Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Here We Go!

I call this my travel string because, whether I'm at home or jet setting abroad, everyday is a journey.

From the curious age of 18 months, sitting on mom’s lap on an airplane en route to Australia to jump with kangaroos, I've been a traveler with eyes and ears open to learning. At the same rate, I developed an unassuming appreciation of art and design (influenced especially by traveling) and thus an appreciation for the people who create and the places they call home.

Essentially, I am excited by the idea of developing an online journal of my travel experiences to share with my friends and loved ones. I am slightly anxious about the level of commitment and dedication required to maintain an audience and the vulnerability it takes to share my perspective [interpretation of my sensory experiences] in a way that remains truthful to who I am. The whole thought of this brings me back to middle school - a time when I realized that I was growing older and wanted to literally document each day so that I could look back later and have a first-hand reference reminding me of who I was as a kid. I recently read one of those journals and laughed out loud at the things I wrote. My middle school self had a lot of foresight about the future and the importance of keeping memories, but I didn't have a lot of discipline and I still don't! Thus, please hold me accountable as my friends and family, and keep me on task by reading, contributing, and asking for pictures! I want to share and I hope you enjoy! <3

PAST: I developed a great deal of training in the arts during the first 14 years of my life which were spent in St. Louis, MO (University City to be exact). I attended after school and summer camp classes at COCA (Center of Contemporary Arts) in theater (improv, monologues, mini-films), dance (ballet, tap, jazz), art (painting, print making, ceramics) and The Craft Alliance (small scale metal-working, and cartooning and comic strip writing). I was infected by the creative bug and one day while I was watching day time television I saw an ad for a distance university featuring degrees in: computer science, nursing, electrical engineering, and interior design! I remember this moment distinctly because that's when I realized that my dream of surrounding people in an art environment by literally placing them in the piece (or room) was indeed a legitimate career path!!

I held on to this vision, and started honing in on my skills when we moved to Chapel Hill, NC and thus into a new house. I remember one summer, it was my mom's birthday and all week I'd been thinking of what I could get her. Finally, I decided that I would go to the hardware store (I love hardware stores), purchase a gallon or two of summer mint green paint with my babysitting money, and 'redecorate' my mom's room before she had time to come home from work. I also bought a can of silver spray paint so that I could detach and paint all of the pulls on her bedroom furniture to give it a rejuvenated and updated look! I had the naive determination that this could all be done, by myself, before 5:30pm when she pulled in the drive way. Unfortunately, that was not the case. She was, however, thrilled by my efforts. The room turned out great! A splash of color, some updated fabrics on the bed and windows, and BAM! - She was the main character in her own piece of art and had a relaxing place to get away and doze.

Finally, when the time came to college search, I could easily narrow my list down to the schools that offered 1. my field of interest: interior design, 2. within the hubbub of a developed or developing city: Raleigh, NC, 3. that was far enough, but not too far from home: God forbid I couldn't come back and get some dinner and do laundry from time to time, not to mention see my mama! I found a perfect school that drew me in with its charm and energy: Meredith College. Had you asked me a year before whether I would consider going to a women's college, I would have said hell no! I thought the idea was preposterous, unnecessary, and absurd! It was a good thing I had a change of heart because my four year experience there was very fulfilling.

After college, and I'm only a year into that chapter of my life, I began working for a well known architecture firm located along a hip and growing main street in the downtown area. The firm, filled with wonderful and talented people, was an exciting place for my young professional self to learn. Most days during my morning walk to work, I'd smile to myself and say "damn! how'd I get this job?" Everything was great - I was a twenty-two year old woman fresh out of college. I had secured a job, lived in a sweet house on Peace Street, and was doing pretty well on my own.

Which leads me to present: Just when that professional adjustment period started to become familiar, routine and comfortable, an unexpected thing happened. I lost my job. I was laid off with 25% of the company and it was devastating mainly because I hadn’t planned for it - it wasn’t a part of my goals for after college.

Once I was over the initial shock of losing my job, I felt my spirit becoming renewed as I began to search for direction. I did a lot of reading on the field of art management; opportunities overseas & careers abroad. I felt fortunate to see the value of breaking out of my planned path to set foot on another and for the first time, I was thrilled about being laid-off because it transformed into an opportunity that pushed me to discover more.

I cannot say that I know exactly what I am doing or where I am going at this point, however I feel very confident that my next steps will continue leading me in the right direction. I’m excited to say that I will be entering into a masters program that takes me to France for six months this August. The opportunity to attend graduate school in another country led me to starting a blog in order to keep those who are interested in my experience updated, and to keep in touch as I hope you will!


  1. Heather I love it! You writing is so natural, inviting and real...great job getting me excited for what's to come - you will do great things, no doubt! - KTH

  2. Hi Heather!
    I came across your blog by accident as it looks like we have great minds that think alike! My travel blog is also called Travel String, just that it's not on blogger! :)

    Happy travels fellow string!