A metaphor about friendship.
Originally written: November 12th, 2012
The New Paint Set
Today I bought a different paint set. This one, was more oblong and was in wooden casing with a leather clasp. The rich color of the casing had always looked inviting, my memories had been eyeing it in the store for a while now, its unfamiliarity calling my name. Inside the case, it was lined with black and had an intriguing variety of colors that my previous set had never been so privy to have. These new colors were so bright, so welcoming but so different seeing as they were a completely different brand of paint than I usually stick to. My first instinct, like many others, was to be cautious of this new opportunity. Don’t take it for granted. It had only dawned on me that the foolishness of buying the same paint set for the last 7 years unavoidably showed my own stubborn and obedient ways. Why buy the same set over and over if their were better things out there? Yes, buying what I knew worked was easy and no doubt in my comfort zone. What was new though, was something exciting entirely. Leaving behind the old set was a conflict of emotions, to say the least.
Me and the old paint set- we had some good, though melancholy , times. You gave me that paint set, do you remember (this isn’t about you)? The old set was so dismally heavy. It was often awkward, abundant in its ways of tormenting my ever-thinking mind. No- we never fit quite perfectly together, though I times I thought we did. Outwardly I knew all the imperfections and often unjust ways of the set. When opened, it often made a loud creaking sound noticeable to any within the general area. It was as if it was being protested against it’s own use. “No, please, I only hurt more than I help”. But day after day I continued into that downward spiral that was really only hurting myself. This often made me wonder if you even wanted to be seen in public with me (you were just too cool). Yes the paint was wonderful at first, the colors so vivid and beautiful....I thought, what could be better than this? However, over time paint can get old, especially if exposed it can become dry and cracked. Broken.
From one artist to another, you hurt me too.There is no doubt in my mind that I have somehow caused you some pain. But do you have any idea of what I was going through? You said you understood, that you cared, that things would be different. Things certainly did change, as all things eventually do- just not in the way it could have been. All of this especially came to my attention quite late in the game. If only I had known 7 years ago to never get involved or attached. It is easy to switch up sets and materials, all the time creating new things and going to foreign places. When you're stuck in a rut with the same set, the same set that only hurts, the same set that doesn’t want to be in public with you, the same set that could care less about your depression- it’s harder than you think to get out of that vicious circle. Though luckily, you did that for me, so thanks. Kudos to you.
It happened slowly over time. Something broke here, something broke there and everytime I worked harder than you to fix it. Except the first time, when I broke the copper handle, you came with a back-up plastic one, ensuring it would fix everything. And it did- temporarily. After that more things lost their luster, or at least I lost my luster. I was no longer worthy of your time. Perhaps if I was a better artist I could deem myself worthy, but no, you didn’t think so. So you drifted away, finding comfort in the recess of my mind. As I was subjected to more and more criticism and the hole in my stomach got larger the paint set was used less often. The colors looked dreary, I couldn't even fathom what their previous use was. You faded. I was dieing. The set was getting old.
Nobody wants an old set.
Hadie had once used the same set, though at a different time and circumstance. I saw the end of her use of the set and did not think much of it. Later, in those times with Hadie, all I saw was a kind remorse in her eyes as I told her about you and how you eluded me. She only nodded, as the memories of her own retold themselves in her eyes, doing flips. The kind that make you sick. There was one point in time when everybody wanted that set! It was so fun and really, the fact that everybody else liked it made others wonder why it was so great. Thus drawing in more of a crowd. Me and Hadie were the insiders, we already knew. You were kind of overrated, you said. Nobody believed you, of course. In this way that people so easily loved you was the same way I felt an obvious jealousy. You so freely gave out this attention, always ensuring I was number one but you never showed that. You never tired. Trust is a two way street.
In many ways, I would love to pinpoint all my problems on you. Oh, how easy that would be! To blame my problems on others! But no, it was all me, I was always in control and could have easily ignored many of the problems that arose (I didn’t). Your colors that showed on the outside never matched the inside. I would always trust the inside but the outside would always be there, constantly fooling me. Always trusting the wrong, never the right. Would a warning label be too much to ask? Apparently not, this is how we “grow”. We have to keep going through a paint set after paint set until you find one with the perfect fit. Not so perfect it’s boring- but adequately synchronized. To be at the same place at the same time.
Before you, I had one good previous paint set. A good paint set they were, a little crazy, but happy, which I was always eternally envious of. That one I can take complete blame for. All my fault. Everything was my fault. It’s always my fault, it’s easier to say that.
This new paint set, in a way, picked me as much as I picked it.