A blank canvas

Inspired by Stephanie Perkins’ novel Isla and the Happily Ever After.

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You think that no one will ever truly love you, that you’re not worthy of anybody’s love. Everyone else seems to know exactly who they are and who they want to be; why are you the only one without a plan, without direction, without any clear vision of your future? Why are you the only one lingering in the present like a pile of fallen leaves that any gust of wind could just sweep away?

But what you don’t realise yet is that you’re not fallen leaves; you’re a seed in nourished soil. You’re not dead; you’re alive. There is sunlight above you and oxygen around you, and there is love in every breath you take, if only you’d accept that love… if only you’d realise that you’re not too much or too little of anything – you’re human and you’re complex and you’re perfect just the way you are. From you sprouts a million pathways and a million doors.

And maybe you’ve got nothing figured out yet, but you know what the best part of life is? It’s those tiny moments of spontaneity, when you have no idea which door you will open next but you still trust yourself to make the ultimate decision. It’s trying out something new and completely out of your comfort zone, despite your doubts and insecurities. It’s daring to pursue bold and impossible dreams.

You may be a blank canvas, but a blank canvas is the start of unlimited possibilities and the beginning of a most beautiful work of art – your life. Your future. You.

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Barriers

There have always been barriers placed around me by my parents, perhaps even by myself, to protect me; to shield me from the bad; to mould me into the person I’m ‘meant’ to become; the person who’s fitter, smarter, healthier and in all regards ‘better’. But now I’m realising that being this ‘better’ person is not the same as being your own person; that these barriers are a little like ropes bound around my arms and ankles, restraining me, limiting me, forcing me to grow in a certain way and denying me the chance to explore all those other possibilities out there.

I think that in a way, I’ve always acted like a “good girl”, not because I like being obedient and compliant all the time, but because I’ve always made that unconscious decision to confine myself within the barriers surrounding me, never choosing the option of venturing beyond my walls; always too afraid of taking big risks, too afraid of what I’ll find in unknown territory, too afraid of change and the disappearance of familiar things that give my life some degree of normalcy and constancy.

Yet change is inevitable, and even if I don’t go past my barriers, change will occur. Might as well let myself be in control of some of that change. Might as well take a chance beyond those walls even if I am terrified… especially if I’m terrified. After all, as I said before in ‘To take a leap of faith’, if the prospect of doing something doesn’t terrify you a single bit, then it’s probably something not worth doing. So if the thought of leaping over or breaking through your barriers makes your heart beat just that little bit faster or your throat grow just that little bit tighter, then it just means that it’s something worth doing; it’s something worth pursuing; it’s something worth living for.