About me

writer and art lover, technologist, traveler, engineer, stumbler, picker-backer-upper, friend of animals + humans alike

Hi, I’m Erika.

I love sharing stories about my life experiences and travels. Sharing gives me a feeling of purpose and connection. Some of my stories are about fun stuff like razzleberry pies, riding tuk-tuks in Thailand, and koalas named Buddy, but most of them are about the fabric of my life. I share my struggles with my identity and my work, with life and love and loss, and with family and balance.

My first story, the one that started all the rest, is this one:

I woke up one day feeling like real-life Goldilocks. My life felt two sizes too small, and I felt overwhelmed by anxiety so fundamental that I physically itched. The feeling started suddenly, but it didn’t shake off. It stayed for days, then weeks, then months. I asked myself over and over, “how did this happen? I had planned everything so perfectly and worked so hard. This can’t be happening.”

After years of self-discovery (and therapy!), I realize that I made one fundamental mistake. I based my aspirations on what I thought I should be. I was miserable, anxious, and physically itechy because I wasn’t living a fulfilling life.

I struggled for years to reconcile who I thought I should be with who I really want to be. I searched for inspiration within, and I decided to stop assuming my hopes and dreams had to look like other people’s hopes and dreams. Along this journey, I fell down often. I hurt people I deeply loved in ways that only time can mend. Nearly everything about my life changed. During this time, I learned to be vulnerable. When I found myself on the ground, I learned to stop shooing people away and saying I was just fine. I started saying, “Hey, I’m on the ground. Give me a little boost, will you?”

I’ve written about my experiences over a four-year transformative period of my life. Writing is two parts therapy, one part exploration, and the balance is an incredible optimism that there is value in sharing my story with the world. 

Writing on the internet means pouring your heart out for the world to poke at. It’s up and it’s down. It’s hot and it’s cold. It involves a lot of re-writes. I’ve worked to hone my writing so that I can give my story a good telling, and I hope it’s both enjoyable and useful to you. 

Please connect to me through the blog, through twitter (@erikagemzer), or through my email (erika@erikagemzer.com). Tell me your story, or if that’s too much – just know that I’m sending you love wherever you are to support you in whatever you’re going through.

Update 10/31/2015:

I have a new project involving my passion for art!

Art is a universal language that inspires joy, thought, and sharing of experiences. During some of my hardest times, I isolated myself in my basement “art studio” and painted tirelessly as hours and days swam by. When I couldn’t put words to my struggles, I used the universal language of art. In many ways, the art revealed the root of my inner struggle and gave me clarity. Even today, I use art to explore my thoughts and express myself.

My new (very new!) company, Artocrat, endeavors to create access to art and make us all members of an artocracy where the national language is art!  Check out my etsy shop to commission some custom art for yourself, and enroll yourself in the artocracy at artocr.at!