To Create is to Destroy

Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?


Tightening my grip on the thin paintbrush, I squinted my eyes as I carefully traced the flawless face. My hand shook and the paint bled outside of the brow. In frustration, I set down the canvas to inspect my work. The painting was like a paint-by-number, with lines that I spent hours cleaning to a crisp. Sure, it was perfect at first glance... but not quite. This was the mindset that my childhood world shaped in me, from when my mother made me repeatedly write my Japanese characters until my handwriting looked identical to the ones in my textbook, to when my 3rd grade teacher yelled at me to stop talking so much.

I wondered why I couldn’t be more “ladylike” and “normal” like the rest of the world seemed to want me to. I didn’t know that I had been struggling with childhood ADHD: I simply accepted my world in this way, and it didn’t occur to me to change it. It was at the awkward age of 12 when I began to consider art as my passion, because it allowed me to see the world in a new light. It became the one escape from sleepless nights and frustrating shortcomings. I desperately wished to achieve an image of myself that I created from outside influences, and I drew with hopes of someday being an admirable artist.

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