As a 20 year old, my daughter is figuring things out. She is a natural artist; infinitely talented and incredibly perceptive.
The world is a difficult place for sensitive, creative people.
I’ve watched as my daughter has struggled, painfully at times, to find her place in that world. To decide what she desires for her life, and then make the leap into action. It’s a tough process. More challenging for some than for others.
I wanted to honor that process with a painting, one of the first I’ve done realistically.
But my goal was not just to capture my daughter’s likeness.
I wanted to capture that sense of becoming…of being on the verge.
Vulnerability walking hand-in-hand with possibility as you feel your
way forward through the uncertainty, creating your own path toward becoming who you truly are.
The soul discovering itself.
Later, when I looked at my finished painting, I was surprised to find that I saw not just my daughter, but myself.
It wasn’t that I saw myself in my daughter’s face, although there’s obviously a family resemblance. Nor was it that I see my daughter as an extension of myself – it’s actually quite the opposite. She is very much her own person; I both value and respect that fact.
No. What hit me like a sledgehammer was the realization that I had been going through the very same process of “figuring things out” at virtually the same time.
I know what it is to be in that limbo, to wake up having no idea where your life is headed or what you want to do next. To search the distant corners of your soul, aching to find your deepest and truest desires…to find your purpose. And then dredging up the courage and motivation to achieve it.
After years of suspended animation spent buried beneath a glacier of inertia, I finally admitted to myself that what I really wanted to do was to paint and write.
I made the leap a year and 9 months ago, and my life began to reconfigure in new and astonishing ways.
My daughter has made her own leap, moving across the country to begin her own future on her own terms.
Both of us proof that it is possible to create or recreate yourself and your life at any point in time.
That the “you” you are meant to be is always there, waiting for you to find it and bring it into being. Whether you’re 20, or 50, or 100.
And that is a beautiful thing.