Engulfed in background flames, a face appears with a straining eye looking out to what lies beyond. My advanced art project startled my art teacher and caused an explanation that I almost didn't know I had.
My background had been filled with broken promises, frightened hours, lonely nights, terrible noises, mean and nasty people, and an endless sense of destruction that would make me worry every minute of the day. Some days it seemed like everything and everyone was trying to destroy me. (My face, my ability to see beyond those flames)
Every day I wished those flames would stop and let my face appear beyond what I have tried to see. Day in, day out, a struggle that was impossible to stop, for if I did, the flames would soon take over everything that I've so long achieved.
Finally an escape appeared and I have found courage and power to go through the flames and start to learn how I can keep the flames (of the past) behind me.
That's when art came into my life. It opened a brand-new face, a brand new background, and a whole new destination.
I began to see that life doesn't have to be a replication of the past. I also could see that if I wanted my life to be better than my past I had to work for it.
In the past year, I've seen that my art was a beginning of a long and promising gateway to the future.
I've seen what a man in my life, a man who I know will stick by me, and will be there to fulfill my dreams, can do. I've seen that education is one of the areas that is important to me, to be able to face the career I want to go in, to be a Graphic Designer and to be an Art Therapist.
My understanding of what I've seen and experienced is more than anyone could ever comprehend; to know my life is to know that the flames (of my past) will only bother me if I let them. -
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.