Inspired by photographs of European Architecture.
I've never left the country. I've always wanted to. I remember day dreaming when I was really young about traveling and how it must feel. I remember day dreaming about what I was wearing, how I felt, conversations I might have, adventures I would go on.
I never went. Haunted by all the money I spent on moments that I now wish I could forget entirely. Thinking about how much extra time I would have had back then if I didn't waste so much of my precious adolescence and young adulthood self soothing with drugs and alcohol and all of the other instantly gratifying "coping skills" you can think of.
I used to convince myself that "one day" I will accomplish the things my heart deeply yearns for:
One day I will heal.
One day I will travel all over the world.
One day I will leave this toxic relationship.
One day I will eat food that will fuel my body.
One day I will stop running.
One day I'll be able to set boundaries.
One day I will stop using substances.
One day I will love myself.
At the same time I believed to my core that day wouldn't come. I was in such a hopeless state for so long. My illness/disorder convinced me that I can/will just stop trying. Which is a really scary place to be. A place that a lot of people do not talk about. I like to call it the in-between. It's something that isn't talked about widely. It's either someone is in crisis or someone is doing "ok". When I say I'm doing "ok" it typically means I'm in this in between place. That is something that needs to be talked about. I thought I was pretty isolated in that feeling, which made the feeling grow even bigger. Fleeting s******* thoughts that I would have to do everything in my power to ignore. Reminding myself that they are just thoughts and that I can get through these emotional responses.
The in-between of holding onto hope that those day dreams I had when I was a little girl could be a reality. While at the same time being crippled by so much fear that every action I was taking towards change wasn't curing the disturbing thoughts I was having. About to completely give up hope. Hope that some future me is somewhere in Europe holding her head up high, gathering inspiration for her art as she falls deeply in love with knowing herself, illuminating every room she walked into. I fought those feelings for that version of myself I knew I could become and for my inner child, just having to get through those really hard days.
Fast forward to today, I wouldn't have believed you if you told me I would be where I was today. I had expectations and fantasies about what it would feel and look like when I grew a relationship with myself. Expectations of what true healing would feel like. What my intimate relationships would feel like. I still have days, weeks, even sometimes months that I feel like I'm back in the "in-between". It feels different because I have now experienced some of the deepest reassurances of hope in ways I didn't know was possible. I know now whatever happens, if I don't give up hope and consistently do what's best for me and my mental health, I will continue to grow.
I still haven't left the country. Now I hold gratitude in that fact because I know when I am blessed with that life changing opportunity I will be able to show up with love for myself and excitement in expanding my knowledge of my existence.
18 x 22 x 3 canvas in hand built maple wood floating frame. optional built-in LED lights. plaster + oil + concrete + crumbled mika pearl + folly beach shells + folly beach sand + acrylic.