Like the average human, I had a ton of those “New Years’ Resolutions” this year. They were all pretty typical: get healthier, save more money, get good grades, be a better daughter/sister/friend/Christian, etc… And I did fulfil those goals pretty well, better than I expected.
But one of my biggest goals, one that was more important personally to me than the 20 pounds I lost or the hundreds I made working, was that I would create more art.
If you know me well, you know I haven’t always been the happiest person on the planet. In fact, some people have occasionally called me out for being a downer (sorry for being a realist). Until you get to know me, I can often seem moody, quiet, and kind of boring. And it’s difficult for me to open up. It’s difficult for me to be happy all the time and to just let go or have fun, especially around people I don’t know well.
There is one thing that has always been my “getaway” when I’m feeling low, however, and that is art.
Art comes in many forms, and I’d be lying if I said I had talent in all of them. But I do enjoy all of them. There are so many ways to take a part of yourself and transform it into something beautiful to share with others. There are so many ways to create.
Writing has been my life since I could first string stories together out of my limited vocabulary. I’ve written books, stories, scripts, poetry, songs… Just about anything. It’s always been part of me, even following me into college, where I am pursuing a writing degree. I’ve always found it easy to pour myself into a story, creating characters that reflect myself, a friend, or a complete stranger. I love inventing meaning and purpose for these characters—all of them are written intentionally. They are there for a reason, and the story would not be the same without them, no matter how insignificant they seem.
Writing a story where nothing is accidental reminds me that nothing in my own life is just a coincidence. I too am here on this earth for a reason—many reasons, in fact. I may not know them all yet, but the characters in my stories are also unaware of how important they are to the plot. Though I may feel useless at times, writing helps me remember that I’m not just a filler character. I am my own protagonist.
Music, too, holds an important place in my life. Not only do I play in a chamber orchestra and symphony orchestra, but I also love hanging out with my roommate and playing the ukulele. I can’t sing, but that doesn’t stop me from basically screaming when my favorite songs come on shuffle in my car. Music is another way to express what I feel. Artists like twenty one pilots really resonate with me lyrically and have brought me to see myself and my mind in a new light, even helping to inspire me to accomplish my goal of creating art.
Another facet of art I hold dear is that of illustration and drawing. I’m no Van Gogh or Monet, but that doesn’t stop me from sketching faces whenever I see one I like. Part of my goal this January began when I purchased a sketchbook with the intent of filling it before December. I’m not quite there, but I’ve made more progress than I expected. And drawing has become a kind of relaxation for me, allowing me to focus on tiny details that I can control rather than the giant problems of life I can’t.
Art is important to me. When I’ve gone through hard times, it has been one of my few solaces. And while I may not become a world-famous novelist, renowned musician or appraised artist, I can find peace in the knowledge that creating something has helped me understand who I am and who I should be.
Quick side note: if anyone ever wants to critique my writing, perfect drawings, come join a ukulele jam session, or even just compare favorite bands and albums, pleeeease let me know! I love love love finding friends who understand my love of all things artsy.