If they could see me now…

Today is one of those days. Actually, it’s been one of those days for the past month. 2012 started out full of energy and positive outlooks, but by the middle of January, I fell into the deep pit of lethargy and self pity. I am pretty good at faking it, my outer demeanor is usually pretty happy. Unless you live with me. Then you know the real me. The insecure, scared, never lives up to her own expectations, hypocritical me.

I have been thinking about writing a blog about this for weeks. Knowing that if I could just get this dark side of myself out in the open and expose her weaknesses then maybe, just maybe, I could get past this “phase” of the moon (or sun or whatever universal force is weighing me down). I don’t like to be this way, I feel like I’ve gone back into the body of that teenage mom I once was, the one who had no self confidence and hid out in her living room watching TV all day and night because her life was such a mess. That teenage mom who could totally relate to the Jerry Springer show and even contemplated going on the show at one point! I KNOW I’m not that person anymore, but every once in a long while, she comes back to haunt me. WHY?

These are the days I wish THOSE people could get a peak into my life. You know THOSE people, the ones who go on and on about how lucky I am to be living my dream, spending my days painting and creating and BEING and ARTIST. They always say it like it’s all fun and games, like I have some rich husband (for those who don’t know, I’m married to a musician!) who pays for everything and I never have to worry about ANYTHING. Well folks, newsflash, it’s not all fun and games and I spend more time worrying and beating myself up than I do painting. In fact, I spend a LOT of my time painting AND beating myself up. At the same time! That’s the real reason why most of my paintings are so upbeat and happy….I’m trying to convince MYSELF! It’s the cheapest form of therapy I know!

To be fair, that isn’t always the case, I am happy more than I’m not, I’m just exaggerating because it’s been this way for a month and it feels like forever! I used to feel like this a LOT more than I have in the past four years. Strangely enough, it was the death of my dad that made me a more happy person. Sure, I grieved for years, but his death made me appreciate everything more. It reminded me how short life is and how we only get this one chance in our lives to DO something.

The issue now is, I feel like I’m slipping back in to the old me and I don’t know how to stop it. Painting gives me a temporary reprieve but unfortunately, I cannot spend 24 hours a day painting. I don’t know, now I just feel like I’m whining. My mom would tell me I’m depressed and it runs in the family and I should just admit to the fact that I can’t escape it. FOOEY! I don’t believe that!

See….just writing this post has already made me feel better. Looking at myself from the outside in reminds me that I have so much to be grateful for AND that I am merely human. GASP! I admitted it! I am merely human. 🙂

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11 responses to “If they could see me now…

  1. What if.. instead of painting happiness, love, joy, the things that you aim at through a glass window.. what if you painted the blah? This would force you to objectify your feelings and get outside of them – which it sounds like you’re trying to do anyway. Don’t be afraid..

  2. Writing is great for perspective…reminds us that if we can see ourselves from afar, we usually look human, and understandable. Good on ya for putting it down here.

    My mother died almost 10 years ago, and I still find every so often that something has shifted in how I think about that, and it always surprises me how much I continue to underestimate the size of that event.

    Be kind to yourself, Paula! Art’s a narrative…a balance of light and dark. No need to beat yourself up. The older I get, the less I believe the word “should” has any place in our thinking. All the best to you in this tough patch.

    • Thanks Will. You are so right! I should have written this blog post weeks ago when I first felt the blahs coming on. It’s amazing what the death of a parent can do. Before he died I used to think I wouldn’t be able to handle it, thought I would be a complete basket case, but somehow, I pulled myself through it. You are right too about underestimating the size of that event, no doubt! Thank you so much for your words of encouragement! 🙂

  3. Wow, you perfectly described the non-artist reaction to an artist’s life! Howard & I get the same thing, all the time. And we can’t disagree – it’s a beautiful life. Society doesn’t teach us how to appropriately and effectively share our darkest moments with strangers, does it? I would never exchange this life for any other life, but your post reminds me of how we tend to be the most sensitive, analytical, self-destructive people on the planet, as well as the most nurturing, caring, liberal and “creative.” With any contradiction, “balance is key,” as they say, but I think balance is something to be learned. We never get it perfectly right. We just get better. And so we rise up and dip down, constantly. To others we might seem depressed or mildly bipolar, but I think *most of us* are just riding the flow honest emotion.

  4. We all go through this periods and we must understand that it’s okay, and these periods will leave when it’s time for them to leave. No sense in resisting as what we resist persist, but embrace them as they always bring gifts. They make us aware of what we need to do or change, what doesn’t work in our lives anymore. It’s not easy to go through them, but it’s comforting to know that we are not alone, and they too shall pass.

    • Thanks Glad, you are so very right! Today I plan to spend my day journaling, meditating, painting and being kind to myself. I’m pretty sure I have figured out why I’ve been feeling this way, so it’s time to do something about it. I have a few demons from my past to embrace and love!

  5. Pingback: Follow up…. | Paula Manning-Lewis

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