Probably Malaga 2016

Whenever my parents and grandparents get together, and I’m trapped, they ask for more blog posts.

This is highly encouraging.

As is my father still talking about the painting I did for him and the mother for Christmas, which has finally been framed and mounted on the wall in our Yorkshire home. Encouragement that we’re making the right choices is always important, and I might look a little embarrassed, but I do appreciate it.

The painting is of my sister’s face, which as the human mind is particularly well programmed for the recognition of faces, was quite an intimidating thing to undertake. The combination of subject, medium and timescale meant that as a painting project it was the hardest thing I’d tried to paint by a long shot. What’s more, I did the entire painting in the Midget’s well-used, student infested living room. There were people passing in and out, music on and off and the regular whining about heating and washing-up that comes with being surrounded by students.

Ok, the whining was mostly me.

And yet, fear turned down its invitation to join the party and stayed away. Instead I had focus.

Focus is the big difference that’s happening to me right now. I’ve gone from just being terrified, to knowing I can do what I want, but being terrified to do it, to finally believing if I just get on doing what I want everything is going to be splendid.

I still have days of doubts, but they’re the maligned few.

It’s working.

Years ago now, when I first went off on my explorations to Italy, I had no idea what I was doing. Half my energy was spent justifying my choices to myself. When you start talking about what it is you do, the language you choose makes a huge difference. When I went to Italy, I spoke of the trip as if I knew it was an excuse for not having the courage or belief I could do what I wanted. The first time I considered that I was mistaken in how I spoke was a few weeks before I left England. I went to visit Lady Patricia, my companion in modelling solar flares and a woman with a proper graduate job using her skills in fluid mechanics. Her father inquired as to my plans and told me straight: You’re doing what you need to do. Do it. It will be great.

I still have difficulties explaining my vision to my family and friends. Sometimes it’s met with a mix of horror, jealousy and confusion and I’m left speechless and bewildered wondering how to word what it is I feel into something comprehensible. The Mother’s worried I’m going to shave my hair off. How am I meant to put such an unfounded fear at rest? I feel that when I talk I often sound unsteady, but this is contrary to how I actually feel.

I feel powerful.

In a few weeks I’m moving to northern Spain for a couple of months. I’m taking my sketchbook, my paints, my camera and my means of putting money in the bank account, i.e. this computer.

I love the freedom I’ve opened in my life. I’ve never been lazy and the liberty to do what I want – like paint a picture of my sister or work on the projects I like – is paying off its dividends. I’m refining my skills, filling out the sketchbook and having to order notebooks in bulk. No longer is how much energy and attention I’ve got considered through a fog of excuses. No, now it’s information from which I’m actively learning.

It’s hard work trying to live life so completely. I find myself smiling as I walk down the street and getting beeped at for skipping across zebra crossings. I must remember that this energy needs to be posted here and shared. This blog is not only an output of my confusions and insecurities (of which I still hold many), but also the strong self-belief that’s carrying me forward into the unknown. When I look back at what I was feeling even just six-months ago and compare it to what I feel today, the difference is drastic.

To quote the Mother at the dinner table last night, just imagine what another six-months could bring.