How I Discovered the Artist in Me and Chose to be Who I am

I'd spent all my life on busy-ness until 13/07/2014. The perk of being an engaged AIESEC member are endless opportunities to travel, meet knew people, take on challenging projects. I was young and restless so, during 5 years, I took all those opportunities, stretched myself thin to all directions.

Another perk of being an overly engaged AIESEC member is university might become a little boring. I chose to take 2 gap years and now coming back as a belated university student, finishing the final year.

This brings the luxury of time. I was excited at first, and terrified after.

I'd always been busy doing something. Many times it was to fight for a better world, and many times having many stuff to do helped me to justify my existence.

If I stopped (as Brene Brown said in her book "The Gifts of Imperfection") "pleasing, performing, perfecting"; how would then I justify my existence?

I was terrified and made a facebook post to console myself: "Now it's time to go off to the wilderness and be a good alumnus by doing things that matter"

Phil, my teacher, as which I took the liberty to consider him, wrote back:

Keep being yourself, that's the best way you can serve.

It struck me how I'd focused on doing instead of being. And I have come to believe many of us do the same.

It's easier to answer the question "What do you do" instead of

Who are you?

Try to answer it, right now!

If I looked deep into your eyes, pause for a bit, and ask that question, you would feel awkward! What would you answer? Your name? Where you are from? Maybe where you work? You don't know! But everyone has a name, a home town, maybe a place to work at. What make you a unique individual in this universe?

I want to know your values, your characters, the principle according to which you live your life.

I want to know what you yearn for. 

I believe there are many who lived their entire life without knowing who they were, or maybe knowing but failed to live it. Because they had succumbed to what expected of them instead of listening to their heart.

But how can one listen to one's heart?

the Pause

Noises of our crazy life, which we often blindly take pride of, block out the small inner voice, the voice of our conscience/ gut/ soul/ heart... whatever we want to call it; and follow the direction to which she leads us.

I believe that every living thing is here for a reason, to play a role to her greatest potentials. And if we stop asking ourselves who we are, if we fail to follow the voice within, thus going astray from our path; whatever we then DO doesn't any more matter.

I searched back in my childhood to find out what made me happy when 5-year-old me did not know of social norms, others' expectations, or "career planning". Here is what I found:

5-year-old me loved literature. I spent time reading, re-reading. I expressed love to others by telling them stories, either from books I read or my imagination. I think I might have been so bad, only my parents could bare.

I spent most of my childhood with my grandfather, who was a poet, after retiring from his responsibility in the government. He often took me to the old-poet-club, where everybody was in their retirement, except from me.

Barely could hold a pen but I made poem too. My grandfather made sure my gift to be shared with other club members. So I would have my little stand-ups show on stage, reading my whatever new born masterpiece. Other grandpas, grandmas would always give me a warm applause. My grandfather was very proud.

This follow me to my junior and high school, literature was always my favorite subject, and the one with the best result. I wrote blog before but needed to stop stuff. However, I have always wanted to publish my own book, even to this day.

Whenever I write or make art, whether to draw or dance... time stops. I entered a trance. I was free. I was in a blissful place where there were only me, the pen and the page. Now I know there is an artist in me waiting to be awaken. Perhaps, a writer.

There has been much self-doubt and self-critic. The troll inside me said "why wasting 5 years experience in business? your degree is in business! you can't make money being a writer! who would give a fuzz about what you have to say?" 

When I felt the inner troll was about to win, I sought the voice within. And I knew I was on the right path, the path of creativity.

Any writer needs a channel to flow her thoughts and feelings to enrich the world. This blog is that channel.