I discovered a few things about myself this summer. Wonderful things that are making me feel whole…making me feel full…making me feel alive. I like to think of those things as little gifts…made and picked especially for me, that make this battle I’ve been fighting ok. Gifts that make up for and reward me for the hard times and the sad times I’ve been through. Gifts that are replacing and far surpassing what this battle has taken away from me. But gifts from who? Cancer? God? Mother Earth? Myself?

I don’t really know, but they’re gifts nonetheless. And I like gifts.

One of those gifts is painting.

I stumbled upon a stunning photo online of a bunch of autumn trees and a beautiful bright blue sky. Not only was it a great photo, it also reminded me of places that I have been and made me day-dream of going to places like that again. At that moment, I decided that I wanted to try to paint that picture so I could hang it in my home and look at it everyday. I’m not a painter, but I felt like I wanted to try it, so I did. I went to the art store and bought a couple of canvas’ and a beginners acrylic paint value pack–it had 5 primary color paints and two paint brushes included–and then set up at my kitchen table and started to paint.

I wasn’t expecting much. I’ve always been kinda creative, so I figured I could at least make a half decent piece of artwork–something worthy of sticking on the wall and filling in some space in the guest bedroom:) To my surprise, the painting turned out really good and I really enjoyed making it. So I just kept on painting and creating more and more.

Now, my home is speckled with pieces of art that I created with my own two hands. They’re paintings to most, but to me they’re memories and experiences and dreams of mine. It’s great to be surrounded by that. I even started an etsy shop where I’m selling some of my stuff…and a couple of my paintings are being used to stage a home that is for sale in my neighborhood. Who knows? Maybe I can play a small role in attracting a super cool neighbor to our community with my art?

It feels great to create and share a part of myself. I think it’s a gift.

So, thank you, cancer…god…buddah….LIFE for these little gifts that you continue to give to me. Much appreciated.

-Sweet T