When referring to life in metaphorical terms, most use books as a reference or a way of measurement. The “book of life” contains many chapters (or years) and in each chapter there are pages (or days). Sometimes, life events may cause the ending of a book and the beginning of a new volume (divorce, death, drastic life changes). I was writing in my journal this morning, reflecting on this past year as a whole, and I discovered a new way to determine the depths and descriptions of our everyday lives over the course of a lifetime.
I like to paint.
Every year around New Year’s Eve, the breath of fresh air that is associated with the “new year” always gives optimism to those who have been living in ways they shouldn’t be or don’t need to be. I can absolutely admit to falling victim of this commercialized “new beginning” (although, technically it is just another day). I won’t take away from the new identity that a new year can create. You haven’t been taking care of your body as you should? January 1st rolls around and you are motivated more than ever to hit the gym and start being conscious about what you’re eating. Have some life dreams or aspirations you have yet to meet? There is nothing that will get your feet moving and mind thinking than that freedom assigned to the “new year”. This is also an excellent time to ask forgiveness for yourself and from others, take advantage of that.
Most personal to me though, is the wave of life that erupts when a new year comes around. 2013 was the worst year of my life, for multiple reasons. I wanted nothing more than to close that chapter of my life, forever. This is what I mean when I say that a new year can give you “life”. The dawn of 2014 undoubtedly gave me a new beginning, a new purpose, and a big, refreshing inhale of vibrant new air, while I exhaled the colossal hurt, pain, and grief that 2013 brought me.
Aforementioned statement: I like to paint.
When painting, if you make a minor mistake, it’s no big deal. Nonetheless, if you make a HUGE mistake, it is also no big deal. There have been numerous times that I have repainted an entire canvas to be white. I once began painting a beach scene on a canvas. Months later, I decided I no longer wanted to paint a beach scene. I wanted to paint a mountain scene. I painted the entire canvas white. It looked brand new. The paint on the canvas, of course, was a bit thicker than it had been when I began. But to me, I knew what had been there, and now laying before me was a brand new canvas that I was going to create something unique on. I have repainted over imperfectly painted words. I have repainted over minor and enormous mistakes, to which I adjusted and then fixed.
My point here is that I no longer measure my life in terms of books. When I am reading a book, my purpose is to get to the end. I want it to be revealed to me what characters did what, what actions led to certain reactions, and how the ending was played out. Although this is parallel with life, measuring my life page by page, chapter by chapter, volume by volume to reach the final page with the final ending seems a bit monotonous and exhausting. Another flaw to me is that each current page is defined and altered by the previous page. You can’t have a story without knowing every single, meticulous, important detail that occurred before the point you are currently at. Today cannot be written without describing yesterday.
Sometimes there are details I want to forget about.
Sometimes there are details I want to paint over.
In 2014, I received a blank canvas. There were no painted over spots. There were no marks, no lines, and no evidence of my past events. It was new, clean, and untainted.
2014 has been one of my most beautiful pictures painted yet.
Each day I added something to the picture was being created. Sometimes the days added robust shades of lavender, yellow, and pink. Other days I might have added black, blue, or green. Sometimes there were heavy, ominous marks on my canvas. These were symbolizing the days I would rather forget. I painted over these marks. No longer were they altering the overall appearance of my canvas. They didn’t define my picture, they didn’t take away from the beauty of my picture; they were simply painted over, forgotten, and removed from my canvas. Your picture is entirely more beautiful than what you think it is.
In 2015, don’t be afraid to mess up your canvas. Do not inhabit fear for the days that leave melancholic, saddening colors. But fully embrace and live in the moments that mark your canvas with colors of life. Never be afraid to paint over something you want to forget. We are not defined by what happened in 2014, 2013, or yesterday. We are who we are today, and we get to decide who we will be tomorrow.
things I am going to try in 2015
- volunteering more often
- being healthier/remaining healthy
- listening to new music
- listening to new people
- cooking more often
- helping my parents more
- remaining optimistic through all times
- telling more people about God (because that’s not something I want to keep to myself)
- being satisfied with my body image
- reaching some of my goals
- being kinder and more empathetic
- working more/working harder
- BEING HAPPY!
- sacrificing my time, words, and opinions for the sake of others
- skydiving : )
- making new friends
- committing to myself and my purpose
- helping others, loving others, always maintaining selflessness
2015 is new year, a new canvas, a new beginning, and you can create yourself without the limitations of your past. Paint over the things that hurt you, defeat you, or ridicule you.
I hope the upcoming year is full of undeniable opportunities, beautiful little moments, and optimal happiness. I love you guys : )