Holding a Paintbrush Brings Me Joy and I’m a Terrible Painter

Woke up at the butt crack of dawn to volunteer with coworkers for LA Works Day.  We were assigned a school in Highland Park to revitalize the old murals.  Spent a good chunk of the day recreating a mural in a new location.  It was good company bonding experience.  It felt good to be doing something else for someone since a lot of other people have been doing a lot for me.  I would like to take this opportunity to say that the people in my life totally rock.  I’ve had strangers come out of the woodwork and offer their genuine assistance in every which way and I am touched by all the love and support that I have been inundated with.  It also got me thinking about how only two months ago I couldn’t hold a paintbrush without wincing with pain, I felt happy, no, more like ecstatic to be pain-free, with enough energy to get through most the day almost effortlessly.  I was happy.  And at that moment, I felt like nothing could get me down and I was on top of the world or at the very least a very tall ladder very carefully stenciling letters onto the side of a school building next to dancing dolphins.

Reconstructing a mural for LA Works Day

I wanted to ride the euphoria so I continued the day doing “normal” activities.  I went to lunch at Pink Taco and had my favorite go-to nachos in LA.  After lunch, a few of the co-workers and I stopped by the Annenberg Space for Photography to check out the National Geographic Water Exhibit.  Photographs from all over the world with water as the subject.  I was captivated.  Not just by the pure beauty of water, but also the paradoxical presentation of the basic survivalist needs and the lack of it in stark contrast of how much taken for granted it also was in most parts of the world.     

Later that evening, my mom came over to spend the night.  She was fighting with my Dad and wanted to escape and needed some companionship.  I had thought to myself, what could be so bad that would result in this childish silent treatment?  I wanted to yell, “IT CAN’T BE THAT BAD!  LOOK AT ME.  THIS IS BAD!”  Trust me, I did say it but maybe not as loud as I had thought it.  If there was any good out of this diagnosis and “brush” with death, it’s my newfound keen sense of awareness on living versus just existing.  So, we had a heart to heart and I think some of this keen sense perspective was seeping in slowly.  

So takeaway of the story: If you love someone, love them for who they are.  If they make a mistake, forgive them or forget them.  Life really is too short to spend it mad.  I can’t stress that enough.  Make it count.


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