it's a feeling i can't escape from — nothing i can turn a blind eye to, skip over, forget.
fear follows me like a shadow, growing larger, trailing behind when the sun above is brightest.
and over the years, i've learned that hiding from it means obscuring myself in the shadows,
always trembling, my fingers shaking with such force that i have to dig crescents into my palms,
a hoarse prayer at my lips,
but i told myself that everyone has their own shadows.
that everyone's in my shoes.
and that i just can't see it because i've been so overwhelmed by all that fear.
i realized that shadows are meant to be.
you can't confine yourself to darkness in order to escape it.
you have to peel yourself away from the walls, bend the bars of your cell, tell yourself "it's okay."
it's a simple phrase.
one that many believe is used too often.
but i say it's not so.
i say we should tell ourselves this phrase, tell ourselves that we're overestimating our fears,
feeding it our pride,
i once thought there was no such thing as pursuing something in the arts.
but i've learned that all those colors we think are useless,
the dollar paints we've used as children,
crayons we've broken and melted,
brushes we've left in jars of cloudy water,
smears of whatnot on the walls and on our cheeks and foreheads —
that is how we are able to bask in sunlight with all those shadows behind us.
that is how we are able to continue on with certainty even if that fear is on our heels.
when i want to fight my fears, i pick up a brush.
what do you do?