Earlier today, my dad sent a message out to my siblings, our loves, and me, wishing us each a happy World Art Day. Not having heard of the day before, and still not knowing where it comes from, I asked how we should celebrate. Quickly, my brother – the painter, who breathes art – tossed out some suggestions. “Go to a museum!” he texted. “Make a plate of food!” My dad added on a note: “Write a blog!”
And so I am.
It’s been weeks since I sat down to write, and though I could easily claim my busy life as justification, my lack of words here lately is actually about something else. I am busy, of course – aren’t we all – and between two jobs, friends, two dogs, family, romance, enrolling in a graduate-level course, and more, it’s true that I’ve struggled to find the time and concentration to write anything of value.
But if I’m being honest, the reason I haven’t been writing here lately is because I’m at the point where I’m feeling some level of discouragement about my writing and my traveling ways, both of which are fundamental to the existence of this blog. I’ve only taken one quick trip – three days back east, which was joyfully centered around my nephew’s birthday – since returning from Europe in January. The fact that I visited another continent so recently is cause for celebration, I know that; but it also awakened the reminder of how important traveling is to me. Even when I can’t take big trips, having adventures elsewhere feels fundamental to my happiness.
As I get older, this becomes trickier. Sometimes I feel a pang of sadness for the fact that I didn’t discover this deep, true love of mine until I was older, and occasionally I fall into a place of envy for those who discover it early in life. More than that, I wish that I’d had the confidence to simply pick up and go, wherever my heart wanted to take me, whenever I could; I wish I’d had the wisdom to realize that I could have made choices all along to make that happen more frequently. At the same time, I recognize that there’s beauty in discovering travel the way that I have, and in learning about myself at the pace it’s taken.
Still, there is a near-constant concern that at times takes hold of me firmly: what if I lose sight of this love? I start questioning whether or not I’m doing everything I can – right now – to make traveling a part of my life, to find the marriage between wanderlust and the real beauty that exists in being rooted firmly in one place.
I want to be writing here; I love doing it. This blog has given me an outlet for, and a sense of accountability to, the words that help me make sense of my life. Yet I don’t want it to be an online journal; as much as it may feel otherwise at times, I try to balance the introverted side of this space with the wandering half of it. Occasionally – as its done in the last few weeks – that leaves me with an uncertainty on how to proceed.
But: apparently, today is World Art Day. And I imagine that most artists have no idea what the hell they’re doing, at least for a good chunk of the time. So in that spirit, I’ll post this blog, before returning to the work of the day, and the ever-present desire for adventures that forever float around in my heart.
The act of creating a vision of our world – whether that’s in a small context or a large one, whether it’s fleeting or will stand the test of time – seems like a necessary part of understanding our lives. I think art helps us translate our individual perspectives into a different language, which can so often speak to others. So, I hope that whatever it is that you do that is artistic – and I believe that everyone does something, whether that’s painting, drawing, writing, acting, cooking, parenting, loving, gardening, traveling, sewing, or any number of other things – you are able to do it today, with a notion of wildness, imperfection, and joy.