The past few days have been a whirlwind of bittersweet feelings, feelings I never thought I'd experience, especially since I've always wanted to go on an exchange but there's definitely something about saying goodbye to the life that you've lived for all those years in routine and comfort.
On Thursday I attended my last Chinese ink painting and watercolor class at the MIA extra mural studies center, it's a beautiful old bungalow occupied by the some very passionate teachers and hobby artists and it's located right smack in the hustle and bustle of KL which proved to be very soul satisfying since I could spend my lunch breaks getting lost in freshly printed books in Kinokunia as it was a mere five minute walk away. I enrolled myself in their courses only because I had time to kill as I was just a few months away from departing for my exchange and I couldn't work on any long term projects, so the courses that they offered seemed like the perfect way to spend the remaining months I had.
Over the last four months I had grown to love being in a classroom like environment again, what made me love it even more was the fact that the students were of all ages, each class conceived of less than ten people on most days and the teachers would tutor every student personally, which meant that there were advance students that have been attending their courses for years and were working on massive projects and there would always be a new face around but everyone in the classroom bonded on one common ground, art, and those two hours were sometimes the most uplifting of my week. Ideas would be thrown around, thoughts on the latest artists or exhibitions would fill the air, intense discussions on where to get the most affordable art supplies were initiated.
There truly isn't anything like being in an environment where you truly belong, where the way you look, the clothes on your back and the place that you're from doesn't matter. All that matters is your love for art, how spiffy you happen to be with your art medium or maybe you just know where to get a high quality horse hair paintbrush for RM2. It's a place where you indeed, feel beautiful as is.
And I'm going to miss walking through those doors every Thursday but to me, being an exchange student means possessing the ability to once again discover places in which you belong, just halfway around the world.
Now that I've got a whole lot more free time on my hands I've gone full throttle on catching up with craft, reading and more or less everything that I haven't had the time to immerse myself in with my prioritized activities but since they've been called off, well, it's time to indulge.
The most recent obsession (My obsessions have got a very high turnover.) of mine has been t-shirt painting, it's something I had dabbled in before but unfortunately didn't take much interest in since I found it tiresome because it took too long to paint a simple outline and it was just plain frustrating not being able to achieve a clean cut line, my strokes always turned out a little fuzzy.
I only decided to work it out since I've really been into bands and obviously craved for their merchandise, only to discover that I couldn't afford it, so I resolved to painting the merchandise myself. Since then I've painted every single one of my plain tops in my wardrobe and I'm not entirely sure if I should be proud of myself for improving the overall state of my clothing or disappointed because I haven't been able to control my urge to splash paint over everything.
It's funny how everything I get into always does fall back to art, it's almost like I revolve around it.
On the final note, I can't help feeling a little ill prepared about my departure or maybe this is just the slightly overwhelmed bit of my mind speaking as it usually does when what used to be far from reach nears to the point where you suddenly snap back into reality and realize that it's no longer a far fetched dream.