Growing up, I knew art healed me. When I was in 7th grade and felt ice cold when I saw the 8th grader I totes thought I was completely not crushing on anymore, I wrote a poem.

When I felt conflicted about a family member leaving the house and disrupting the natural flow of household dynamics I was accustomed to, I wrote a poem. When my grandpa and grand-uncle died, I wrote poems and they became my eulogy. Writing healed me. Creativity forced me to express my emotions, it allowed me to reflect on my feelings, and more importantly, it helped me accept that life isn't going to be easy, that figuring things out is nearly impossible, and that, at the end of the day, people's effect on us can become a tidal wave or a small plop on our timeline.

Abstract symbolism reflecting on the good & bad of relationshipshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DciIokgQp4&t=1s

The thing about your first relationship is that its an IKEA furniture piece you use all day to assemble because all your instructions are in Swiss and you don't speak Swiss. It's incredibly difficult and sometimes doable. Some things fit, and then they don't anymore. In short, it didn't end well.

She's maaaaaddd, mad. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DciIokgQp4&t=1s

Coping with my first break-up involved a lot of surrounding myself with love from my friends and focusing on myself. Then one day, I found myself in the library, writing a script that was completed within minutes. The script even involved doing a voice-over of a poem I wrote. Funny how that happens. I called up friends to work with, organized a production set-list, and voila! It's July 15. Day two of filming.

One of my fave scenes: barefoot in DTLA waterhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DciIokgQp4&t=1s

My project involved traveling around downtown Los Angeles. Due to some unforeseen circumstance, I had to cast myself as, well, myself. I went through the symbolic and literal motions of the script with my co-star, going through my ex-relationship and its tidal waves again, and again, and again. I thought it would break my heart experiencing these places tied to painful memories, but instead, it was cathartic re-experiencing it with an amazing group of friends/coworkers. Filming took us from morning and night in one day, then we moved to post-production.

I call this: Fake Love by Drake, ft. City Hallhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DciIokgQp4&t=1s

For weeks, I worked alongside my editor perfecting each cut, transition, and lining up the scenes with the audio. Every time we cut a scene, I felt more of the harshness from the break-up fade away. Before my very eyes, my heartbreak transformed into an objective, unemotional project rather than my own subjective experience. Separating my break-up from myself and dealing with it as an assignment really healed all the sadness and hurt and guilt I had felt. As we neared the end of production, I felt 98% okay.

Fun fact: I wear the same pants in all the scenes except the last one, I just changed my top ¯\_(ツ)_/¯https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DciIokgQp4&t=1s

After releasing the film, I received some feedback that, although it was great, it was kind of weird to immortalize my break-up forever for everyone to see. Very Taylor Swift of me.

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However, I don't regret the decision at all. Creating a film about my breakup was the turning point in getting over it. The only way I truly felt myself heal was when I objectified my breakup, rather than being subjective and mope about it. I advise anyone going through a rough patch to make something beautiful out of their negative feelings.

The moments that bring us misery can be one of the best works of art we are capable of producing.

I cry every time I visit this beautiful view. It's just so breath-taking.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DciIokgQp4&t=1s

And if you'd like to check out what I made (sorry, not sorry, for the shameless plug):

Paint Me With Love, LA