Personal Testimonia in response to “De lo que es Amor, de lo que es Vida”

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As a child, my way of being creative was to draw instead of write. I had so many thoughts running through my head because of ADD that I had to have some sort of outlet to let me express myself. I found love in creating drawings that were inspired by others’ artwork. Think back on this now, I probably could have benefitted from writing down my feelings. Like in “De lo que es Amor, de lo que es Vida”, the author found peace in her poetry. When I was little I thought that my drawings were the only way I could express myself because I wasn’t good enough to write incredible things. But that mindset is unhealthy in a sense because writing for yourself should not be judged. It should be just for you and no one else. When being creative or having an outlet to express yourself, everyone’s form of this is going to be different. And their meaning behind it is going to be different too. We express ourselves for different reasons- some people need to cope with depression or others may just need to pass time. For me, drawing was mostly something to do to pass time or being my Grandma said I was watching to much television. But as I got older, I needed to create for different reasons. Your problems become bigger as you get older and that was the case in my life. But while your problems become bigger, sometimes that distracts you from doing the things you love. I definitely fell off my wagon. There were years I didn’t draw because my mental health wasn’t in the right place. I wasn’t in the right mindset so I didn’t care about my art. I didn’t make my mental health a priority like I should have. When it became clear to my friends and family that I wasn’t well, they felt the need to reiterate to me that I should be doing the things that I love and being around supporting people as well. I eventually got better with the help of family and friends. But as I entered college, I had more of a recognition of the importance of stabilizing mental health.I began to keep a journal and write in it almost every day. It helped me a lot to get all my feelings out and was great to have somewhere to reflect on my life daily. I’ve begun to notice that everyone falls off the wagon sometimes. We go through phases where we forget to take care of ourselves. I forgot to journal for a very long time. And began to pick it up again when I transferred to New Paltz last semester. Journalling was the best decision I made for my mental health last semester. Even though I am on the right path and my mental health was pretty stable, it still gave me a place to vent during that transitioning time. In times where we’re making a big move or switching jobs, it’s important to have a place where we can reflect on how things are going. For me, this was exactly why I needed to start up a new creative outlet like journalling.

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