassed for a while and lost the faith I had in myself. The quote "comparison is the thief of joy" is SO true! I constantly compare myself to other people my age. While I felt such joy for the people in my life who are doing so well for themselves, at the same time, I felt sorrow for myself because I'm not at the level of success they're at. But I now know that's okay, we're all on a different life path and if YOU work hard enough, you can make your dreams come true. Just have faith!

Compared to the level of drive I had when I first graduated to the level of drive I have now, lets just say I was slacking off. I was working like 25 hours a week and I figured things would be spoon-fed to me. I had this preconceived idea that every single celebrity I drew would give me a shout out and I would rise to artist prestige within a few years. My artwork wasn't even that magnificent two years ago haha especially in relation to what I'm creating now. I will never stop growing as an artist and that's completely humbling to know AND super exciting! I think my work is hot shit right now, I can't wait to see what I'm producing in 5...10 years from now!

As long as I'm working for the right reasons and I'm happy, that's all I want. The current Bible verse I have written on my white board is Colossians 3:23, which says "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters." How amazing is that!? So many people work for the paycheck and they're stuck in jobs that suck the life out of them, not jobs that fill them with life. Personally being in a profession that brings me a sense of purpose and intense passion is a gift in itself.

In order to be more productive and get my life back on the right track, I simply started listening to primarily uplifting music and changed my schedule around.

Lauren Daigle is my current favorite artist. I'm one of those people that will listen to the same song over and over if I'm connecting to it. Needless to say, I've been blasting Lauren all week. I'm utterly obsessed with this girl; her voice, her music, her beauty and for her having the courage to share her gift with the world.

For the past month, I've been working (drawing) about 60 hours a week and more than doubled my work time. I'm blown away with how much better my work is looking and how much faster I'm able to produce work. Plus, I feel awesome at the end of the day. There's nothing more gratifying than going to bed at night and looking back at how productive and meaningful your day was.

I have more drive than I ever have in my entire life. I've never worked so hard and I can't wait to see what God has in store for me as I continue to strive.

Trust in yourself and go kick some ass.

Much love guys.