When I think back at when I started painting, it simply was because it was part of a mission. Not to become an artist, and not just to start a new hobby. It was (as cliche as this sounds) to get over a horrific breakup. We have all been there, whether it’s a massive heartbreak, loosing a job or a loved one.
“I had no idea at the time that I was on to something, something that would in the end, change my life”
When we are faced with these circumstances, we are also faced with two, familiar paths: the easy way, or the hard way. It seems natural and easy to wallow, sulk and isolate in times of despair. The more sustainable, and rewarding road is of course, the hardest. When I started painting, it was because I needed to liberate myself. I needed something new, I needed to create something. I also needed to re-decorate my apartment, which was also on the list- so was great to kill two birds with one stone! I had no idea at the time that I was on to something, something that would in the end, change my life. But I was subconsciously open to it. It was simply just part of a list I made to pick myself up, and feel valued again.
That list included:
1) Travel to a new place
2) Get a new tattoo
3) Re-decorate my apartment
4) Start a new hobby
5) Read a powerful memoir
From this experience, I travelled to Mexico on an adventure holiday with my best friend. I had an apartment filled with photos of myself, and my travels (to remind me of all I had already accomplished and discovered). I got a tattoo of a heart on my sleeve to remind myself not to be ashamed or afraid to love as much as I am capable of. After reading a memoir of Somaly Mam, I ended up organising a fundraiser that raised money to help rehabilitate survivors of sex trafficking. Of course, my new hobby of painting, led to a new career path. I turned a horrible heartbreak into the most fulfilling experience of my life. When I look back now on that event, I can say with nothing but truth, that it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
While inspiration can be found everywhere from museums to films and books, it is when we need it the most that it can really transform our life.
Here are some thoughts to get you started if you are in a current rut:
Refuse to be bitter. Say this to yourself every single day, 100 times if you have to. If it’s heartbreak you are dealing with, remind yourself that you are in fact worthy of love, and this isn’t going to break you down. If it’s a job you lost, remember how many other opportunities await you. If you lost a loved one, dedicate a new goal to them.
Trust yourself. Trust in yourself is the most powerful tool you can have. When going through hard times, it reminds us of the person we have worked so hard to be, the person that many around us love (even if it doesn’t currently feel that way). You will know that no matter what is going on in your life, you are still you and you can get through it.
Feeling liberated yet?
There are still unwritten pages. It’s never too late, and now is the perfect time to re-invent yourself, be more like the people you admire. Write a list of goals. Accomplishing something on your own, no matter how big or how small, it makes a huge difference! Whether it’s going on a local walking tour to discover new parts of your city or learning a new language. Exploring something new only opens new doors and will help welcome new opportunities.
It can come at any time, many people believe that there is nothing else to them outside their 9-5 routine. Let your passions guide you, and jump on the opportunity, no matter what is happening in your life. I had a friend who ended up publishing a book, Axing My Exes based on an idea sparked from a girls night conversation over wine and guilty-pleasure TV. It can happen anywhere, at anytime. Use unfortunate circumstances and gain a fortunate reward.
So be open and ready for it, because it can very well, change your life.
It’s about time.
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