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Creative Living - Weeks 8 & 9 - Creative Living 2.0

Reem Alhalyan location_on United Arab Emirates, Sharjah

The title of this blog post says it all. No, this is not a restart, and I'm not quitting this experiment. I will continue to write these posts for the remainder of this experiment. Expect two more in the coming weeks. However, this is a departure from the post I made 10 weeks ago. 

To say that I've undergone a life changing experience would be an understatement. Since this year began, I've been getting more and more lost, erratic and desperately trying to control the uncontrollable. Thinking that the world and everybody in it owed me something. Thinking that things had to work because I now finally know what I want to do, and I've done the work and paid my dues. Thinking that I could control every little thing. Thinking that it's my way or the highway. 

I've been trying to find my place in the world post-pandemic, but it's not even post-pandemic yet. I've been overridden with anxiety and fear. I've been trying to "make it" and "hustle" and "just do it". I've somehow convinced myself that when I finally "made it," I'll rest but I'm simply exhausted. I'm tired all the time. If not mentally, it's physically, if not physically, then it's emotionally. I've reached levels beyond exhaustion. I've been going nonstop for six years. I've been too scared and too disillusioned to see things clearly. I've procrastinated the two things I actually want to do for six whole years. The lengths I've gone to, in order to procrastinate my life long dreams are extreme, even by my own standards! Because I've actually convinced myself that I was doing what I wanted to do. I've been killing myself for years focusing on everything except the things I want. If it hasn't been clear in this series of blog posts, I have been slowly but surely reaching the end of my rope. And I have finally arrived at the end of it. Thank God! Now I can actually take a breath, recharge and restart. Time to do some wonderful things!

Let me preface by saying that I'm still as ambitious as ever. I think I'd be fooling you and myself by pretending otherwise. Someone recently told me that they feared my ambition. Yes, it scares me too! I still want to do it all, I'm just not trying to do it all at the same time. I need to put my feet on the ground for a little while.

A part of me feels like I’m abandoning you. I've completely withdrawn from the external world, which feels like I've taken off my performer hat. Underneath I'm just a hermit looking to be invisible. I have retreated from anything "social" in order to recover. And while the first few days brought on fear of missing out, I am confident that this is the best step for me right now. 

The difference between 10 weeks ago Reem, and the person writing this blog now, is that I'm no longer seeking permission, or waiting for someone to open the door to let me in, or waiting for someone to say: "okay, it's your turn now Reem". I'm no longer testing out whether or not I'm creative, or disciplined, whether I'm an artist or a writer or a business person. I'm not waiting for appraise or applause and I'm not expecting anything to be handed to me. 

All I need, is to trust myself. It's all I've ever needed. In Julia Cameron's book "The Artist's Way", Week 8 and Week 9 are about recovering a sense of strength, and compassion. I am standing tall and proud of who I am and I see all my weaknesses and strengths, and I showered myself with love and compassion everyday for the last few weeks. I can't recommend this book enough. 

I know that my journey might seem chaotic, and there's a lot going on behind the scenes. This isn't just the result of a 12 weeks experiment. I've been working on my art and writing for a very long time. I've been developing myself and my skills at the same time. I've known for an entire year that this breakdown was coming, I just didn't know how or when. This is a turning point. I've had a few of them over the years. When you pursue your dreams in life, you will run into a lot of walls. The longer you do this, you'll realize that most, if not all the walls, are mental and emotional. I'm very confident that I broke through a big wall this time. 

I want to elaborate more on what am working on in the upcoming blog post. I just want to have some alone time with my own thoughts, with my intuition, with myself. Because as much as we want this to be easy, and we want someone to come and rescue us and give us all the answers, the reality is, everything you need is always within you. The courses, books, and masterclasses help, but it's your own unique voice that sets you apart from the pack. By shutting out everyone else's voice, I'm trusting that my own unique voice will be loud, proud and clear from now on. 

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