How many times have you let the train of opportunity pass you by while you set content at the train stop on a bench made of fear and doubt? I spent my whole life thinking that I had no control over anything, not even my own success or happiness. While working on my latest painting “When the Train Stops…”, a portrait of Dom Kennedy, I had a lot of time to reflect on my journey, where I have come from and where I am headed.
It all came crashing down several of months ago. I remember sitting at that hard metal table at Tempe Town Lake. I remember it feeling really nice outside and the water next to the seating area was especially calm. All the while I was sitting there completely torn up inside doing my best to hold it all together. I sat there with my good friend Rell as he asked me, “What’s wrong Antoinette?” I was visibly upset. I dropped my face into the palms of my hands and burst into tears, crying so hard it was tough to get my words out. “I just… I just want it so bad.” “Want what?” he asked. “My art. I want to make it so bad.” The feeling I felt in that moment was comparable to being trapped under water with your face only inches away from the surface yet, you just cannot break through to reach the fresh air. No matter how hard you try you just can’t reach it.
I truly had an epiphany that day. Never had I felt that I that my dreams were so close to becoming my reality than I did on that day. They were so close in fact, that it broke me down. I needed that break down in order to realize that there was a major problem that I was facing. There was someone stopping me from getting to where I needed to go. This person was sabotaging my pursuit of happiness and shaking the very belief that I was going to be a successful artist. This person had spent years building a wall of uncertainty and anxiety that stood between me and something truly beautiful. That person was me. For years my mind had been clouded with the thoughts of, “What if I am not as good as I think? What if people don’t rock with me? What if I fail?”
I’ve spent the last couple of years doing lots of soul searching, pushing through many sleepless nights and watching countless tears hit the floor. Through it all I have learned that life is not comprised of chance situations and circumstances. It isn’t this guessing game that we are trapped in, never knowing what is next or what was in store for us. No, life in fact is something we have total control over. So, I decided it was time to take control, hop on that train and throw years of fright and caution to the wind while I pursue my dreams with everything I’ve got. No one can keep you from accomplishing your goals but you!
No one can keep you from happiness, success and love but you. It all starts with you. Too many times have I let the train of opportunity pass me by while I set contently at the train stop on a bench made of fear and doubt. Never again will I let my chance fly past me as I sit idly by and wonder. Now, I leave you with one question-
When the train stops next time will you catch it?