This morning I found an old painting (above), one I did at age 17… more than 15 years ago, eek! While some things have remained the same, like my love for the color green and my interest in painting natural landscapes, other things have changed A LOT.
Back then, I had this blaze-orange tacky-flowered Hawaiian thrift store shirt with patch pockets on the front. I wore that thing everywhere, proudly. These days, I know that I look terrible in orange, and you wouldn’t catch me in anything as ugly as that poor shirt… but I kind of miss that girl. The older I get, the more I’m noticing a trend to overthink everything. I remember sitting down to do that painting… I simply looked at the photo, painted what I saw, and was done and happy with it in an hour or two. If I tried to paint that photo today, it would take me WEEKS because I’d zoom in on every tiny detail, working one section at a time to perfection – until overwhelmed. I think this stems from a fear of failure. At seventeen, I never thought about the outcome of a painting before or during the process. Choices were made based on things I was drawn to, without much thought. It’s a good lesson I think…while detail and thought can be very important given the proper context, sometimes zooming in on them takes away from the whole experience. This post serves as a personal reminder to strive less for absolute perfection, enjoy being in the moment more, and quit overthinking! Happy & Simple.
If your 17-yr-old self could teach you a lesson today, what would it be?