Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Personal Growth

I have grown more in the last 8 months than I have in the past 5 years. In fact, I'd go so far as to say I am a completely different person.

It all started when I moved to Australia. Young, fearful, innocent, and not fully aware of how life really works. I went through some rough patches when I first arrived that dealt with banks and money and grown-up stuff, which I had to deal with on my own since I didn't have Mommy on my side.

I got lost. A lot. But it was all part of the experience and part of the growth. I used to make up excuses not to go to my friend's houses back in the States because I was too afraid of getting lost. Then I came to Australia where I didn't know how to get ANYWHERE. Now I get on my bike and ride a few miles in any direction and get “lost” on purpose for excitement and adventure.

I also made a huge personal step and faced my fear of traveling alone... which was such a liberating experience! Not only did I make small trips to beaches and different towns here and there, but I also did a spontaneous trip to New Zealand, which was also very eye opening and a growing experience within itself.

Meanwhile, I was studying art at Queensland College of Art. I was really immersing myself in my classes and experimenting as much as I could with new materials, processes, and concepts. I dove into the world of art and learned more than I can put into words... not only was I making art that was inspired by this new area, but I was also learning about how the art world works in real life.

In the midst of it all, I won an online art competition and was awarded with online coaching from Sian Lindemann, who helped me grow even more. We had weekly online meetings where Sian helped me develop a business plan related to my art and talents. Soon I went from simply selling art to writing an inspirational book!? Sian pinpointed some talents I had that I wasn't aware of, such as writing (especially blogging about my travels). She gave me the confidence to realize that I can do anything I want, and make a living doing what I love. We are still working together, and I learn more every time we have a consultation. (Thanks for everything, Sian!)

I also had the amazing opportunity to travel to Thailand for 6 weeks, which again was a growing experience within itself. New people, new culture, new scenery, new language, new food, new climbing... all so inspiring.

I never would have guessed that I would be where I am today... In Australia... traveling the world... making art... climbing... I have matured so much and I look forward to growing even more. I have 4 months left of studying abroad and a lifetime more to explore myself and the world. Cheers!

I'd also like to take to thank everyone who has made these experiences possible for me (especially my parents- words can't explain how thankful I am for you and the opportunities you gave me! I love you so much!), the study abroad office at UTC (Thanks Mr. Prevost!) and everyone who I met and supported me along the way... including YOU for reading my blog! Sending love to all of you!!!