Wow, am so thankful to be surrounded by such a creative community! Check this painting out by Peter Williams, a fantastically talented artist who lives in Leiston, England.
A year ago, I got engaged to my fiancé, Jonathan. We were uncharacteristically sitting at a hooka bar when he told me that when I was ready, he would marry me, “no matter if it’s one year from now, five years, ten years, or even twenty.” (Insert SWOON!)
I couldn’t believe what had just happened. For a few days I existed inside a surreal bubble filled with love, rainbows, lemonade and big red balloons (Jonathan was like, “does this imaginary happy place really have to be a little kid carnival? This is kind of creepy.” And I was like, “YEP. Live with it, sucker! You’re mine now!”) I have never been more elated in my life.
And then the buzz kill came when I told my parents.
I imagine a day many years from now when I’ll be able to fully appreciate the parallel between my life and the countless comedy films with “wedding” and “parents” in the storyline. But right now, things are still a little raw. Basically, my huge Life Step marched right onto a land mine. My engagement triggered all the hidden issues my family and I had been ignoring.
I just realized that I’ve neglected a friendship in my life, a really important friendship I’ve had for years. I’ve ignored her for lots of petty reasons: I haven’t had the time to hang out, I’ve felt like we’re moving in different directions, or sometimes (I admit it) she’s just whinny and annoying. OK, this is probably the point where I should admit that this friendship is with Myself. Yes, I’ve realized that I need to get to know Myself again.
Most of us have been in this boat before. We find ourselves at home in the evenings stressing over work instead of relaxing. As an afterthought, we remember when we had less responsibilities and seemingly more time to indulge in those things we love to do just because – painting, reading, hiking, journaling, playing music. One of my favorite activities I used to do for pure enjoyment was coloring in my Sesame Street Coloring Book. And no, I was not 5. I was in my 20’s. I did this because Myself – you know, the friend I need to get to know again – sometimes acts like she’s 5, and it’s OK to do what she wants to do once in awhile.
Being a responsible adult who does responsible adult tasks is what we all need to be. But if we don’t replenish our souls as well, what will eventually be left of us as we show up for work day after day? I’m constantly getting trapped in giving first priority to the “necessary” things in my life – emails and phone calls. I forget that to keep the friendship I have with Myself alive, I have to put that stuff aside sometimes. We certainly don’t develop friendships out of necessity. The friendship we have with Self is no different.
I was hit with the idea for my song “Watercolor” when I was driving. I saw an image of me sitting under a tree, painting, all by myself. I had no obligations that day. The sun was shining. I was happy. This image of painting with watercolors (some unconscious association I’ve made with my coloring book hobby no doubt!) encapsulates everything I want to say. I want to spend time, not out of obligation but out of enjoyment, to get to know Myself again!