2012 came into my life very whole heartedly. 2011 had kicked me, beaten me, bruised me, and left me with scars I didn’t think I could recover from. I had one mission and one mission only in this year, reclaim the pieces of me I had given up. The dancing. The friends. The laughing. The painting. The health. The love. Right up until the very last day, I did just that.
I started 2012 in the Superdome on January 1. Saints versus Panthers. Shockey on the opposite side and Graham right there in his place. Payton was there with all our favorites. We won that day and all celebrated with chants of “who dat” and Dragos’ charbroiled oysters. The day didn’t really have any significant meaning, just a great way to start a year.
As the days went on. Kickball was played. Softball. Football. The friendships with old friends were rekindled and new friendships were formed. I never really thought much about the days as there were strung together. They all just passed.
Each day I found myself dancing a little more. Most of the time it was in my shower or kitchen. A lot of times it was on the O-Line of a football field or a little outfield dance party. The little dance moves would find their way out slowly but surely till it would be in aisles of the grocery store or the middle of the restaurant as I walked back to the table. I danced. I dance. It feels good. With the dancing things fell into place.
Then one day, I remember it so clearly. It was cold. It was in an unfamiliar town. I was sitting at a bar and talking quite inappropriately with friends. I realized that the person sitting next to me I barely knew. I knew the way they drank a beer. I knew how they kissed. I knew the way they told stories with dramatic pauses and comedic timing. In the middle of my deep thought and daze, they said something. For the life I me I can’t remember what it was. But what happened next, I couldn’t have predicted. I laughed so hard and so deep I fell off the back of the bar stool. In 2012 I started laughing with such an intensity that I didn’t care if I snorted, if I fell down, if I disturbed the person next to me. I just laughed. I missed laughing.
Maybe it was enough jeans that barely zipped or round 2 of melanoma. Maybe it was getting out at first all the time. Maybe not catching a football. Maybe it was digging for the right size in my favorite stores. Maybe it was the day I realized my face had changed. But good lord, from 2009-11 I let that health go and for one of the above reasons, it had to get under control and with every commitment I had to be devoted. And so 5 inches and 5 pounds later, there is still a season to beast. There is still sunscreen every day. There is a want as strong as the need to take care of me that falls over to 2013.
Painting, the missing component. After all, the painting is why this site was started. The painting is the fear. The painting was my glue. Then something happened. This kid I met years ago, more than a decade, walked in my life when he went with a friend to Sadie Hawkins. I remember a pink Barbie bike, he swears this is not the case. Over the course of 13 years we would hang out. Maybe for the course of a night. Maybe in a period of “life pauses” but we’d pass the boredom with each other. Three years went by and drinks were had. We caught up. A week went by and we caught up again. Somewhere between Marc Broussard and NPR, this kid on a pink bike became my friend. I was envious of his passion, of the way he lived his life, fiercely and unapologetically. He one upped me in every aspect of life. The last thing I remembered about him was that we were both stuck at a crossroads, figuring it out, and he chose a path. He wrote. He created. He shared his life with the world unapologetically. In my competitive nature i thought, “He wins.” Furthermore, it was in my moments of envy he asked me why I quit painting.
It was one of the first time I verbalized that I quit to avoid the emotions that came with it. Painting is my therapy, and the minute that brush went back in my hand, I had to deal with everything. The heartbreak. The headaches. The laughing. The dancing. The constant denial for life insurance because I didn’t wear sunscreen. The crossroads. The pause. I had to feel it all again. Cause I can’t paint and avoid emotion. In that moment the flood of emotions came over me. 24 hours later on December 29, 2012, I stayed up in my childhood bedroom. Sat on a floor and painted. He has the proof. I have the resolution.
2013 will be the year of the collection. I’ve always wanted to do it and this year I will. Twelve paintings by 2014. On December 31, 2013 I’ll come to you with reasons or results.
Here’s to the results.
Lifetimes of paper rainbows…W