Finding myself

Finding myself

I’m sat on the couch in my living room. I’m looking out the window, getting lost in the clouds that are passing by, and the cold air is coming in through the window I left ajar. Sunshine kissing my skin, peeking through the clouds, shyly.

Empty page before me. Trying to fill the blank, I sip my favourite tea – it’s a delicious blend of peach and raspberry, but I mixed it up, adding a bit of lime juice to make it more “me”. I’m at peace. My brain is calm.

I remember I have always wanted my life to be creative, intriguing, and full of fun experiences. I wanted it to be magical. I knew that I want to explore, discover and create, to push my own boundaries, getting out of my comfort zone. Knowing that, my younger, curious self was constantly trying to imagine who could she become in the future. From a beautifully singing princess that overcomes the biggest obstacles, to the best witch Hogwarts has ever had a pleasure to teach, I was always looking up to my favourite childhood role models. My top four were (and still are) Hermione Granger, Belle, Mia Thermopolis and Anastasia Romanov. Protagonists of the Harry Potter saga, Beauty and the Beast, Princess Diaries and Anastasia have a few things in common, which possibly might have influenced my choice of childhood heroines. All the above women were smart, well read, well spoken, and what was, and still is, the most important to me, they were their own priority. Not selfishly though, not egoistically, not narcissistically. Their wisdom, well-being, freedom, justice and independence were factors they all valued the most and that’s what might have directed me towards where I’m heading now and where I know I want to head in the future.

As I was becoming older, dreams of becoming the best witch grew into something bigger. I strongly believed that Hogwarts and the magic of the Harry Potter world exist. I was sure I will get that letter one day, and even though I didn’t receive it on my eleventh birthday, and… and twelfth… and thirteenth… I never lost my faith. I was sure that that magic does exist somewhere. One sweet day my mom told me that Hogwarts castle was just a beautiful miniature, and all the spells and creatures existed only in movies, thanks to visual effects and CGI. She crushed my dearest dreams then. What she didn’t realise, is that in that moment she also helped them blossom majorly. She said that Harry Potter movies were filmed in real castles, that you can actually go visit them, and even study there. Knowing that, my ambition grew bigger and bigger. As my mom kept saying that I must have very good grades to study in “Hogwarts” (and to be honest, I think it was one of those typical, harmless mom-lies, that keep you motivated to study, clean and behave well), apart from binge watching and reading all the Harry Potter books and movies, I was working hard to prepare myself for what I thought was going to be the best experience of my life. The thought of studying in a castle was my most precious reminder to keep going. Even though I already came to terms with the fact that Harry Potter world is more or less just a beautiful fiction, going out there and becoming way more than just an average person was my goal ever since.

First, I developed a passion for computer graphics, wanting to become some sort of graphic artist and enter the magical world this way. I finally defined my goals as becoming an animator and creating my own movies. In my mind, I could see all the scenes, the lighting I would use, the hair that was gently flowing in the wind. And in all that, I could see my future – bright, fun and creative, and myself being happy in there.

This idea was so dear to me, I decided to follow the initial vision and study animation and visual effects at the university. I moved to London, started the course, and… nearly sank into depression. As much as I loved creativity, I started coming to terms with the fact that this way of expressing myself just didn’t feel right. I was getting tired, I was feeling hopeless and defeated. The assignments were very hard, I couldn’t understand some of the tasks I had to do, I was getting lost and falling behind with all the coursework. The stress and frustration just kept on growing. Losing my sense of purpose, I gave up, I stopped attending lectures and answering university emails, avoiding the responsibilities, getting more and more lost in all the questions which I couldn’t find answers to.

Thinking about it now, a year later, I’m certain I was in the best place I could be. Despite all the stress and worry, I now know that I could do and go wherever I wanted. Not being tied to the university, to the house I was renting and could leave any minute, to my family that was far away anyway, and all the possible responsibilities I could have, I was free, and I wish I saw that earlier. I knew I don’t want to just find a job and live with no purpose, because that was not me and I would lose myself completely if I did that. I knew I wanted to study, to learn and develop, because that’s what always gave me pleasure and sense of accomplishment. Having to accept that what I was planning for so long was not particularly meant for me, I started to wonder which way to go next. I remember there was a thought in the back of my mind, growing bigger and louder as I allowed it to speak for itself. “What would it be like to be a writer? A journalist? A blogger? To be creative THIS way?”, I wondered. It felt so unreal, so bizarre, oh but how exciting it was. Deciding to trust my hunch, I followed the initial thought and got onto the creative writing course, and so far, it has been, hands down, one of the best (and the most terrifying) decisions I have ever made. And even though I am not studying in a castle (like I originally planned to), it still is a lot of fun. I made a big, big step by moving to another country and living my life completely on my own, and I started it all when I was only nineteen, which sometimes makes me want to high-five myself.

The whole point of all of this, is not me bragging about my journey to where I am and where I want to be. The point is passion and following the impulse – that initial thought, that tiny, quiet one, that seems so reckless, but feels so good. The thought that becomes louder and louder, and when we finally decide to follow it, it pushes us out of our comfort zone, we’re scared, but when we get used to it, we realise that trusting it was one of the best decisions we could ever make. Even though that’s not what we might have initially imagined, I still believe that we should follow our passions and those tiny little impulses, even though they may not seem like what we have planned in the first place.

Although this is not how I portrayed my future, I still want my life to be full of creativity and passion, so if that’s the way I’m supposed to go, I will. And if in a year’s time I’ll decide that this is not what I want and I still haven’t found myself, I’ll go another way, and another, and another, trying to find what feels good.

My story is yet to be told. Yesterday, I was a scared nineteen-year-old girl who was lost and anxious about her future. Today, I’m a twenty-one-years-young woman, who decided to write her dreams come true.

Have a lovely start of the week,