A few weeks ago, a very special friend of mine shared a link to this 365 Grateful project which has now turned into an extremely intimate documentary on one person's gratefulness. The video on the site moved me and had me thinking of all of the things I was grateful for. I felt inspired to take on a similar project and share with the world what I, myself, am grateful for.
As I began to think about these things, I realized that I have much to be grateful for, and I have, in fact, made it a habit to share this with the world. In between the time I viewed the 365 Grateful video and today, I found myself in - and out - of some very dark and frightening tunnels of my own mind and heart. Frightened and confused, I searched within to find just what drew me into these ugly tunnels.
I realized it was just that... ugliness.
Those of you who know me personally, know I have a very difficult time accepting myself as a wholly beautiful person. Some reasons for which I know and are too personal to share, and others which I do not fully understand. As a result I've often doubted myself, my abilities, my desires and life, in general. Emerging from these dark tunnels I told myself that I would attempt to see myself for what I truly am... beautiful. In doing so, I would be able to fully embrace the world for what it truly is... beautiful.
This realization was not an epiphany, I should add. This was more of a prolonged construction of multiple ideas, emotions and views I have of the world. It was the creation of a metaphorical pick-ax that I have equipped myself to use in order to break down my own previous construction of what I thought should be beautiful...
Hips, thighs, hair, nails, eyes...
And into a reconstruction of what really is beautiful.
I am going to say this now; I have not yet defined what is beautiful to me, nor have I fully embraced myself as beautiful. As I said, this is not an epiphany, but a construction.
This blog then, is going to be converted into my own 365 Beautiful project. Every day, beginning today (my 32nd birthday), I will post a photo of something I see as beautiful. More-so than beautiful, something that I feel is a part of me, my days and in essence, my existence. In doing so, my hope is that by the end of this 365 project, I will be able to fully connect to the word "beautiful" and more than anything, create a new definition for myself of what beauty truly is.
Now, I am by no means a photographer, nor do I pretend to be an "amature" one at that, but I am a writer and as a writer, I often find that my thoughts conjure up colorful images and memories and so my words will be my art, my photos an illustration.
The photo that begins this project is what I found strewn about my desk in my office and what the children I work with gave me as gifts after I arrived from a less than ideal morning. The misspelled and misshapen words scrawled on the folded up pieces of paper turned my entire day right-side up. This, I thought, is a great way to begin my journey...
"Dear Lucia, Thank you for all the good things you have done..."
"Dear Lucia, Thank you for all your hard work..."
"Dear Lucia, Today is a great day for you..."