TheraPaint Is…

As I make more wonderful connections with people, I’m asked about what TheraPaint is and how this all began. I’m terrible at verbally expressing myself so I hope that putting this in writing is helpful for you to understand and for me to convey. Let’s start from the beginning…

I was a part-time hairstylist, full-time architectural intern, grad student, and volunteer. I was determined in accomplishing my goals and had a plan set in motion for what I wanted in life. I avoided distractions that could possibly slow me down.

Boy, did God have other plans for me!

January 20th, 2017 is the day that changed my life. For so long, and even now sometimes, I understood this change to be for the worse. It’s the wrong perspective, I know, since

God allowed this to happen. There are things about that morning that I could never shake, yet at the same time, there are moments that I still can’t fathom. It happened all too fast and much too slow. I don’t even know if I had enough time to be afraid. I remember trying to make logical decisions in order to avoid this collision. Once I realized what was going to happen, it happened.

I was walking into work like I had every other workday. It was an average Friday morning to the rest of the world. For me, it was one I was excited about; the day my boyfriend and I had planned on celebrating our first year anniversary. Obviously, that was a major fail haha.

I began crossing the parking lot towards the office building. FYI I’m that annoying friend who will only use a crosswalk, wait until the light is signaled to walk, and quadruple check my surroundings to ensure safety. Even that couldn’t stop this disaster.  I saw the SUV turn and approach me quite rapidly. I began to move in the opposite direction, thinking that the driver would slow down and stop before reaching me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t move away fast enough. And she didn’t stop. She didn’t even slow down.

She crashed right into me.

It’s quite a blessing that our incredible bodies and minds do us a favor by blocking out traumatic events in our most vulnerable state.

I remember it in flashes.

Like a book with some of its pages ripped out.

Her vehicle acting as a catapult, my body as the object. Pushing with full force into my left body.  Throwing me into the air.  Eventually crashing down onto the cold pavement.

The last thing I remember before the impact was seeing the headlight reach my shoulder. I can recall some pieces here and there before waking up on the ground. But I won’t get into that. The moments following were probably the scariest. Lying on the ground, I thought “why did this person try to kill me?”. Surely, I was in her line of sight and I couldn’t understand why she didn’t stop, why she didn’t even slow down. As I started to open my eyes, I heard the woman approaching me and I thought she was checking to make sure she finished the job.

Disturbing, I know.

But what other reason was there for someone driving right into a person? I’m guessing DISTRACTIONS.

I didn’t realize it the way I do now, but that’s the moment that changed everything. A few seconds was all it took to take away everything I was working towards, at least according to my “timeline”.

I won’t share the rest of that day or the days following.  But I will share the day that I discovered TheraPaint.

As I realized that my aspirations would have to be put on hold, I began to fall into despair.  I lost my clients, I lost opportunities at work, I lost course completions, I lost relationships.

I lost my strength. I lost my independence. I lost much of my abilities.

I lost hope. I lost a sense of PURPOSE.

The pain, debilitating. The uncontrollable weakness crushed my spirit.

I decided I could catch up on reading books while I had all of this time alone and bedridden. However, books were too heavy for me to be able to hold. I tried reading on my phone or tablet. Same issue.

I had zero strength and stamina and my entire body was too damaged to find a comfortable position to read or rest in.  So, I had to look into a new interest to pick up.  As an architect in training, I’ve always had an appreciation for the arts. Watercolor was my favorite! I loved its free form, transparency, and depth. I thought of taking up painting to pass the time. With most forms of painting, a brush is required. Guess what? I couldn’t grip a paintbrush well enough to use it decently.

The more escapes I searched for, the more dead ends I discovered.

Finally, I came across an artist that created large scale fluid artwork. I saw that she used bigger tools, things that didn’t require much grip or “finger power”.  I had no idea what she was doing or using or how she did any of it. But I knew that I had to try this!! And so I did. I made gigantic messes, one after another. I used the wrong materials, the wrong canvases, the wrong space, the wrong everything. But I LOVED IT!!! It was a form of release! A way of literally and figuratively lashing out on something other than myself.

Since that day, I have found something magical. I found a healing power in making. Physically, painting is a torture to my body.

Mentally, it is absolutely euphoric! I’ve become obsessed with making; with experimenting; with creating an even bigger mess than the mess I was dealt.

TheraPaint brought back a sense of purpose in my life. God saved my life and He led me to discover TheraPaint to save my mind. I could not endure this life without a sanctuary such as this one.

God saved my life all over again that day.  And He saved my sanity the day I realized that painting is the medicine for my mind.

The week of my accident alone I heard several stories of the same type of disaster.  A girl, similar in age to myself, even the same ethnicity, was hit and killed.  My neighbor, also of my own culture, walking in our neighborhood that I frequently strolled as well, hit and killed.

I was like them in more ways than one.  The difference is that I’m still here and they’re not. I was able to get back up.  But why?  Why was I alive? Why weren’t they?

It ended for them and for so many more who are hit in such a way.  I am convinced that the steps back I took were guided by an angel.  I am convinced that that’s what kept me alive.  I’ve not been able to stop thinking that if the headlight hadn’t violently propelled me as it did, I could’ve been pulled in underneath the car.  I could’ve been crushed.

I’m broken in many ways, but I’m still here.

I’m no one special, not anything extraordinary, not a celebrity, not even top of my class.

But God chose to keep me here, living a life I never could’ve imagined for myself, but its the one He gave me so it must be worth making the most of.

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