On Following your own Path

Not many of us question the life road we’re set up for in our youth. We follow the road instead of forging it. Why wouldn’t you take the well-trodden, smoother path? It is SENSIBLE to work for someone else in a secure (hm!) job and pursue your passions only on the side, behaving and dressing respectably on someone else’s terms.

Perhaps you’ve had enough of living in a way that makes others feel comfortable, but there is no other example available to you. You know what we have to do then? Make it up.

Make up your life, how you live it, what your job is, how you’re going to make money. Live what you dream. Yes.

Detail from a spring sky in my latest oil painting. I paint the way I feel things.

I was unhappy every day in customer service, because I’m wired a bit differently to my capable colleagues. Chiefly, my head doesn’t translate thought to speech easily. It’s almost like that part of the brain that draws things together, forces cohesion in speech is broken. When I open my mouth I speak in tongues or exquisite corpses, or utter something robotically inane. I can’t pluck one thought from the others, and that makes conversation difficult, particularly since my short-circuit of 2010. That is an advantage as an artist, because it allows me to be inventive and draw unusual conclusions in my private world. And I don’t mind being odd, but I do mind pretending not to be.

That is why I have to my life and my work my way, and I can’t fit into someone else’s mould. I have to do what I’m passionate about in a context that is natural to me, in ways that I find good, and true, and beautiful. And the world laps it up, people. You get all sorts of confirmations that you’re on the right page.

“If you do want to claim the philosophers’ stone and begin living in paradise, but don’t know where to begin, my advice would be: let go of everything you believed till now, make up a fairytale about yourself and believe in that.” William Whitecloud

Have you made up a life that is on your own terms?



  1. Love Love Love the detail from the painting :-)

    and the words too, of course

    I think the world will absolutely lap up what you’re doing Romy x

    by Anne
  2. Thank you Anne! I hadn’t come across your blog before, will enjoy looking around! I see we have very similar cat children :) x

    by romy zunde
  3. I’d say “yes” but I think it’s pretty difficult to assess that from the inside. What we think are radical departures from the norm are often only departures from what we think is expected of us, rather than actually being lives lived on our own terms.

    I’m coming up against this in myself a lot at the moment—struggling to justify in others’ terms something I enjoy—and I think letting go of those external expectations about how we should live, which are so ingrained in us, can be really difficult since much of it is often unconscious.

    So I think the best I can say is “I’m giving it a red-hot go.”

    Interesting post :)

    by g
    • Absolutely. It’s difficult to work around perceptions, we’re so inundated with them. I think, when we figure out what our values are, it’s a lot easier to make decisions towards forging our own path, because it creates a new measure to work with (instead of external measures). It takes a *lot* of work to actually know what you want and not what you think you want, and as you say, you need to go deep and dredge the subconscious. Painting is a pretty great way to do that; you can really go another layer deep. :)
      Always interested to hear your ideas, G x

      by romy zunde
  4. Couldn’t agree more! Love the quote Romy…I know William Whitecloud well, I did two years training with him and am an accredited fasciitator of his work. Small world :-)

    by Susan Nethercote
    • Eh, not so small, I found him through your site. You see the ripples we make in the world! xx

      by romy zunde