I’m thrilled to be leaving for Shreveport, Louisiana tomorrow morning to visit and attend the opening of my solo show, Full Circle, at The Norsworthy Gallery.
I grew up in Shreveport dreaming of someday journeying off into the world to establish a life for myself. I never envisioned that I’d spend my life in Shreveport, and in fact, as a young person, it seemed to represent a lot of what was wrong in my life. I wanted to run away. Of course, there was a lot of right in my life, too, but unfortunately, I spent way too much time focusing on the negatives, which clouded many of my behaviors and choices. There are a slew of reasons why this was the case that I won’t go into today.
I desperately wish that I could start my life over knowing what I know now. I suppose most of us would like to do that. I carry an incredible sadness about the regrets that I have, yet I feel triumphant because I’ve learned from those experiences and have evolved into a better version of myself. There are a great many things I didn’t understand as a young person that are clear to me now. I feel fortunate that I’ve had the capacity to learn and grow. Not everyone does … sadly.
It’s interesting how we all seem to understand and accept that a child’s perception of the world is vastly different from that of an adult. The choices they make and their emotional reactions are based on that limited perception. This enables us to discount or easily forgive our childish behaviors. Once we grown up, it gets harder to forgive ourselves. Intellectually, we may know that we did the best we could, yet emotionally, it’s difficult to forgive ourselves knowing that we are no longer children. As adults as young as 18, we’re responsible for our actions; yet some of us are still floundering in a haze far beyond childhood, trying to find our place in the world.
Now experts say that the human brain isn’t fully developed until age 25. But even after that, it’s evolving. We are evolving, and that is part of the beauty of the human spirit. I believe people can change. I have changed! I’m still me but I’ve evolved. That is incredible exciting, and should make us all look forward to the rest of our lives, no matter what our age.
So now as I head back to Shreveport for this wonderful showing of my creative work, I feel incredibly blessed. I’ve come full circle on multiple levels, and this trip is the culmination of that for me. That is an amazing feeling, like finding out the love you couldn’t find was actually there all along, hiding in the shadows of your life.
I love my hometown, and miss it all the time! I now understand and see all the gifts that surrounded me as a child and young adult. They were elements of my life that were overshadowed by some of the volatile emotional struggles that existed within the limited childhood world I navigated through with my brother. I wish now that the positive elements could have overshadowed those struggles. I think that’s what happens in the lives of many people, the lucky ones. I’m now at a place where that is the case and that has incredible meaning for me. I know that shift can happen, and so I encourage people to never give up, to never lose hope. This knowledge further amplified the devastation of my brother’s suicide in 2012. I wanted us both to come full circle, no matter how long it took.
If you’re in the Greater Shreveport Area, I hope you will join me at The Norsworthy Gallery (214 Texas Street) on March 7th from 4-6PM. The show runs through March 28th.