I’m a beast. A beast with a need to grab hold of something I believe in and lock-jaw onto it. I gnaw away and gnaw away until I get to where I want to go. I tear past all the meat and gristle of what’s in front of me looking to get to the goal – the soft, sweet marrow. Those closest to me, my friends and family know the signs. A grand scale, usually over the top idea, paired with a laser focused single mindedness that borders on down-right obsession. And, if I’m confessing – my passionate pursuits don’t border on obsession they become them – and quickly. I was this way before AS struck and once Remicade started to help years later, this part of me came back perhaps even stronger than before because I felt I had lost years not working, not creating, and not doing. I’m likely overcompensating at this point in my life and that makes me an absolute chore to live with not to mention the fact that it risks my health and well being.
Why am I telling you all this? I would guess that any of you who have been following along with my daily apples or Hope & Apples can see it. It is clear as day to those around me but sometimes what is happening right in front of us is hidden, elusive. Even when others try to say “see it, it’s right there” we can’t identify it because it hides in plain sight like the classic black and white drawing of the woman – is she a beautiful young woman or an old hag – the stark contrast is there plain as day but we get locked into seeing one side. So much of life happens in tones of the same shade. We go through the motions day by day until light and color set off an event in relief to the rest. The light blasted at me yesterday – and I saw – finally.
I need to find a way to unplug and relax more but the thing is… I haven’t wanted to. I LOVE what I’m doing. I’ve had projects, jobs, pursuits before that interested me – but what they lacked was a meaning behind them. They lacked a passion close to my heart, my life, and my struggles. A daily apple made with a purpose created an obsession in me – a good obsession. Showing others the way art can help us express pain, hope, disease, and joy all while telling the world about the spondyloarthritis is my calling, my passion and so – it is who I am. I cannot apologize for my love of this work and I will work every day to towards these goals but for the sake of my friends and family and especially Doug, I will put the work down more and I will apologize for not seeing what I was losing sight of – the importance of a man who has been my rock and my love and my biggest supporter.
I will walk away – I need to have time away and I haven’t been able to. I will unplug and enjoy my husband, our gardens, our home and friends and my family. I will find some time to do things that have nothing to do with apples or AS or Facebook or our cause so that I can hold on to what gives me purpose and joy. This obsession and drive and my daily apple will remain but hopefully in more measured doses. That is my obsession confession.
Day 226 was created in graphite and watercolor.