When I was a little girl, I learned that there were three colors, and with those three colors, I could create any masterpiece. Later on in life, I discovered that by adding a little of this and a little of that, yellow didn’t have to stay yellow and blue wouldn’t always end up blue.
Through experimenting, I learned that by throwing it all in, I could create brown, which looked muddled, but that was okay. I did not understand what muddled meant.
The process satisfied me and it did not matter how messy my canvas looked, as I had no reference points and no comparisons. It did not matter how odd or unfinished something seemed. Mom always ultimately said that the creation was beautiful.
Then I grew a little. I went to school and I noticed others coloring their worlds. I began to think that my masterpiece needed to complement the other creations. That my life needed to resemble what I saw around me.
Painting within a pre-determined set of constraints became the accepted way to operate. Wild colors and muddled browns were only explored when no one was looking. Somewhere along the way, the dull of identical weighed too heavily.
I decided that I would color my world in the way that looked beautiful to me, and with that decision, the colors became deeper, bolder and more intoxicating than ever before; it was as if I was deeper, bolder and more intoxicating, as well.
As an adult, I stood at the canvas of my world, brushing this corner with the colorful reds of ambition, the comforting greens of love and the bright expectations of yellow.
Life spills disappointing blacks and melancholy blues, but I remain coloring and creating. This is my life and I choose to continue using whatever color I want because I know I must create my own masterpiece.
My masterpiece isn’t what I expected, but I hold a palate in my left hand and a paintbrush in my right. As owner of the journey, I will remain, for this is when I must be patient, forgiving and accepting.
What I see today will be different tomorrow and the next day and the next after that. I am committed to staying put until the moment I can step back and survey the results.
Color and life are pliable with an ability to be formed and informed. Stay until every last color dreams splashes into existence.
At times, you may see only black that is so dauntingly dark that you wonder how any other color will ever refresh the setting. This is when patience acceptance and tenacity are mandatory. Face it. Stand with it. Open your mind to new possibilities. Unwaveringly work through the darkness with a consistent focus.
It is possible to start with a fresh layer of white, even if color already exists. You can begin again. You can create and recreate your world.
It is, always was and will continue to be, a masterpiece.
You saw the beauty in brown as a child, so see it again now. You enjoyed the process of developing color and creating an image. Enjoy it again now.
There is a time and a place for all hues, and there is beauty in the unexpected flow of creativity. Without the whites and the blacks around to make gray and all of the variety in mixes to make the darkest of browns, there would be no depth and no interest.
You are coloring an interesting world — your interesting world. Keep coloring until it is complete.
Your world is an adventure, so color it well. Thoughtfully. Patiently. Forgivingly. Always color it in your own way.
Then, step back, take a breath and know that Mom still thinks it is beautiful.
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