Sunday, June 15, 2008

Resilience, and Regaining the Will to Paint

Usually, I'm blogging about some national/international political event, or something cultural...but this weekend...that just isn't what I want to do. Now for something completely different. Seems like the time for rambling meditations on life.

We humans certainly are mysterious creatures. Our innate Primate sense of self-preservation, is routinely warring with our desire to self-destruct as spectacularly as possible. I took a tremendous amount of psych in college, though it had nothing to do with my major, which was fine arts, graphic design, illustration and cartooning. I was the only art major in my sorority; most of the girls were hotel-restaurant (a department our school was renown for, after Johnson & Wales), accounting, or nursing. So anything artistic, theatrical, or musical fell to me. Meaning, I was in charge.

Now normally, I like the idea of being in charge. I freely admit it. Except...when I have no choice in the matter, and already have more than enough on my plate. Then...it's a burden. So I permanently became Skit Chair as well. I was also taking playwriting, and they knew it, so at exec. board meetings they would throw out uninspired ideas for rush, or Greek Weekend, for whatever came up. And I was expected-when I wasn't doing my school work, or being the philanthropy chair to come up with something cool. Then I'd bust my ass attempting to accomplish everything. My father always told me I could do anything, that no child of his gives up or turns down a challenge. Translation: don't fail, or I'll be deeply ashamed.

Seems I took this to heart and took on more, and more, and more. Gradually, as my father got sicker and sicker, my mom ceased to cope with reality, my job grew more demanding, and my boyfriend's mental health deteriorated...so self-destructive primate that I am, of course I wanted to marry him. (Don't worry I didn't.)

This was not challenging myself. I had no time to myself. I had responsibilities. I ceased to paint. I have painted since I was 3 1/2 years old.

I have been agonizing whether or not to post this...I was afraid it may be too personal. I have been thinking about privacy, and respect and boundaries. I have been writing a manuscript about my family for a while. My old therapist recommended that I do this to regain the creativity that has been a part of me since I could first hold a brush or pencil. I am an artist. I am a writer, a storyteller. Putting intimate facts on public display cheapens the relationship. It is disrespectful. These people are dead now, most of them, but it is wrong to not let some things be private. Yes, no. Back and forth. I'm going to tell my story...but just not in a way that exploits what should be held close.

1 comment:

Manny said...

I found you via Deux Ex Malcontent. Great stuff, by the way.