There was a sunny little girl who didn’t know anyone as a stranger. She loved to smile and make others smile. The dimples in her cheeks were always showing, because laughter came easily to her.
Then some things happened that weren’t so funny, or nice. There were unkind words at the hands of an adult whom she loved. They told her she was fat, and stupid; they treated her like she didn’t matter. They abused her mother. She began to carry these hurts inside her, and by the time she was a teenager, the hurts combined with her crazy hormones, and she was so angry and hated everything about herself, but she was too ashamed to talk about it.
She decided that people maybe weren’t that great.
She had those in her life who loved her, and she knew it, but her own loathing lied to her and told her she didn’t deserve that love, or good things to happen to her. She was sad a lot. She knew she shouldn’t let her past dictate how she felt in the now, but it was so difficult some days. So she kept quiet. The one solace she found was in art. When she was creating, the world fell away; there was only her and the paper. It always understood, and never disappointed her.
As these things sometimes go, life did get easier, little by little. The teenager grew up, met a decent man, and got married. The white-hot rage of her younger years lowered to a simmer. Time truly was beginning to heal some wounds.
Despite this, she still held a cynicism for the majority of humanity that she couldn’t seem to dispel. She shrugged it off, not because she wanted to, but because she had been told by the world that cynicism was good, and humorous, and really, so much easier than caring.
She might have continued this way, had it not been for the realization she’d been neglecting her art. She had a good husband and a steady job, but her life felt like it was missing something. She thought art was the answer. She missed her friend.
…..And, as it turns out, art was exactly the answer.
She picked up her pencil and touched it to the paper, and she stroked brushes across paints, and she typed out words. The more she did, the more ideas poured out of her, and with them came warmth, and her heart opened. She wept, but they were good tears, and she found that others cried with her, and she was glad for it. She didn’t feel alone, and it was so amazing to be able to touch people that way; she wanted to be a sun that bathed everyone in light.
It was impossible for her to feel like a sun and be cold at the same time, and she realized that she was beginning to love people again. Her ego, which had been bruised and focused on itself as self-preservation, diminished, and she began to see herself as truly part of the world.
There are still hard times, but she is proud of herself in ways she never imagined she could be. Daily, she sits at the kitchen table and picks up her brush. She moves it to the paper, and feels wings sprout from her shoulders.