These writings span over ten years



Truthful Sadness

There is a truthful sadness for George as he sits in the small lounge chair. It was Friday night going into early Saturday morning, and tears flowed down his cheeks. These crying jags are not the first time it happened, nor will it be the last.

He will turn sixty-three shortly and without a woman in his life. His mother passed about nine years ago, and he took care of her as the only unmarried child in his later years. Her passing had hit him hard. The only thing keeping him going those years after was a desire for success.

Success seems only to happen to men who have a woman to support them. A man cannot get to the top alone or at least without a few close confidants to help him along. The phrase, “behind every successful man, there is a woman,” rings true for the most part.

He does not want to give up on himself, but life is becoming more complex. He was a caregiver who became too attached to his clients and kept losing them to death.

The Is a Truthful Sadness in Going Through a Lifetime of Heartaches

His first loss was at the age of five. His grandmother meant everything to him. She contracted leukemia, and the white blood cells or antibodies ate up the red ones. He looked over the side of the bed, knowing she would not last long.

He was inspired to start sketching at her funeral reception and did it daily for almost a decade. Hence, he won a school art contest in the seventh grade. Then everything went wrong starting in high school as the bad people came into his life. Entering a college preparatory school mainly for academics, he did not fit well.

The disciplinarian priest that was the principal wanted his boys to become good husbands and fathers. Consequently, somehow he rejected that thought. He had an artistic temperament and enjoyed music, so he joined the band.

A Life Lived Differently Than Expected From His Family and Peers

Honestly, easily swayed artists and musicians back in that era got into using street drugs and alcohol, which he did. The few years in the military in his early twenties sent him into a tailspin of mental illness. It took many years of recovery afterward, fortunately with his mother, who took him back to live with her.

His stepfather had just died about two years before his discharge, under honorable conditions. The few years of hallucinogenic and heavy narcotic drugs gave him hellish visions and ones of heaven. His usage remained when he got back to the states.

The years of rehabilitation and visits to psychiatrists that loaded him with numerous medicines for years turned him into an almost worthless piece of defecation, or so he thought. He finally came out of it as he approached middle age.

College was an excellent path to start then, and he made the honor roll and earned a 4.0-grade point average. Getting a scholarship, he started back to a local university where he attempted to go before and failed miserably.

There Is a Difficult Path We Must Take Sometimes in Life

He now lives in a genuine sadness of loneliness. Thus, he tried marriage the year after his mother’s passing, the same year he earned a baccalaureate degree.

They met online, then met in person, and got married less than three months. That is too quickly for anyone. Unfortunately, the marriage only lasted two years. He had to make decisions alone, which he mostly did during the marriage.

Now, he must choose between taking social security retirement early. If possible, he will get a small subsidized apartment and live out the rest of his years alone and quietly. Though, none of us know what could happen between now and then.

We live by the hand we are dealt, which is not the same for everyone.

Art Takes Practice

Art takes practice, as with everything else you do. Practice makes perfect, but no one is perfect even though very close. We all have flaws, but we can be geniuses in any field if we go above and beyond practicing it in every way possible. For most problems, there are several solutions.

Repetition is tedious but necessary if you want to improve your skills. Visualizing is another way of practicing, and there is much evidence it works, too. When you imagine, it creates a dream state that you eventually do in real life. If I had stayed with art from my youth, I would be a professional and seasoned artist. I didn't, though, so I'm relearning it by practicing new techniques.

Art varies with each artist. Not everyone will like your style. I tend toward realism, but my subject matter differs. Right now, I enjoy drawing women, primarily portraits. I sketch men occasionally, as well as animals. I need to get back to more linear sketching artificial-like structures, including vehicles, houses, buildings, and other things.

Art Takes Practice and a Natural Love for It

Art goes back to cave paintings thousands of years ago, artistic lettering and words formed from cuneiform and hieroglyphics or symbols. The art of speech took a while to develop correctly, but drawing was around way before. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Practicing sports makes your team better. There is a science behind practicing correctly, and there must be balance in everything you do, including practice. Physicians have a license to practice medicine. When you have a plumber's license, you do a plumber's work and not practice it.

Science relies on evidence, including facts and reliable information. If you go to a Baptist church almost every Sunday, you're a practicing Christian. You can practice your faith, but a nurse is registered to be a nurse in the medical field. You can be any part of a particular group or work environment, and in a sense, you are practicing your skills.

Even if you achieve the status of an expert in your field, you continue to practice becoming better. Art takes practice as well as life.

Be Yourself

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken’ is a famous quote by Oscar Wilde. It took me years to be myself after a few tragic setbacks. Now I have become myself but am more truthful than ever too. I can detect people that aren’t authentic and not very original.

When I started college again in my late forties, I tried hard to have perfect grades and achieved that at a two-year college that I attended for the first time. During that time, I earned an excellent 4.0-grade point average and became condescending, which wasn’t true to who I am.

I received a scholarship to a four-year college that I attended several times before. I was a college I started right out of high school, where I had flunked out or incorrectly canceled classes. I struggled in many of those courses and lost my perfect edge, but they taught me valuable lessons.

I was unauthentic or being myself all the way through and after my only marriage late in life. I worked in a popular technology field, but I didn’t enjoy it or felt it wasn’t what I should be doing. It was not until recently that I rediscovered my childhood passion for art.

Be Yourself So That Everyone Can Know the Real You

It took me a long time to find the real me as part of my adulthood. I am unloading my baggage every day now and becoming freer. I’ve given up habits that were holding me back. An old Greek cliché relating to our keyword phrase is ‘know thyself.’

The fundamental precept of being yourself relates to many philosophical statements. Therefore, the human condition is that we don’t often know ourselves because we become brainwashed into being people we don’t mean to be.

It takes courage to set yourself free, and don’t think you are doing the right thing if you fake it until you make it. If you aren’t naturally good at something and are faking it, then I feel that you shouldn’t be doing it.