The Art of Life and Painting Your Portrait

To me, life has never been a picture where where we were given a set of crayons and told to color inside the lines. To most of us, life has been, is, and will forever be abstract. Our outlook, the bends, the curves, the angles, the sudden stops, and the lenses in which we see darkness and light will always change. To an extent, I believe in life's 'plan', and I somewhat believe in fate. However, unlike many others that share the believe that life is completely predetermined, I believe that we have the ability to mold, adjust and improve what life has in store for us. I believe our life starts with a blank canvas and the picture we paint is created from the brushes, pencils, markers, or crayons of our choosing. I also believe that we have the ability to change those tools throughout the course of our journey. In other words, the 'plan' can change.

How many of us, as time has passed, have changed views on what is important in life? How many of us have gone from believing that having a child wasn't important, to being unable to imagine life without your son, daughter, step-children or both? How many of us have gone from being content with being a single, career oriented professional, to finding your soulmate and loving them far more than you ever thought you were capable? How many of us went from sitting at a bar every night and/or weekend to being happier with a soda, slippers, and football on our big screen TV?

No one on this planet doesn't experience growth in some way, shape, or form. None of us have never experienced regret; and most of us have learned, at least in theory, from the mistakes that we have made throughout the course of our lifetimes. While I believe that the absolute core of most human beings very seldom changes, I also believe that experiences can create a different approach in many of us; maybe not significantly and maybe not for the good, but change nonetheless. I never said everyone's picture would turn out to be full of flowers, fields, and butterflies.

Two years ago, if you handed me a box of art utensils and said "sum up your life in a picture", I would have handed you back a box of crayons with everything still in place but the black and greys. I had no direction. I was lost, I drank everyday, I wasn't honest with myself or those I loved, and I blamed everyone else for most of my problems; some warranted, most not. Enter, my (now) wife. When she re-entered my life, I was beyond rock bottom. I was scraping the sludge off of the bottom of a very, very, deep barrel. My drinking literally had me near death, and the pandemic had just locked down our country so my detox took its grip on a mattress on her living room floor. For a week she researched doctors, remedies, and the dangers of each and every withdrawal symptom I had. Over the course of the next several months, she showed me how much honesty means with others, and also myself. She's shown me strength, honesty, and compassion. But most of all, she's taught absolute and unconditional love. She is my hero; she saved my life and I will never, ever, be able to repay her for what she has done for me. Words will NEVER do justice to how much I love you, Katie.

All of us have an image of what we want life to look like, we also have an image of what our life currently is. What many of us forget or have never known, is that we hold the brushes that change or improve the quality of the picture. We all live our life in a different way. Living life requires effort and an understanding of what makes us happy and our lives complete. Each of our views on what those things are, are different....unique. What are the things you do to make you feel like you are living your life to the fullest? Has anyone changed your journey or the road you took to get from where you were, to the point you are in your life now? What puts a smile on your face? Is it time with your family, learning a new skill, going to a movie, or taking a ride? If you're unsure, take some time to yourself. Grab a pencil, some markers, and a few brushes; clear your mind, let your hands go, and paint a beautiful picture...

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