We’re all going to have big losses in our lives, maybe a job or a career, relationships, love our youth. We’re going to lose our health, people we love. These kinds of losses are out of our control. They’re unpredictable, and they bring us to our knees. And so I say, let them. Fall to your knees. Be humbled. Let go of trying to change it or even wanting it to be different. It just is.”

My inspiration stems from a TedTalk (the omniscient source for life advice) titled How loss helped one artist find beauty in imperfection” by Alyssa Monks. Alyssa grew up in a family as the youngest of eight. She began to find herself as she learned to paint, and her mom never stopped supporting her, sending her to every available class. She developed a very specific, hyper-realistic style and thrived as an artist. However, everything changed for Alyssa when her mother was diagnosed with cancer and passed away.  

“It [was] like a release of everything that was unraveling in me. That safe, very, very carefully rendered safe place that I created in all my other paintings, it was a myth. It didn’t work. And I was afraid, because I didn’t want to paint anymore.”

She went to the woods (cue Thoreau; and no, this isn’t me telling you to go spend time in the woods alone). While there, she broke out of her comfort zone, tore down the walls she built around herself, embraced imperfection and acknowledged the pain she was feeling. It was here that she reconnected with herself. 

“And then there’s space, and in that space feel your vulnerability, what matters most to you, your deepest intention.”

I encourage you to try and not let life put you in a box, and if it does (and it will) don’t let that pain you are feeling break YOU but allow it to break the WALLS you have built around yourself and, in turn, your potential. 

Reconnect with yourself and break free from those boxes.

Feel joy to your core. Feel love to your core. Feel pain to your core. (They all sounded good until I mentioned pain, right?) But doesn’t pain, just like joy and love and any other emotion, show us what matters most to us? Pain is what allows us to wake up every morning and feel alive. 

“Be curious to connect to what and who is really here, awake and aliveFind something beautiful in the unknown, in the unpredictable, and even in the awful.”


Kendall, Bahdass Black Sheep Intern 2017