In 2012, I traveled to Hawaii to take a photography workshop with Doug Beasley. It was at a time in my life when I felt really lost and lonely, which nobody in my life knew. On the outside I was social, running a successful photography business, outgoing and optimistic but on the inside I was sad, confused and depressed. When I got to Hawaii, I was hoping to find ways to create deeper meaning in my photography work, to find ways to express my feelings through such a literal medium. Doug's work is all about that, so when he invited me to come along, I jumped at the opportunity. I found that I was really drawn to the banyan trees that were on the Big Island, where we stayed. I had never seen trees like them, they were massive and their roots were intertwined and haunting looking. I saw this tree one day while wandering around Hilo and as I walked up to it, I felt it's powerful presence. I felt like it was hugging and grounding me and I started to cry. For most of my life, I have desperately wanted someone or something to make sense of things for me, to make me feel like I know what I'm doing and to have some sense of peace with myself. That feeling has come in waves but has never stuck around consistently. For a long time, I was jealous of artists who had found a way to creatively express what was going on inside of them with what looked like such ease and confidence. I was privately struggling with the two parts of myself; the public one that was running a successful photography business based on pleasing others that was made up for emotive, beautiful, happy, colorful images and the private parts of me that felt so emotional, dark and alone. I wanted a way to express those private feelings creatively and have found that while looking backwards through the archives of my work, that I see those feelings bubble out in images or other artwork here and there, like they were seeping through the cracks without me noticing.