Since before I was diagnosed with cancer - in fact, for as long as I can remember - I've wanted to spend my life being creative. After university, the same as many others, I needed money and took the first temp job I was offered. One thing led to another, mainly a nice pay cheque and, before I knew it, the job had become permanent. As all too often happens, I got comfortable and complacent. Fast forward seven years and I was still there. Earning a semi-decent wage, but utterly miserable. I had just started to get myself together and re-explore my creativity and make plans, when the Big C swooped in and my life became all about surviving one day at a time.
It literally sucked the life out of me. I could barely walk to the bathroom or up the stairs - there was no way I could draw, sew, or learn a new skill.
Nearly three years on, I finally feel like myself again. Recovery is such a long, slow and painful road, but I'm at a point where I feel that it's now or never. If I don't follow my dreams now, then when? I don't want it to be too late and don't want regrets.
I never went back to that job and, although I'm working part-time now, I have plenty of time to pursue my creative endeavours. The after effects of cancer and its treatment still plague me daily, which makes for slow progress. It's frustrating, especially when I see others progressing so quickly and making it look easy, but there's nothing I can do about it, so I try not to be hard on myself. I do what I can do. Little by little. With a few big steps thrown in too, like signing up to this class.
All my work has always been done by hand and I have absolutely no clue about digital design, software, how to translate my work into the digital realm. So I enrolled on a digital art and design evening class, one night a week. As an introvert, this kind of thing is not in my comfort zone, so I'm really proud of myself for doing it.
There have been two sessions so far and I'm enjoying it so much. I may not want to go out when it's cold and dark, and I may be shattered afterwards, but I've already learned a hundred percent more than I did before I started. It has already helped me improve the look of my blog (still lots to do, but it's a start) and begin to understand how I can pursue digital avenues with my illustration and design work. This will all be invaluable for my shop.
My new blog header and 'about me' profile picture are two of the things I've made so far. They may be basic and easy peasy for a lot of you, but to me they are real totems of achievement.
So, what am I saying? I'm just babbling really. I'm happy and excited, because for the first time in so long, I feel like I can do this.
If there's something you've always wanted to do, then please, go for it. It's never too late to follow your dreams.
What are you doing to make your dreams a reality?
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