I drew the above sketch a few days ago while I was journaling. After writing a bit more, I looked at the sketch again and realized some people might interpret it’s meaning as trying to hold onto something, perhaps a little too tightly. In actuality, it represents the reverse – I am the balloon trying to do what balloons do, which is to rise to freedom, but I’m being prevented from doing so. I used to have many journals filled with sketches like this, but I destroyed them prior to moving to Georgia. Since the move, I’ve mostly been writing instead of sketching to process all the changes that have occurred in our lives. Now that I’m settling down and the newness is beginning to wear off, I’m getting back to my old self. But that’s the thing – I’m not really my old self anymore.
Strange how we fall into habits–not just of doing, but of being. I’ve always felt held back for one reason or another: strict parents, an abusive boyfriend, the financial burden of putting myself through college, taking a job to help out a relative, staying in a job I hated because of the benefits, handling family illness and crisis, not pursuing my art because of my full time job, etc. I always felt like I was sacrificing myself. The truth is that I was building a labyrinth. Safe within those twisted walls, I never had to risk failure. Anyone could see that I was stuck. Being stuck/trapped/held back was a habit, and I became really good at it.
Sketching in my journal again put me right back into the habit of that stuck mindset. The good thing about habits is that they can be changed. We’re never really as stuck as we think we are. As scary and uncomfortable as it may be, there are always other choices we can make. The choice my husband and I made to leave everything has cost us in many ways. I’m still making sacrifices and I’m scared and uncomfortable every single day, but with each experience I’m building the habit of taking risks and facing my fears. Gradually I’m revealing my heart and my self. Outside of the labyrinth I’m grateful to find more love and kindness than I expected. No longer held back, I’m rising to become the person God intended me to be.
Thanks for reading! If you have any thoughts you’d like to share, please comment below. I truly love to hear from you and I respond to every one. And if you liked this article, please sign up to receive future blog posts and information on new paintings and upcoming shows. Thanks again!