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Challenges

Our only choice is how we react to them.

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"Get into the real world!"yelled my mom from our trailer's narrow hallway. This happened nearby where I fell through the floor, and close to where we found a possum hiding behind our toaster. That's when I knew I had to keep dreaming.

 

I grew up as a farmer and developed arthritis by age 15. My mom immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico and enabled my father's alcoholism. Thankfully, my grandparents raised me. But when my grandpa's lungs collapsed, my college grades collapsed.

 

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 I saw he spelled “hammer” wrong on his toolbox.

 

Yet, he taught himself how to build a pool complete with a filtration system among other things.

 

I wondered, “What if I learn a random skill?

 

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After my grandpa died,

I chose painting and hated it at first.

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For five years,

I woke up at 5:00AM to paint before work and never sold anything.

What kept me going was the belief that small steps make big changes.

 

I've gone from hiding my art in the closet, 

to having over 25,000

people see my art daily!

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When I started making murals...

Image by Erik van Anholt

my dad said, "you went to college and now you're painting walls?!"

 

Self-belief is trusting you're on the right path, without evidence

to prove it.

Painting well

isn't a gift, it's earned.

All images © Ana Valentine.

All rights reserved.

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All artwork copyright Ana Valentine 2021