Structure and order are my best friends so it is no surprise that I am a person of routine. Each morning I flow down the same path: wake up with the sun, workout, make a smoothie, take a shower, brush my teeth, call my other half, put on make up, check Instagram, get dressed, check Instagram, grab my purse and walk (back) out the door at 8AM to head to work, all while checking Instagram. Actually reading that makes me kind of tired. Which may explain my current obsession with chai latte’s. Ok, back on track. Here we go. To my horror my routine was completely thrown off track the other morning and the aftermath stuck with me so, if it’s ok with you, I wanted to share with you all.
Months ago a special someone painted a picture for me of two of my favorite things; palms trees and a sunset. After receiving I (I = him) hung it up on a wall in my bedroom. It goes without saying that I see this picture, every single day. Fast forward to this past Sunday morning I stood in my bathroom sporting a major case of bed head and barely there pajamas brushing my teeth trying to get my mind right for the day ahead. For whatever reason I glanced over at the painting, as I do every morning, but this time my eyes became glued. I snapped out of my trance, finished cleaning my sparkling whites, put my toothbrush back in its holder and walked back over to the painting. I realized that it was the first time I really looked at it. As I stood there with what felt like newfound eyeballs, I began to notice each stroke. The long strokes, the short strokes, the straight-lined strokes, the jagged strokes, the red strokes, the yellow strokes and those strokes that meshed the colors together so perfectly. I could sense that it was time for me to leave my apartment in time to make brunch with the girls so I grabbed my essentials (phone + lip gloss) took one more brief look at the painting, found myself smiling and off to my day I went.
As I was indulging in the fresh air of a beach walk later that night, it hit me why the painting was all of the sudden so intriguing to me. In my opinion, most of us go through life with the intensity of just making it to the big picture. Whatever that big picture may be to you, we take leaps and bounds while also cautiously taking baby steps in hopes of finalizing the picture. We question ourselves yet take chances praying that that will be the final missing puzzle piece.
But wait, what the hell would the picture be without each stroke? Nothing. It is nothing. That picture wouldn’t be the same without the jagged strokes, the different colored strokes or the insanely straight lined strokes. We are all so quick to make things ‘happen’ that we don’t take the time to enjoy the strokes along the way. I decided to challenge myself to take a step back and look at each and every one of my strokes. The uh oh strokes, the motivated strokes, the confident strokes, the scared strokes, the loving strokes. Looking at those strokes has brushed away some anxiety that comes with the internal pressure of painting my own big picture. Knowing that, one day, I will look at my big picture fully recognizing what was behind each stroke is a surprisingly refreshing feeling.
I pass the challenge on to you. Take a moment to take that step back. Recognize your strokes. Paint over what you need to, explore different colors or see what happens if you play with a squiggly stroke. Whatever you do, take pride in your stokes and know that the big picture will one day be completed if you take the necessary time to paint it.
With each stroke,
"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures." –Henry Ward Beecher.