When I grow up…

When I grow up, I want to be a DENTIST!  Yep, that annoying girl with straight A’s and a plethora of extracurricular activities wanted to go to Duke University and become a dentist with her own practice.  I knew it in my bones.  Flash forward to my first dissection of a cow’s eyeball in Biology my freshman year in high school.  I fainted. I actually fainted.  Sadly, that chipper little go-getter never made it to med school and also never could open up the little froggy that she had to pin against her will to the cutting mat.  I know he was already gone, but still.  I feel like I saved a life and took a stand.  I only passed Biology with a B.  It was devastating.

I tell you this story because here I am, all grown up and still trying to figure out who I am. What God put me here on this earth to do.  I paint because I love it.  To my soul, I actually feel like I’m doing something when I paint and design.  I feel like it’s getting to you.  I’m making you smile.  I know I’m headed in the right direction.  Somewhere between Biology class and my messy studio, I grew up and I don’t think I’ve done so bad.  I certainly haven’t become who I was sure I wanted to be, but I think there is still time to make a difference.

Some people will tell you that the choices of your past will define you.  I think it’s quite the opposite.  I think your past choices give you reasons to dig deeper.  You take your successes and failures and you do better.  You make new choices.  Ones that you could have only learned if you actually dared to dream.  It’s funny how life sort of destroys those big dreams and makes you reinvent yourself and rediscover who you actually need to be in this life.

My mother once told me that I should be a social worker.  She thought I was good with people, listening to them. Responding.  More than that, she wanted me to see that this life is not worth living if you aren’t helping others.  I think I’ve spent a lot of time not knowing how I could do that, instead of just going out and doing it.  I don’t know if I’ll end up in social work.  I don’t know if I’ll forever be painting chubby little penguins and panda bears.  I DO know that I will never be a dentist, but the possibilities are endless!

Don’t be lost.  Just find a new direction.


“Froggy LIVES” ~ 9×12 watercolor & ink


12 thoughts on “When I grow up…

  1. Omg… I actually led a frog dissection protest in middle school, with homemade stickers and everything! I’ll send you one if I can find any leftovers. (x

    I loved this exploration of the self, and how you’re able to reflect on everything and use it so wisely. A true inspiration!

    1. Ok, I’ll be waiting to see those buttons! Of course you led a protest, Annie. Something tells me we may have been good friends in school 🙂 Thanks so much for the comment and the smile.

  2. Medical profession is not for everyone, but as you say – possibilities are endless. What a lovely happy green tribute to the millions of dissectioned nameless frogs! You have found yourself, and now you will grow from there. I wish you best of luck in everything!

  3. Alisa we are forever changing, you are on the right path your illustrations, like this one bring such joy. i wanted to be a hair dresser and actually worked as the phones, the floor sweeper and tea maker in a hair studio when I was studying to be a graphic designer. It made me realise I would have never been able to be a hair dresser because you are dealing with people day in and day out and I felt washed out listening to every customers woes. PS Im so glad I never had to dissect a frog, i would have been terribly ill on that day too.

    1. I love that story, Kath! A hair dresser! It’s so funny how life has a way of moving us in different directions. If you don’t try and take a risk, you might regret never knowing if it was you calling. I’m so glad you put a pencil in your hand though, as I know your art was meant to be seen in this world. Your stories told, and your sketches adored. They always make me smile.

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