26 x16 canvas set in black floating gallery frame.
ink + acrylic + oil + plaster + yarn.
In 2013 I moved to Rhode Island. In hopes of going to Johnson and Wales but mainly because I wanted to run away *which is something I did a lot: run state to state eager to find myself but always quickly settling into the realization that I am exactly who I am anywhere I go*. This flight instinct was taught to me in childhood. Whenever there was a situation that would challenge my parents to fight and evolve, they instead moved us all around the east coast expecting to have a piece of land or a new community heal the deep wounds at the center of our family unit. That’s how I ended up in Charleston, my senior year of high school, my parents being convinced a fresh start is exactly what we needed. Quickly after moving to Rhode Island, I shouldn’t have been all that surprised when this plan backfired and ended up being the start of my deepest downfall, leading into the darkest moments of my active addiction.
At the same time, I learned so much about myself, met some of the most amazing and caring humans I’ve ever met in my life. Learned from some of the most creative culinary minds, building my knowledge and skillset that helped me land myself in charge of some of the best kitchens in Charleston.
My coworkers in Jamestown, RI taught me what it felt like to have friends that were family and displayed in their actions what I deserved even when I felt deserving of nothing. I moved there when I was 18. I was young and full of fear and self-loathing trying to process my childhood, which ended up being turned into suppressed memories. I didn’t know how to process. I drank and used and fell into the food + beverage world: filled with late nights, bar seats, and lonely bathroom stalls. Even as my mental health declined, my bosses + coworkers, who turned into family, supported me and kept pushing me to build and see my own deservingness.
I want you to see this painting and think about the turning point in which it hit you that you deserve kindness in your hardest moments. And if that turning point hasn’t happened, ask yourself if the people you surround yourself with are humans that help you love yourself deeper or make you question your heart. Sadly, this isn’t the turning point that I stopped welcoming sick relationships into my life. With the dissociation that came from suppressing traumatic events, I couldn’t fully digest the love they gave me. When I moved back to Charleston in 2016 with plans of getting sober, I put myself right back in situations that felt comfortable. I was comfortable in chaos. I felt comfort in feeling controlled and small in romantic relationships and friendships. It took 5 more years of pain to realize my worth and finally getting rid of all mind-altering substances and instantly gratifying behaviors.
The way you view your own deservingness impacts the relationships closest to you, opportunities for joy, financial opportunities, and personal optimism. I am consistently working on my own belief system around my own deservingness. I’ve realized if I don’t feel deserving of love, money, and growth I get stuck in a stagnant darkness with no light in sight. The more I tell myself I’m deserving; the more opportunities arise. Even if I don’t fully believe it, changing my negative self-thoughts to positive ones when they crop up, has slowly (very slowly) started changing the way I perceive myself. What action will you take today to build your own deservingness?
inquire below to request a custom painting using this original piece as inspiration.