one of the things my art journal has allowed me to do is reflect on myself in a different way. in a regular journal, of which i have stacks and stacks of, i mostly write about what i did, where i went, and how i feel about it. or i write pages and pages about how depressed i am. in my art journal, it's a different story--it's a story of me. i'm sure someone who read my journals would know a part of me, someone who looked at my art journal would probably understand me better.
and i've begun to understand myself better, too.
in high school i did a lot of self-portraits. mostly reflections on the inner turmoil i was dealing with--undiagnosed bipolar disorder, depression, PTSD, self-loathing and normal teenage angst, all wrapped up into one enormous dysfunctional 17-year-old. now that i am an adult, on appropriate medication, have moved on from the abuse and generally less dysfunctional, it is interesting to me to see the different way i am portraying myself. there are a lot more words, and a lot more colors involved.
so who am i, really? a wife, a mother, a woman, an artist. these are all labels, all things i do--important things. but what's underneath that?
i'm a person, i struggle with self-esteem. i don't really like the way i look. i think i'm witty sometimes, and i can be funny. i'm smart. i have artistic talent, which i am trying to hone. i am a creative person, and i'm outgoing. i love people. i'm generally an optimist, when i'm not struggling with mental illness.
so the thing is....i'm made up of a lot of things. genetics. experiences. what i've seen, heard, and felt. what i believe. my convictions, ethics, and values. i change, i adapt, i learn, i grow. i'm not perfect, but i want to be better than i was, and better than i am. tomorrow, next week, next month, next year...i will be different--but deep down, still the same person.
i, myself, am made of flaws. stitched together with good intentions.