Art is more than a pretty accessory...it saved my life.
There is a saying and it goes something like this...'life is what you make it'; I wonder whether that is the entirety of the case...perhaps there is also 'life is how you make it'?
My reason for being curious about this; as a fundamentally curious person; is that we often find ourselves faced with the 'chicken and egg' debate.
Are we as we are because of the experiences life has presented us with or are we like we are because of how we approached those experiences? If the latter is true...what gave us the insight and ability to know how to approach life with this attitude?
Couldn't it be argued that it is only through positive learning experiences in early life that we would even know to approach life this way?
Let me explain a little about why I am posing these questions...
We, each of us, face our own unique challenges; for me, life has been a pretty big challenge from the start.
My childhood taught me lots about fear, safety, self-reliance, silence, anger, platitude and many other things besides. I won't horrify you with the details here!
Let's just accept that I never learned what it was to feel safe and secure; to feel of value or experience a feeling of confidence and excitement to pursue life!
I did learn a lot about how to interpret people's moods and behaviours; ways to convince others I was self-assured and if that wasn't enough, then being unapproachable or powerful would often do the trick!
What was I trying to achieve? Safety...always safety. A never ceasing pattern of seeking acceptance in attempts to feel safe.
Internalised questions about: what do other's need or want from me? How can I be accepted? How can I be liked? How can I prevent this person from hurting me...?
Shall I be funny? Shall I be smart? Shall I be loud or should I be quiet? Under the radar, over the radar??!
Totally exhausting and never quite working.
I was obviously very inadequate at being all things to all people...who knew, right!?
Yes, I know... I knew. After all, the one thing most people are born with is the instinctual sixth sense which tells us when something's not quite right; a bit 'off''.
I couldn't be all things to all people; no-one can. How could I sustain the myriad of me's so as to avoid confrontation forever! Indeed, how could anyone ever feel they'd met the 'real' me? Remember that 'sixth sense'...(not referring to dead people!)
Art was my retreat; right from the earliest of earliest of memories. Always alone, in sought (safe) isolation. After all, if I stay with just me, thenthere's no-one here to hurt me, right? Yeah, right!...I know, but we'll get to that another time.