Yes, I can.

Yet to be named. #bloomtrue

Yet to be named. #bloomtrue

At the beginning of 2013, I vowed to stop putting off things that I’ve always wanted to do. Along with many other goals, learning to paint and draw were high on my list. Ever since I could remember, I looked with envy upon those who were artistic. My youngest daughter has drawn since she was knee high to a grasshopper and I longed to do the same. Yet, because of an incident that happened when I was a child, I’d convinced myself that I was not creative; thus, I couldn’t possibly draw or paint.

Unlike many past New Year’s resolutions that ultimately fall to the wayside, I began to seek out ways to be creative, and particularly, to draw and paint. It was not feasible for me to take actual in-person classes, so I went online. To my surprise, I discovered scores of artists who taught painting, mixed media and drawing through online e-courses. Frankly, I was skeptical of the idea of an e-course that might effectively teach these skills. I finally realized that my hesitation had less to do with skepticism and more to do with fear, and I threw caution to the wind and registered for my first painting course. From the beginning, I was hooked.

I am happy to say that I’ve taken three courses this year and am already registered for 2 year long courses in 2014. The above painting is from my most recent course with the amazing artist Flora Bowley. The course was a life changer and cemented my love for painting and the whole painting process. Although the course has ended, I have six months to wade through the course materials and lessons, and the painting continues.

In addition, now, I can say with confidence that I can draw. I stumbled upon Jane Davenport’s “Draw Happy” class and within a week, let go of the foolish notion that “I can’t draw.” It took about a week of mistakes and wearing down an eraser, but with Jane’s detailed and clear instructions, I drew/painted/collaged this beauty:

Whimsical Faces 2

Whimsical Faces 2

I love her! Granted, I am still trying to draw one to rival her, but I have no doubts that it will happen. I know that with practice and hard work, I can draw. Currently, I am registered in three of Jane’s e-courses, and I just added another drawing e-course, Fabulous Faces, to my line up. The course is taught by the artist Tamara Laporte.

Usually, by this time of the year, I find myself ruminating upon all of the things that I intended to do in the past year, but didn’t. It is true that I fell short of many of my 2013 to-do’s, but I’ve decided that instead of dwelling on the negatives, I will focus my attention on my accomplishments. I mean, I finally let go of my inner fears and negative self-talk and proved to myself that I can do whatever I chose, be it painting or drawing. I’ve come to understand that there are no limits on what I can achieve, except those that I place on myself. Learning the art of photography and becoming fluent in Spanish are next on my wish list, and I look forward to 2014 with excitement instead of trepidation. By this time next year, I intend to say with confidence, “Yo hablo español.”

Blessings, Lydia

Still learning

BRISTOL, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 24:  Primar...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
A couple of nights ago, I was skimming through my past journal entries. I find they provide me a concrete reminder of my past thoughts, challenges, and growth over the preceding years. I usually read them with an eye towards the growth that I’ve made over the years and to glean the areas in which I need to concentrate to further my, especially, spiritual growth. Because of the events discussed after the jump, my mind settled not on the area of growth but on the fragility of life and the many things that I wished to accomplish and learn before I left this world. 

After a long period of zero energy, May 2010, brought me a most welcomed gift–an upward shift in my energy level. So, it was with gusto that I took out the camera and how-to books to teach myself photography. I also fired up the Rosetta Stone Spanish computer program to finally learn the language at the level of fluency, as I’ve always intended. Further, I even created a website of my own at I was on a roll. 

May, 28, 2010

…To another, this day may have been viewed as most unremarkable, and in fact scarcely memorable. As I love to tell everyone who will listen, I am not like everyone else, and to me, this day is notable and will be remembered because instead of letting life pass me by, I joined in my life–with a gusto.  For the past 2-3 weeks, I’ve accomplished tasks that had gone undone, some as long as a year, but most for 3-6 months. It is irrelevant that I have been physically unable to do them, because for now the sense of accomplishment is palpable and makes me yearn for more. 

June 1, 2010

Good morning sunshine. Positive thinking is queen and I have to drop kick the negative out and welcome the positive in. I realize that I have a choice, succumb to the negative or embrace the positive where healing can and will happen. Much like Michelangelo’s belief   that “every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it,” I believe that there is a healthier “me” waiting to be set free….God look down on me and protect me tonight.

 He did. I am still here. 

On June 2, 2010, my doctor sent me to the emergency room because of increased difficulty in breathing and pains in my chest. I figured maybe pneumonia; in reality, I was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism in each lung. Yep, just like that, my world changed. 

I am back to pre-May energy levels, that is, not much. Yet, I find that I am learning more then ever. For starters, since the embolism, I started this blog–something that I’ve longed to do.  In fact, my “things to do” list has grown exponentially since June 2nd, and in spite of a lack of energy, I whittle away at it almost every day.  As Michelangelo so aptly put it, “I am still learning,” and that means that I am still very much alive.  Blessings and love,

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