Just about six years ago I had a moment. A very profound "What am I doing with my life?" moment. I was turning thirty, and wasn't particularly feeling passionate about anything I was doing. I was a New Yorker, but I was unhappy with the lack of nature around me and I was ready for a change. I thought about moving but decided to travel first, since that was high on the list of things I hadn't done enough of yet. I chose Costa Rica because of it's beautiful natural wildlife, and really because it would be quite the opposite of New York. I went with a friend and thought it would be the perfect escape to regroup myself before my big birthday. I had no idea that I would uncover my new life's passion, which really had been there all along.
I soaked in the sun and wandered in the jungle, absorbing everything in sight. I studied the shapes of the exposed tree roots and the textures of the lava stones and shells. I breathed in the fresh, clean jungle air and swam in the pristine ocean. I felt like a curious kid again. I felt alive. I felt connected and inspired. I felt like I was living exactly how I wanted to live.. But I was just on vacation.
After a few days of bliss, I realized that I would have to go back to my city life soon. I wondered how I could live my exciting city life and keep this connection to nature that I had regained on my trip. I thought, how can I bring this deep inspiration back with me?
I held objects, studied their texture and put them back where they belonged. I dreamed of taking them back with me, in a wearable form. As jewelry. I wanted to be reminded of the deep inspiration I felt when I was in the jungle and discovered them. I wanted to remind myself that there is so much life out there and that all I need to do is find a way to connect with nature to get back to this feeling of inspiration.
But how would I make this creative dream a reality? I am not an artist, I thought. I didn't go to art school and I am not very "artistic." I studied psychology and have done all sorts of non-artsy work. However, I was able to move past these thoughts because my inspiration was so prolific and because of my overwhelming curiosity. I thought "I just want to figure out how to make jewelry out of natural objects, then I can move on." As it turns out, that is a thing. I even found classes in my neighborhood that teach how to do it. So I signed up.
Six years ago I started taking classes in metal-smithing and lost-wax casting. In 2014 I started my own line of jewelry, AETAS. While my first collection reflected the battle of city life, the second collection came full circle, back to my original inspiration, natural objects. After moving to California in 2015 to pursue my passion for adventure, I created a collection using only natural objects from my new home, called Silvae (Latin, forest.)
I had no idea that one trip would lead me to finding my new life's passion that would ultimately lead to my dream job. Here's the thing, the passion really was there all the time. I just had to move past the doubt of being able to fulfill my own dreams. Six years ago marks a huge shift for me. I discovered that I am an artist. I just needed to find my inspiration. And take it with me.