I lost myself on the page of a coloring book.
It’s been a long time since I’ve experienced the kind of freedom that can give you and, trust me, it was well deserved.
Of late, my mind has been wound so tightly around thoughts and feelings that I’ve finally decided I don’t want anymore. I’ve been nearly tormented by a doubt in myself that threatened to pull me under into a depression that would’ve taken me months to dig my way out of.
I’ve been reading novels. I’ve been listing to a multitude of music genres, I’ve been writing, shopping, singing, cooking. I’ve been doing anything I can that would allow my mind to focus long enough to finally let go.
This coloring book was blank until now. It was brand new; none of the pages had been touched.
At first, I had no idea what direction I was going with it. I started with one color out of the 50 that I had to choose from, and I just went for it.
All it took, was coloring in the petal of one flower on the page and I could feel the liberating ease of it taking over me like when you hold your hand under a faucet long enough to feel the water shift from cold to hot. It was seamless.
Suddenly, the world around me didn’t matter. There was just me, the coloring book, and time. I haven’t felt a focus like that in so long that I’m surprised I didn’t cry when I realized how good it felt not be interrupted, not to be so distracted by my own thoughts and ever interrogating mind. With each color, each stroke of the pencil I reconfirmed what I knew to be true. I needed this.
I needed this and I think I understand why. You can’t lose yourself in food or alcohol or drugs or even people. Its all toxic. They are all vices and each one can kill you. No, I’m not saying that I’m addicted to drugs or alcohol or anything like that but what I am saying is that I know myself to take things too far. Even if its all in my mind. Even if the world doesn’t see it because I hide it, I still feel it.
But there is no danger in coloring in a book. It is safe to obsess a little and color as many pages as you wish. Aside from a little cramping in your hand, it harms no one. That’s what I needed. I needed to lose myself in something that I knew wouldn’t hurt me in return.
I let my mind run rampant without holding back, without tugging the reins. I was finally free. Free to think of me and what I want, to imagine the places I could go and the things I could do. Free to imagine the person I still want to become and to think about where I want to go from here, knowing what I now know.
Eventually, I sat up from my focus and looked down at the page I’d been working on and I realized something.
It’s a work in progress and, you know what? I guess I kind of am too.