Things I Learned About Myself On Our Trip

  • I can do more and am capable of more then I thought I was. I am only limited by the limitations I put on myself.
  • I can be away from the familiar of my day to day life and be OK.
  • But I can’t go very long without talking to my parents.
  • I love my husband more then ever now – because I know at the root of it all, we are best friends.
  • I DO like tomatoes (although I still prefer them to be cut up small).
  • I would like to learn French, it is the most beautiful sound.
  • It is possible for me to get sick of croissants – who knew?
  • I appreciate art more then ever and I want to paint more now that I have seen all the amazing art in person.
  • Life should be lived and not watched and waited for. Everyday should be your favorite day.
  • I never want to stop learning.
  • I shouldn’t worry about everything – it doesn’t do me any good, I can’t change it and I need to accept that some things are beyond my control.
  • I want to travel to so many more places because you realize that you are a small part of a bigger work that is being done. It is more important to focus energy on good and the beauty of life and not get stuck in all the junk.

While I was in Amalfi, I got the news that my high school art teacher, Deb McGuire, had passed away from cancer. She still had so much life ahead of her… I still can’t believe she is gone. She had been my teacher, my mentor and my friend. Once I told her I would be attending college to major in art, she developed a special senior schedule for me of art classes to better prepare me. She set me free, opening my creativity further, pushing my limits and offering a trusting shoulder to lean on. In her purple classroom, I was allowed to be myself. Walking into her room – I felt different. I could draw and paint anything. I could feel any emotion. So much of her positive encouragement and acceptance gave me the courage and inspiration to pursue my dreams in art. There aren’t many people out there who will encourage a young woman to be an artist; you aren’t exactly met with the same response had you said you were going to be a doctor. But I had that belief from Ms. McGuire. Luckily I had it from my family as well. With the support of those key people I went forward with that dream. Part of that dream was to visit the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Ms. McGuire introduced me to my favorite artist. O’Keeffe’s beautiful flowers hung in her purple art room and I couldn’t keep my eyes off the glorious colors and shapes. I was blessed to visit the Santa Fe museum in the summer of 2005 on another trip with Shane. I thought of her so much as I stood in front of the paintings. That dream also included getting over to Italy to see the Masters that I studied in school. It meant immersing myself in that country, enjoying all the food, smelling the air and seeing all the history and art that is provided by Italy. That is how she would have done it – she would have enjoyed every moment. I believe she would have also loved to hear about our trip and know I made it over there as I said I would. I was so looking forward to talking with her upon my arrival home.

In many ways, this trip was dedicated to her. Not in a memorial type of way because it would have been before her passing. She is such a part of my journey as a person that her influence is undeniable in large moments of my life such as this trip. I am extremely grateful for the note I sent her about a year ago, letting her know what a key role she played in my life and how her belief in me – as an artist and a person – directly led to stepping out in faith to form my custom art business. I am so happy that she didn’t leave this earth without knowing how amazing I thought she was.

This trip taught me the most to live without regrets. Although I was nervous to fly and travel overseas, I was more nervous to wake up tomorrow and be 89 years old and realize that I never went. I learned to seize each and every moment to the fullest of my unique abilities. If you have a letter that needs to be written to someone – write it. If you have a trip that you have dreamed of taking – take it. If you are blessed enough to find that one special person to live your life with – tell them everyday. If you have an idea for a painting – paint it. Don’t worry about money or judgement or failing…your life is a gift – live each and every moment of it because we don’t take any of that other stuff with us when we go. Don’t let your dreams be a regret.

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One Response to “Things I Learned About Myself On Our Trip”

  1. VERY AWESOME POST! love you sis! so sorry about your teacher. it sounds like she was an amazing inspiration.

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