This is not the painting I had intended to create when I began it a year ago. The truth is, I don’t really like it. But yet, a part of me loves it for taking a life of it’s own. For becoming what it became despite what I wanted.
And that’s something I have to respect.
Because that’s life. I’m not the person I expected to be. I’m not even the person I thought I was five weeks ago, if I were completely honest. But who I am turned out to be…right now…is exactly who I need to be.
Just like my painting.
I used to care about being what others expected of me. I used to want so much to fit in and be accepted. It’s a natural part of human existence that lingers from our caveman ancestors. To not be accepted into the tribe meant certain death as you were caste into the dangers of saber tooth tigers and the elements. It’s a biologically driven need that we battle with, despite living in a completely different society.
I still battle with acceptance. But recently, I’ve begun to question the people from who I seek acceptance. I find myself questioning why I seek their acceptance. Whether it be in relationships, work, or friendships, I find…more often than not…that many people are willing to offer acceptance.
Conditions that rely on being the person they thought I would be.
But I’m not the person I used to be. I’ve grown and changed into the person I am.
This comes with many dangers. Because seeking acceptance from those who don’t support your growth can lead to abuses as they try to shove you back into the person they expectf. Your change is a threat.
It’s important to realize that it has nothing to do with who you are becoming. Rather, it has everything to do with who they refuse to be. It’s so much easier to keep everyone around you the same, to keep everything exactly as it has been, than to change.
It’s time to question the people from whom I seek acceptance. People who accept me for my ability to learn and grow and change. Because those are the people who accept me for who I am, not for what purpose I can serve them in maintaining stagnation.
Speak your truth. Even if those around you don’t want to hear it. Become you. Even if other’s don’t understand or would rather you stay quiet. Never allow yourself to be bullied into submission for someone else’s comfort. Even if it means loss. Even if it means isolation. Because it’s better to be alone with your truth than to live a lie.
It takes courage to become who you are when the world tries so hard to tell you who to be.
I’m not proud of this painting. It’s not one I consider my best. But it just might be the painting that taught me the most. It didn’t turn out as I expected. But then again, neither have I.
And it’s okay.