Monday, February 2, 2015

How Having a Creative Lifestyle Improved the Quality of My Life

Monday, February 2, 2015

5 years ago, after recovering from substance abuse and regaining confidence from being jobless, I joined a company and embarked on a journey that wasn't just filled with obstacles, but became the biggest transformation in my life.

When I was growing up, I was surrounded by both motivations and demotivations: It was either about me being a natural talent in art, or about me unable to find a future in art. Of course, eventually I grew up thinking that Art was not just a skill or an ability to create, but another form of money making. And back then, having the right career was very important (well, pretty much the same right now too), and it mattered where or which area you go into. As for me, I went into Advertising and after trying to pursue an Art career somewhere in between (as a fabric painting artist and a crafter), I became a copywriter eventually.

Work became mundane for me.

Everyday was pretty much the same, and then I'd finish my work and head off; we would either meet up with friends (mostly his friends not mine), or watch a movie, stare at the TV, eat, stuff like that. 

I'm not sure if you have felt this way before, but I once felt as if Life was meaningless, and definitely thought of myself as useless because all I do was just waste each day away doing nothing productive.

Hell, I couldn't even focus when I am reading a book, and I love to read!

I started to ask myself, "Is this really all there is?", "Am I only meant to do this? Work, pay the bills, debts and what not."... Funny thing was, at this time, this was my lowest point in my life. All sorts of memories started to come back, and I tried to recall everything about my childhood, but strangely, my mind was blank. It was as if I cannot remember what I used to love as a child. I couldn't even remember the child-like bliss that I used to have when things were simpler. 

After awhile I got very sick of this pattern and I started to ask myself, "What do I want?" "What do I enjoy doing most?" "What sort of things that gets me excited?"

I started to make a list of what I wanted to do.

And I used a lot of 'What If's to a good use; I made list of where I want to go if I could see the world. 

Or make lists of things I have never done before like going to a ballet performance, going to the zoo or exploring Malacca's town by myself...

And then the most important thing of all, was I wrote, "I want to paint again."

I never looked back ever since then, despite wanting to give up half way. The only reason why I only wanted to give up at that time was only because of inner-battles that I wasn't good enough and often looking back into the past.

Nevertheless, I continued to encourage myself to keep on going: I dabbled in all sorts of creative activities, whether it is taking photos with my digital camera, journalling, writing again, watching artsy movies to my liking, listening to music and to the lyrics, drawing...  I even made sure that everyday at my lunch hour, I will take some time off to be alone and draw. 

Me-time became important to me.

I wanted to improve myself. And deep down inside, I knew that the only way for me to improve my Life was not about changing others around me, but it was about me making a difference in my own well-being by finding a solution. There's a difference there you see, between trying to change yourself and making a difference.

As I rediscovered my way back into my creative passion, I also discovered a sense of renewal. 

The more I engaged in creative activities, the simplest to the most challenging one, I found myself learning how to love myself once again. It was like getting to know a friend, all over again; like bonding with someone that have drifted apart from your life for years and now that friend is back again- only thing is that friend is Me.

One of the most astounding experience that I never thought would change my life was Blogging. Call it magic or a miracle, whatever that works, a transformation definitely happened! There was a big difference in how I saw myself and what I think about myself too.

My creative passion of dabbling into little things here and there, found its way to my old blogspot account; I started revamping the page and next thing I know, there was I, blogging about my passion. Thus, the more I blogged, the more I self-reflected.

In a flash, the blog has already been active for 5 years. Still feels like yesterday when I was working on my first few art projects, finding local creative stories to blog about and learning about blogging on my own.  I watched my blog grow from what was just merely a tiny spark of passion to maintain my sanity everyday, to today, where it has helped me improve on how I view myself and how I appreciate the little things in life around me. 

It's been a remarkable self-discovery journey that's for sure! There and then, I found my aim in life, to not only promote Malaysia's creative community, but to inspire others who might be searching for answers in their lives.

You must be wondering why am I sharing this with you. Well, one, I hope that you too can experience the same joy.

Second, the thought came about when I expanded the blog and officially launched The Artsy Craftsy Shop just last month (and made a few sale already by the way. So happy!). There I was sitting in my new home, my little studio, preparing handmade merchandises while juggling with posting up photos, memories came back, and I thought to myself "I have come so far already!" I recollected back those troubled times, when I was at my lowest point in my life. I remembered how I picked myself up and finally told myself, 'enough is enough! it's time to make an improvement in my life and live a balanced lifestyle!'. 

I have become more perceptive of everything around me; the most important part was that having a creative lifestyle has made me a better, positive person. The best part, I was finally in touched with my inner-child again, my baggage has somewhat disappeared and I have become a simple-minded person. I learned to see the qualities of my life. I also remembered what used to make me happy as a child; whether it was a good or bad experience, I remember being that little girl with hopes and dreams and I tell myself now, it's time to make it happen.

"Art is a Way of Life for me."

If you are responding to this post by saying "but I don't have the time!" or "but I am not at all creative!"; let me tell you, my dear friend, that you don't need to be an artist expert to engage in creative activities. There's so much you can do, it doesn't have to be drawing. You can take photos (don't have to be a professional either), or it can even be as kiddy as can be like colouring, just download templates from online. Or you can even take initiative to visit your local creative centres and enrol in easy-to-do classes or visit your local art galleries or museums etc. Whatever that makes you comfortable...the sky's the limit!

Art is not just a skill or knowledge anymore. It's not just a subject. It's a way of life.

I wish you the best in your creative lifestyle journey and I assure you, you will see the difference in your life. All light, all love. 

namaste~

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