Value of Words – Growth

Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth. To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one’s potential.

Bruce Lee

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The ability to grow as human beings and as an individual is extremely important.
We grow from small, vulnerable babies to be the children, teenagers, young and older adults we are today.
We all grow. The problem is when we stop.
If we do not grow, we cease to truly live…we are merely existing.

 

How Do We Grow.

We grow by trying new things; sights, sounds, tastes, experiences, and roles in life. I believe everything that happens in our life’s leaves us with an opportunity to grow and learn from. Even experiences that may not be as pleasant as others. Now, I know people will argue saying how could a death of a loved one or a horrible accident give you an opportunity to grow? Being an optimist (not by choice, it seems to run through my veins. No matter how much I fight it, it will always be there), I always can see the negative and positive. When it comes to losing a love one…Positively I think about the beautiful life they have lived, the impact and influence they have made on those around them in this life. How they have shaped the world to be what it is. Everyone in this world makes an impact. Some small, some large. We all influence one another, rather we realize it or not.
I mentioned in Sunday’s post “From One Place to the Next” I would give a little more background information into the painting posted.

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Venturing Into a New World.

Originally when I started this painting two or three years ago, I set out splattering the paint onto the canvas in my usual fashion. Splashes of water flying everywhere, paint drips on the wall and some making it on to the canvas. I have and without a doubt probably will always be a messy painter.

With every painting I complete, the first layer is always one done in the heat of passion, a fit of anger, surge of happiness…basically an overwhelming load of emotions.
During this painting I was in the middle of an unsolved dispute with my then Fiancé. The details are irrelevant and I will not share to spare you from boredom.
The gist of it is I was 22 at the time. I just quit being a hair stylist and was venturing out into the world of art to make it my career. I still hadn’t figured out who I was or if I was on the right path (something I’m sure everyone struggles with at various points in their life).  Nothing is more terrifying then breaking away from the normal 9-5 routine and knowing a pay check will always be on its way. Especially the pressure of rather or not you will succeed, let alone make a dime. I was still living at home during this point, I had my own bills to take care of and helped out with some expenses around the house. Not a whole lot of pressure to make rent, but enough to try and reassure my parents that I would be able to collect enough money to move out shortly. So as you can see, I wasn’t too stable with my own identity or knowing where my life was going at all.

Now this man, my fiancé, he was my best friend. The kind of friend you can share everything with, you may be teased endlessly for such and poked fun at though, but you could still share.  We shared a love for music, concerts, all things Asian. We would stay up all night playing Pokemon Puzzle League, watching Bruce Lee movies followed by my cheesy vampire shows.
Even though we were best friends and everything seemed good, there was always something missing …the emptiness I felt since I was a small child still existed. I had assumed being in such a committed relationship, that the emptiness was to subdue. It never did. I wasn’t expecting some knight to come along and save me from all my inner turmoil (maybe I did have a fantasy of a knight), but I never expected someone to save me from the emptiness I felt.
This feeling was a strong one. It was the feeling of knowing I was never truly going to be with anyone or ever meet my so called soul mate.  I have often debated countless times in my mind on the true definition of what a soul mate is. To make it simple, a soul mate is someone I can feel safe lying next to at night. When I tell them something personal and intimate, they will not ridicule me. We will have respect for one another. That I won’t constantly feel they are a million miles away when they are right next to me. To have a secure love.

“Why spend your life looking for perfection in a mate? Afterall, when you look at yourself, are you perfect?”
-Unknown

I loved this man, I did. But I knew his time in my life would be short lived. That no matter how hard I would fight or work towards the relationship, he will never truly be there. He was only half present at all times. I wasn’t aware of what it truly felt to have someone be truly there at the time, but I knew it wasn’t this.

I worked on several layers of the painting during this time, and then I would put it away. I didn’t know how I could take the painting any further, or bring out what I saw within the brush strokes.
Every few months, I would take this piece and stare at it. I actually grew quite fond of the unfinished painting and could clearly see something different then what everyone else did.
I would see a figure looking up, hand outreached towards a bird soaring nearby in the sky. Two different worlds were melting, blending into one another. I asked those around me what they thought. The responses were always the same. “Show me when you’re done.”
Back to the corner, behind other canvases,  the painting went.

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Time Moves On.

Time went on and my life went in many directions, I was teaching at the art school quite heavily. My focus on painting as an artist came and went quite often, I had zero confidence that I would ever be able to pursue a career as one. I had moved out of my parents’ home and into an apartment with my fiancé. I went back to school and was enrolled in the early childhood development program. Both transitions happened within the same week. My first week of school was the same time I had moved out and was ready to start a life with a man and not look back. Those who know me, know change is something that is difficult for myself to adapt to. I either need to dive in head first or not at all, while being hesitant the entire time. However, I always crave big changes. It’s confusing, I know.

I also am one who cannot handle organized education. High school was a nightmare at times for me. I found it completely boring and useless, thankfully the art courses got me through. But that’s another story.
I lived with my fiancé for a year,  then life decided to take me down a different path, one away from my then fiancé. I moved back home and dived heavily into the world of art once more. I took on a stronger role at the Art School I was working at. Applying to be on the board of directors then becoming chair of the marketing committee. I felt a great surge of freedom and energy, I felt as if I was able to see the person I have been hiding for quite some time. Hibernating until I knew it was time to be who I was meant to be.
I became more outgoing and have met many wonderful people both in person and online through facebook, instagram and twitter. The twitter community alone is such a positive, inspiring one.
Ironically, that is how I met the man I am with now. I first started following him on Twitter through a local artist I always admired, and then we started with Instagram and Facebook.
We commented on each other’s lives, photos we would post. He is a talented Designer, a fellow food lover and one who also shares a passion for the arts. One of the earliest comments I can remember him saying is how I was covered in paint.
When I paint, I am literally covered in it. I get right into the mediums I’m working with; I become part of the painting. I enjoy the process and wish to pour myself into the work, then to see the evidence on my hands makes me feel truly happy. The way I naturally should look, to have painted skin.

 

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He helped me that summer, when things were going bad with my fiancé. How I was conflicted on where life was going and rather I was to stay in the relationship I was in or not. He sent me a DM offering help and insight if needed.
A few weeks had passed and after many restless nights spent fighting I had moved back home, like I mentioned earlier.
The Designer sent me a message to follow up and see how I was doing (he had seen one of my posts with boxes in my new/old room). At the time I was very scattered and never knew he had even messaged me.
We continued to comment once in a while on each other’s posts, then one day I noticed a DM show up on my screen. I checked the message and it turns out the Designer was asking me out for a drink/coffee/tea or something. I couldn’t help but smile.

—–Now it seems I’m getting caught up in explaining how my Designer and I got together and off track from explaining the painting. If you have read this far, I am touched and a little shocked. Ill try to steer this back on track, the point is I was beginning to be happy.—-

The designer and I went on a few dates, I still remember the first time he came through the door to pick me up. He was wearing his black jacket and his presence was incredibly strong. His eyes were beautiful, I won’t even begin to explain how powerful his eyes are, especially when he wants them to be.
Eight months went by of us dating, sharing each other’s lives and going on adventures together. I grew out of my limited comfort zone with him; I no longer had anxiety about travelling. I actually had let go of a lot of my anxieties and fears.
The worlds that have opened up while going through life so far with this man are incredibly. I may struggle from time to time with who I am and know I am so very close to finally being such. I can feel the sensation down to the very tips of my fingers. This man challenges me in so many ways, the way he lives his life gives me inspiration. That if you want to succeed in doing something, you can do it. You work endlessly to fulfill your dreams and not let anyone put you down. If it’s something you believe in, then you fight for it.
He is one of the strongest people I have met thus far in my life.

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.
Khalil Gibran

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Untitled 1, Acrylic, 2013

I’ve Made It.

Needless to say, I fell quicker than I would have expected for him. I do my best to try and pace myself, but at times it is quite difficult to do. I found my warmth, my sun.

The painting below  was worked on in between layers drying of “From One Place to the Next” and completed directly after.
Unlike the first one, the lines aren’t so controlled. I was struggling for control and to try to keep everything in place with “From One Place to the Next”. With this one, it represents my life.
I’ve made it.
I am happy.