Dear future you,
You are art.
Each intricate detail—every thought, belief, expression, and movement—sculpts who you are. With each brushstroke on your canvas, gliding in pure harmony and smoothness, your masterpiece awaits.
So, who are you?
The painting. The sculpture. The sketch. The visions in your mind that you rework a thousand times. The minute details and edges you clean up as you stray from your graphite boundaries.
You are unique, even as you change and envelop yourself in the warmth of new skin. As you transform, so does the world around you, and you realize that change transcends time. There will always be another detail, another touch-up, another colour.
Well, that’s the odd thing about life—as it persists, pieces within us move around, rearrange, and settle into different shapes. They shatter and coalesce. Rend and mend. Diffuse and merge.
When people admire you, asking what you choose to title your piece, you stop and think.
You release your pent-up breath. For now, the piece is Untitled, not ready for its final touch.
Sometimes, you will hesitate to call your art beautiful. Defining something—that in your eyes is a mess—takes more pride than you thought.
Words too are like the brushstrokes on a canvas, painting vivid portraits of the soul and the past.
In each brushstroke, you, more than anyone, will see the life and love, the grief and loss.
They will hold your free hand while you brush your teeth. They will sit in the passenger seat while you drive to school. They will flip the pages of every book you read.
Your masterpiece is a collaboration; between redefining your muse and finding yourself, you draw from the inspiration of others you seldom get to choose.
You may not want their touch on your canvas, but their mark is permanent. The most you find yourself capable of is letting the ink fade and painting over it. But sometimes, you want to be reminded of them. You wish that their touch will never wither, tracing it gently with your finger.
But remember, what is most important is your relationships with yourself. Allow yourself to face your reflection, define your worth, and live on your own terms. This life was made for you.
This is for all the years you did not see yourself. This is for all those years you thought you’d only be able to be happy with someone or because of someone. Now, let yourself be happy just as you are, with all of your awkwardness and differences, but never despite them.
Your piece is different each time you look at it. You’ll discover a new jagged edge you didn’t noticed before peeking through. A vibrant hue inviting your gaze. An added dimension that’s found comfort in the fibres of your canvas.
Eventually, you will learn to love your masterpiece for all its tattered edges. You will want the world to stand still, so you can drown yourself in the perpetual bliss of the moment.
And then, everything and everyone before you will be turned into silhouettes.
You will be swept into a world of transition. A world of being neither here, nor there, but somewhere in between.
At this time, your memories will be the closest you will feel to reality as you compete against the swing of the clock’s pendulum, racing to preserve your past on your canvas before its reminders become figments of your imagination.
Allow art to capture what is fleeting, to make you feel alive despite being a stain and fading letters in the library of history. Art is beauty, and beauty is the antidote to our suffering.
And from this, you will learn that your fear of ruining your masterpiece is what will stop you from going forward. Don’t hesitate to give yourself the opportunity to move onward, even if it means shedding your old self and embodying a whole new you.
Your canvas is begging for freedom you won’t grant.
Grant it. Because learning to make the unfamiliar familiar is what will make you stronger.
Still, no matter how hard you work, how earnestly you try, how careful you are, nothing you do can prevent your work from growing. With each passing moment, you know your masterpiece will never be the same again.
And in the deepest crevices of your soul, you may be terrified. And yet, underneath a pile of uncertainty, there is curiosity.
You will find new light, even if it means walking on your own and learning to live all over again.
When you finally take a step back to admire your masterpiece, you will finally understand how far you’ve come.
You are sharp curves and smooth lines. You are every speckle of paint, every erased pencil mark, and every accidental smudge.
Every now and then, you might question what your next addition will be. You will be pensive and ponder, worrying you may never achieve your ideals.
In this abyss, you must be confident. Remember that all the visions you yearned for but lost are progress. Each missed mark taught you something new and turned you into who you are today, who you will be tomorrow, and every day after that.
But still, your piece is far from finished.
What will it take to keep moving forward?
It won’t only be a strong will; you will need an open heart, an open mind, and an open set of arms, waiting to comfort and be comforted.
But right now, you’re letting the light shine through. Picking up the pieces of your soul, slowly placing them back together, and making something stronger and far more beautiful than it ever was before.
Although you will be stuck in the cycle of breaking and rebuilding yourself, you know that growth is the product of your progression.
And if this is the consequence of being art, I hope you never go back.
I promise you, there is so much more to come.
Opinion Editor (Volume 49) | email@example.com — Kareena is a third-year student completing a double-major in Criminology and Socio-Legal Studies and Philosophy, and minoring in Forensic Science. She has previously served as the Associate Opinion Editor for Volume 48. Through her involvement and contributions with The Medium, Kareena hopes to foster a safe and trusted space, while encouraging others to let their voices and stories be heard. When Kareena is not writing or studying, you can find her watching true crime mysteries or cooking.