My name’s Kelly, I’m 24 years old and I’m an aspiring writer. I grew up in a family where art was valued and most of my childhood revolved around activities like drawing, painting, music, and comedy. This acceptance and love of art created an atmosphere where I could grow artistically and eventually find my voice through writing.
I have many memories of going to my mother’s parents home and spending the day painting and drawing. A particular memory sticks out in my mind when my grandpa was watching me draw an apple, I was around 5 at the time.
He asked, “Why did you color the apple red?”
I looked at him and I said, “Apples are red grandpa”. I was a little annoyed at the question I thought my apple was pretty awesome! I had made sure the apple was pure red with only one triangle of white on the top left and I was feeling pretty good about myself, as most five-year-olds do.
He pointed at the white spot I left uncolored to the left.
“Why did you leave that spot white?” He asked.
“That’s supposed to be the reflection of the sun.” I said.
“Wow that’s pretty smart kid.” He said. He always made me feel like I was smarter than I really was when it came to art. I think he just appreciated the fact that I loved art so much and was so little.
“You know,” he picked up a green, purple, and orange crayon, “things are actually made up of many more colors than it may appear at first?”
He added dashes of green, purple, and orange to my apple. At first I was pretty annoyed…I had just spent like 10 minutes coloring that damn apple perfectly red and now he was ruining it with other “non appley” colors! However, to my surprise my drawing actually looked a lot more interesting with his additions.
“See, color is very complex yes the main color you see is red, but there’s all these underlying colors underneath that make the apple more rich and unique.”
My Grandpa was a fan of impressionism and till this day my favorite style of painting is impressionism, probably because of my grandpa’s influence. I just love how impressionists play with light,color, and shape.
I used to take off my glasses and joke with my grandpa that I could see like an impressionist without them.
I’d ask him, “You know why it’s so hard being an impressionist?”
“Why?” He said.
“Because you’re always bumping into things!”
After that day I never colored anything the same again and saw the world around me in a different light. This lesson on color was to me a lesson to always be diligent and observant with everything in life, whether it be in school, in my social life, or in my hobbies. I was always observing and analyzing things around me. This observant/analytical mindset is what I believe created great writers and is one factor that lead me to writing.
Not only was I around painting, but my parents were eclectic music fans. I grew up listening to Classical Music, Rock, Blues, Funk, R&B, Jazz, Folk music you name it. My mom in particular never judged me for what type of music I wanted to listen. This gave me the freedom to enjoy and experience many different genres of music that some people may have written off for reasons they never really clearly articulated. I find a lot of people don’t really make their own opinions but just blindly follow what others say or blindly object for the sake of objecting. For example, “Well my family didn’t listen to it so it has to suck” or “My family sucks, they listen to it, so it has to suck”. I think this was another factor that lead me to being open minded to art and to form my own opinions.
By being true to myself I found I liked many genres of music and to this day I do not limit my self based on genre, but instead how the music makes me feel and think. This open mind set allows artists to develop their own unique voice whether it be in creating something of their own, or simply stating why they truly prefer something. I think this atmosphere of experimentation with music helped me foster my open mindedness towards, strengthen my ability to form my own opinions, and helped me create my own voice eventually through writing.
Finally, another important factor that lead to writing was my family’s good sense of humor. I grew up very close to my Mom’s side of the family, my Aunt Diane’s sons Kevin and Jimmy were like second and third brothers to me.
In our family humor was encouraged and valued. Watching SNL reruns and Chris Farley, Adam Sander, Will Ferrell, and Ben Stiller comedies to name a few, was a ritual and reciting lines of our favorite parts was almost like a right of passage. Kevin, my brother Casey, and I would even create and perform SNL like skits and dance routines whenever we got together. My love and obsession with comedy and comedic writing started around this time, when I was about 12. My cousin Kevin’s who always had love acting also started to take his dream more seriously at this time. During this time I carried around a notebook that I decorated with random things I thought were funny and would write down any skits I ideas. I read books as many books on my favorite comedians and T.V. shows as I could. Everyday after school I’d come home and watch the previous night’s Late night with Conan O’Brien episode. I dreamed that one day I would work or write comedy and would bring happiness to people like my favorite comedians.
After my Mom’s mother died my family moved from New Jersey all the way to Southern California. My Grandma’s death was hard on the whole family and my parents in a way wanted to escape it by moving away. This meant I did not get to see my Grandpa and my cousin’s very often, until recently when my cousin Kevin moved to L.A. after graduating from University of Miami to pursue his dream of becoming an actor.
Life went on as normal after we moved to California. I graduated high school, went to UC Santa Cruz where I studied psychology and graduated Summa Cum Laude. I was lost a little during this time, my dream was on the back burner. However, I found myself watching and analyzing my favorite T.V. shows as a way to relieve the stress from maintaining straight A’s while also interning in a mental health hospital, conducting research in a neuroscience lab, and working part time as a pilates instructor.
During college I was unsure what I wanted to do with my psychology degree. All I knew was people’s behavior was always fascinating to me and I wanted to know more. I have definitely always had an interest in human behavior and I believe good writers need to be interested in human behavior. How would a writer write from someone’s perspective if they did not think or care about human behavior? I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my psychology degree I just enjoyed it in the moment and thought I would go onto graduate school. I did know that whatever I wound up choosing to do with my life I wanted to do something that was fulfilling and that would be helping people in some way.
Anyway, in school even though I didn’t study writing I believe psychology is very closely connected with writing. When you are writing you explore different characters minds, what would he or she do or say in this situation? How would this character develop? So although I haven’t gotten a job specifically using my psychology degree, I believe it closely ties in with my interest in writing.
After college I continued working as a pilates instructor/personal trainer, which is my current job. I love my job. It has pros and cons like any job, but one thing I love about it is that I can make a difference in people’s live. I can help live fitter lives, which does in many circumstances, improve a person’s outlook on life more than most therapy sessions do anyways. Also, I love how my schedule is flexible and that I don’t have to work a 9 to 5 job. This flexibility allows me to pursue my other interests.
However, when I first graduated college I applied to graduate school, because I was still unsure what I wanted to do. I failed getting into grad school two years in a row. It was around this time that I realized no matter what career option you choose you are going to have to work your ass off to be successful, whether you want to be a writer or whatever (I’m so specific here that it kills me). For example, if I wanted to become a psychology professor I would have to first get into a Ph.D program which is hard even if you have straight A’s, research experience, and internship experience. Then after being accepted I would have to spend 5 to 7 years of my life studying and researching for free and living in poverty (hmm sounds a lot like the life of most aspiring writers). After graduation you don’t even have a guarantee that you will find a job doing the research you love or getting hired at the school of your dreams (also sounds familiar).
During this time I did a lot of soul searching. What should I do with my life? What is the meaning of my life? What should I pursue? I struggled with finding my meaning or purpose in my life. Should I go back to school? Should I just do pilates? (what does it matter type drama)
Then one day my boyfriend Jon, who is amazing and somehow puts up with my neuroticness, said…”There is no innate meaning to life really, there’s only the meaning you make of it”. I always believed this, but it was comforting to hear him say it. This helped me realize that I should accept and go after what really makes me happy. What do I think gives my life meaning? What makes me smile and excited to get up in the morning, that’s the job I want to pour years of my life into. My honest answer was writing and the job I currently do. Yes, I may never have a financially stable life or reliable hours (pilates and writing both produce this kind of environment) and my writing may never be published, but at least I know I stayed true to myself and pursued something I really loved doing. I definitely find it scary to devote so much time to something I am not even sure will actually go anywhere, but I’d rather take the chance doing something I love.
And why do I like writing so much? Writing never gets boring and if it does it’s because of the writer, not writing itself. I love that through writing you can address issues in the world that you find bothersome, funny, amazing ect. You can give justice to those that deserve it and punish the bad guys in comical ways. With writing there is no limit and as long as you are observant and analytical you will have plenty of things to write about no matter what genre you write for. Writing is fun, it’s challenging, you can provide creative sometimes unrealistic solutions to real world problems, and you can create something that is yours and possibly make the lives of people around you better. That is why I love writing.
My cousin Kevin also decided to pursue a career as an actor, which is like writing, is also scary and can leave you living in poverty if you don’t make it. However, he feels the same way as I do. You should live your life according to what you truly want to do, because your life is yours you only get one and you better damn spend you life doing something you love! The outcome really isn’t important because if you are doing it because you love it it really doesn’t matter. Although not going to lie it’s great when other people do like it, it’s supportive and can be a great way to grow and learn through collaboration with others. Since Kevin moved to L.A. we’ve been able to work together like old times. I have to say it really feels great to create skits and collaborate creatively with him and I’m very blessed that he moved to L.A. and I hope that some day we can work on our own skit show together like we dreamed of. You never know!
One day a friend on my facebook page posted a really interesting image, which I can’t find at the moment but will soon. It is three circles that intersect. The first circle was You Love It, the second was The World Needs It, and the thirds was You Get Paid for it and in the middle where all three intersect is Your Purpose. This helped me figure out and embrace my true purpose at a time when I was trying to figure out what to do with my life. I believe it can be a helpful resource to others to use and think about.
For me my true purpose, what makes my life meaningful, is writing. I love it, it makes me feel alive. If nothing does come from my writing at least I currently work at a job I love anyway. Through teaching pilates and personal training, I feel like I do make a difference. I help people feel better, stronger, and more confident in their bodies and if that’s all I ever accomplish with my life well…I guess I could’ve done worse!
Therefore, this blog is devoted to my passion for writing and like music I don’t like to box my self in with genres. Yes my main interest is in becoming a comedic writer, but I also have many children’s book ideas that I would like to write. Who knows, maybe ten years down the line I’ll want to try my hand at writing a novel.
For now my blogs main writing sections will focus on my comedic writing and children’s book ideas. In these sections I will upload PDFs of my finished works where you can read and comment on them. I also have a Reviews Section where I will blog about reviews of movies and t.v. shows I’ve seen. Of course, being a pug freak, I will also have a whole section devoted to youtube uploads, posts, and cartoons about my pug Henry. Finally, I have a section devoted to Other Stuff where I will post pictures of my weekend adventures, dorky fashions, and whatever else doesn’t fit in the other sections. My posts will be categorized based on these sections to make navigating my blog easier.
Thanks for reading my blog and stay tuned for new posts and please feel free to leave comments that we can all learn and grow from.
Here are some pictures I thought demonstrate my personality.