"AJ" - mixed media on cradled board, 6" x 6"
The daily paint-a-thon continues with a little primitive portrait of a girl I greatly admire. AJ is a teenager like no other, and exudes such a strong and vibrant energy that I was not surprised at all when her visage emerged from the board today.
Teenagers normally terrify me (I've raised a few, so I have experience behind my fear), and being a teenager was terrifying for me as well. But lately I've noticed something wonderful...there are people in the 13-19 age category who are amazing and funny and brilliant and kind. No, really! And self-assured and creative and super intelligent. AJ is one of these people. And I find myself mesmerized.
So I started thinking - how would my life be different if I had been a teenager infused with these same awe-inspiring qualities? Immediately I knew I would have chosen a different path in college (something wildly creative and full of exploration!) and for sure additional degrees. I love going to school! And I would have felt free to express myself (how I dressed, what hobbies I pursued, who I hung out with and the things we talked about) without so much self-censorship. Now I do not have a crystal ball, but I can just imagine the results decades later - a purple-haired 50-something dancing and drumming in the back yard during a full moon.
But hold on a minute! I may not have purple hair (only because I am allergic to hair color products) but I have been known to immerse myself in a shamanic full moon journey, complete with drumming. Hmmmm. And I now have a wildly creative life and feel pretty darn free to express myself when I feel the need.
Perhaps my awkward teenage years did not interfere with my becoming just who I am supposed to be after all. And while I ponder that some more, I will continue to watch the new brand of teenager with awe and fascination, wondering where their amazing abilities and interests will lead them. Rock on, AJ, rock on.
Jen Walls and her imaJENation