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After I Drew a Little Avatar


About a month ago, my grandson and I played around with a stop action app on my cell phone and made some animations. We started out with grandiose plans of making a short movie but realized pretty quickly that even a 10-second video takes a lot of time to make.

My grandson is always about the storyline, and he loves games where we create characters and act out what they do. He wanted me to draw an avatar, if I'm remembering correctly, of a princess. I'm not really the princess type.

I drew a young woman with bright blue hair and a cap. She's dressed in green and black, my favorite color combination, with green leggings and T-shirt and a short black skirt with a toolbelt. She wears big black boots.

I realized this morning that this really is an avatar of my teen self, and I actually love this plucky girl I drew. She's action oriented and athletic. She's persistent. Her blue hair is way cool.

Some of the work I did in therapy this summer centered around getting in touch with some of the older aspects of my personality, to love them and incorporate them, instead of hiding from them or trying to ignore their hurt voices.

When I was in high school I dreamed of having a full head of bright blue hair. No particular hairstyle, just bright blue hair. I gave it a little streak one time using pastels and hair spray, but that was before the days when everyone from first graders to your grandma had their hair dyed in all the colors of the rainbow.

I have tried with all of the power I can muster to ignore than teenager within me. She's an obnoxious pain in the ass who smokes cigarettes like the world is on fire and never stops cussing. Her big mouth has gotten me into a lot of trouble.

But that younger me was also persistent and action oriented, and she dreamed the future that I now live, and clung to that dream until she got there. Her stubbornness in believing that she could have the life of her dreams paid off.

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