by LAURIE on MARCH 22, 2010

My friend Tarryl is an artist. An amazing one at that. I  met her when I was in college, and have watched her  since then grow in talent and perseverance. Let me explain…

Tarryl is a true Native American. (This shines through in much of her work, which can be found at As a teenager, she was bucked off while breaking a horse on her family ranch in North Dakota, and has not been the same since. When I met her she had a knee brace and was constantly down because of persistent problems with her back, same injury, same horse. She was bartending by night, and by day was doing anything with her art that would get her recognized, to the extent of painting the backs of denim jackets (ok, ok, it was the 80’s). She was ripped off more times than I can count by people telling her they would help her to get noticed, to start her own store, etc. But, she never gave up. For countless years she stuck to her guns.

About ten years ago, Tarryl was bitten by a tick and got Lyme’s disease so bad she had a nurse come to her home every day to administer medication through an IV. All the while she worked full time (in an office), pulled all weekend painting stints and ran around the county hanging her art, drawing, painting, and doing shows for anyone who would take a look. She’d arrive back home broken and exhausted, and then get up the next day and do it all over again. It paid off.

Two years ago, she was asked by the White House to paint a Christmas Ball for their tree that is a permanent part of the White House Collection. It is beautiful and my children were awed (although they were not allowed to hold it!)

This past weekend, her work was featured at the Mill Street Loft. Not the Met, but easily one of the most prominent places in this area. It was a beautiful show. Today, she has been able to quit her full time job and follow her passion, which I have no doubt will serve her well.

My point is this… Tarryl did not sit around and feel sorry for herself that she fell off her horse. At that moment, one profession was gone for her, but she got back up (back in the saddle, so to speak), dusted herself off, and followed her passion. And then when someone else knocked her down, she got back up again. And again. And again. I can honestly say I have never met anyone else that passionate and persistent in this lifetime.

And here’s the key… It’s paid off. And I’ll say it again….. IT’S PAID OFF. It didn’t happen overnight, but it happened. ‘Nuf said.

One of my ex’s once said to me “I like you because when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade” … I guess he’s an ex because he was a lemon? But seriously, don’t you kind of have to? Don’t you have to add a little sugar and make the best of it? Don’t you have to take the kicks, the bad with the good, the let downs and the put downs, until you get where you want to be? Otherwise, unless you are incredibly lucky and get there the first time, how do you reach your desired destination? Perseverance, persistence, passion…

Kudos to you, Tarryl, my friend. Not many people put forth so much effort to reach their goals.

And to everyone else… follow your dreams, no matter how long or winding the path may be to get there. Because you’ll get there. Believe it.



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