How Painting Got Me HOME

Two years ago, I came to that point in my life when I felt completely stuck. Unable to take a decision about my next step in life, about my future, about moving towards happiness. I knew it existed. I also knew it was up to me to go for it, but I guess I was not ready for it yet.

My days in Amsterdam were getting darker, in all aspects and I could not find any substitute for the light and the sun I was missing so badly from my external and internal existence. Too long in the same corporate company having to cope with the politics, the ending of an unhealthy relationship, insomnia and severe back problems. It was like the Christmas from hell. Or maybe I actually asked for it? I know the answer now, but back then it was impossible to process why everything seemed to fall apart at the same time.

We all have our limits, our timing and we’re all quite different in that matter. It took me one year to realize I had to stop complaining and do something.

I knew I had to leave Amsterdam and my life there but I wasn’t prepared for the journey. The energy I needed to put myself together was below sea level and the abundance of “then what” negative ending scenarios in my brain were driving me crazy. I could not imagine letting my guard down by making the wrong decision and disappointing everyone. The thought of failure held me back. But then a sense of surrender came over me and I knew it was time and OK to ask for help.

My friend Anja came in at the right moment, and as my life coach she triggered the right spots. In only 5 sessions she managed to make me see where I was and how green the grass was in my own yard, just that I hadn’t arrived home yet.  After only two sessions the word PAINTING jumped out of my notes and brought me back to my childhood when I saw myself as an artist, only to be told that success wasn’t easy to reach in that world.

I sent a request immediately to join a painting class that was starting the next day. What chance did I have to find a spot in the class at the last minute? But I learned that once you’re on the right path, doors open for you. Like in the movies, someone cancelled last minute. I guess they must have called from heaven and made a deal with him or her, so nothing would stop me from now on. I felt that it was already my own movie and I was writing the script at the same time.

Before I even joined the first class my excitement and new purpose got me so high, the daily targets at work seemed rather a matter which could wait until next week, and they did. A typical Monday evening would find me at work as late as 8pm, but not anymore. My first step in the studio was firm and in a hurry, afraid that I might miss the best spots. And I knew I had reached that moment when good energy was picking up by minute and building up a strength in me.

For the three hours each week I was at the studio, I was fully present, fully alive. I was connected with the colors, the paper and with myself. They weren’t all happy sessions, as anger and stress were still riding along with me but, with each painting, I was saying goodbye to these negative emotions . I was painting with my hands and I was using my intuition, something which was locked in a box inside of me for a long time because I allowed THINK and ANALYZE to be the security guards of my life. The space was safe and inspiring, the people were open and, like me, on a discovery quest. I dove in and explored deep within myself.

Close to the end of the course I knew I wanted more of what my life was missing, it was COLOR. Vibrant radiantly striking color. I knew they were inside, I just needed some sun to get them blooming. Sun has always been a magic word for me and sunny became the destination I started dreaming of. When one friend told me once he could see me on a tropical island working in a bar and enjoying life, I thought it would be too boring for me, an active explosive Aries, but suddenly that thought came back to me, and adding some painting time to that life style was quite a possible reality.

At the same time something got triggered in me at a deeper level and suddenly my fear was gone. I remember the moment of acknowledging not having that heavy feeling of “what if” anymore and next thing I knew that I was ready to leave.

And so I did. I gave two months notice and from that moment on, the light of the day was different. The rain was no longer depressing and the smile on my face was radiant and glowing. Those around me were envious and all I could think of was how great it would be to infest everyone around me with that fearless feeling that was slowly filling me.

I started painting at home, but that didn’t satisfy me. I needed space and I needed inspiration. I needed to explore and break free. I was so excited I could not wait for the European summer to be finished so I could start my travel in the Asian summer, which was the next step.

When telling one of my best friends about my plans, he nodded “This is it, you’re on your way! This is the type of passionate energy that drives you and you just need to ride and pay attention. From now on it will be all a pleasant journey”. And so it was… Bali here I come!

I was in love with Bali even before I landed, as “I love Bali” became my mantra when logging in at work every day for my last two months of work. I am sure the Island of the Gods shared the same feelings as she saluted me with a strong earthquake the next day I stepped on her beautiful fields. What a welcome that was! And here I am, living my life in Bali the way I want, painting and creating, investing time and energy in what I love to do and what has always been inside me waiting to come out and smile to the world. I feel lucky enough to have met and painted with people who believe in me and encourage me to go on, but most important I have my parents supporting me in their hearts and in my new journey. I feel like I have a fresh start.

When I was a child, I had a few impulses to join art school, it never was the right moment, nor the best choice, as Romania just came out of communism and all that the country needed were Economists, to build up a new market, a competitive one. If all that was such a great turn for the country, but what’s for sure, I’ve become a left brained tool and got good at is, as that’s where you get once you do something over and over again, right? I still love that part of me and can’t deny it. I still get excited when getting involved in business projects, but they need to be balanced as the right part of my brain got awakened now and wants its share. So that works for me and I would like to keep it that way, as my priorities have changed. It wasn’t all honey, and I still had to compromise along the way and made few more mistakes, but the further I went, the clearer it got that painting will be part of my life from now on.

What my story has taught me is that the truth can’t be held down and sooner or later it’s taking you over and brings you to where you belong, HOME. Go back in your childhood and remember those things you wanted to do and what made you happy and excited. Those things that people said are silly, not practical and will not earn you any money and give them another chance. Living and painting in Bali now seems so natural like I have been doing this all my life. I guess I have been living here all the time, in my imaginary mind. And yes, the grass is green in my yard and it will stay that way… as long as I take care of it myself.

I am thankful each and every day for my choice, for rediscovering painting and finding the space in Bali to become what I always wanted to become…. An ARTIST.

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