An Open Letter

Updated: Oct 2, 2019

Man!!! It’s been one year since I joined the Urban Walls World team and let me tell you, these past 12 months have been a ROLLER COASTER! The new responsibility of being a full-time curator, keeping up with the lifestyle and social aspects of being a figure within the art realm, as well as growing my brand, and keeping up with my very active personal life has been A LOT. So, I took this post as an opportunity to do some self-reflection and write an “open letter” just sharing where I am in my life at the moment...


This year I’ve dealt with the most responsibility I’ve ever had in my life. I worked extremely hard to get to this point, so it’s been kind of crazy seeing what doing this full-time looks like. I’m not 100% sure what I expected going in, but after a year of experiencing what it takes to succeed on the level I am now at - I’ve had to build up a lot of physical and mental stamina. I mean, I work crazy hours sometimes. And even when I’m out and about, sometimes it feels like work because I see so many people I know and/or could potentially run into again. So, I have to make sure to move and conduct myself a certain way.


In that same vein, I am very passionate about what I do. So if smiling and conducting myself as a gentleman, for lack of a better word, on a regular basis is my job… I’m willing to do that - it’s not a bad trade-off, especially when my job is also crafting art exhibitions that intrigue people, visiting artists studios, attending art opening, critiquing artists’ work, blogging, and all of the other fantastic parts that make up what is my job.


Of course, just like in any job, there are parts I don’t particularly enjoy. But it all seems to balance out, and that’s what I think I’m realizing now… All the sh*t that I went through this past year truly helped me to become who and what I am now.


Over the past 12 months I’ve spent my hard-earned money on dumb sh*t; I’ve said “yes” to some things and was unable to keep my commitment; I’ve let people down; I’ve questioned my judgment and beaten myself internally for the decisions I’ve made; I’ve been criticized to the point where I’ve wondered whether or not I could continue down this path…


But I’ve maneuvered through it...


And in the last 12 months, I’ve put on 20+ exhibitions, met a ton of amazing people within my field, I’ve been stepping up my creative writing skills through these blog posts… I’ve also moved into my own apartment, organized and facilitated a community event through my LLC (Limited Liability Company), and I really feel I’ve taken my potential to the max and done a lot to make my aspirations come to fruition this year.


In all honesty, this has been a tough year but it’s been very worth it… I guess this is what the 20s are like (referring to my age): appreciating the past, taking advantage of the present, and setting yourself up for a better future for you and your family. For me, I feel like that is always my end goal in mind...


Someone asked me recently, what would I say to a past self?… What advice would you give yourself?… And I really had to think about it... I think I would say to myself from a year ago, "trust yourself."


"Everything you do is not going to be right, but if your actions are based on good intentions you’ll never make a wrong decision - you’ll just make the wrong decision for that particular time and you can use it as a learning lesson. Maybe you forgot to consider something or someone, maybe you made a decision thinking it would have a positive outcome when in reality it didn’t... Maybe you incorrectly prioritized something, or maybe you ended up making an embarrassing mistake. There will be times where you make the wrong judgment call and you inadvertently put someone else in a tough position... But you’re growing, you’re learning, and you must be patient with yourself... Stay calm under pressure, work as hard as you can, and value your peace of mind."


I’d say, "You need to trust in yourself in order to accomplish your goals and learn about life in the process; and when you trust yourself you don’t need to force anything."


That has been my big takeaway from these 12 months. It’s a simple concept, but it's deep. Trust yourself to know that everything is good in moderation, especially when it comes to simple things such as traveling, going out with friends, locking yourself in a conference room (usually at The Commons) and working all day Sunday, hanging out with your family, dating different women… These are all important aspects of life, but you can’t let them define you. There have been times when I question myself and who I am because I decided not to go to a concert I already paid for because I was worn out… There have been instances where I’ve already committed to going to a function of sorts but ended up not going because I really needed to spend some time alone, and so on and so forth. I keep having to remind myself that I know what is best for me (to a certain degree), and so long as my decision making is based on truth and authenticity, I am okay with the outcomes.


I want to say thank you to Roberta who asked me to be a part of her Urban Walls World platform! Thank you to my family and friends that consistently hold it down for me. Thank you to everyone who has read the blog, DM’d me questions and/or comments about what you read, provided me suggestions, etc... I’m working hard to bring what I feel is high-quality content to readers, so I truly appreciate the responses and feedback I’ve been getting. Please continue to let me know your thoughts, critiques, dialogues, and suggestions! I appreciate it all and I’m really looking forward to what we have coming up next.


As I said at the beginning of this post, writing this has really provided me with a lot of clarity and knowledge of self. I promise to continue to question who I am and who I want to be in this world - and consciously work to have my actions align with the sentiments and goals I’ve set for myself. As I always say, I’m never one to tell people what to do, I only make suggestions. So, I suggest you partake in the same sort of self-reflection I’ve just done. You may be surprised at what you discover.


-Thomas

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