Today I’m going to brag just a tiny bit about how amazing my extended family is. About once a month we try to get together, and our monthly outing happened to be last night. As we were enjoying each others’ company, laughing and just having a fun night out like always, I came to the realization of how lucky I am to be born into such a remarkable family.
With these very special people there is no jealousy and no judgement. We just enjoy each other for who we are. It's natural, simple and the purest kind of love. As I lied in bed last night feeling perfectly content, I reflected back on all of the times these folks have been there to support me and hold me up, if you will. When I decided to pursue my endeavors as an artist, which I’m sure most people would find to be a little crazy in my late thirties, I felt nothing but love and encouragement from these dear folks.
When my parents moved out of state my extended family, without a second thought, invited me into their homes for all of the major holidays so I wouldn’t feel alone. This artwork pays tribute to the incredible people whom, simply by chance, I’ve had the pleasure of being surrounded by. Thank you for reaching out to hold my hand when I needed you, and thank you for bringing so much laughter into my life.
Adding to my collection of work inspired by female archetypes, this week I sketched out my first idea for The Mother. A close friend who is a soon-to-be mother inspired me. I am in awe of her humble honesty and courage. I would imagine becoming a mother is one of the most magical and terrifying experiences in a woman’s life.
Not speaking from experience but purely from observation of others, when a woman commits to having and raising a child, it is the most selfless act; a choice that changes her life forever. She not only goes through great physical changes, but mentally and emotionally this child now becomes the most important priority, above all else that she once held dear. I’m sure that in most cases the joy of having a child and the love that she holds far outweighs any sacrifices, but ultimately she must know that she is losing a part of herself and her freedom. This can be very difficult to acknowledge.
What I appreciate about this very special woman is that she unpresumptuously said out loud that she is selfish. She loves her freedom, she loves to travel and go as she pleases. Ironically even though she is quite independent and free-spirited, in my opinion she is anything but selfish. She is beautiful inside and out and one of the most caring and kind persons I happen to know. I can’t remember a single time in the many years that I’ve known her that she has ever been selfish.
I think sometimes people confuse self-care with selfishness. Of course when you have less responsibility, you have more time to take care of yourself and do things that you enjoy. However, even when one’s life becomes more hectic and responsibilities seem to take over, it is still important to practice self-care by continuing to do the things that you love independently of others. These things, such as yoga, traveling, creating art or whatever else you happen to have a passion for simply feed your soul. When we do not take the time for ourselves, people seem to develop a sort of bitter resentment towards others, and mostly towards those people for whom they’ve made the most sacrifices for.
By giving time to yourself you are more likely to love and give to others. So to all of you mothers out there, I am amazed by you. You have a strength and love unlike no other. Just remember to do something for yourself every once in a while and be selfish if that’s what it really is. Being a martyr doesn’t get you anywhere but dead. (Woah, heavy! My little sick humor.) Till next time folks!
This weekend I started my second painting in my collection of female archetypes, The Inner Child. This part of my personality is probably the one that comes out most often. There are things we do as children that many of us stop doing as adults. There are also a freedoms we have as children that we can’t really grasp at the time; but when we look back we realize how special they were. Most of us get tied down with responsibilities, family obligations, and relationships; we forget what it’s like to be free from all of those adult-related burdens.
As much as I enjoy being in a relationship, the moment I start to feel a bit trapped or it gets a bit too serious, I bolt. Perhaps it’s one of my faults. I’m deathly afraid of someone taking away my freedom. I’ve seen over and over again what it does to people and I simply don’t want that kind of life for myself. There is a song from Serbia (where my parents were born), about a girl named Daniela who’s always running away. Quite fitting.
Despite my recent streak of very dark artwork, I’m genuinly a happy person most of the time. I enjoy being silly, lying at the beach all day, riding my bike, feeling snowflakes on my tongue, scaring people, and dancing around my kitchen when nobody’s watching. I make it a point to do one thing ever day that makes me happy.
In the end it is important to embrace the joy, innocence and freedom of your inner child as often as you can. Take that road trip by yourself, eat that ice-cream, and slow dance in the middle of your street on a warm summer evening. These are the moments that we remember forever. Run away and go enjoy each day!
The Blindfold; to deprive someone of sight by tying a piece of cloth around the head so as to cover the eyes.
As we move through relationships, working on building stronger ones and letting go of others, do we see them for what they are, or do we walk around with a metaphorical blindfold on to hide the ugly parts from ourselves? If and when we finally take it off, is it for the better, or does it only offer more suffering?
In the past few weeks I have anguished for dear friends who are suffering from the worst kind of betrayal in a relationship; one that I’m unable to disclose, but nevertheless has taken a heavy tole on my mind and heart. What I always thought was true and forever is no longer. It shattered what little hope I had of having something true and lasting one day myself.
In the same few weeks, I have had my own experience with a new relationship, enjoying many moments but also trying to gage feelings and interest in both parties. While I appreciate his viewpoints and blunt candor on life and relationships, I already know somewhere in the back of my mind that this will most likely not last. Does it have to be forever to be real? Can we enjoy a temporary relationship without thinking about the future, or am I blindfolding myself from what I really want but may never have?
On the other hand, perhaps the blindfold is off for the first time, and I’m seeing and enjoying the relationship for exactly what it is, without any hope or expectation.
Whether it be the uncertainty of a new relationship, or the inevitable conclusion of a one that was thought to last a lifetime, with eyes wide open we can only move forward and see what the future holds.
Stories about how art inspires and changes us.