I’ve restarted this post about a billion times. How do you re-introduce yourself to the world? How do you explain to people how much your life has changed while you were away?
I feel rusty and slightly awkward, with so many things to say and not quite the right words to say them. None of the words seem big enough, drastic enough to tell you all of the ways my time in France was inconceivably brilliant.
It was a dream come true, but on more levels than I’d ever expected.
Twelve year old me wanted to grow up and travel, and see the world. This year, I did that.
But 10 year old me looked at the Old Master paintings and stored them away in her heart, knowing that she wanted to create things like that, but without any hope that she ever could. No one knew how to do those things anymore, right?
And then my teacher gave his first lecture of the summer and my brain exploded. I knew then and there that I was in exactly the right place. I’d found the people who knew what I’d been secretly dreaming of learning my whole life.
My world has been transformed. My art has been transformed. I’ve discovered more bliss, more understanding, more excitement and more challenge in my art than I’d ever dreamed of. I could live 5 lifetimes and still never quite understand. It’s an exhilarating thought.
But most importantly, my experiences this summer transformed me.
I found an inner confidence that I didn’t think I had. For the first time that I can recall, I believe in myself again. I believe in what I have to say, and what I want to paint. I am so full of ideas. I want to explore the whole world with pencil and paintbrush in hand.
So without further ado, this is my final painting from my 6 months in France – it’s not finished, but it wasn’t meant to be. As with everything we made, it was a piece created for learning.
This is just the beginning. I’m going to continue working, studying and learning. And next year, I’m going back to France to do it all over again.