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The Painting Of My Life

Design Thinking

I’m good at virtually nothing when asked “what are you good at?” But given time to reflect before answering that question, I found I’m good at a variety of different things. I’m good at decorating my room, and then redecorating it all over again; I’m good at falling asleep at work or in class; I’m good at loving my dog, and my friends and family; I’m good at trying new things, especially sushi; I’m good at dreaming big about the future and reminiscing on the past; I’m good at writing about nonsense; and I’m pretty good at catching the travel bug.

Through my life, I feel like I have lived many. As different as one country is from the next, I have been all that different too. But no matter how different countries can be, at the core they are the same. Made up of language, culture, land, people, and numerous other building blocks.

I began as America: a big, messy, colorful painting- a piece of art similar to those I created at this beginning stage of my life. Seeing how big the United States is, I had many years to explore the various different landscapes it has to offer. And so, I did, and I explored them within myself too, changing from a shy little girl to a bubbly go-getter.

This is when I transformed into Denmark with a little bit of Sweden. Denmark was different than anywhere I had ever been before. This is when I discovered my fear of the unknown is not fear for anything at all, it’s excitement. Denmark was happy, fun, sweet, new, and ready for more adventures.

And so, she went a little closer to home this time, but not with any less spontaneity. I soon became Mexico; lively, coconutty, fulfilling, and relaxing. I was the unpredictable ocean waves, never being calmed by the abundance of pools. 

The taste of the Caribbean (and the all-inclusive food) had me locked in. I slowly changed into the Dominican Republic. Experiencing poverty as an entire family rode by on a moped, whilst experiencing the greatest sincerity by hotel employees who worked long hours day after day; Dominican burnt while watering the seed of hope it planted in me.

As my travels brought me from the Caribbean Sea to the United Kingdom, my life went from sunshine to rainfall. England may have been gloomy on the outside, but in the heart of it (and underground), there was so much more going on.   

As history repeats itself, my life slowly arrived back to sunshine every day; only allowing the tiniest sprinkle of rain two times in two months. I was now all over Europe. As they say, the older you get- the faster time goes. Within 2 months I studied in Spain, danced in Portugal, ate in Italy, toured France, hiked Switzerland, awed in Austria, explored Czech Republic, and washed all my worries away in Hungary.

It was not until this past summer that I realized- I am not one singular country, I am not one singular thing I have done. Rather, I am a complicated map of everywhere I have been and everything I have accomplished. And the beauty of it is, it’s like that one big messy painting that I began creating long ago; nothing can ever be taken away, only more colors added to.

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