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The Art of Self Discovery

Updated on October 31, 2011

If you aren't sure who you are, you might as well work on who you want to be.~Robert Brault

I look at a child, in all innocence, like that of a clean canvas ready to be painted on. There's the first stage when it is pristine, then lovingly filled with pretty colors of naivete'. It's a magical time when all is sweet and tender, lavished by hues of pure love that can only come from moms and dad's nurturing. But, as we know it, things don't remain the same for long.

This is my personal journey, in discovering what i believe is the real and authentic "me". If you're like me, who, for years was tossed to and fro by every wind and force in and out of this planet, you'll understand the dilemma of my experience with self identity.

Ok, and so i was daddy's little angel. I felt loved as a child, thanks to my wonderful parents. There was something about growing up feeling very secure in an environment of respect and acceptance. Like a flower, i flourished with the affirmation and constant affection i was given at home. Being valued provided the greatest validation i needed to prepare me for the future. The foundation of my childhood remains the most formidable aspect of my being, or who i would become. This despite every onslaught and turbulence that came my way, as thrown by life itself.

So, i outgrew my 'princess' days, but did i? It's funny how fairy tales can be a lot like real life. I found out as a young girl, things were no different. I met many wolves, wicked sisters, Queens, and toads as if they had jumped out of the very books i have read. Except, this time, they carried different names and faces. It was in school that i met these characters. Gosh! Were they mean, and some, outright cruel. I think it was the first time i actually felt threatened and unsafe. I understood honest competition, but jealousy and envying? Girls vying for boys attention who didn't have qualms damaging another girls reputation if she happened to be more attractive and more popular? I have stories upon stories of those early years, and it gets worse. When you see the ugliness of humanity, you have to work it within yourself what you would like to be. I did. I knew i had been given a moral compass, and these were my life's absolutes. Overall, i feel blessed. Things could have been much much worst.

I was a dreamer, and i was very sure i knew what i wanted to be, and where and how far i wanted to go. BUT! Don't we all know it by now? Not every good plan we have happens exactly the way we wanted it. In my case, there were many detours, missteps, curves and yes....LESSONS! How we wish, like a canvas, somethings can be erased, or maybe just covered up.

Author 'Warholed'
Author 'Warholed'

I didn't become mama's Concert Pianist, a Prima Ballerina, nor a Famous Journalist. I was a young mom who worked as model to earn a living. I became a successful entrepreneur, and onwards to become a corporate person. As an artist, i was like fish out of water. I felt unhappy doing what i did, yet, every hat i wore seemed to fulfill someone's else's needs, more than mine. With all the mistakes i made, i knew i had a choice, always. I could completely ruin myself, and go the deep end. Or i could choose the straight and narrow, and come out in a better place. There are good and bad people that come our way, to do us good or harm. I know i should have listened more to those who were much wiser than me. But some of the faux pas in my life became the most important lessons if ever. Would i do things differently and spared myself the mistakes? Perhaps. But, it does not help to look back now. I am only glad that each day that we have is a new day to make a choice. I also believe in the graces that is bestowed upon us by God. I am all for the miraculous anytime having seen and given it many times.

I feel i know myself better. I know what's important to me. I am uniquely me, and so i never bother trying to compare myself with anyone. I have rediscovered my passion, and i am happy.

People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.~Thomas Szasz


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    • IslandVoice profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Van Velzer 

      7 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you Nadiaazhar! I appreciate your comment. God bless you.

    • nadiaazhar profile image


      7 years ago from kuwait

      I deeply felt your writing and I know how it feels to be a drifting leave moving along the wind and self discovering your inner self sometimes can even surprise your ownself.keep writing and re-discovering yourself

    • IslandVoice profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Van Velzer 

      9 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you very much Rossimobis!

    • Rossimobis profile image

      Chibuzo Melvin Mobis 

      9 years ago from Nigeria

      This is highly inspirational and i am glad i read it...

    • IslandVoice profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Van Velzer 

      10 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you st@r vibz! Your words are very much appreciated.

    • st@r vibz profile image

      st@r vibz 

      10 years ago from Sunshine state

      WOW! I absolutely loved this piece.You truly have a voice that is moving & I definately agree about people trying to dictate what you should and should not be.I'm finding my purpose in life now & its good to know you've found yours :)

      Very inspirational!

      Btw, thanks for the commenting on my first piece..blessings!

    • IslandVoice profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Van Velzer 

      10 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you GP Tripathi for your kind words. If we are able to inspire people out there with our stories and writings, not to give up and to jeep dreaming, then we can feel good. I look forward to learning from you myself. Blessings!

    • G P Tripathi profile image

      Dr G P Tripathi 

      10 years ago from India

      I must admit that your story moved me. It really doesn’t matter if the story is just an imagination or fiction, it has a message. This made my faith in my work and my book even stronger. I have written in my book on time management “No such Thing as Time” that you must first discover “your calling in life” then and not till then you should set your goals for life. You are lucky to have found your life’s purpose in art, as the Marjory of us go to grave with their dreams and aspiration never felt, realized, expressed or worked upon. God bless.

      Best regards-G P Tripathi (


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