Believe In Your Talent

By Annamária Salanciová, Orindzik reporter

My body was exhausted, but my mind was still fresh. I wanted to finish the painting I started last week.

I couldn’t’t stop, even when it was half past ten.  Almost every late evening was connected with art.  Art has often helped me to get through everyday problems. Late nights seemed to be the best times for my creativity.

However, not today. You surely know the feeling when you have to do something   completely nutty and difficult. It’s like when you’re standing on the cliff and you want to jump into the sea.  You ask yourself: “Why did I participate in this? What a crazy and stupid idea!“

Well, I felt the same way for last three weeks. The reason my fear was so close to me was because it was not my idea. “Mr. Cooper, if you knew how many difficulties I had and how much work I have to do every single day! But thank you for your strict and hopeful words.“
I used to improve my art skills to midnight.  The time when everything is silent and calm and I don’t have any more duties. The time when I sink into another world.

My deepest feelings are uncovered on paper and canvas. Brushes, pencils and colours speak instead of me. And they say more than I was ever supposed to. This was the most amazing moment that made me feel free every evening. I decided to study it.
The dark night was floating around me.  It came to my humble room and slowly filled my mind and made my eyes close. I just woke up, when the flash of morning sun stroked my face.

“Damn it! I fell asleep,”- what an angry mood. I will be late for school! I jumped from the chair quickly. My neck hurt so much and I didn’t know how I was going to handle this.
“Alice, where are you? It’s time for school,“ grandma was shouting from downstairs.  I think I have never been so fast. After my everyday morning routine I took my bicycle and went to school.I met up with Jacob in front of the school. He has been my good friend since we were little kids.

He used to travel to school by bicycle.
“How long did you study for the history test?“
My cheerful mood suddenly changed into consternation.
“History test? Today?!“
“Yes, don’t you remember it?“
“No! It was supposed to be on Wednesday, wasn‘t it?“
“No, we’re taking the test today.“
“Oh , no!“
“Don’t panic! We have a free lesson today- you can study during it. “
That made me feel calm again.
“So, how about your admission exams? What’s the date?“
“The tests are tomorrow. I have been preparing for them since October. “
Why did he remind me of the tests? I was afraid again.
“I think you will master it- your drawings are beautiful!“
“And the paintings, too! “ said Eva. We didn’t notice her and she scared us. It’s her vice to scare people sometimes.
“Thank you, my friends! It would be really helpful if you were in the jury. But you won’t be there, evidently, so I have to do my best. “
“Our fingers are crossed for you, Alice!“ they said together. They make me smile whenever I need it.

While we were entering the school, the bell suddenly rang, and we had to run to the classroom. We found it, opened the door, and quickly realized that it was not the right one.
“Sorry!“ I said to the teacher and ran away. We found our classroom a bit late. The teacher was furious because we were supposed to take the test at that lesson. She was one of the strictest teachers in our school, and she always gave us the worst marks. She refused to give us the test. We were looking at our classmates and thinking how to save our marks.
“Eva! I knew this would be an awful day!“
“How did you know it?“
“I have forgotten my lucky amulet today, and the horoscope told me about this day!“
“Oh, Alice, not again. This day has just started. You‘ll see, it’ll be a perfect day!”
Honestly, it was a terrible day. The history test was difficult and I wasn’t prepared well for it. I fell on the stairs and spilled the cup of tea I was carrying. The lunch was disgusting. In the afternoon, it started raining, and I realized I had forgotten to take my umbrella. I had to go home by bike.  All this happened because of my amulet. I didn’t wear it just today and look what happened to me!

What a terrible day! And what about tomorrow? I need to have a look at my horoscope. When I found it, it was quite good. It didn’t suggest any unlucky situations. I can’t exactly say when I started reading horoscopes, wearing amulets, and noticing things like broken mirrors and black cats. My beliefs came slowly, and I accepted them all, even if the society has often judged me.

Where are you, my amulet? It was lying on the desk near the art history books. I learned much from them for tomorrow’s tests.  I didn’t know what to do for it anymore. Almost everybody knew I was terrified. They helped me and wished me the best. I could only revise some art theory, have a good sleep, and take my amulet.  I opened the books, but I felt it wouldn´t help me. Who knows what will happen tomorrow. Success or failure. Happiness or sadness. Art University or nothing.  Maybe my whole effort will be useless. I have tendencies to fail in important situations. I can’t do my best when the nervousness comes to my mind. It rules me, and I am not able to master it. And maybe that’s why I rely on my amulet. It was an old necklace with a small horseshoe.  I have believed it will always bring me happiness.
I was sitting on my bed and looking on the necklace when my grandma came to the room.
“Hi, Alice. How was your day?“

“What a great question”, I thought.
“Hm, it was quite ok, Grandma.“
“I know you’re terrified about tomorrow. I felt the same a long time ago. The only useful words I can give you now are to be yourself. Nothing more, Alice. Tomorrow will happen somehow. Don’t be afraid.“ I felt she meant it truly.
I didn’t do anything that evening. I just prepared for the exam and went to sleep.

“Good luck!“ were the last words I heard when I was leaving home.
I came to the train station and waited for the morning train. I couldn´t stop thinking about the tests. What if I pick the worst questions ever or forget how to draw? But on the other hand, I felt it wouldn´t be so bad. My horoscope wished me the best, too, and my amulet was close to me.  It made me feel safe and calm.  The landscape was beautiful, but the journey seemed to me so long. Although I was under pressure, I had quite positive feelings about today. When I got off the train I walked to the university through a beautiful park. The sun was shining, birds were gliding, and the smell of spring was in the air.

“What a nice day, I’d paint it if I had time… Wait, what is it?!“  I saw a black cat crossing the path. I immediately called Eva, because she was on break.
“Eva! Something bad happened again!“
“Oh! Did you miss the train? Or did you take the wrong one?“
“No! Something worse! A black cat crossed my path!
“Alice, seriously?“
“Can you imagine how many black cats in the whole world are crossing paths right now?
“Yes, but…“

“All the stars, horoscopes, and amulets cannot have influence on YOU, your talent, and knowledge! A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere. You would be much better if you believed more in yourself than in all that stuff. Alice, you’re talented. Don’t allow all these things to steal your talents from you.“

We ended the call and it made me wonder.

I came to the university. It was a beautiful building.

But I was still thinking about the conversation. I have never heard words like that. All the time, people only talked about my naivety, but Eva said something awesome and gave me more courage. I saw a lot of nervous students waiting in the hall. The first part of the tests was drawing. Some professors invited us to big classrooms where the papers were lying on the desks and the pencils with rubbers were ready for drawing.

“Sit there,“ said one of them to me, and he went on talking: “You have a beautiful necklace.“
“ Thank you… but I think I won’t need it anymore.“ I put down the amulet from my neck and gave it to the professor.
“I can’t accept it. Are you sure you won’t need it?“
“Yes, NOW, I’m totally sure …