I’ve turned 35. Finally. As if it’s a special number that I both dread and hope for. It marks the deadline I set for myself ten years ago to drop everything and turn to art, with my whole self, body and mind and soul. Living it and being it. It’s a hug dedication that I was thrilled and yet unsure if I could do it. I lacked so many things. I was short of time and money. I didn’t go to art school and had no connections, here in France and anywhere else. I was scared and was humbled. So the motivations got up and down just like my moods. There was a period when I persuaded myself to give up, and live a normal life. There’s nothing wrong with having a paid job, going to work every morning and return home every night, reading a book or two and having a nice home-cooked dinner and tea time and curling up in someone’s arms in bed, going out at weekend and travelling in holidays. Like a normal person, like any other person in the world.

But deep down inside, I knew I was dying. I knew the guilt of not doing what I loved was eating me up. I knew it, and I ran away. Getting myself busy, in work and in personal life, decorating the house and shopping and playing and practicing self-care. So busy I was at the edge of burning out.

In May, I came across this quote by Sylvia Path which reads “What horrifies me most is the idea of being useless: well-educated, brilliantly promising, and fading out into an indifferent middle age.” It stunned me. right then and there. A big slap across my face. It hurt and it embarrassed, like saying directly to me. I cried out of humiliation and shame I had for myself. And before the tears dried up, I clenched my fists and promised to try again, wholly and completely, with all the seriousness and determination. It couldn’t wait any longer since it’s already very late.

I started to wake up every day at 7, then 6:30 to have time to practice, I work late at night, I paint at weekend. I am slowly making my way back to art with lots of efforts and diligence. I owe it to myself to be consistent, to be self-disciplined, to stay focused. Because if not, no one else will say a thing, no one will take my hand and make me do the work, no one will nag and complain until I move my lazy butt. No one will care. I realised that it was me and me only who must take up the responsibility to make myself happy and fulfilled, to create a life worth living, with passion and love and purpose.

So here’s to the new beginning! To the difficult and uncertain winding road that promises adventure and growth. This time I won’t allow myself the chance to give up.

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