Paint. It’s cheaper than therapy. And do I even really need therapy? I don’t know anymore. I don’t know is the answer more often than not as of late. I don’t know is why I haven’t posted here in a while, or on Instagram in several days.

When I was in 4th grade, my teacher and my mom took all erasers away from me. (True story.) This was their sort of intervention for a 10-year-old perfectionist who took forever to finish any work because it had to be perfect. I would even take papers that had already been graded with a sticker at the top and erase them, one letter at a time, until I had rewritten the entire thing to the utmost perfection.

Fourteen years later and that 10-year-old girl still lives inside me, battling for those erasers every chance she gets.

My anxiety waxes and wanes. It’s heightened by change. But I’m not afraid of change. I love it actually. It excites me. I just feel unsettled. *Pops another Lexapro*

We have our apartment in downtown Chicago and are moving in the first week of August. We sold my car and I’ve used public transportation before, so that shouldn’t be awfully difficult. I don’t know for sure what my job in the city looks like seeing as I don’t have one quite yet. Will I be teaching barre? How fast will things progress with the publishing of my book? 

So, after teaching the 6 AM barre class this morning, I chose to paint, as an exercise of freedom.

Because if I’m being honest, my natural instinct is to step back into the world of education. Where I’m safe, comfortable, and secure. I’d have stability and could walk back into my role as a teacher, confident of my abilities.

But NO. NO NO No. I didn’t enjoy it. I wasn’t fulfilled. I have dreams and passions outside of that realm which deserve to come alive.

Stroke by stroke of the paint brush I allowed the colors to blend and my fingernails to become discolored.

I got lost in tranquility.

I didn’t try to copy another artist’s work because that would’ve given me something to measure myself up against, and hey, I never said I was Picasso.

I didn’t put tape down or arrange the colors a specific way.

I just made swirls and splats and hoped it would turn out beautiful.

In my eyes, it did.

I don’t know what I needed freedom from or to, really.

Freedom from control. Freedom from perfectionism. Freedom from labels. Freedom from insecurity. Freedom from my own thoughts. 

Freedom to new beginnings. Freedom to let go of the past. Freedom to be weird. Freedom to call myself artsy. Freedom to be who I want to be.

Whatever it was, the aftermath feels beautiful.

And maybe it doesn’t matter what we create, so long as we do.

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6 comments

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I follow you on IG and really enjoy your positive words and silly posts!

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Tara! You just made my day 🙂 Thank you for your kindness.

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It’s beautiful! It instantly made me think of summer! Pink lemonade, watermelon , mango, blueberries! Sorbets! And, a little weird is awesome😜

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Oooooh, I like that! I haven’t decided if I’ll keep it and hang it up or if it will end up in mom’s basement with my other “junk” but thank you for your sweet words!! 🙂

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I have trouble with perfectionism and comparison too. Its why my blog has gone by the wayside (that and time). I often wonder if teaching is what God has really called me to because I have so many other dreams and desires and fun stuff I want to do. But like you said, its safe and I’m comfortable. I don’t hate it, but I don’t enjoy it as much as I once did. I’m praying for direction and in the meantime, freedom. Whatever that may look like. Thank you for your encouragement!

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Jill, I know where you’re coming from. I frequently have to take blog and social media breaks to refocus my heart and keep from falling into the comparison trap! Whether it be writing or picking up some paint and a random canvas (like I did), I don’t think it matters what or how, but that we simply do. Your words matter. Don’t forget that 🙂

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