ABOUT THE AUTHOR OF CURVDLINES.CO ELIZABETH – MISS L.E. MCGRATH

 Hey there,

I’m Lisa, founder & author of Curvedlines.co – Miss L.E. McGrath. I started this blog because I love people, problem-solving, teaching, sharing, and, most of all, learning!!! I am all about the win-win. I hope to help you become unstuck and move forward in your life so you can safely daydream, casting a vision with wisdom & stronger tools.

Please keep reading; below is a small peek into the life-changing moment that altered the course of my life. I hope you find it helpful in your life journey.

 Welcome and thank you for checking out my bio. My name is Elizabeth, and at the time of this writing, I have entered the start of a next new Exciting chapter of my life.

 My life has not been all rainbows, lollipops, and kitten eyelashes. And contrary to popular belief it is not a bad thing either.

Why would I say that?

Because it makes me more appreciative of what I have and my experiences, and it gives me a deeper understanding of the world around me. It also motivates me to try harder and not give up or give in when I shouldn’t. It has also given me a deeper appreciation for the people in my life and clarity to really think about what I am working towards and what kind of legacy I am creating and want to leave behind.

My appreciation of life drives me to WORK harder and SMARTER. Eight years ago, I lost my small studio, an independent beauty business, I had to move back to southern California. Then a year after I moved back I end up losing my rental house and lived in my car for what felt like a lifetime but, I am told it was only four months.

Sounds pretty awesome, right!?

But I am glad that it happened because of that experience. I came to a new purpose, new goals, more drive, and deeper compassion for people, including myself. I didn’t expect a more profound relationship and reliance on God from this longish, uncertain, sleep-deprived experience.

 God truly, truly, was not only my Father in heaven, and my personal Savoir but also my provider, protector and best friend. He was the only one I could truly count on, and I know his love and acceptance would never grow cold toward me.

He kept me sane, safe, and hopeful. He truly provided and walked with me through each day. I guess you could say it was my wilderness experience. I would wake up at 6 am and start making my plans for the day, but God also had his plans ready for me that day, so after a couple of months, the mornings became “Good morning, Lord, what are we doing today?” 🙂

One day, the Lord asked how I felt about returning to school. I thought, AGAIN!!!

I had already earned an AA in visual communications, and after a few years, I apprenticed as a tattooist and then did a one-year certificate program for permanent makeup. I was burnt out on continually learning and trying to start a business to have it all fail or only get me so far.

The Lord was kind and told me I would always be learning some form of school, class, or training my whole life. And that If I went back to school for something I considered “REALISTIC,” then I could afford to go back to school for art and buy art supplies (which financial reasons always caused me to drop school).

That was an excellent motivator, so I agreed promptly.

About two or so years later, while researching universities and getting my student loans out of default. I was accepted as an online undergraduate student at a Christian University majoring in leadership studies. I chose leadership because it covered all my weak areas where I failed. Plus, I did not think I would do well in strictly business classes.

Sounded Good to me. And even though returning to school has been challenging and demanding, I love, love, love it!!

I love learning, thinking, developing ideas, connecting dots, making art, writing stories, philosophical discussions, sharing, and teaching. I also enjoy studying business cases, history, government, communications, worldviews, community development, do-goodery, science, and economics; so odd, right?

 Not really, but it’s part of my major. But I was surprised when I found out I really enjoyed learning all these things. It was like, hmm, who am I? Who am I becoming? Is this the person God created me to be?  I learned while a student at Oral Roberts University that I scored #1 for learner on the top five Gallup Strength-Finders 2.0. This reminded me of God telling me I would always be learning, and it all started to make sense.

Awesome!!

The program has definitely changed my life for the better, and I feel more prepared in life. I have about another year and a half until I graduate after this writing. Then, I plan to pursue an MBA in leadership and, hopefully, a doctorate in strategic leadership or communication.

The new information started changing me so much that I wondered if the intensive critical and analytical thinking would destroy or hinder my creativity. I was always told creative people have different brains and we should not worry about things outside of art or design. UPDATE: Working on my MBA with a double concentration in Marketing and innovation management.

 SIDE NOTELOL, now I know better; it is best to develop partnerships to succeed. However, I personally feel that it is imperative to have a basic understanding of licensing, communications, marketing, business, and copyright laws to work better with your partnerships and protect your interests.

How will this affect me?

Then, one day, soon after this disturbing thought. I walked to the grocery store to buy groceries. I saw an empty produce box set next to the store entrance. It had three holes for handles, and my imagination decided it would be an awesome toddler-size robot. I began daydreaming about a story about a robot that dresses up in cardboard boxes to mask its appearance and can get about town without much notice. The little robot did this to observe humans and wanted to make friends but stayed a distance for fear of rejection. Until one day…

Well, let’s say it was a remarkable little story, but to the outside world, the one MOST PEOPLE lives in, it looked like I was standing in front of the grocery store entrance staring at a box for about 10-15 min.

Yes, that’s me to a “T” to the outside world.

I have never worried about losing my creativity after that moment because I realized the knowledge gave me more to glean from and helped me to create better ideas and stories. What I considered a more practical major, combined with my prior education, training, and experience, made me better at daydreaming and planning the steps to turn conceptual ideas into tangible!!!  

I am glad I am me because most people would not be able to handle looking that odd in public, but it is me, and I know I am creating stories. When your inner world is rich, the outer work gets small when you are around people who can’t see what you see. But when you can make intangible tangible, you have buy-in and more patience from people.

Plus, I see the humor in the situation, so it doesn’t bother me, but it does seem to bother people closer to me who do not understand, so just be aware of that, too. It’s ok to do stuff like that (get caught up in the moment) with other creatives. They usually enjoy it and will play along with you, having fun, and then the next thing you know, you’re making picture books or a short comedy.

When I was homeless, it was a very vulnerable time that helped me realize the depth and width of how it felt to feel wholly abandoned and entirely alone. It changes the way you think and develops a drive to appreciate your friendships more while also driving a need to not burden others with your problems. It is a weird sense of push and pull; as an introvert, it was easier to stay separated and work on the things that keep you sane, like reading, gardening (Community Garden renter), and getting out on your feet again.

So, when my grandmother needed help, I became her live-in family member caregiver and have been so for almost five years. I do whatever is needed to be done. If she goes to the hospital then I spend as many nights in the hospital while she is there. If she is in an ambulance, I’m riding with her, doctor appointment and anything else she needs. I spend every day with her and gladly do so. I love my Grandmother.

Since her TAVR surgery, three years ago, she has been doing so much better. It is incredible that a new heart valve can make a difference in saving a life and improving a person’s quality of life. It is a blessing she is still with us. I love her so much. She is a blessing to me and has made me a better person.

If I did not have God in my life, I do not know how I would have weathered being homeless, even for a short period of time. It can strip down your self-image and your mental and emotional well-being unlike anything else I have ever experienced, and I have experienced my fair share of rejection.

If you ever find yourself in this situation, view it more as something happening to you, and temporarily, do not view it as who you are. This is not who you are. It is just a circumstance you are temporarily in, and you will probably need a HAND-UP to get out.

I never want my grandmother, or anyone else close to me to die believing that they are unloved, unwanted, or have been abandoned. It’s a crappy feeling and is untrue, but it is a feeling that can affect anyone and everyone under the right circumstance.

Just know it is NOT TRUE!!

Just know It’s an experience that burns a mark forever in your mind. It is indeed a wake-up call.

After the humbling stage, the experience can either become a strength builder or a mind-splitting experience, depending on your mindset and what is inside your toolbox of coping skills.

While homeless, “God Provides” became my daily reality. It still is and always will be. I continue to hold this truth and recently engraved in what I call my God ring, the words “God Provides” Ps. 18:2 inside the gold band.

My ring is a constant reminder of God’s covenant promise. No matter how good or bad things may or may not get or if I feel alone, small, inadequate, or not sure what is right or wrong (the grey area of life). I can look towards my ring finger and remember the only promise that will never be broken. The manifestation and outward expression of what is going on inside me.

So you now have somewhat of a view of where I have been (life-changing moment) and what I am doing now.

I have a vision, and even though it is getting clearer, It is still developing.

I hope that by creating this space, I can help you get unstuck, learn to learn, dream, create, set goals, develop soft skills, enjoy the goodness in life and the value of community, and work in a productive team. In a nutshell, to be whole again.

However, what is more important than what I think things should be is understanding what you think you need and starting with what you think would be helpful to you. 🙂

Would you please share your ideas or desires regarding what would benefit you, what you would like to learn, or how you want to grow into the best you can?

IF YOU HAVE TIME – HERE IS A QUICK ILLUSTRATION OF HOW I SEE THE OLD VERSUS THE CONCEPT OF NEW STUCK

 When I was growing up and in elementary school, I was definitely an outside kid.

On a sweltering summer day, I stepped in some gun melting on the sidewalk. It was so gooey from the heat that I could not scrap it off the bottom of my shoe, not even when I dragged my feet against the street curb. It took using ice to freeze the gum and a butter knife to remove the frozen gum from my shoe.

After that, I always avoided stepping on gum; however, one day, I found a quarter stuck on top of gooey gum instead.

Now, at that age, finding a quarter was exciting because a quarter was a lot of money to a 10-year-old. It was at least a giant gumball from the candy machine or a game of Donkey Kong before it became Mario Brothers at the arcade.

So I pulled the quarter off the gum, making a colossal mess. I brought it home, froze the quarter to remove the gum and went to the arcade to play Galaga instead of Donkey Kong because the Big Kids (high school) had quarters stacked up for days (that how they use to hold their place in line).

Ok, what does any of that have to do with right now?

During my hard time, my bag of coping skills, education, work experience, and passion didn’t prepare or sustain me. It didn’t help much.

I stopped and took a good look around and realized the board game of my life had changed, and the problems and tools I needed either changed or needed expanding. Since we (society) are moving from the industrial age deeper into the knowledge age. Our society is feeling the growing pains, and it has displaced some people, a lot of people, actually. Similar to how it did during the transition from the agricultural age to the Industrial Age.

So, with that said, things are not lost, just different and actually more exciting once you have a clearer view of what it is and where you want to fit. For me, I have gone back to school in my 40s, blogging and working towards learning how to license my artwork.

So keep your heart. It does get better; it makes pursuing your dreams a little easier. However, there is more information to learn.

So, back to the gum analogy, we have a child who sees a quarter on the sidewalk and is willing to deal with a colossal mess (sticky, gooey gum everywhere) to gain a quarter to play a video game and hang out with the big kids.

As an adult, imagine that same quarter is stuck on top of hot, gooey gum, and you’re trying to get it unstuck; you believe you are making a colossal mess and you’re not accomplishing your goal.

After hours and hours or even months or years of trying to acquire this quarter, YOU still can’t get the item off the ground.

Why not?

I’ll get to that. First, I want to share that I was stuck when I realized that the quarter represents my life and my personhood. What I didn’t know was that the quarter actually had a long screw drilled through the middle of the coin that was fastened into the concrete.

I can see now that I stayed stuck because I only knew about half the problem. So, I only used half the tools needed to get unstuck. I was doing my best, but it wasn’t working; my life was not thriving, and I barely survived.

I was using some of the right tools but only fixing half the problem because I was unaware of the other problem. I didn’t see the screw, I didn’t know to look for extra obstacles, and I thought the color of the nail was part of the quarter. I thought my life tools and education were enough, but it was only the beginning of learning and developing. You should never stop learning and develop yourself and your interests.

Now, I am unstuck and moving forward. I have a clearer view of what I want to create, something worth building. I also desire to help you become unstuck and move forward so you can daydream and build your dreams with wisdom and better tools.

Join the Conversation!

Your experiences and insights are valuable. Share your thoughts in the comments below. Let’s inspire and motivate each other to appreciate life and strive for our best selves. Together, we can create a community of growth and positivity. Leave a comment now and be part of the discussion!

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