April 2, 2012

i want to paint and i want to write

that's what i used to say when people asked me what i wanted to be when i grow up.

i want to paint and write.

there was also a time i wanted to be a model or an actress or a psychiatrist. maybe even, for a minute, i wanted to be a ballerina, but mostly, i wanted to be an author and an artist.

though i may not have said that out loud, all the time, it is what i wanted for a very long time.

instead of staying true to that vision, like many people, i started to listen to those around me.

"that's what everyone wants to do but it doesn't pay the bills"

"okay, lazy hippie"

"haha, you? you can't draw. you can't paint. and even though you can write okay, you don't live in NYC and it's hard to find a pubisher"

"wouldn't it be nice if we could all just be trust-fund kids? that way we wouldn't have to get a real job."

maybe none of those things were actually said to me, exactly like that. but the message i heard was artists and authors were lazy and poor and there were those successful ones but they weren't young, they weren't women, they weren't from the middle of nowhere. they had money and they knew all the right people.

i created an immense amount of self-doubt, as well and now, while i can finally assert that i am sort of a grown-up, i am trying to make sense of it all.

did i ever believe in myself? did i think i could become what i wanted and let others' discouragement discourage me or was i afraid all along?

there is constant proof around me that when we act out of love and open ourselves to possibility, that amazing things happen.

and yet i still sometimes operate out of fear. i think it has to do with something we rarely acknowledge...

...growth is painful.

it hurts.

i used to be so depressed that i hurt but i am now able to feel so much joy, more joy than i'd ever previously known.

now on this side of that mirror, i know that joy, too, is painful.

we hear all these little quips and we call them cliche to downplay their importance.
their magnificence.

they're so simple...so simple that we think there's got to actually be a whole lot more complicated stuff behind living the life you want.

it's not more complicated, it's just that even simple suggestions can be difficult to implement, difficult to live and uphold every single moment of every single day.

life is too short
dare to dream
love is all there is
countless others

i see where i've let go in order to grow bit by bit but i know there is still more stretching of the wings necessary.

it's kinda gonna hurt but it would hurt more to close myself off out of fear and live for other people so much that i lose sight of what i need to do in order to be my best self. this isn't a want and i've said it before, it's a necessity, but now that i'm peeling away more layers of what it took to get here, i can say, there is almost nothing else. i'm no longer embarrassed or shy to say this:

i paint.

and i write.

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