As part of the Purposeful Dreamer Experience, each Dreamer will be sharing their creative experience in two phases.
First, the beginning of their creative journey. Their background, feelings and experiences inspiring their creative journey to bring you to the second phase which will be their final art piece and the closure of their purposeful Dreamer Experience. If you would like to learn more about the Purposeful Dreamer Experience, Click Here.
Each dreamer was given a set of questions in an effort to understand their creative process coming from many different backgrounds, ages and ethnicities. Our goal is to inspire YOU to explore your creativity and the benefits it can provide no matter where you are in life.
Today’s journey is a heartfelt and true story of the what many call the American Dream. My dear sister Tatiana shares a piece of a very hard time in our lives, specially for her being in the heart of it at a very young age and how it has come to inspire her Purposeful Dreamer piece.
Let’s begin with Tatiana’s background:
Tatiana was 9 years old when we moved here from El Salvador, I was 15. Between our age difference and life circumstances that separated us for many years, our relationship was not easy, but those same hard life circumstances eventually brought us closer, she is the rock of our family and we are so thankful for her and everything she has done.
When you meet Tatiana, you see a wise and beautiful soul with a heart of steal that will do anything and everything for her family. She is a true dreamer that at just 28 years old has sacrificed a lot more for her family than many will go thru in a lifetime and for that, life is rewarding her and has made her the amazing woman she is now.
What inspired you to create your piece of art for Purposeful Dreamer?
This piece of art was inspired by one of the resent events in my life, a home remodel, that is the short version…
The long and true story comes from the events leading up to the point of this recent remodel.
See, my parents bought the house in 2007. Their first home in the United States. It felt like they were finally living out their “American Dream”. That dream was short lived because only 4 years later, my dad – who cared for our home, finances, cooking, and was the glue to our home – would become so ill that he would lose his job and become fully dependent on us. No longer able to do anything on his own. Not only that, but because we only had Temporary Protected Status (In summary TPS, allows you to live, work, and pay taxes in the U.S legally), the government wouldn’t approve him for medicate benefits, un-employment, SSI benefits, or food stamps making any efforts to stay afloat nearly impossible. To be honest, I’m not sure how my mom was able to pick up the pieces.
This was also the year that I was supposed to graduate high school. I was a young 18-year-old, that had to also learn to fend my herself because my dad couldn’t even take me to school anymore. My mom was too busy trying to keep our house together, working, and taking care of my dad and my sister lived in Florida.
My mom and I were never that close when my dad was well and healthy. You can definitely say, I was a daddy’s girl. So, as I was growing and learning to be my own woman, it was hard for us to get along. A year later I also found myself falling in love, with my now amazing husband. We happily lived our life living together and even moved to another city together. I now look back to those times as some of the simplest moments of our life together.
I stayed in touch with my parents and saw them as often as I could, but no longer living with them it was easy not realize how much my mom was really struggling.
She was in the verge of losing their home and even renting out rooms to strangers wasn’t enough.
Once I realized that my mom just couldn’t keep living like this. My amazing husband agreed to help. We spend years trying to find the best solution for them, renting the house from them, downsizing them to an apartment, having them move in with us. Everything seemed to be going well until my husband and I got hit with curb ball after curb ball – we just couldn’t’ catch a break and all we were trying to do was help our families. Nothing ever seemed to work but, in 2017 we purchased the house from my parents. At this point we were not even living in the house, but we were still helping ensure the mortgage was paid, electric was paid and that nothing was broken.
After years of changes, trials and errors, and doing everything we could to help out our families, we had to move back into our house because we had no choice.
A choice that I can’t lie, was not easy for me personally, I just didn’t want to live in this house anymore. There were so many painful memories and so many up and downs.
I wanted us to be able to buy our own home and make our own memories. That was far from our reality though, and like they say hindsight is 20-20.
My husband and I put our future second and helping our families first. If we were moving back to this house, then this time we we’re doing things for us.
Now, after being back in my parents first house for over 6 months, things are much simpler, which meant we could finally remodel those ugly old 1970’s bathrooms that we had been dreaming of remodeling since 2014. We did just that!
Our bathrooms are now beautiful and just the way we would want them. Most importantly though, this house finally feels like our home. There are now big plans to continue to remodel this house and continue to make it our home. So, with that I’ve started working on small DIY projects to decorate, which is what has really inspired me to make this décor piece.
All the negative, painful, hard memories seem so minute next to the fact that this was my parents first home, and their first accomplishment of their “American Dream”.
Before and After Remodel
Was there something creative you really enjoyed as a kid or as a teenager and you no longer do? If creativity is still part of your life, why do you do it and what do you gain from it?
Photography! By far one of those creative outlets that comes and goes in season I feel like. It always takes me back, but I can never stick to it.
Creativity is a huge part of my life in many forms. I like to call myself a multifaceted creative. It’s so hard for me to stick to one thing. I feel like I’m always switching things around.
What feelings of the creative process have you experienced this far?
The inspiration behind this project has made me realize how thankful I am of where I am today. Turning something old to something new, is what I feel like we have done to this house. I’m putting all those years of hardship into this piece of art to create something; I hope is beautiful.
What do you hope to gain from your creative experience?
I’m thinking of this piece of art a little bit like that last sentence in a book, where I can finally get to close that book and start a new one.
Tatiana Morales-Smith, Purposeful Dreamer