Three and a half years ago, I was tired of feeling hurt.
I was tired of obsessing over what I might have done differently to change the outcome of the situation.
In retrospect, I could have been more forgiving of myself. At the time, all I could think about was distracting myself from feeling sad. I just wanted to move forward.
One day, I picked up a paint brush.
When you finish this painting, you will be past this, I told myself.
At first, I didn’t know where to start. Then I didn’t have the technique. It wasn’t coming out the way I had envisioned it in my head. I told myself all the things that I would do as soon as I had gotten over this hurdle. I told myself that I would be free from pain and feelings of abandonment.
I allowed myself to soak every argument, every pain point, and every letter I knew I’d never send.
Every time I felt sadness, I returned to the painting determined to finish it and feel ready to move on. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t bring myself to finish the painting and eventually I stopped trying.
Three years later, the painting still sits unfinished. I never even signed it.
Somewhere along the way, that chapter of my life ended and I stopped looking back.
For that reason, I’d say it’s finished. And I’ve never been happier.