It looks, and sounds, so easy when I hear others talking about/see others living their lives. Their clean and tidy houses, their well-behaved children who don’t climb on to the table and lunge across to the other side of the room for a piece of cardboard they’ve been cutting for centuries to make their dream train out of… Their lovely jobs and summer holidays and dream car and perfect husband/wife/cat/duck…
Social media platforms, casual chats outside school, at the pool, at the kids swim lessons, .. it all seems too good to be true. Am I the only one who’s life isn’t all pieced together like some Millennium Falcon Lego masterpiece? (I totally had that together once, until some kid walked in and stood right on top of it … Yep, my life!!) We have progressed into a culture where it’s too easy to self-compare – and half the time what you see isn’t even any form of reality, anyway! So why does it get to me (and so many others) so much?
Don’t get me wrong, I adore the people who fill my life. I am surrounded by the most beautiful friends and family, acquaintances, clients … but something always feels missing. I have come to the conclusion that my brain sometimes forgets to colour in colour. It seems to choose the black and white crayons, and runs with them.
Everyone else gets the coloured crayons, and I’m sitting over here like ‘ummmm, excuse me, how come I’m not as strong/fierce/confident/brave/clever/colourful as you, colourful-pants over there?!
My previous Post Natal Depression post has a great deal to do with this. The PND cloud that followed me around like a thunderstorm that wouldn’t buzz off took away my coloured crayons, and left me with the inner strength of a box of battered charcoal. Not. Cool.
But I can tell you this. Once I began letting colour and light back into my life, largely through painting, the thunderstorm began to float away. It lingers, a lot of the time, even now, but I am fully aware that unless I nurture and refill the box, my crayons will stay broken, still and colourless.
It’s so important to realise that everyone is busy fighting their own battles, in some way shape or form. Let’s not forget to check their box is full of coloured crayons, too.
It’s funny how many people think that because I paint Superheroes, I must be a Superhero fan. I didn’t start out that way at all. I found a connection with Wonder Woman for her strength and kindness – I was in awe of it, quite honestly. Her world seemed as though it was bursting with colour, adventure and selflessness. All the things I felt I was lacking. I felt like I had nothing left to give. She gave me so much strength, it’s hard to put into words!
I continue to paint Supers to not only nurture my own personal growth and self-care, but for others, too. To know that my paintings fill other peoples lives with colour and light, it makes me feel like this wasn’t – isn’t – all for nothing. Even my children remind me daily of how much they love my work. They run into the studio after school to see what progress I have made. This drives me forward each and every day, reminding me that they are rooting for me, so I should really be rooting for myself, too 🙂
Go and tell/text/email/sing to someone today how much you admire them, love them, respect them. Oh, and don’t forget to tell yourself whilst you’re at it!