My Childhood Dream
When I was a little girl, I'd climb up a broken ladder of our home in a village called “Rozavka” (meaning 'Roses'), I'd sit alone for hours daydreaming, I dreamed as if I was someone like Mother Teresa, helping the poorest with desperate needs. We were a large family with ten children and extremely hardworking busy parents. Others in the family were reluctant to accompany me because of the broken ladder so my dream would go uninterrupted for hours and so were my imaginary deeds of bringing cheerfulness to many unfortunate souls and being liked by them like a hero until my stomach started growling.
Seeking for Meaning of Life
As I grew older, my dream lived on, at times I used to get frustrated and sad for being lonely for so long. I had often felt forsaken, none of the elders in this mega family paid a bit of attention for what I had to say. All my older sisters had their boyfriends, and often had the boys following them everywhere they went while I was either alone in the attic or taking care of younger siblings. I was unnoticed by the social minglers, perhaps because I was unwilling to dress up, and give in to the usual crowd as I was a stubborn kid “go it alone” type. My dream then turns into frustration when I realized that I was just a lone girl who did not possess any supernatural power like a saint nor like a prophet, the chosen one. I started to seek answers from God in my prayers. What is the meaning of my life? Why should I grow up and exist at all?
Crisis in the Family
When I was finishing high school my father became very sick and could not work any longer. My mother with so many children to feed had to work two jobs and was extremely busy all day. Realizing the hard truth, I had to put a break in my daydreams. I felt that I must help my mother, earn money as soon as I could. Unfortunately, at that time the country was in worse shape economically, it was just after the breakup of the Soviet Union. There weren't many jobs that I could make money as I was an ordinary female high school graduate. However, I was determined to help and decided to enrol in a vocational college in the city in order to work in the construction industry. Needless to say it was unusual for a girl even to think of such jobs but it was the only realistic option available for me to make money fast, if I was to help the family.
Hardship and Humiliation
At college, academically I did very well and always was top of my class. After my graduation, I had an opportunity to go to a prestigious university with a scholarship. However, I chose to work and help my family. As expected, jobs in building construction needed harder manual work than what were in classroom texts. Over time the skin of my soft hands toughened as I had to carry and apply construction materials. Moreover, I was constantly the target of laughs and harassment among male co-workers as well as female office assistants at the sites. Anyone learned about the nature of my work and being a young female working with macho construction workers tended to make jokes out of me. Regardless of all those humiliations year after year it provided some much needed financial help to my mother back home.
Then in one autumn, I happened to meet a man of Indian origin, much like one of those, I had seen in Indian cinemas during my childhood back in the Soviet era. I fell in love with this man instantly. After a month of romance, this person had to go back to Canada where he lived and worked, soon after he left I lost contact with him (until recently with whom I am currently married well after 9 years later since then). Anyways, at that moment my dream of a new life with a handsome man from abroad simply disappeared. Already depressed of not knowing where my future was heading, coupled with falling in love and then losing it so quickly, my graveness multiplied.
An Unexpected Encounter
One day as I was going through the pages of the book while I was travelling by bus, a poster ad with a picture of the very writer whose book I was holding caught my eyes. It was an ad for a workshop and the location of that workshop happened to be a few blocks away where I lived. Although I took it as a coincidence, I decided to be there and take part in the workshop. Few days later, when I made it to the meeting hall, hoping to see the author of the book himself, instead it appeared that the workshop was to be hosted by another person, and the purpose of that workshop was something like “Rebuilding Broken Lives”, sort of aligned with the book's title. At first I was disappointed for not being able to see the author of the book for whom I came for, however, after attending the workshop I was somewhat better in mood so far. Although about thirty years old at that time, I am without a family of my own, cold winters and depressed summer came and go, yet no one for me to love and be loved.
Glimpse of Hope
I kept going to the workshops for about two years. Although nearing thirty years old at that time, I was without a family of my own, cold winters and disappointing summers passed by, yet no one to love and be loved. I, however, started to feel a glimpse of light at the end of the dark tunnel. I felt I was in transition and should hang on to see the end of this. I might find the meaning of my life once I reach the end. Perhaps, my childhood dream would come true. I would find myself a purpose to carry on with the rest of my life. In one of the workshops, we were asked to bring paintings of different colours and brushes. We were told that artwork as such was a therapeutic process to relieve stresses. I wasn't sure what I drew there, maybe nothing too much as I wasn't very focused on that day.
Then I Met My Angel
That evening, when I was at home, I picked up several of those paints. I was looking for a brush but couldn't find any as I must have left them in the workshop. Regardless of missing brushes, I went ahead and applied my fingers with paints on a paper subconsciously, playing like a child, perhaps I was just trying to relieve my stresses. Amazingly, the playful act did changed my mood, I felt much better inside, and just when I thought to end this and about to wipe all those colours out of my fingers with a piece of cloth, for some reason, I threw a quick glance at that paper supposedly a messy piece of paper with full of colours, I noticed.., it appeared to me like an angel!! Suddenly my heart was filled with joy. Did I just draw my "Angel of Wisdom"? It was indeed a vague but a definite shape of an angel on a piece of paper, drawn by me magically!!
This was the biggest surprising thing that happened to me in such an unexpected way as far as I could remember! In fact, I never had drawn a thing meaningfully with or without a paintbrush ever before. Next day I went back to the workshop and showed my mystical painting drawn with my fingers to the instructor. I told her I never did any artwork using colours in my entire adult life. She and everyone else who heard that encouraged me to continue painting just the way I did the angel and predicted that this might be the turning point of life and it had just begun. Indeed that prediction proved to be true, the flight of my dream took off from that day. I held my first exhibition a few months later with great success. Sold over forty pieces of paintings, all drawn with tips of fingers, just the way I painted my first one and met my angel.