Getting A Side Hobby at 53: Meet the Decoupage Dentist!

How many times have you stressed about not hav­ing enough time for your hobby? How often have you dwelled about not knowing what you’re interested in beginning with? If you nodded in agreement to the past couple of questions, continue reading this motivated 53-year-old’s story and we prom­ise you’ll worry a bit less.

Fascinated by a friend’s house decorated using decoupage, Den­tist Huda Hassan El-Hemely de­cided to learn how to do it and finished a lot its in-depth courses until she started her own page. She would sell things like pic­tures, trays, coffee corners,  and so on. All this when she was in her early fifties!

Wanting to perfect her skills with decoupage, Huda realized she needed to work on her drawing skills. Accordingly, she enrolled in a drawing course that made her discover her newest intense pas­sion. “When I got into the course, I told them that I knew nothing about drawing since 4th  grade, but I loved it. So, I started tak­ ing pencil drawing, perspective, colors, and geometric forms, I started from scratch and cut a long road until I was able to draw with my colleagues,” Huda says.

Slightly worried about the age dif­ference between herself and oth­ er participants, Huda wondered if her mental capacity or absorp­tion would allow her to keep pace. “I was too shy to enter believing that I would be the oldest there. It was the first question I asked: Would you accept someone as old as I was?”, she adds. Yet, she was relieved to find very welcoming people, including people of her age!

For the Oral and Maxillofacial surgery MA graduate Huda, den­tistry, decoupage, and drawing all rely on basically the same things: hand skills, patience, working for long hours. So now she happily works on them all, together with being a mother-of-two.

“Being a dentist has ever been really exhausting. I used to work from 8 to 3 then go home and then cook for my kids and study with them. My day used to start from 8 am to 8 or 10 pm. I had no time quality time for me,” Huda says, explaining how her life was before pursuing her hobby.

And so she needed room for recharging from all the re­sponsibilities, especially as she got older. “The older you get, the more you know that you are no longer dependent you are dependable. Where are you in all of this? What will let your steam off? I have come to know that anyone should have a hobby to stick to! The better you get at it, the more balanced the person becomes,” Huda adds.

Huda’s family was totally sup­portive and happy with her de­cision to pursue new interests and dreams. “It doesn’t make me breathe down their throats as I’m always busy, it’s a win-win situa­tion,” she jokes.

Huda aspires to start drawing in­ dependently and launch exhibits as soon as she finishes studying. Being a student has always been one of her favorite things, and it’s why she’s always eager to learn new things and languages. “It is just a matter of time. When I was young, my family was always worried about me going places, but now it is time for me to venture,” she adds.

For her future with decoupage, she’s planning on giving courses and starting a business with her two daughters, whom she taught as well! She’s even thinking of getting into photography.

Huda has already started inspir­ ing people in her circle to find their hobbies, starting from her friend who is into drawing as well. To everyone else, she says, “Nothing should stop you from starting whatever whenever. What matters is having passion and persistence. You can make yourself happy by doing what you love. You need no one to make you happy.”

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