Walking through West London today made me fall in love even more with humans – the way we take in and enjoy art, how different each of our physical appearances are, all the scruffy beards and deep set eyes and wide smiles. Looking at all of this art today made me want to learn how to really paint, how to paint well and give dignity to my art’s subjects.
And I’ve realized that I need time – always more time – to process what is right in front of me. I usually have some kind of general anxiety settled on my shoulders, fighting for my attention. It’s difficult to explain how it feels to someone who hasn’t experienced it before – it’s like being unable to let go of a vice grip on handbrakes; it’s like your body is ten percent of the size it needs to be to contain all of you and you can’t expand and you’re holding it in so tightly; it’s like you know that an over-inflated balloon is going to pop right in your face and you’re flinching, waiting.
Anxiety isn’t simple, it doesn’t play by any rules, it latches on when it wants to and takes its time letting go, and look different for every person.
Friends, if you struggle with anxiety, too. know that you aren’t alone. Don’t let it control you or make you bitter; let it make you stronger, and softer. Find the people that remind you of your worth and keep them close. Each day is a new opportunity for change, for growth, for newness. Your story isn’t over yet.