I’m Allie and I’m an artist.
Art has been essential to me since I was three and coloring with permanent markers on the wall. It was with me during middle school as I began scrapbooking, and in high school when I fell in love with photography. I was constantly surrounded by it, in a very literal sense too. I turned my room into a living canvas, where I could draw and paint and create all around me. As I moved through college and later the Peace Corps, through my first full-time job, art stayed with me in a lot of different ways. I started to write a blog, where I originally came up with the title “Authentically Allie.” I found myself over time consumed with the questions: who am I? what do I want from life? what do I want to give to life?
I fell silent on answers to those. As I worked to find the answers, I would inch closer and closer to my true self. I took risks and chances because I wanted nothing more than to be alive, fully. I traveled, created, pushed myself, cried, laughed, and began to find myself constantly in awe of the world around me, seeing beauty in opposing landscapes and in opposing people. Overtime, I learned the awe, love, and time that I gave to the world had to be given back to myself. And so, Authentically Allie was born.
It hasn’t been easy for me to stay on the path of authenticity. I had to learn, sometimes the hard way, grueling lessons about betrayal and loss, trauma and healing, forgiveness and humility, and chronic health conditions. Authenticity calls for honesty, and honesty calls for vulnerability, and that has been an internal battle raging for years. I’m happy to say that I’m waving my white flag. I’m moving through my fear of disappointing others and becoming more afraid of disappointing myself. The question came back: what do you want from life? I answered that question by setting boundaries with people that I love, dedicating my time to the things that bring me joy, and not feeling guilty for it.
Once I began, I couldn’t stop. I’m moving with momentum towards my goals, with fear in one pocket and awe in the other. I’m opening up more about my experiences. I’m creating art that heals me and brings me joy. I’m being brave and doing things that make me uncomfortable, because I know the real art of life lays on the other side of authenticity. I began to see art as everything and everything as art when I lived in my truth. I share my art, stories, writing, photography, as a conversation starter. Whether it’s with friends, family, or yourself, I hope it makes you ask those same questions and are inspired to take action to answer them.
Here’s to living authentically,