I always thought I didn't have the sensibility to be an artist.
As a kid, I liked drawing and writing, and I did it without even thinking, it felt natural, I filled notebooks with poems, songs, and sketches. As a teen, the sketches evolved into fashion figures with clothes I dreamed of having and wearing to school, which I kept hidden because I didn't want to seem vain, the poetry notebooks turned into anonymous blogging, a narrative of my teen angst. I lost count of how many times I pretended to be an interior designer transforming my bedroom, cutting up old clothes to give them new life, hand sewing pillow cases and duvets, stapling long pieces of fabric to make curtains. I had a lot of fun taking photos, creating logos and banners for my mom's (a business woman) website, I even attempted to become a hair stylist because of the creative freedom I thought I could have on an occupation like that.
I watched my dad (a musician) lose himself in his art everyday, giving in to that sensibility I thought I lacked, and I was inspired, I wanted to switch over from rhymes and altered t-shirts to masterpieces, but by the time I was entering higher education I felt I didn't have the support to throw myself fully into arts, I didn't feel capable of embracing that dysfunctional susceptibility that we tend to personalize artists by, added to the stigma of the starving artist, that is just too common for loved ones and strangers alike to feel comfortable enough to judge or worry about those who are willing to just hone in on their lust for creating, so I chose science instead, the idea of becoming an astrophysicist was attractive, I naively thought that my fascination for speculative and very romanticized sci-fi was a hint of genuine interest, but once I was waist-deep in mathematics and frustration, regret and shame followed, I wasn't the struggling artist, I was worse than that. I was a weak attempt at something else I didn't even mean.
((image taken from my poetry account on Instagram)
I lingered for a while on the science studies and took a freelancing job at a local magazine where I would write ornamental columns about my hometown, meant to attract the intellectual tourists, thinking that small creative gig would suffice to keep my inner artist happy. It didn't.
In the midst of my personal catastrophe I took an opportunity to make an intercontinental move, and at least for a while, forget about the biggest dilemma of my life. A new environment surely would bring a new perspective. I focused on instinct rather than logic and let life just happen.
I never really stopped making art, but I did stop thinking of it as a defining attribute for who I am.