Select Page

A great majority of my recent life has been focused on the waiting. Waiting for visas, waiting for Johannesburg to finish, waiting for our books in storage to arrive. When you are a reactive person, the waiting lends itself to preventing a lot of things from happening.

With give or take two months before the waiting ends, and with being excited for the day to come since four years ago, today I realised that I’m petrified of it happening. I am scared for my Big Excuse to leave me. That I’ll no longer consider myself to be doing “well for someone with her life in limbo”. Some time a few years ago I discovered who exactly I was. Knowing this helped fend off my depressions and uncertainties. With the waiting ending, I have to start all over again. I’ve been blossoming, but I haven’t planted any roots. I’m scared that my roots will take the focus from my flowers.

I feel like my world is truly starting, and in all of this excitement, I had forgotten the scariness of it.

My art journal sitting next to my computer, I opened it up to procrastinate. I wrote a few Caylee adjectives. I started struggling. Who the hell am I, actually? Wife, Schwester, daughter, friend. Yes okay. I dug deeper. I am anxious. I am working on something that I’m not sure where it leads. I am waiting. I am in limbo. I am torn between being all of it and being none of it. I used to know. I am whatever I need to be.

Art Journal :: Whatever I Need to Be • Caylee Grey

That last sentence. Oh, it’s a defining characteristic of mine. I inherited it from my dad. My mom, she’s solid and kind, and loving, and kind. My dad is what you need him to be. He will never give his opinion of someone before you make your own, which used to irritate me to my core because he is a fantastic judge of character and I would have loved to “see the future”. My mom sees only the good in people, but my dad knows exactly who you are straight away. My favourite traits from both of them. It took years for me to realise that he disliked a friend of mine. It came out once the friendship ended and I saw what my dad had seen right in the beginning. Point is, she sure as hell didn’t know either. I needed him to like my new friend, and so he did for me. So he’s got that thing. I became very excited when I started seeing this trait in myself. It’s not being unsure of or untrue to myself. It’s not lying to people. I just focus on the features of myself that people “need” when I interact with them.

I used to think that this characteristic, this chameleon part of me, was for other people. No. It’s very much for me, and I can take that in any way I need to. I stuck my portrait over those thoughts, being finished with them. You can’t see it in the photo, but the paper is thin enough that you can see them through my forehead.

Art Journal :: Whatever I Need to Be • Caylee Grey

I love art journaling for the way it allows me to work through a million emotions. It brings emotions up that I never knew existed, as I’m painting/writing/glueing I’m contemplating them in a way I just can’t by talking to someone. I struggled in this blog post. I went from procrastinating to happy to journaling, to wtf journaling, to exploring new feelings that had actually been there for a while, to resolution and content. All in one page. It is not the prettiest page, but for me right now it has the most meaning of any page I’ve had. Natasha shared a quote in Get Messy: “I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for”. It’s by Georgia O’Keefe and it says almost as much as my art journaling does.