A stark contrast! The picture on the left is a recent portrait of me drawn by my four-year-old daughter and the picture on the right is a self-portrait I made during my sulky college days. There you have it: my yin and yang, the light and the dark, my aspirations and my limitations.
This is, by far, the most challenging part of the website to write! The more I define myself, the more I feel boxed-in. The artistic part of me wants to leave all of this blank, but the practical side thinks I should share a few concrete facts. What might already be apparent to you is that I am conflicted. And that is actually the best word to describe me: conflicted. Not in a mentally ill kind of way, at least, I hope not. It’s not that I’m so special and resist definition either, I don’t believe I am. It’s just that I have many contradictions. I might as well list them:
- My birth sign is a Gemini, symbolized by twins and characterized as having a duplicitous nature, so it’s perfectly fitting to describe myself with contradictory facts. By the way, astrology is complete BS, I don’t believe in that stuff at all.
- I was born in 1980 on a tiny tropical island in the Pacific (part of the Philippines). I come from a family of established landowners who lived on their land for generations. However, most of my life has been spent in a near constant state of rootlessness and movement, living in places all over the world and immigrating to two countries (USA and Germany).
- I was a good student in school, graduating college with honors and completing two bachelor’s degrees: Visual Arts and English Literature. I also minored in Art History. But I’ve also been educated in the school of “hard knocks”. I joined the workforce directly after graduating, some of my jobs were very boring and unglamorous. I was often told by employers and colleagues that my college education “didn’t count at all, because the Arts are not real degrees”.
- I have always wanted to be a visual artist and writer, but I have never pursued either one as a career or made my work public, until now. (gulp, heart thumping)
- My parents adamantly believed the best virtues were humility and silence, they strove to instill me with those values every day. “Still waters run deep,” my mother liked to say. Absolutely the best preparation for someone who has their own blog, shows their artwork and plans to publish several books!
There you have it! But before you send me the number of a good therapist, there are indeed a few very important things that I am sure about: I have a wonderful husband and two beautiful children, and I am totally okay with my contradictions! I no longer force myself to pick a side. I exist in the surprisingly airy, exciting space in-between and I know I am not alone there. So let’s explore that space together with this blog!