For years, I denied myself. I walked around wounded, feeling like a victim, not nourishing myself spiritually. Recently, this came crashing down on me as I realized I’m not getting younger and my life isn’t going to figure itself out, unless I help myself. Take responsibility. Claim my happiness. Claim my time. Celebrate my awesomeness.
I’ve always been a very creative person. From an early age, I crafted, took pictures, painted, drew, knitted, sang, and danced. You name it—pick any form of art and I was into it. Then something happened. The opinion of others sank deep into me, like an anchor. It remained lodged there. It told me I was mediocre, told me to study business, to work in government, and that art does not make money. It encouraged to “go with the flow” and be “normal,” just like everyone else. I died inside, in a way. I became a shadow of myself. I walked around knowing I could be so much more, yet I refused to allow myself to open up and embrace the possibilities that lay before me.
One day, I visited the craft fair at River Market at Westminster Quay, and saw talented artisans and artists selling their goods. Some incredible, some ok, but most very doable. It suddenly struck me: I can create like this! Why am I not?
I realized it’s fear. Fear of being criticized. Fear of not being “good enough,” of not “making it,” of failing miserably. Yet here I stood, surrounded by simple beauty. I asked myself, “is it not time to step into the darkness, towards the unknown, the uncertain?” A long-silenced voice whispered, “perhaps it is…”
I planned on starting small, but then I did a big thing—I applied for an arts job, just … because. I didn’t think I’d get it—-art school was 21 years ago. Fast forward, six months later and I’m now an art teacher. I create and things are flowing, I love who I am again and I’m filled with a constant stream of ideas. I’m starting to celebrate every little thing I create because—let’s face it—a few short months ago I did nothing. I am celebrating my own strength, the journey that led me to here, to the point where I am feel I can do it. It is my time. My light will no longer be dimmed. It is my time to celebrate all that is alive within me and let it shine.
Even when I was anchored down, I collected pretty things. I’m using them to create collages. Deep down, I must have known I would resurface. I started taking pictures again, I started crafting again.
I love living in New West. It’s so beautiful. A lot of my photography is local and the inspiration just keeps on coming, from the epiphany at the quay, to every market I attend, every Pinterest page I visit, every photo I take. So much of it comes from nature, and so much of it comes from within. I’m finally on the brink of something big. I’m finally celebrating what I’ve always been, but was too afraid to show—an authentic, creative me.