It was FIVE years ago this month that I quit smoking for good. I smoked for more than 25-years, which I am now embarrassed to admit.
A few short months after smoking my last cigarette I picked up a paintbrush and started painting. Since then I have completed literally hundreds of paintings and make a modest living on my work. Creating art is like breathing to me now. I need it in order to survive - and it's nicotine-free.
If you have ever considered turning a bad habit into a good habit, I highly recommend you do so, your quality of life depends on it.
My smoking habit ended on January 28, 2014. It took me a very long time to get to that point - obviously. There was a lot of self reflection, contemplating, educating, praying and reading other people's inspirational stories before I made the conscious choice to remove cigarettes from my life. When I did finally make that choice it impacted my life in ways I had never imagined. It literally changed my life and I feel I'm a happier, healthier person.
When I smoked, I smoked in my garage. I had a chair in a dark corner where I would smoke numerous times a day, hovering over a stinky, over-stuffed ashtray. So glamorous, right? Once I quit smoking I transformed this same area into what would become my "art studio". My husband built me a work bench and taught me to use a Skilsaw. I started watching hours of YouTube painting videos and slowly I started acquiring art supplies and tools to paint. (If any of you reading this has ever purchased an art piece from me you literally have helped me along the way!)
Looking back, I wasn't a very good painter, but my enthusiasm and encouragement from a few key friends kept me going. Five years later I'm still learning to paint, and I anticipate I'll be learning for the rest of my life. I feel like I wasted so much time ... but am grateful to have art present at this stage in my life.
These days I paint full-time, and for the first time in my life I feel fulfilled in my line of work. I wake up happy and excited to create. I truly feel as if ART SAVED MY LIFE!
If you are considering taking a bad habit and turning it into a good one - I highly encourage you to take that step. It WILL absolutely change YOUR life.