Glimpse from the life of an immigrant – Dream, Live, Create!


One of my paintings in progress “Where are my roots?” It was inspired by feelings of being very much displaced in life as a result of an immigration.

As I sit here at work on a slow Monday afternoon I am grateful that it’s slow and that the phone isn’t ringing off the hook anymore, that the much popular car exhibit has ended at last. But the time is dragging, much like it does on Friday afternoons when you wonder how you’ll make it through the day without dying of boredom.

Yeah, it’s one of those days like that.

Don’t get me wrong, a very large part of me is beyond grateful, for the steady income, a job that is relatively easy to do and most of all that it’s in the museum. I know that many people would love to have this opportunity and I count my blessings for having this opportunity extended to me…that is all well and good.

But another part of me feels like I want to crawl out of my own skin…I earn for adventure! I have an insatiable appetite for life and I want to experience as much as I can while I am here on Earth.

Yet, everything is moving so slow…my dreams and aspirations…kind of like this day. I have so many dreams and intense desires and sometimes I wonder why in the hell I am feeling this if there is no way for me to do any of it. It causes me much sadness…I feel powerless…and small. I try to talk myself out of those feelings and most times I succeed, I try not to allow myself to wallow in self-pity, it’s just that there are times when I feel stuck on this merry-go-around and don’t know how to find a way out.  I am just trying to be patient and working on CREATING an opportunity for myself! As I don’t feel that the opportunity for me to discover myself was ever given to me.  I have become strict with my time management, I had to put any kind of a social life on a back burner for now, all my evenings and weekends are spent either creating art, collages, paintings, taking photographs or studying something relating to that. In between of cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, grocery shopping and whatever else we all have to do in our daily lives.

I want to become an artist and photographer, so much that I feel like I NEED it, not just want it, where I am doing that for a living. I want to take vacations, to be excited on Mondays as much as I am on Fridays, I want to have a freedom to take a walk during the day if I feel like it, to Visit Hawaii, to take underwater pictures, to go back to Russia and Estonia and walk in the places I used to…to see how far I’ve come. I want to have a sense of a family…to have my own family. I want for my life to be filled with meaning…. 

I’ve come from Estonia which used to be a part of Russia, 19 years ago. Yet, I am still dreaming of taking a real vacation which I have never had in my adult life and to perhaps even visit California. To me, being from another country, I feel like it’s something I really desire, to see many different places, especially US. I dream of going on a long road trip around the country where I eventually end up in California and travel to all the places I wanted to go for so long. Like the Red Woods forest. I just want to feel what’s it like to stand under that old, mighty tree, to walk where thousands of people came before me, to admire nature in all it’s indescribable beauty.

 I feel like it’s absolutely crazy that I’ve lived here for 19 years, yet I’ve never been to New York, LA, Las Vegas or any of the popular places. And not for the lack of the desire…but much like the car that won’t move unless it has gas it in, no vacations are possible without $. I have worked since I was 14 years old. And have always taken care of myself. Everything I’ve ever gotten in life was with sweat, blood and tears. I guess there are times when I really wish things were a bit easier…that I actually could work and enjoy life, not live for the weekends from paycheck to paycheck.

I want to love life, not feel like I have to fight it for every minute and every dollar.

 My mom brought me and my little sister here to US. I was 15, my sister was 4. Mom had 2 small bags and $10. We had to leave everything behind, mom made so many sacrifices for us, to bring us here…and now my sister has grown up to be an ungrateful, selfish person…it’s so painful, we don’t even talk to her anymore…she has caused our family so much grief…it has been an exciting, agonizing and complicated journey…one that is still filled with much of uncertainty…as we’re finally after almost 20 years are getting closer to finalizing our status…

Because of living in the limbo for 20 years I have made many decisions which I would have probably otherwise wouldn’t… But who knows really what it’s supposed to and not supposed to be like…In life, you can never hold on to regrets. Ever! It carries destructive power and brings doubts. Whatever happened, happened, good, bad or ugly, everything is a life lesson.

Sure, I wish that I have had an opportunity to go to college, to experience childhood, to feel like I had the same opportunities that other kids did…but it didn’t happen. I wasn’t able to go to college because of our status….I could only work and pay taxes.

I have so many dreams! Now, that I have allowed myself to dream. For so many years I just accepted what was dealt to me, being an outcast that fell through the cracks of society because of our immigration status…I didn’t dream…just survived the best I could.

About 4 years ago I went through an intense spiritual awakening. That resulted in a creative awakening as well.  Through a lot of soul searching I created an outlet for all of my emotions to be able to cope with it all. I started painting, I didn’t know how, I just picked up paints and brushes and started. I felt a bit like driving with a blindfold, but I kept with it, searching any tutorials and instructional videos on internet, borrowing books from the library, anything that was free and I could get my hands on. I just became a sponge and wanted to absorb any knowledge about art and photography that I could.

I remember hearing the words ringing in my ears: “Out of nowhere, out of nothing – a way will be made!” I guess that’s how I feel, I am self-made, everything I have I have worked hard for, anything I’ve become is the result of many at times painful life lessons. You can create your life the way you want it to! But it’s not for the weaklings, it takes a lot of determination and hard work. But most of all, you have to have hope, even if you have to create it out of thin air, and you have to allow yourself to dream! I believe in many things but most of all, I believe in myself!

I believe my art and photography will set me free. Free to create the life that I am meant to have, not the one I was dealt.  

It is my life’s mission to manifest my dreams. Doing what I am passionate about, doing what makes me feel most alive!

This dream is what’s keeping me strong and keeps me going. I know this is what I am meant to do! And I will get there, no matter how long it takes!

I hope to look back at this life’s journey and say that it was all worth it…………………..


About alinaskye

Hello, my name is Alina. I am a local artist and a jewelry designer. I have lived and worked in Nashville for little over 5 years now during which I have discovered many interests I am passionate about, including painting with oils and acrylics, mixed media and jewelry design. Working in an art environment, I currently work at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, have greatly inspired me in many ways. Skye is a self chosen name, which I think best suits me. It represents the sky and heavens above, vast and ever-changing. It came to me when I allowed myself to accept that there are as many opportunities as they are stars in the sky; through the process of soul searching, letting go of fears and doubts –self-made limitations. From that liberating process a new idea and dreams were born, and so did Alina Skye. When I started painting it wasn't out of casual interest or to adopt a new hobby, it came from an intense desire to somehow project all the various emotions and feelings I was experiencing at that time. I needed an outlet for my creativity. Somehow I wanted to convey my personal experience of life through art. My influences are everything I see, feel and experience as well as the things that I've come to understand along the way. My artwork is deeply personal and rewarding to me. Through art I hope to transform a simple perception into something deeper. Symbolism is used to convey ideas that are sometimes overlooked in the business of our everyday lives. I hope to inspire others to look at ourselves as more than just a mere physical body, but to uncover the beautiful immortality of spirit that is hidden within us all.

Posted on September 30, 2013, in Life Journey and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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