When a friend tagged me on an Instagram post and suggested I should set up a stall at the upcoming Afrobeats Festival I almost dismissed the idea. I had a house move looming on the horizon and I wasn’t sure I would be ready for the festival.
Getting ready for the day was frantic but we pulled it off and now I’m set up to pop up anywhere!
I enjoyed the atmosphere although I needed a couple of days afterwards to recover from all the excitement. It was a treat dancing to Afro music, many of which were from my heritage. There was a lot of interest in my artwork and it was thrilling to sell a few large and smaller prints.
I learned that we never feel ready for some challenges but that shouldn’t deter us anyway. We are usually more capable than we believe.
This week I needed a long drive away from the city. It was just a longing in my heart as my body struggled with post-house-move exhaustion. With the kids at school for the day my partner treated me to a drive around Samford, Camp Mountain, Dayboro, Warner and Petrie.
Although I got tired very quickly and just wanted to fall asleep it was therapeutic gently making our way in and out of local post offices, fighting over delicious sausage rolls from a bakery in Dayboro, indulging in a gluten free lemon and pistachio cake from an organic café in Samford and striking up conversations with the locals about my Partner’s 1979 vintage car.
I always enjoy the artisanal nature and community focus of local businesses and in small towns they feel like the pulse of the place.
Do you enjoy or live in a small town? How do you recharge your batteries?
This vibrant painting celebrates one of the 4 Market days of the Igbo tribal group from Nigeria. These women are heading to the Orie (pronounced Oye) market.
This painting is nostalgic as it reminds me of my grandmother waking up early to embark on a big walk to the nearest Orie market to buy homegrown food items and handmade crafts. She would be accompanied by neighbours or friends and there would be a melting pot of people from other villages around the market buying, selling and building community bonds. This limited edition print of my original artwork which gets as big as 70 x 100 cm.
I was drawn in by this tree during my walk this afternoon and it was sparkling right into my soul. In a strange disconnected way it helped me connect my thoughts and string the following words together.
Usually, I shop every fortnight and today is my shopping weekend. As such, I was supposed to go to the market early then to Aldi and then to Woolworths. Laundry was supposed to have been done and hung out to make the most of the beautiful sunshine and I was supposed to be generally organised. However none of these have happened today because I’m exhausted.
I slept in and had breakfast almost at noon today. I let the kids watch morning TV and make their own breakfast. We left laundry piled up on the floor and have now gone for a walk to the park. I took a couple of pens and my sketchbook and we followed the long scenic route during our walk.
No I haven’t done my menu or shopping list and yes I will do an online shop and pickup tomorrow arvo. No I haven’t figured out lunch or dinner but we’ve got lots of porridge and beans in the pantry. I’m sure I can figure something out at some point today.
Yes I’m learning to abandon convention and definitions of success that I have followed unquestioningly in the past but which left me stressed and frazzled. Yes I’m slowly learning to understand that success needs to serve me and not vice verse. Yes I haven’t quite articulated in a coherent explain to someone else way what my individual definition of success is but I know that my central theme is living a life that is meaningful to me. I also know that meaning is 6 billion times unique and therefore even if I tried to explain what my idea of success is you might not get it. And that’s ok, perhaps that’s how it should be.
I have experienced how the definitions of success we are raised with have not only be defined by others but many times serve other people’s interests rather than ours. I am inspired when we can have open discussions on a range of issues that help us clarify and articulate our own perspectives and values as well as accept the rights of others to have and live guided by theirs.
I hope you find your sparkle and your peace on your path and that you are courageous enough to live a life that is meaningful to you!