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I believe everything is some sort of equation. Numbers are the building blocks of everything even though we don’t see them. Change is inevitable and growth is essential. We live our lives chasing love, working hard, creating memories, and doing our best to stay afloat when things come crumbling down. Among all this we cause patterns.

Some patterns are good but most just hurt you in the end. It’s tricky because you find yourself acting a certain way or reliving the same moments and it wakes you up. Having the ability to see these patterns shows you are intuitive to your well being. Actually doing something about it and changing for the better proves you are strong willed and ready to evolve. When nothing is seen or done, the same pattern repeats. You could go through various jobs, be in a number of relationships, have moved to different locations…but those patterns are still there. They are something you cannot escape until you are ready to truly grow.

I have undergone therapeutic realizations in my life, many times. Most of these were in my twenties and some even younger. I saw the patterns in my life that weren’t healthy and certainly not doing me any good. Some of them had to do with how I saw myself but most were happening in relationships. I think its interesting how you notice so much more of yourself through other people and the relationships you have with them. It’s truly eye opening.

About 7 years ago I had enough of it. I was in my last year of art school and found myself analyzing who I was, inside and out. I explored this a lot through my writing and artwork as well as through numerous series of self portraits. My BFA show even revolved around my life experiences and how I dealt with them. Even though I will always remember time spent with people I was with in the past, I really didn’t gain or learn anything from some of them beyond this eye opening realization. It has has shown me to lead life with my mind and not to get lost in the fantasy of emotion when it has no foundation. Unfortunately, something that seems beautiful and out of this world, can eventually show its dark side.

So, I’ve taken this lesson and applied it to pretty much everything in my life. Considering myself first, above all, helped me work toward my dreams and hold on to the confidence I deserve. Only then could I give a true part of my heart to what I admired. I stopped my patterns in their tracks and moved on to the next phase. Everything is just so much clearer when you see the bigger picture and when you break those ties that bind you, the bigger picture is so much more than you could’ve imagined.

This self portrait was taken during the late summer of 2006 when I still lived in Jersey. I love the look on my face because its just so true to how I was feeling and encompasses everything I was going through within those few years. And just like the mirror states, I was closer than I thought. Slowly going down the path that would eventually show me the light. Soon I wouldn’t feel the need to cover myself with emotional blindness and my mind would crack the code.

Inspiration Photo Friday: Patterns - © Melissa O'Connor-Arena