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I was fortunate enough to visit Europe and to travel in the pre-internet days.


I reflect on that a lot because so many things changed with the internet and every time I travel now, I notice it. Some places have become safer, cleaner, and more accessible, while others feel like they've become more chaotic and unsuitable due to the massive influx of tourists as a result of the internet. The positive changes make me happy to see a city/place thriving, but then I feel so heartbroken when I revisit a place and it feels like it's overwhelmed by it all.


Travel was and is something that has greatly shaped my life and how I perceive the world. While I'm from a small town in New Mexico, my outlook is always elsewhere. My small town is the home base where I feel most comfortable doing my work and carrying out my everyday life, but my mind, heart and soul are almost always on some adventure far away from here.


My memories are sometimes blurry since my parents started taking me traveling at a very young age. I'll watch a documentary and think, "gosh, I feel like I've seen this before," and sure enough, we've been there.


What I did learn at a young age was seeing how my parents adapted to new cultures or to situations where there were language barriers. They were easy-going and both had aspects that they loved about travel. My mom loves crafts, window-shopping, and strolling through a city, while my dad loves walking, seeing old churches and ruins, and absorbing as much history about a place as possible. Both of them love museums.


I think that's the thing that I learned the most about travel before the pre-internet days was this idea of adapting. You had no choice but to go with the flow and see how something would turn out. Now with Google and reviews and being able to plan ahead, it's harder to stumble upon something. There's an aspect of adventure that has been lost forever because of it. Don't get me wrong, the internet is very convenient and allows you to have more time rather than wasting it trying to figure out what to do next, but the mystery and the unknown have faded.


Jewelry, even though has completely changed due to the internet, still has that sense of mystery for me. You really never know what you're going to make until the piece is finished. I still find myself in moments where I have to adapt when a design isn't going as planned and I think that's what I find most addicting to the process of creating. I can't turn to the internet so easily for an answer because many times the design has to speak to me and every time I find the solution to a problem, I get that rush I used to get when I'd travel with my parents.

Rome. My goodness, how I love Rome.


I'll never forget the first time I went to Rome with my parents. I was 16 years old. We had just arrived to the Fiumicino airport and were feeling pretty tired and disoriented.


We step out of the airport with our luggage, looking for a taxi to take us to our apartment. We were renting an apartment in the center of Rome for a few weeks. We had booked it through a website called 'Rome Sweet Home.' This was all before AirBnB even existed, or was a thing, and it was our first time booking an apartment through the internet (dial up).


As my parents were loading their luggage into the back of a taxi, a female taxi driver took my luggage (she saw an opportunity here) and put it in the back of her taxi and then waited as my parents took theirs out of the other car and into hers. The first taxi driver saw what she had done and they started yelling at each other and making hand gestures only an Italian would do. This woman was trouble, and we should've seen the signs.


We gave her the address to the apartment, and she immediately begins dialing a number into her brick cell phone. The taxi was stick shift so she has one hand going back and forth between the wheel and the gear shift while the other is holding her phone. She immediately begins yelling at the person on the other side of the line.


The car was extremely small. My long-legged father was sitting up front and she reaches over him to the glove compartment. She pulls out a telephone book, like the yellow pages, and starts flipping through to get to the map section. I'm in the back wondering what hands, if any, were on the wheel and I saw that at this point, she was driving with her knee.


She's still on the phone.


How?


She sees a pedestrian crossing in a crosswalk, and honks and yells at them. The guy has to literally do a little trot to get out of her way. Still no hands on the wheel, and definitely none on the gear shift. She's somehow weaving through traffic, not slowing down for anything or anyone.


I notice a cross hanging from her rearview mirror. It's not really hanging so much as swinging and swaying as she whips her way through Rome. I wondered if that was the thing that kept us from getting killed by this woman.


As we zip through the city, we catch glimpses of Roman ruins. "There's the Circus Maximus!," my dad exclaims as he's clutching the grab handle above his passenger door.


We're all sweating, a provoked sweat and finally we arrive. She's still on the phone, but manages to tell us how much we owe. It was a lot, like way too much to be considered normal, but we paid it because I think we still wanted to trust this woman. All of the luggage is dumped into this little piazza and she takes off.


The piazza is quiet, oddly calm, and we're panting like we've just run a race. We wait in stunned silence, not really sure what just happened, for someone to let us into the apartment. The person eventually arrives and takes us up to our apartment and we drop everything off.


As a rule, we try to stay up and go to bed at normal hours so as to fight jet lag. We tidy ourselves a little and then head out to stretch our legs. We all agreed that that woman was absolutely out of her mind and that she majorly ripped us off all while nearly running over a pedestrian. Each of us noticed the cross hanging from her mirror too. It seemed frivolous? Ironic? Unnecessary, but maybe very necessary? We couldn't decide.


As we walk out to our little piazza, we hook a right and stroll down a short narrow street. The fresh air felt nice. People were walking in pairs and enjoying the afternoon. Before I could take in any of the sights and smells, there it was.


The Pantheon.


"My goodness," I thought to myself, "I love Rome."


I decided to break up my thoughts about social media and my online presence into two posts so this is the second part to this idea.


Lately, I have been thinking a lot about motherhood and my social media presence. I want to severely limit my usage on social media so that I can spend quality time with my daughter.


As a parent, I feel like it is my responsibility to show her that social media is best used as a tool as opposed to a pastime where we're searching for ways to fill up time or to allow ourselves to be distracted.


As a creator, I am deeply committed to focusing on making my best work and that means eliminating every little bit of distraction. I like to be clear-minded, stress-free, and to engage with the work entirely and let's be honest, social media is the elephant in the room.


As a business owner, I do not like that my work can be used as a distraction from your everyday life. We have been convinced that the more we stay 'connected,' the more we'll know on a subject, but I believe that is a mentality that is being fed to us. Our attention has become the new economic currency and I have struggled with the idea that I am using your attention to remain relevant and constantly in the viewer's feed.


Whereas a blog, I feel is a good thing. While this is written in a stream-of-conscious style, I get ideas for topics to write about and then I sit down and write them. Even if I do put a lot of thought into my social media stories and posts, the platform is designed to where we are inhaling so much information that it's impossible to really digest what we're looking at. The blog format is the place where you can slow down and engage more with my writing and you can read my thoughts without too many distractions.


With all this being said, I am thinking of how I'd like to approach social media differently. For the next collection, I like this idea of making an appearance a few months before I release new work and I'll talk about process, inspiration, and showcase photos via Instagram. I'd like to use it as a place where I can come up with a solid presentation of the new work instead of it being a place where I'm feeling pressured to post constantly just in order to be seen.


This will help me remain engaged with my family and daughter, come up with a beautiful presentation for future work, and still focus on creating one-of-a-kind pieces. How does that sound?