The desert would destroy you if you stayed there long enough.
I grew up in a beige house—with tumbleweeds in the front yard and a meth lab in the garage—on the corner of Arroyo Drive in Victorville, a godforsaken town off the old Route 66 in California, two hours from the Nevada border.
Mom was in prison for stealing cars and robbing over 300 houses all over San Bernardino county. Dad spent his days (and nights) cooking meth so he could afford to fill our bellies with sugar and keep a roof over our heads. That left my brother and me—amongst the dust and rattle snakes—living in a world I dreamed up.
Man, did I dream.
It was in the dreaming that I dealt with my eternal waiting for Mom to come home. She was was sent off to prison with a felony on her record and Susan Atkins—brutal killer from the Manson family cult—assigned as her roommate.
It was in the dreaming that I dealt with the relentless loneliness. My thoughts climbed all over themselves in search of meaning. I had a million questions about the world, my life, and everyone in it. I became a seeker—a seeker of magic and meaning.
It was in the dreaming where I built elaborate plans to escape from the dust of where I came from, to create a life that I felt had meaning, and to be part of something that I believed mattered in the world.
I moved to the coast of California and studied people and how we use our words, the quiet, our feelings, movement, and thoughts to communicate. I spent my days learning all that I could about what makes us human and how we use language to exist together.
I spent my evenings and late nights under the bright lights of Los Angeles and its intricate music scene. Interning at Atlantic Records, attending every show I could get into, and touring in the summer with buses full of bands—I worked my ass off to be part of something that mattered. Music made me feel. It gave me the words when I couldn’t make sense of them. It connected me to the core of the human spirit. Music gave me meaning. It mattered.
I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with an Interpersonal focus and immediately went on to be a publicist at Atlantic Records. I wrote words about artists, musicians, and songwriters who inspired me and crafted stories about why they mattered in the world. I arranged photoshoots, walked red carpets, hosted release parties, and went to every live show that made me feel alive. It was a dream.
Until it wasn’t.
Music is good for the soul. The music business was soul crushing.
So, I quit.
I will forever be grateful to my years in the music industry. My time living out my passion and writing about incredible artists led me to discovering my purpose: writing about things that make us feel.
I went on to write for causes I believed in, for the world I wanted to live in, and for the leaders I most admired. Writing for some of the top women thought leaders in the country filled my heart and expanded my mind. I’ve told stories of their brilliance, shared the depths of their knowledge, and pushed their great work out into the world.
What I’ve found at the center of all of it was the art of meaning—the meaning we place on the things we do, what we stand for, where we come from, what we know, who we want to be, and who we are.
I believe we never arrive at where we want to be because where we want to be is constantly evolving. Everything that has given me meaning up to this point in my life has shaped me. But the meaning grows, it expands, it dies, it transforms—it’s in everything. It is everything.
My relentless curiosity of meaning—the true art of it all—has led me back to my endless questions. What makes us feel? How do we connect with others? What is in the meaning of it all?
Through my writing here I explore the art of meaning—the themes that most pull at my heartstrings, the things that make me wonder, the ideas that uncover the deep magic of what it means to be human, the concepts that bring me peace, and the people who make me feel alive.
When I am not sharing my inner musings, I am completely engulfed in working on my memoir. I am in my first round of revisions with an editor and every word is so important, every character has a beating heart, and every feeling means something bigger than myself.
If you’ve been following along with me here or by way of Instagram and have read even a little about where I come from then you know there is a story here. But it’s not a sad story, as some might think. It’s a beautiful and raw story with indelible characters and a deep meaning that connects us all.
It’s a story of how love (and life) happens… when you let it.