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State Of Mind

Hi, *awkward wave*. I know I have been MIA for quite a while, in fact, since I left my job way back when. I hope no one’s held it against me. I could sit here and go through all that’s happened since, but I’d rather focus on the here and now.

I will say this: a lot HAS happened since then. Hell, look at us, we’re in 2013! We survived the Mayan apocalypse! If that’s not a worthy accomplishment, I don’t know what is.

All jokes aside though, one of my targets this year is to put aside more time for this blog and hopefully not leave huge gaps in-between posts.

With all of that being said, let’s get on with the topic of the day:

Following your dreams!

Now, before I start to lose you, I ask you to please bear with me as I promise to make this as uncheesy as possible for all those with lactose-intolerance.

Do I think I’m Oprah or Dr. Phil here? No – neither will I try to be – but as cliché as that phrase sounds, it rings true. You should follow your dreams. As long as you do it within reason and you realize what it takes to do so (yes, I had to add a dash of realism there to keep this post grounded). I mean, if you don’t follow your dreams, what else is there?

We all have a bit of a bad habit where we like to sit on our butts amidst cups of tea or coffee and yummy sugary treats to complain about our lives, failing to notice how little we are doing to change that. Very few people are satisfied with their lot in life after university, no one is happy with the jobs they ended up with and it is very easy to sit there and whinge about it.

Here’s the thing though, if you have a “dream”, there’s a reason for it. These things don’t just happen by a weird twist of fate. And I mean, you can call it whatever you want: goals, visions, objectives, aspirations, whatever makes you feel comfortable, but know that there is a valid reason you have that desire in you. To go after something you want requires courage, but not only that, it requires a massive amount of confidence. You can’t be afraid, or timid, or uncertain. And even if you were, the key is in pretending you’re not. It’s how you hold yourself and what you project to those around you. “The only way anyone learns anything is by pretending that they knew how to do it in the first place.”

No is the easiest and most abused word on the planet. It is so easy to look at someone and tell them no, and trust me, at one point it will feel like everyone around you is telling you no. And it could feel very discouraging, and make it easier for you to give up and give in, because no one is immune to that word. But remember this, as long as you are telling yourself yes, then that is all that matters. One person counts and can make all the difference. Even if that person is you. (I know I’m starting to sound like Terrence from Yes Man, but I actually mean it).

The reason I’m writing all this and going through this whole thought process is because a few weeks ago I attended my friend’s first solo art exhibition. I’m sure all artists, or aspiring artists, can relate to the difficulty of planning, preparing and carrying out your own exhibition, let alone being presented with the opportunity. This is something that Dona, my friend, has been working towards for many years, and it has always been one of her life-long aspirations to be able to share her art and her talent with people.

When she received this opportunity, after a series of several coincidences (and isn’t that what makes life so beautiful?), I remember sitting with her over coffee and asking her how she felt. She seemed a little at awe that it was happening at all. It took a while for it to sink in, and before she knew it, she was locked up in her apartment for hours and days and weeks on end surrounded by paint fumes as she attempted to get all her art pieces ready in time for the big opening night.

What really wows me about Dona is that she is a self-taught artist. Her talent is a true gift, something that she refined and polished on her own. She found the style she felt comfortable with, and used her art as a personal outlet to express her emotions and reflect her long bittersweet journey in life. Throughout the years, her art was her own, and she was content for a time to practice it as a hobby during her free time.

However, there was always this inner desire for more. It was always an aspiration for her to delve deeper into this world of art, to do something with it, to share it with the world and perhaps inspire others to do the same.

She definitely accomplished that with her exhibition State of Mind, as you witness her experiences splashed onto the walls of the gallery (some of the art pieces are displayed below). She stood there proudly, head held high, as she exposed herself to all those around her through her paintings. I have to admit, that night, seeing the light in her eyes and the happiness written all over her face, I finally knew what it looked like to follow a dream and see it realized. That drive will define you, and once you make it a reality, you can turn to all the nay-sayers with pride as no one can tell you what you can and cannot do any longer (insert back-handed snap here).

A word of caution though, and this goes back to my attempt at pragmatism at the beginning, I strongly believe that if you are to follow a dream, you should do it within reason. Dreams will never be fulfilled without hard work and effort. Dreaming is easy. The secret is in knowing that you want to do the work it takes to get there.

I know that this is only the beginning for my friend, Dona, and that she is on a new journey that I am sure we will see reflected in her future artwork.

Now go out there, and stop being afraid!


Samantha by Dona Dee


Les Zebres by Dona Dee


Les Nenuphars by Dona Dee


The Exaltation of Venus by Dona Dee


The Wish by Dona Dee


Kiss Me by Dona Dee


About smshamma

"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control, and at times hard to handle, but if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best." - Marilyn Monroe


5 thoughts on “State Of Mind

  1. First- I’m glad you’re back…!! This post was awesome and so nice to read! You are not cheesy at all. And wow these pieces are beautiful…!!! Not at all surprised about the exhibition and I’m sure there will be so many more! HOWEVER- the question we’re left with is what YOUR dreams are: you skipped over that…!! Hoping they all come true with or without co-incidences :) welcome back!

    Posted by sahar | February 1, 2013, 00:51
    • Hey Sahar! Thanks so much for your comment. I would probably need another post dedicated to just my dreams…I’m sort of working on it though. Like I said, it’s not always easy, and it can be quite complicated and disheartening, but hopefully everything works out in the end! =)

      Posted by smshamma | February 1, 2013, 20:01
  2. Such a much needed post and comeback to your blog. One’s life and dreams have value as long as we attribute value to the lives and dreams of others, by means of love, friendship and compassion. That’s just what you did here for your friend.

    Dreaming is a form of planning. Without leaps of imagination, and dreaming, we’d just as soon lose the excitement of possibilities that enriches our spirit. Some years ago I jotted down quotes and your post made me go back and read them again. I’ll share them here hoping they’ll give you courage to work on and share your dreams too:

    “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” – Marie Curie, chemist and physicist

    “You have to imagine it possible before you can see something. You can have the evidence right in front of you, but if you can’t imagine something that has never existed before, it’s impossible.” – Rita Dove, African-American poet laureate of the U.S.

    “Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.” – Mae C. Jemison, African-American woman astronaut

    “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” – Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, author

    “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou, African-American poet

    Posted by Ballad | February 2, 2013, 01:12
    • Thanks so much for your comment and for the quotes!

      You reminded me of my own book of quotes that I used to keep and update as I went along. They all really hit home at this time of my life, so thank you for that.

      And you’re absolutely right, “dreaming is a form of planning”, couldn’t have said it better myself.

      Posted by smshamma | February 3, 2013, 17:51
      • P.S. Oh you’re most welcome. I’m just glad these quotes spoke to you in a meaningful way. I hope you continue to add to your book of quotes as days go by. It’s a good companion to have and I never leave home without mine. While leaving a comment on your other recent post I was hearing a song playing in the background on the radio. It’s Pilgrim by Enya and strangely enough the song seems suited to this post about your friend, you and all of us whittling away at our dreams. So not to make this too long of a comment but I thought to include the lyrics:

        “Pilgrim, how you journey
        On the road you chose
        To find out why the winds die
        And where the stories go.

        All days come from one day
        That much you must know,
        You cannot change what’s over
        But only where you go.

        One way leads to diamonds,
        One way leads to gold,
        Another leads you only
        To everything you’re told.

        In your heart you wonder
        Which of these is true;
        The road that leads to nowhere,
        The road that leads to you.

        Will you find the answer
        In all you say and do?
        Will you find the answer
        In you?

        Each heart is a pilgrim,
        Each one wants to know
        The reason why the winds die
        And where the stories go.

        Pilgrim, in your journey
        You may travel far,
        For pilgrim it’s a long way
        To find out who you are…

        Pilgrim, it’s a long way
        To find out who you are…

        Pilgrim, it’s a long way
        To find out who you are…”

        Posted by Ballad | February 4, 2013, 15:00

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