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New Body For My Soul, 2020-2022

Glazed ceramic, sand, letter

"It was thanksgiving dinner, cloudy but beautiful day. The whole family got together, the dogs were barking outside, letting us know they were too, excited. The room was filled with smiles, and the kitchen was filled with food, everything seemed to be magical. Other than that, this family was not mine. I was a guest for one beautiful evening, watching the kids falling into parents' arms, watching a wife and her mother preparing the table and telling funny stories from the past… The past that I had no idea existed until the moment I walked into the house. 

 

If I only knew back in 2013 that every Thanksgiving would feel the same. I became an observer of someone’s happiness from being back together, being back home. I became a stranger that maybe one day people would remember for more than just a few hours.

 

Every year I would gather around different people: sometimes friends would invite me over, some years my boyfriends would take me along with them to celebrate their family gathering. Of course, it was nice.

 

But it never felt real…

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I close my eyes and imagine how I open the door, put the bags down from long travels. And yell: “Mom! I am home!”

 

It’s been ten years… No one told me that being an immigrant it’s a forever thing. You are no longer a part of the “old” life, and you will never become one of their people. You will always be a stranger.

 

I just want to sit on the couch with you, mom. Put my head on your knees and feel how your hands sliding through my hair. I just want the biggest hug, the real one. From someone who truly waits and truly cares. Because no one else would let me crush into their hands without asking questions. I was 18, when I last time saw you. I wish I knew that it was the last time.  I wish I knew that I could choose a better life for myself but couldn’t choose it for everyone in the family.

 

I left when I was a baby, who was ready to see the big world. I wanted to be a real adult. But didn’t know I would have to become one on my own… It’s been ten years without you, without my home. Without my family…  

 

They price I paid to be… 

...where and who?" 

 

 

In Search Of The Past, or The New American Dream, 2020-2021
Mixed media, building out a camper van, living full-time on the road

 

At first, it was hard to explain why I had to move into a tiny home. On the outside, it looked like a dream-come-true-fun-vanlife-forever-travel-adventure and all those things, but deep down I knew I was running away from something that was making me so miserable and unhappy. Isolation is hard. Isolation by choice for unlimited amount of time is even harder. Can't remember how many times I cried from loneliness after posting another beautiful sunset. Months went by. You accept the grief, you accept the choices you made. The reality of vanlife is that there are no distractions with which we could entertain ourselves in the cities, while shuffling the emotions on that back shelve of our mind, convincing ourselves "it's not a big deal, I am fine." It all came back at me. All at once. Years of pain. These's so little you can fit into a tiny home, and before you take off the past has to go. The less baggage you have --the easier the road becomes.

 

I watched myself change as I drove through changing skies and landscapes. And when the time was right, I admitted I was afraid to do what I loved doing the most, I was afraid to start my own practice. Afraid that no one would want to see my art. I was afraid that I would run out of ideas, inspiration, and energy. I was afraid that building sculptures would forever ruin my back. I was running away from responsibilities, and from myself, from something I knew will make me the happiest. 

Life is silly, and so great at the same time. So terrifying, and so incredibly beautiful. Hard but so rewarding.

"Life is meaningless unless you discover it yourself."

W. Somerset Maugham

Coming Back, 2020

Acrylic on illustration board, mixed media

Video 1:35

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