Sandra, I don’t know the perfect words to express how much I love this portrait; it is the most beautiful gift I have ever received from anyone in this world, after my son Shane. I can imagine the time and carefulness you have invested in reproducing it this way—as beautiful as the original. Talent is genius, you are proof positive.
It takes me back to how we met four years ago—over there on twitter—and then facebook. I met a very talented writer; writing her musings under her ‘conspiracy theories blog’, her ink drew me to her. I discovered she was multi-talented. After a good number of twitter interactions, I asked her to be friends on facebook; she accepted and has since been in my corner. She has been the big sister I never had; the mother I no longer had and a strong confidant—she knows my “shit”. Two years ago—it was April 16th 2015—here on facebook, I asked a question of guidance on how I was going to roll with my career life (after a year without a job post- graduation); Sandra gave me the kindest, real and most influential piece of advice—it has pushed me through the worst adversaries since—my appreciation knows no bounds!
Why limit yourself? You are young, kind, articulate, talented and handsome; you have plenty of time to explore the world and see both what you have to offer it and what it has to offer to you.
Many successful people in the world have more than one passion. I say, take on the world like a child; explore, learn, be ambitious but be happy about things that matter to you. Eventually, you will find all the pieces that make you well-rounded and whole, and you will not get stuck in a rut of any single thing. Maybe you are meant to do and be many things,” Sandra commented.
I captured this in my first college degree story (on the blog) and will still share more about it in my book—a work in progress—and now that I have an official portrait for the book cover, I am game. Sandra, your kindness, maturity and unconditional love through the years has been a great learning curve for me; thank you for being all this to a stranger—now family. Thing is , If you are a loving, caring soul—like Sandra—it is hard to just not go unrecognized.
The author and social activist Bell Hooks once said:
our culture doesn’t recognize passion because real passion has the power to disrupt boundaries. I want there to be a place in the world where people can engage in each other's differences in a way that is redemptive, full of hope and possibility.
Not ‘in order to love you, I must make you something else.’ That is what domination is all about, that in order to be close to you, I must possess you, remake and recast you.” Sandra, thank you for being the friend who lets me dial in my own essence and be unapologetically me.
I believe in a very simple notion ; we are more than just a single story; we are a vast compilation, composition, composites of a consortium of fantasy, fury, fascination, faith, trust, distrust, fear, pain, discomfort, comfort, joy, happiness, laughter, generosity, selfishness, greatness, failure, humility, pride, insecurities, boldness, confidence, unity, division, helpfulness, helplessness, optimism, pessimism, the list is too enormous for our brains; even the most intricately beautifully mind to conceive, at what moment, during which time, an unintentional, unrehearsed story will unravel, during the course of our schematically designed lives—we always gotta embrace it ; knowing it is not our defining moment; the story that has residence inside me is enough reason to love every single story I have, whether expected or unexpected, it’s all a part of me. God bless you and your dear family—and thanks again for this lovely portrait.