Challenge Of Self Growth
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Self Growth: It's A Bittersweet Process

"Storms make trees take deeper roots." - Dolly Parton

Self Growth: It's A Bittersweet Process
Holland Houghton

I stare at the blank canvas presented before me.

At first, having no idea where to even start. I remember all the times I've watched others create masterpieces before them. My shaking hand finally finds a pencil that lays next to me. I pick a spot and begin.

The lines I make at first are sharp and jagged, I'm uncomfortable with the object in my hand and the surface below it.

After a while I slowly become more comfortable, feeling the weight of the pencil and how delicate I have to be for even the sharpest lines.

Soon it's like muscle memory I don't even have to think of how to create what I want; I just let feeling guide me into reality.

Comfort has rested on my chest for some time now until I hear a snap and the lead breaks making me come down sharply on the page. At first, I am startled and scramble to see what had happened. Then I try to sharpen the end to revert it back to glory. Angrily I realize the pencil has grown too short to even be salvaged. After a while, I sigh and toss it aside staring blankly at my picture.

Soon my eyes trail away from what is before me, and slightly out of reach see a ballpoint pen seeming usable. I stretch my arm as far as it can reach, with my fingertips just touching the pen. With a great deal of effort, I finally have it cradled in my hand.

Looking upon the pen I feel the right side of my lip curl upward, forming almost a malicious grin. Then with the click of a button, I begin to draw upon the canvas once again. At first, I'm left in awe with the way the lines sweep down the page so easily, the blue ink seems so much more marvelous then the faded grey lead seeming out staged in an instant.

I begin to pick up speed because the pen floats along almost too easy. I catch a mistake and try to correct it by adding something to the picture. Deep down I'm not pleased with the result but just shrug and go forward.

However, another mistake one that can not be covered makes me back away from the canvas. Desperately I try to wipe away the creation, but with a smug, realize it is permanent. I look down at the pen with almost a feeling betrayal and finally drop it back down on the table.

I look at the canvas so disappointed, but can only turn away from what I didn't know til now that I was creating.

Weeks go by and I can't push the anger past the walls I have created. Realizing that I don't even know why I took the picture in a direction it could get ruined.

Finally one day I come across another art maker. She is making small masterpieces out of clay. After a while of watching she catches my stare, and says "they all come out different that's why I just let my hands always tell me what I am working with here". Confused I look at her and say, "well isn't it unsettling when you don't have a plan that will lead you to success. She laughs loudly saying, "child the only way I can fully learn if I don't like what I have created is by the time the clay has already dried into what it will be. Then from there all I can do is let my hands have more freedom so they can do better work on the next sculpture."

For a while I think about her words, then find myself in front of a blank canvas. I pick up a pencil, feeling a soft smile rise on my face. I begin to sweep lines across the page, finding ease within the familiarity of the art this time.

I know each line will never be perfect but I realize that is okay. For the only thing that matters is that I learn something from each picture.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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