I must have known this all along, but somewhere along the way, I started believing that I was a success driven person. Like Carol (see her entry here), I believed that a certain position at a certain company will make my life perfect and solve all my problems. But of course, like Carol, I was chasing after all the wrong things.
A lot of people see me as the artsy type because I enjoy crafts and projects, but no one really sees me as an artist. It’s because I don’t act like one. I think I gave up that identity when I decided not to go to art school. Once I entered business school, I moved even further from that persona: putting on the business cap and telling myself that I’m a business person. I think because I never went the artist route, I denied myself the right to behave and act like an artist. I’ve neglected art for a long time, and as a result felt lost and uninspired for just as long. I don’t think it would be too far from the truth if I said my brain was the most stimulated when I was in middle school, when I did art every day. I was among a couple several kids who wanted to go to art school, so we took every chance we had to go to the art room and study from my art teacher. Drawing, painting, and creating were the most important things in my life. After I moved to America, I continued with art classes in high school and college, but with far less intensity and never with a mentor as good as my middle school art teacher. To this day, I still yearn for the kind of fulfillment I felt as a young artist.
Subconsciously, I’ve settled uncomfortably for a path which society tells me to be the right . Even event planning, something I am undoubtedly passionate about, has became a career path rather than what it should be—a way to express myself. I remember chatting with my art teacher when I was back in Taiwan this Summer. Even while I admired the way he lived, his views on life, his visions and passions, I was thinking to myself, “your life is too different from his; you will never be where he is now”.
But how silly was I—to limit myself just because I didn’t pick a certain path? Whoever said that because I didn’t make a living with a paint brush, I can’t think like an artist and live like one? With this new realization in mind, I examined my life and decided that this will be the end of me planning my life around my job, my next move in my career, and what society expects of me. I’m going to start doing things that make me happy and fulfill me. I am switching the gears of my identity from “Lillian the girl who wants an event planning job” to “Lillian the artist who will create beautiful events”. And already, I am excited for the endless possibilities.