My friend David Araujo, who was selling his photographs of Martha’s Vineyard at the Island Christmas Fair, is reinventing himself as an artist, even if he may be reluctant to claim that title. I was complimenting his fantastic work, and David explained that he wasn’t really and “Artist”. Curiously, I asked the woman standing next to us if she thought that David’s art was wonderful and wasn’t he a great Artist? Her reply was smooth and quick as she affirmed he was a indeed a talented Artist and she, Anne Smith, happens to own The Featherstone Gallery, in town, and she loves to show the work of island Artists. She pulled her business card out of her pocket and asked David to give her a call. Well, David may have been hesitant to embrace his creative side and declare it to the world, but the impartial and professional eye of Ms. Smith, forced his reinvention to become a reality, he’s an Artist now.
The wonderful thing about getting older, (I’m looking for the silver lining here), is that you get to reinvent yourself, hopefully, over and over again, becoming who and what you were destined to be, what you dreamed you would be, someday. When you were younger, your purpose may have been decidedly different from where you are today and the act of consciously making a choice to embrace a new you, to make a new chapter for your life, is liberating, exciting, and terrifying all at the same time.
If you are fortunate to live a long, mostly happy, and healthy life, than you must seek to shed your old skins and grow new ones more suitable for the next adventure just waiting to happen in your life. You can’t be the same person you were five years ago, or even last year, because things are always changing and life becomes stagnant when you refuse to adapt to the new circumstances you find yourself in.
In can be liberating to step out of the shadow of your former self and boldly take your life in a new and unexpected direction. It can be uncomfortable for those around you as you begin to flex your dream muscles but this is one of those times when you have to be selfish; this is your life and you have to live it doing what makes you happy and your soul sing.
The truth is that if you are blessed to stick around for a long time, and if you find this life you’re living fun and amazing and short..then you will get out of your own way and make way for a new part of your personality to blossom. As you get older, through each phase of your life you obtain new skills and become more confident in who you are and what you want. You spend less time asking for other people’s opinion because the only one that really matters is yours.
If you reach a patch in your life and you don’t know what’s next?
Consider reaching out for all the dreams you thought were impossible, or that you didn’t have the courage to claim as your own earlier. Reinvent a new and improved you who laughs, loves and lives life more deeply, noticing the beauty that surrounds you each day and in every moment. It gives you the opportunity to live and love with a newfound depth and appreciation.
The best lesson for reinventing yourself; you will be surprised how much you’ve learned, how much you know, and how to get the answers to challenges that crop up, as they so often do. You’ve learned that nobody knows you better than you and nobody can live your life, but you and reinventing yourself is the best way to pursue a new dream.
As I have learned, when you take a step out into your dreams, the Universe moves with you and for you and reinvention is the name of the game.
photographs by the Artist; David Araujo