Saturday Afternoon

 

 

Since first moving out of my house three years ago to start college at the University of California Santa Cruz, I have spent countless hours packing up numerous rooms and then unpacking hundreds of boxes.

Although the sun is shining and there is literally not a cloud in the sky, today I have dedicated the afternoon to clearing out my room. Wait- rephrase. Beginning to clear out my room. In a month I will be moving out of my childhood bedroom in a different way than I ever have before. I will be leaving for at least a year to live in Thailand, and then I plan to apply for a program to work in Japan that will start in the fall of 2013. If accepted, it will be over two years until I return home.

A room is our own personal place, full of all the objects we have accumulated over the years- Many of which have sentimental meaning, and many which had it at one point and have now lost the meaning they once held. Where do you begin? Sitting here today, starring at the project that stands before me, how do I know what I will still want to hold onto in a year from now? Two years?

When I finally return home I will be far different from the person I am today.

I have to start clearing out this room full of possessions I won’t need anymore. A closet full of clothes that won’t be worn again. Material objects that are currently part of my everyday life, that I will no longer live with. Minimizing is incredibly refreshing. I own too much.

 

For anyone who has traveled and left behind the room they grew up in, full of the possessions they have come to own over a life time, any advice on where to start?

Almost Done

I am notorious for starting things and then never finishing them. Most of the time when I start a canvas I will do the sketch, fill the picture in about half way, post it some where in my room, and then proceed to stare at it for the next few months without touching it.

This particular canvas I started a very long time ago, and I have worked on it bit by bit over the last three years (in my defense I left it at home during part of college, in DC and in Tahoe). Each time I’ve worked on it it has changed, and my style and the details have evolved. As I’ve come close to finally finishing it,  I realize that in someways it is a self portrait. It is a reflection of the person I have been since starting it.

Often, when you are in a relationship, your identity begins to fuse with that of the person you are dating. You come to know yourself as the person you are with them. Subconsciously, I think I began to let this portrait reflect the different sides of me that arose during my relationship. The different dimensions of who we can become. While the person I loved brought out the dreamer in me, he also brought out a nightmarish side.

This canvas was made with him in mind. With me in mind.

A self portrait of the person I am leaving behind. My own identity, without him, I am beginning to find.