T H E S H O R T S T O R Y
I am just another soul on the human journey, trying to enjoy it and figure it out with balance. This is just a place to share some creative bits and other things.
T H E L O N G E R S T O R Y
I grew up in Woodstock, NY in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, an area that remains dear to my heart. I moved to the Midwest in high school and graduated from The University of Kansas with a degree in political science and a double minor in psychology and fine art.
From there I returned to New York to study occupational therapy at Columbia University. I think the main thing that attracted me to the profession was the integration of mental and physical health. It didn't hurt that there is a lot of creativity in the practice and many areas to specialize in. Getting that degree - and luckily a full scholarship - was one of the best things I have done for myself.
During my second year at Columbia, my roommate had the full video set of Bill Moyer's Healing and the Mind, which cemented my interest in what is now, two decades later, a booming industry known as "wellness". My continuing education in health and wellness includes course intensives in massage at The Open Center, nutrition and cooking at The Natural Gourmet Institute and hatha yoga at Integral Yoga; In my therapy practice I gravitated toward professional development in neurological and sensory processing disorders.
After a decade and the opening and closing of a successful private practice, I shifted back toward creative pursuits that I felt were becoming more marginalized in my life. Simultaneously I had a growing interest in sustainability. I found that I lived a fairly earth friendly existence in NYC with a small home, no need for a car and access to recycled paper and plastic products, green energy, organic produce and natural toiletries, but I was hard pressed to find new clothing made in an earth friendly way. Sure, some existed, but it was slim pickings. I found I either had to compromise my style or my ethics, so I leaned heavily on vintage pieces. I enrolled in fashion design courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Parsons School of Design. While I learned how to make clothes, I researched earth friendly fabrics and how to run a fashion business. All of this was documented in an online project about sustainability and style that, much to my surprise, gained a bit of interest. To see more about that visit fiftyRX3.
That was 2005, early days for both blogging and sustainability's infiltration into the mainstream. There was a lot of green buzz and blog buzz in those days and I met and made friends with many like minded people across an array of industries. I ended up doing more work as an editor and writer than I did actual design. It was a good experience, but ultimately I learned that I did not want to become a manufacturer, which is fairly inevitable in fashion, and that I did not want to be a writer. I wanted to be more directly and actively creative in a way that also aligned with my values. I also wanted to take a break from the online media world. My media savvy friends who were angling for book deals or to sell their websites shuddered when I deleted years of online content.
In 2008 I decided to do another year long project. I had joined a neighborhood garden and could spend hours there photographing. I decided to capture the garden over the course of a year. This was pre-Pinterest and Instagram. I uploaded my photos to a website and did little to share them. Nobody really noticed or seemed interested, which was fine. It made me immensely happy. Nature is indeed magical and healing. You can view some of the photographs here.
After a few years of creative dabbling and working part-time as a therapist, I ended up working on a renovation project with a friend who is a contractor. He complimented my design ideas as we went along and in the end encouraged me to start working with clients. This ultimately led to the interiors business that I have today. For more information please visit VERDOIER.
Peppered throughout the years, I have been fortunate enough to travel to many places, often for extended periods. The highlights include Oaxaca, Barcelona and summers spent sailing tall ships in the Northeast and more modern cruising in the Med. Closer to home, Fire Island is a favorite spot to camp oceanside between the dunes and, of course, the Catskills are great to explore. I recently "returned home" and bought a little land upstate to develop and enjoy.
Finally, the last decade has led me on some more esoteric journeys into what might be described as spirituality, psi phenomena or an expanded view of the Universe. It is a calling I have not always felt comfortable with as it can be somewhat isolating amongst more rigid everyday societal beliefs. I've satisfied my own curiosity looking at the evidence for such things in this realm. I've also experienced myself what I can only describe as wild synchronicities. I don't feel a strong desire to prove my beliefs to others. However, I also don't feel the need to hide this part of myself, as I enjoy discussing some of these things that I find fascinating. I believe the more intelligent discussion we have around these topics, the more we can expand global conscioussness.
That said, Michael Chrichton wrote in Travels, his autobiographical book on many of his inner and outer journeys.“There are lots of trips out there. It's even possible to become a conference groupie, going from one seminar to another and being a Beautiful Evolved Human Being until you start making the people around you want to throw up.”
I don't want to make the people around me want to throw up.
Michael also writes, “The fact is that we need the insights of the mystic every bit as much as we need the insights of the scientist. Mankind is diminished when either is missing.” That is pretty much where I stand on the matter, keeping an open mind while trying not to let my brain fall out.
Presently, I am excited to continue integrating my past with my future, to keep learning, experiencing and growing. I can't ask for much more from life.