I’m Valheria. It sounds like “Valeria” but has a silent “h”, just to add a little chaos 🤪 I’m an artist, and I say it that way because I like to do a variety of creative things none of which include, putting myself into one tiny box. If you want to know what I’m like, click “here”. If you want to know why I’m like that, subscribe to this Substack.
I started this page because the words in my head were overflowing in my notes app and it felt like a waste for them to just sit there collecting digital dust rather than out in the world hopefully sparking some magic. I love the word magic. Maybe it’s my favorite word. I’m one of those that believes magic can be found everywhere. In a rainbow after a heavy storm, in the last hand hold you share with a loved one, in the dandelion fluffs the wind blows around every Spring, and even in the tears we cry.
From an early age, I was exposed to magic by my grandparents in Colombia who collected and studied the incredible flora and fauna of my home country. Their house was covered in oil paintings, scientific drawings and notes, abstract shapes, sculptures, live animals, art supplies and a million little jars of taxidermy butterflies and bugs. Magic oozed from the corners and I soaked it up like a sponge dropped in the ocean.
When my parents moved my brother and I to the US, magic became a little harder to see in my new surroundings. Snow, dingy apartments, and loneliness created a fog that settled so densely I could barely see my toes, let alone the magic. When change is difficult, desperation can ensue and I’ve found that desperation makes you react in panic. Panic causes chaos and for a long time, I deeply feared chaos. Chaos made me feel unsettled, unsafe, and frantic.
In those early moments of chaos, I was blessed to have art supplies. I had hand me down crayons and colored pencils and I drew everything. I illustrated books to learn English, I drew art to cover up the dingy walls in our apartment, I drew to feel as close to the magic my grandparent’s showed me existed back home.
As I grew older, the chaos in my life only got bigger. I’ve spent my life collecting moments like seashells and now I’m 28 years old and I have countless jars full of them; pretty ones that are in pristine condition and half broken shards that I kept only because of the pain they caused me.
I began writing intentionally in 2015. In my notes app. Fragments of sentences I would come up with inspired by something I remembered living, or my favorite color that day, or a song I was listening to, or a boy I thought I was in love with. I’ve been writing in the same notes app for 8 years now. It takes me like 3 solid minutes of scrolling like a maniac to get to the bottom to start a new piece.
Recently life became the most chaotic it has ever been. In August of 2022, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and my whole world, as I knew it, changed. In the midst of this chaos, I have witnessed some of the most special magical moments I’ve seen. Magic that sparkles extra bright amidst the chaos of life sends me to a mystical place where I romanticize my life as if I were writing a screenplay for it. That’s how I got to the word “mayhem”. It seemed much more theatrical than “chaos”.
So here is a space where I want to share my seashell collection, i.e. my writing (if the metaphor wasn’t clear). But also some art, and pieces of my life— the rainbows and storm clouds, and colors and chaos, if you will. I don’t have enough brain capacity at this moment to fully flesh this idea out… but I didn’t want to let that stop me. I tend to stop myself from doing things if I can’t visualize them all the way through first; if I can’t plan them out meticulously and carefully so as to *try* to avoid failure. Ridiculous, I know. So I’m going to make this page public now, before I think too much about it and convince myself not to. After all, self sabotaging is a product of mayhem, so taking a leap of faith would be the magic.
Thanks for being here, I hope this space brings you light and helps you find the magic in your own life 🦋