When I was a little girl, my parents took me to a nearby art gallery, www.albrightknox.org, for a tour. I remember coming home and NEEDING to make a painting.
My father gave me a piece of wood from his workshop and some house paint and a brush to use for my masterpiece. And I still remember thinking that even just a plain, two-color abstract painting was really hard to do!! At the gallery I had seen paintings that looked like nothing! Just squares of one or two colors! But I guess there was more to it than I thought.
I have been wanting to visit the gallery again for quite some time. All that wonderful art less than an hour away from my house. But something always comes up and I still haven’t gone.
Then a few days ago, when I was feeling restless for the millionth time, a thought came to me.
I could just go to the gallery by myself. Technically, I have a lot of freedom since I don’t work. I don’t have to go with somebody. It would be during the day. It would be safe. I could go at my own pace, lingering if I want or racing through the place if I want. I could eat in the gallery cafe and have museum-y food to choose from instead of Wendy’s or Burger King. It’s easy to get directions ahead of time. I have money for parking and admission. Nothing is really stopping me.
Except that I get scared now when I think of doing things. Before I could just force myself to do things even if it made me anxious. Now, not so much.
Someone I grew up with in the old neighborhood flies to San Francisco every year all by herself and she thinks of it as her time to heal, re-charge, and be 100% herself. And I envy her those trips. I want that for myself.
I’m not used to thinking of doing something and then just doing it without first considering the millions of possibilities and needs of the whole rest of the world. Without “awfulizing” the whole endeavor first. Without remembering past failures. Without remembering past triumphs and thinking, those days are long gone. And while this sounds like a ponderous process, it actually is so natural and automatic for me that I can do it without even realizing what is happening.
Ah, sweet Clinical Depression and Chronic Anxiety, you are terrible companions and it is high time I break up with you.
The gallery is closed on Mondays so tomorrow is my first opportunity to take what I hope is the first of many such field trips.
I hope that it feels good to do this and to be there.
I really hope this idea means I am turning the next corner.