Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Head of a Girl from the Past, and Changing
ink on moleskine
I have lost count of what number "head of a girl" this is. I've decided to go with names form now on, rather than numbers. What started out as an exercise to see what I could do with ink wash portraits has begun to take on meaning on its own, it's begun to become something of its own.
I suppose that's the nature of a series. It serves as a way for you to grow. You keep going back to the same theme or technique and you develop it with each following piece.
I don't know where this series will go. It's led me back to portraits, which I've always enjoyed, so that's good, and also drawing from references again, instead of making things up wholesale in my head. That's not a bad thing either.
In this season of beginning of the year resolutions I've been thinking about change a lot.
I think sometimes we expect to be able to change, just like that, make a resolution and that's it, quit cigarettes, lose weight, get published, go back to school... whatever the goal. But I don't think that change, real change really works like that.
Change doesn't happen all at once, it happens in stages and baby steps. Change is more like growth, or evolution. Change is something that happens inside of you first, that makes you want to take that small step, and the small step is what helps you get to the next choice, and making that choice convinces you that this is where you want to go.
Maybe change begins with an idea, "I can do that..." or "I don't have to be this..." A possibility. An idea. A realization that the dream is possible, an opening of doors, a willingness to take a chance, a first step out on that long journey, the beginning attempts at an exercise, even if they fail at first, and the commitment to keep trying, even though it doesn't seem like you will ever see that desired, whole-sale change or growth.
Maybe life is all about change. We have the illusion that things won't change or we will always be where and what we are, but the truth is, nothing stays the same and we are always in flux.
Perhaps part of our issues with making lasting change in our life is that we don't expect to fail in our attempts. We think that we make up our mind to change and that's it, it should be smooth sailing from then on in. But change is such a all encompassing thing, from the inside out, that it doesn't make sense that it would be all that easy.
There are going to be set backs. There are going to be moments where you are just not living up to your high ideals. There are going to be moments when you are scared and don't think you can do it. There are going to be moments where the old fears and bad feelings rise up again. There are going to be external difficulties, time constraints, people who don't support us, physical difficulties, unexpected disasters, whatever.
But in our journey to truly change, to GROW and develop and transform, we have to trust that the path we've set out on is the right one. And if it isn't as easy as we thought, we are still moving forward, despite stumbles or road blocks or detours. Sometimes, our journey might lead us into places we didn't expect, places we didn't dare hope for. Sometimes we might find we have to rest on our journey, or stop not quite at the end, or re-evaluate our destination.
Keep going. Don't give up. Expect set backs. Trust yourself. Trust the process.
Change is hard. Growth is hard. Life is hard. Yup. So we might as well just keep going through.