[gallery columns="1"] A new year with new goals. New dreams, ideas, fears, worries, projects and unknowns. As I have mentioned in previous journal entries, I found myself at a crossroads recently and was not sure where I was supposed to go. This past fall I moved from the quiet, wide open space of the Santa Ynez Valley to Los Angeles. While I was at first excited at all the experiences life in a city can offer, I have quickly become overwhelmed by it. I know I will eventually make my way to a more centered place with regard to life in LA and will figure out how to avoid the things that are stressing me out the most, but it has been a rather unsettling journey. Not to mention our brand new condo had leaks galore from all the heavy rains, and it looks like we are going to have to move again. None of this is catastrophic, it has just been an interesting time for me to try to figure out where I want to take my life in the midst of all these new circumstances.

Often times when we are looking ahead and thinking about what we want our future to look like, it is valuable to look back at where we have been to figure out what has worked well, what hasn't, what felt great and what wasn't quite what we thought it would be. When I look back at my entire experience of creating and building Swirly and trying to make my way as an artist, I have volumes of experiences, anecdotes and memories that are helping me get clear on what I want (and don't want) from this point forward. One thing that is emerging in BIG BOLD letters is HONESTY and AUTHENTICITY, and these values are taking my work in a radically different direction. It is very exciting, as I have not felt my deepest, most personal creative spark burn this bright in quite a long time.

One consequence of these new ideas is that this website is about to undergo a radical makeover. RADICAL. My journal entries will be more frequent, and also more honest and authentic. I have been pondering what this new site will look like for many weeks now, and thinking to myself how great it will be to start writing for my site more often in a more authentic voice. Suddenly it dawned on me - duh - that I did not actually have to wait for the new site to be up and running. I can start making the transition immediately, and carry all of the new entries with me to the new site. I know I can draw well, but sometimes I'm not so bright.

Life is such an interesting, twisty journey. Right now I am diving deep into the forest, and I have left my map behind. I am running into some other wonderful travelers, each on their own journey as well, and I think we are all making the journey a little bit easier for each other.