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Letting Go

Since Miyu started school, I noticed that when I pick her up, she always gives me a drawing on a thin sheet of square origami paper. The drawings depict the most significant event of her day. For example, the first memorable drawing she gave me recently was of her classroom and a wandering bee. She recounted what happened and the excitement of her fellow classmate who told her about it. I thought it was the most charming thing ever, that she was compelled to share her memory with me through a drawing. That, as if, since she doesn’t have any other means to do so, she had to draw it out to explain to me how significant this event was to her.

Then a few days later, apparently she encountered a black cat who was near a cage of some sort as she was walking to school. When I first saw it, I had to stop for a moment and marvel at its beauty. She drew the cat’s emerald eyes so clearly and vividly. It makes me think that when she first laid eyes on the cat’s face, perhaps she was struck by their color. Today, she gave me another drawing of a black cat she saw this morning. Who knows if it was the same cat. She explained to me that it dashed under a parked car. No explanation was given regarding the brown cat or dog by its side. The upward arrows indicate the cat’s direction as it moved under the car.

So when we got home this evening, I thought it was time. I had a bit of an emotional day today reminiscing about my childhood in the Philippines and I was feeling a bit raw. I decided to give Miyu one of my sketchbooks. You see, I’ve always been very possessive of my things, especially my art-related things. It comes with the territory of having been an only child. But when it came to this, I was surprised to feel…glad and proud. I thought, why was I so scared of giving this away? It’s just a sketchbook. One I haven’t used in years! I had purchased it for one of my art classes a few years ago. I never really got around to actually using it.

I think I was scared to give it away because I feared letting go of a part of me that’s been repressed. Becoming a mom, being a college student, working full time—these things have always “gotten in the way” of my pursuit of improving as an artist. I had always dreamed of going to an art school. To study illustration. To be allowed to practice my craft and passion. But I realize that I had it wrong all this time. My passion for art and drawing will always be with me. It has been with me ever since my late grandfather sparked my creativity when I was a little girl. And it will always be with me—art school or no—no matter how busy my life gets. Once again, I let my fears override reason. But that’s alright because now at least I can let go. I’m honored to nurture my little girl’s creativity and finally start making peace with my own.

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