Have you ever found yourself wanting to try or learn something new but never actually did it? Maybe something was holding you back or you couldn't find the time or were just too scared to step out of your comfort zone.  Whatever the reason, you never experienced it but thought about it often.

I felt that way about ceramics. For the longest time, I wanted to try my hand at pottery because there was something so beautiful and therapeutic about the process.  But something was holding me back. It was ME.

Growing up in a strict household, I've never had the opportunity for self expression or creative interests when I was younger. Math and science were considered important subjects while art was secondary. When my classmates registered for electives such as ceramics and painting, I had to take a computer course or an additional science class. Because of this, I was afraid to step out of my comfort zone because I didn't think I could be artistic.

Through the years, I've slowly broken out of my shell and pursued artistic hobbies that interested me such as photography, water colors, and drawing. These were solo creative outlets that I didn't really share with anyone in fear of criticism. But with the encouragement of my supportive boyfriend, Ryan, I worked up the courage to take my first pottery class in June 2013. I was nervous, excited, and I had no idea what to expect.  I was completely out of my element because the perfectionist in me was screaming at me to make something beautiful. I ended up making the ugliest bowl/piece I had ever seen. It was hideous but I had never been more proud of myself.  I even showed it to Ryan!

I've come a long way since then and pottery has become my passion.  To me, it is a form of meditation where I am able to let go of the everyday stresses of life and just be free to create which is such a novelty for a microbiologist. The entire creative process is incredible—throwing on a wheel, trimming, glazing, and firing a piece.  I love seeing a lump of clay transform into something truly unique.  When I work with clay, I never really know what I am going to make. I free my mind and let my hands do the work and as a result, I feel that every piece I make has an element of imperfection and I believe that there is a certain beauty derived from these so-called imperfections.

It has been an incredible journey in allowing myself to be creative and I am so excited to continue down this path.