How Did I Get Here? How I moved to New York to follow my dreams

The other day, I woke up with David Byrne’s voice echoing through my head–“How did I get here?” As the sunlight streamed through my window much like the trickling synthesizer behind the questions posed, I realized that my life has changed beyond recognition in the proverbial blink of an eye. I got out of the bed I never thought I’d sleep in, fed the cat I never thought I’d adopt, walked the door I never thought would mark the boundaries of a space I never believed I’d inhabit. And like some fantastic notion of a life I’d always wanted but never thought possible, I head off each day to a school I’m proud to attend, and live in a neighborhood that swells my heart to call home.


But for all its upbeat new wave sweetness, the song so resolutely planted in my mind is actually quite melancholy. I marvel at how quickly my life has transformed, but the song itself recalls more of the emotions that kept me in my previous place. Like the “water underground”, so deadly and destructive in its most overwhelming, awesome form, I know what held me back was fear. I was afraid that moving wasn’t practical, that I wasn’t good enough to get into school, that my family would resent me for wanting more than I had. I was afraid that if I took the necessary risks, I’d be left with nothing. Fear is paralyzing, and having a little–a mind-numbing job, a general education, a room in my family home–is better than having nothing at all.

I often looked at people my age, even younger, living in New York City and wondered what they were doing that I wasn’t. They sold coffee or clothing or answered phones or served food, they enrolled in prestigious programs or worked towards higher degrees, they dressed in stylish clothes and wore their hair however they pleased–why couldn’t I? I asked friends and acquaintances who lived in the city how they organized their moves, but their responses were overwhelmingly similar–“I didn’t.” It seemed as if everyone I knew acted on instinct, following their hearts and figuring out details later. But I was too afraid to follow suit, citing practicality as my excuse.


And then some time in July of last year, everything changed. There was an itch under my skin that simply wouldn’t go away. No class I took, no work I did could banish the awful, creeping feeling that I was wasting my time. I felt like I was drowning in familiarity. So I did the only thing I could think of to push myself to the surface: I applied to new schools. Some were in places I’d never seen with my own eyes, others in places I’d visited and thought of fondly, but all schools I could envision as the start of a new life chapter. It wasn’t an instant fix–in fact, the fear got much, much worse before it began to fade. I can’t even tell you that it disappeared entirely–there are nights I come home and wonder how on earth I’ll be able to sustain this new life I’ve built for myself. The difference is, now I know it’s not impossible.


Every day is an adventure, full of hope and love and dreams I didn’t even realize I had. I meet fascinating people and encounter puzzling sights. I’m presented with challenges that I’m happy to meet head-on and best of all, I get to be endlessly creative. I’m still adjusting to the freedom I’ve given myself, still learning how to stretch and grow and quiet the fear that keeps me from testing my boundaries. But every step is a step closer, and I’m excited to see where I go next.

If any of this sounds familiar, take the advice that I never accepted: go. Do. Become. Don’t mistake fear for practicality. Don’t listen to the trickle of doubt in the back of your mind–it can become a flood without warning and sweep you away. Don’t drown in your uncertainty. Things will come together when you stop holding yourself back.

Luna, Metamorphosis


I’m a firm believer in the power of newness. While I also believe that I am the sum of my experiences and that everything happens for a reason, I believe in the self-invention and a fresh, clean slate is the most inspiring thing I could possibly imagine. This is why I start each year with Resolutions.

Most people laugh when asked about New Year’s Resolutions. They’ll say things like, “I’m going to lose weight,” or “I’m going to go the gym,” or “I’m going to start cooking more,” each and every year. “New Year’s Resolutions are silly,” I’ve been told. “They never stick.” January 1st of 2010, I resolved to start a blog. January 1st of 2011, I resolved to become a vegan after about fifteen years of vegetarianism. January 1st of 2012, I resolved not to let my illnesses and weaknesses define me. I have followed through and stuck with each and every one of these resolutions, and this is only a small handful of the resolutions I’ve made over the years.

For a large part of 2012 I felt stagnant. I was stuck in one place, going no where that I could see, and while my life was moving around me I felt too bogged-down mentally to move with it. Worse yet I sometimes felt as if I was regressing, moving backwards to places I’ve all ready been and struggled to remove myself from. I was fighting battles I’ve all ready fought. Some of these battles have been victories, others are in stalemate, but I refuse to lose any of them. Perhaps that is why the “newness” of 2013 has felt so important in the weeks leading up to the New Year. In the last months of 2012, I wove myself something of a cocoon, tucking in to examine myself and calculate the vastness of the changes taking place. I’m ready for the next phase, not something completely different but the next cycle of who I am and how I live. An evolved and higher state of me.

Some of these changes will be superficial: I plan to pare down in 2013, streamlining my style and cultivating signatures. This obviously applies to my wardrobe, but to other areas of my life as well. I’ve been talking about working out a concrete budget, balancing my accounts by hand to avoid the trap of digital overspending. By focussing my attention on developing signatures, I’ll save money on impulse buys and failed experiments and be able to apply those funds to things I genuinely need or want to work towards.

Other changes will be invisible, running too deep to really see at a glance. These will be the changes that allow me to be the person that I really am, the person I see inside and want to share with everyone else. These are the changes that involve being more courageous, accepting and actually feeling my emotions even when they aren’t 100% rational, reducing my anxiety and developing healthy coping mechanisms. While they may not be evident to anyone but the people I interact closely with, these are the changes that will take the most work and have the biggest effect on my life.

Up until this point, Readers, I’ve kept you all at arm’s length under the guise of professionalism. Having labels and tags to strictly adhere to felt more proper, so if it wasn’t about lipstick or shoes I really had nothing to say here. But I have a lot to say. I’d like to let you in on other things that interest me, the things I do that might not involve powder brushes or outfit snaps. So here’s what I’ve decided: Metamorphosis was begun to document my self-discovery and transformation and I feel like that’s very relevant again. From here on, Metamorphosis will be something of a landing-pad for me. Every post I make will appear here, on this site. If you’d prefer to simply follow my beauty and fashion posts, I’ll be cross-posting them and only them on Bella Cantarella. If you simply want updates on my artistic endeavors, I’ll be cross posting them (hopefully with more frequency) over at Crypt Orchids. I’d like to update this page at least twice a week, and the topics I cover will dictate the posting schedule everywhere else.

I want to thank you all for bearing with me for the last few years. It’s been a thrilling, maddening, hair-pulling, utterly inspiring journey so far and I hope you’ll stay with me as it continues.

Luna, Metamorphosis


It’s been a hard year. Everyone I’ve spoken to has expressed that 2012 was a difficult year. I live in an area that was greatly affected by Superstorm Sandy, much of which is still struggling to rebuild, both physically and emotionally. While my home was not greatly damaged, I feel like I lost a large portion of my strength in that storm and every day I pick up a few more pieces. Prior to Sandy, though, I battled illness, lost a dear friend, and found myself facing some of my deepest fears. I feel like every last defense I had was broken down, leaving me completely exposed and vulnerable. And I know I’m not the only one who felt this way.


Dear readers, 2012 has been a hard year. It’s okay to admit it, and it’s okay to stop fighting. Your energy is better used to transform the negative emotions, the pain, the feelings of weakness and uselessness into lessons learned–lessons about yourself, your coping mechanisms, your behavioral patterns, your surroundings. Reflect on those lessons and turn them into something useful, something you can apply to future situations and personal growth. You’ve made it this far: despite what you feel, you are very strong, and this will only make you stronger.


2013 is hours away. With each passing moment, I’m more and more excited to welcome it. Things are all ready looking up: I write this under the supervision of a scaly new friend who reminds me every day of simple pleasures and the rewards of caring for another living creature. Khepri reminds me to cherish every moment spent with loved ones, because that opportunity is not always certain. Even the simplest moments–car rides, dinners, lounging, shopping–can become beautiful memories.


Expect changes in this space. Changes to content, graphics, titles, everything. It’s been on my mind for a while, but I felt it too big an undertaking to start on while I was so emotionally unequipped to handle anything. But 2013 is rising, and it feels soothing. Hang in there. I will be.