How I Got Here

I speak the truth not so much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little more as I grow older.
– Michel de Montaigne

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Dirk Dzimirsky
Growing up in a five-person household where love and encouragement were aplenty but money, stability and staples were lacking, I was compelled to be a dreamer from an early age: a complete romanticist. I dreamed of being a ballerina, a superhero, an archaeologist, a writer, an artist, an Olympian. As an example, I enjoyed playing G.I. joes with my twin brother where the front-yard tap was located, pretending the running tap was a waterfall and the gush of water was a natural obstacle where few figurines survived. Not to mention the battle fought against the worms and the butchy boys. I remember watching the animation film Fern Gully and for days after at school, I attempted to grow beautiful gardens with nothing but a tree seed, my hands and belief!

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Danielle van Zadelhoff
Throughout all of my childhood, creativity was encouraged. Making mud pies, drawing up my own paper dolls, dancing six days a week, creating our own news reels. And wander: Dad and I would collect seashells; Mum would excitedly show me the city lights over the Westgate Bridge, calling them “fairy lights”. There was always magic and optimism and beauty and freedom of expression in everything around me. My imagination was unlimited and all consuming. I was happy making characters out of grapes and toothpicks; I was happy looking at art and seeing depth, colour and unknown endeavors.

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Henrietta Harris
As I grew up I kept romanticising, kept dreaming until it became an escape- an escape I never seemed to act on. Struggling with social pressures, I thought too much. I forgot patience. I then forgot how to create freely. I then forgot to accept mistakes and to appreciate failure. I forgot to waste time. The magic left me and I became no longer free. I had to prove who I was and what I was doing and why I was doing it. I traveled and was starving to be successful, trying to grasp the status I had worked so hard for. I wanted to prove myself so much in order to be understood.

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Flora Bursi
But I was a contradiction: hugely ambitious but transparent and not ego-driven. If I kept within social parameters, I was easily manageable. I struggled with false ideals, feeling more and more lost and inconsolable. I did not know what loving yourself was and I did not apply the notion of self-belief. Extremely confident and bubbly, passionate, curious, enthusiastic and intense. Yet that seemed to be the problem. Internally I was fighting anxiety, depression and insecurity, showcasing denial through a constant journey of “self-improvement”. I felt rejected and incredibly alone. I broke.

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Hussam El-Sayed
When I did, I realised I could not keep improving and searching for the next flaw to cure. There was no cure. I had to then break the mould. I learnt to be honest with myself. I would say it has been the most liberating aspect of my existence. From then on, I have stripped back the unnecessary layers of conditioning starting from my childhood through to intimate relationships through to current expectations and biases of a Western, 30 year-old corporate, single woman. Every day is a battle against comparison, conditioning, self-doubt and influence. It is exceptionally difficult to stay true to yourself, please note. It is a very lonely and confrontational journey, serving you more tears and joy than you would experience in a lifetime without it. You learn, however, to be present and to appreciate the simplest things. And you start to believe you are enough and discover exploration is interwoven in the fabric of living.

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James Jean
But it is an ongoing adventure of trial and error as you get closer and closer to being completely truthful. Recently, after twelve months of working for an income to support my start-up, it dawned on me more and more frequently that I had no time for living, for enjoying, for magic. I accepted I had lost all the freedoms which personify my character. Even though I was full of self-acceptance, my environment did not align with who I was. I was exhausted and miserable, living and breathing a societal norm that did not accept me (and I did not accept it). Feeling suppressed, I decided to return to the purest form of myself. I realised I was more than capable of fulfilling my dreams and enabling myself without any dependency. I taught myself to look outward and I changed my path: one which led me back to a more refined purpose consisting of wandering, connecting, immersing and absorbing. One where magic would reappear.

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Jeremy Miranda
This takes me now to the present. In two days, I leave for Moscow- a place exuding history, arts, philosophy and culture. The trip is indefinite and I hope to then move to Western Europe. Then possibly Eastern Europe. All I know is there will be an adventure of living and honesty. A whole cycle of emotions and thoughts to follow. Snow gently falling and haunting folk music and ornate, beautiful objects, and a new world full of people to meet. The harsh winters, the sometimes-not-so-great cuisines and the language barriers. I am returning to my authentic self. And it is a wonderful time to be curious.

2 thoughts on “How I Got Here”

  1. Россия будет рад встретиться с вами
    Russia will be happy to welcome you.

    Dear Laura.
    Your determination is quite remarkable. You remind us that humans are explorers, travelers. Modernity has made us sedentary and predictable. Your inner force is a great source of inspiration for us all.
    From now on, I wish you all the blessings.
    I’m very excited about this new adventure of yours and I’ll gladly be a follower of every chapter.
    With admiration.
    Eric

    Like

    1. Eric, as Laura’s father I can tell you your comments resonate greatly about Laura. I have an observation of her as an 18 month old baby that is embedded in my memory like a starburst in time. Laying on her back on her bed next to a window with a lace curtain and the sun streaming through, the sunlight formed a bright pattern on her bed covers. A slight breeze moved the light pattern to and fro. I will never forget her eyes and how they were studying the pattern with intense fascination. She seemed mesmerized by the light and what it did. I remember thinking ‘This daughter of mine is intelligent. Maybe she is going to be creative and a great student.’ I don’t know how I managed to believe all that in that brief moment other than say it was possibly clairvoyance, and quite rare for me.
      I love and admire Laura more than words can say. You are absolutely right, she is a born student and a modern day explorer, when most of us live sedentary lives. She has embarked on this latest journey to Russia and Europe feeling sick with nervousness. But she is so driven, she knows she must go. She is committed to making her life meaningful and satisfy her restlessness. Her life’s mission to make art accessible and more meaningful to the masses through PLATASSO dictates everything she does.
      There haven’t been too many men that I’ve known in my 67 years who have had the courage Laura possesses.
      To quote her her self deprecating words ‘I am just awesome’. A lot of us sedentary humans simply think ‘Laura Curwood’ founder of PLATASSO is awesome.

      Like

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