Meandering thankfulness and lessons in painting

 

The year thus far has been…insane. A whirlwind. Life-changing. Fun. Sad.

If you were to paint on a canvas a storyboard of my year thus far….I’m pretty sure a finger painting by a blind toddler would suffice. A cacophonic jumble of colors, no coherent destination or path. A swirl of crazy; some splotches of fists pounded in fury against the canvas.

During this time of year meant for reflection and thanks, my knee-jerk reaction is…I’m not sure what to be thankful for. I’m 27. Divorced. Unemployed. This definitely isn’t where I saw my future self. Even a year ago.

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And yet, as much as it isn’t the path I foresaw, I am thankful for the hurdles. I wouldn’t change my decisions, nor the decisions others made that are out of my control. Cheesy romance movies typically have some line about “I wouldn’t change anything, because everything lead me to this.” Well…good for you, Ryan Gosling. Your blind optimism as you stand in a white t-shirt in the rain is radiant with justified faith. (BTW, RG, if you’re reading this…you can say that to me any day.) But me? I don’t know the destination of my journey. I don’t know what color the blind toddler will choose next. But I know the finished painting will be worth it. Perhaps it is my own blind optimism.

Maybe each canvas is its own year. Maybe each color is its own person, its own experience. Maybe some colors don’t continue on to the next year. Maybe you start off bold with a color and expect great things and even the blind toddler can “see” as he moves into the next canvas that something is amiss. That something about the interaction of that color just doesn’t work. So he learns, sets the color aside, and moves on. He may have had great hopes for that color and its part in the ultimate design, but he saw that it didn’t work and learned from the design on the canvas how to better move forward with the next one.

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Maybe all of these canvases of years are pieces of the bigger composite. The summer months you spent when you were two splashing in the pool are the blues on that year’s canvas that make up the glint in the eye of the bigger mosaic. The turmoil of broken hearts and lost love are the reds on the canvases and the rouge in your cheeks.

The actions, decisions, times of love and times of loss. The people. The jobs and the moments spent fervently searching for jobs. They’re all colors. They’re all specks on the canvas that tell our story.

So this is the mosaic of my life. And it may not be pretty right now. But I know the outcome will be stunning.

And for that I am thankful.

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