Day 43 - September 29
So here's Ana's story. Created during two days in July 2016 in Slovenia, in the framework of the TC Facing the Street.
Ever since Ana found out about her epilepsy, her life divided into two part – before and after. She remembers being very bright and over-achieving in primary school, but the sickness brought problems with focus, self-esteem and ambitions. It changed all the relationships in her life: with classmates, with friends, with family and the most important one - with herself. Studying became harder, as well as connecting to people and keeping up with the world around her. Overpowered by stress, that made her attacks more frequent, she dropped out of high school to stay at home with her family.
Now she’s 19 years old. She’s living quite a structured, organized life with her father, older brother and the cat named Jackie. Every day she wakes up early to work out, then takes a bus to Ljubljana - to attend the center for young adults. There she can dedicate herself to things she inspire her – painting and drawing. She loves mixing paints, listening to music, searching for inspiration in pictures and movies, she loves Frida, Mick Jagger, dream catchers and mandalas.
On weekends she spends time with her father Renato, who works as an engine driver. Every Saturday morning they follow their own little ritual – first going to a supermarket to buy groceries for a week, then taking a coffee on the coffee shop's terrace and speaking for hours.
She considers coming back to school to make her father proud, as he works so hard for their family. But she’s also having doubts. Going back can bring a lot of stress, and she’s scared that she might be not ready to handle it. Right now she’s focusing on finding her equilibrium and practicing arts that she enjoys so much.
2. During the week Ana visits PUM – the center that focuses on education of young adults. She recently started coming here again, after leaving it about a year ago. Now she admits that she really enjoys it, as in PUM they speak about life and goals a lot. Here she can really dive into what she loves – art.
3. Painting and drawing are Ana’s biggest passions. She says that it relaxes her unlike anything else. She uses acrylic paints, tempera, watercolors and always mixes her own colors to dim them down a little.
4. Ana lives in a village outside of Ljubljana with her father, brother and cat Jackie. She haven’t been in contact with her mother for 2 years.
5. Andreja is working in PUM and sees Ana every day. Having coffee in the kitchen before the start of the day is one of the center’s little traditions.
6. Ana says that she is scared to think about what she should do when the summer will end. For now she’s spending time with her family and trying to find her equilibrium.
I would really love to thank everyone who gave me this amazing opportunity and especially Ana and her family. Thank you for these amazing days that we've spent together and thank you for being so warm and welcoming. It was a real honor!