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The Graffiti That Changed My Life



I walked into the restroom at a café across the street from the University campus where I was going to school and saw my message. It altered the course of my life. I have always been open to my intuition. My spirit owl has been with me since I can first remember, resting on my shoulder whispering in my ear. I trust the whispers. This may seem a bit odd for a 17-year-old chemistry major that was embarking on an 11-year program to get a medical degree and a PhD in psychopharmacology. I thought my path was defined and clear. It was planned and logical, but that was the side of my brain that didn’t have an owl whispering guidance.

“Time is an illusion to keep everything from happening at once.” This is a joke that physicists love to share. I won’t go into the physics of time here but if you are curious just google, time is an illusion. Those words written in black marker on the wall opened the door in my mind and introduced the two sides of my brain to each other. The owl met the chemist. Things have never been the same since, thank goodness. I decided that graffiti was the answer to life, the universe, and everything else; so, I dropped out of University and took off on an adventure called life.

I went to Mexico and mined some rough stones that contained fire agates, learned to cut them into cabochons and set off to see the world and sell some gemstones. The plan was to travel from Texas to California, go up to Canada and take a right and travel until I hit the water, then go south, hike the Appalachian trail and then go back to school. This is what I told my Mom. I made it as far as New Mexico, the neighboring state. I stopped in Santa Fe and worked as a jeweler and went into business with a partner. We had a shop near the plaza. I was working 2 jobs to pay the rent and at 21 I decided I was too young to be working so much. I sold my share of the business and took off again. This time I made it from South America to Alaska and back to Santa Fe. After a year of traveling I decided that Santa Fe was a good place to call home.

My very organized academic career had taken a big turn. The owl whispered to me to follow my soul, create and travel. I continue to do this, but I did finally return to school 15 year later. I ended up with a science and an art degree and I have melded the two into an interesting life. Along the way there were days I didn’t know where my next meal or a bed would be, but life was never dull. I discovered that when I walked toward my dreams, they came to meet me, and the universe supported my adventures. Sure, there were rough times, scary times and some downright bad experiences, but I always knew that I was on my own path and I would always be protected. Some say I live a charmed life. I do, and I say this every day to reinforce that mindset.

The owl is still with me and has been joined by various other spirit animals ranging from Ravens to Panthers. I listen to my intuition and I repeat the story that I am blessed and live a charmed life. This is my story and I get to tell it. When I tell my story of creativity, hope and love, then I find more in the world. I don’t want to focus on the disappointments and rejections which happen, I look to keep my attitude moving toward my story. I can’t control all that happens, but I can control my attitude.

I just wanted to share this with you all and ask you about your stories. Have you learned to trust your whispers? How have you grown as an artist, a human and embraced your unknowns? Have you dreamed of going on a grand adventure, or maybe you have? Everyone has an incredible story to share. I would love to hear yours. It’s important. I look forward to hearing your stories.

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