Ever since the pandemic started a lot of self-discovery and growth has taken place. Yes, a lot of complex emotions have surfaced but these have allowed for a deeper understanding of my humanity and of humanity as a whole. I am a mother and wife, and plans such as first time in preschool, activities like going to gymnastics or the playground, birthday celebrations, going grocery shopping with my son, and even hanging out with friends and family were put on hold. New ways had to be implemented to navigate the new norm and eventually we adjusted. This is not to say that the adjustment process was effective immediately. On the contrary, it took time and effort from each member of our family to learn how to live in this new way. Art, especially painting, has allowed me in the past and even now to navigate this new norm with mindfulness and patience, and the art process in itself has been cathartic for my growth as an individual and as a parent during such a convoluted time. I do not know what will happen once this is all over, but focusing on the present moment, with all its complexities, is better than living in what could have and what will be, because it allows me to be mindful of my actions with myself as an artist and human, as well as with others around me, including my husband and son. As humans, we are capable of so much, especially in the face of difficulty. Our contributions to society, whether it be art, writing, podcasts, books, providing shelter and food, teaching, etcetera, are important and impactful no matter how small.
Submitted by Grecia Rodriguez, Contra Costa County – Oakley.