Illustration Friday: Book
Bad Decisions Make Great Stories (for everyone who ever woke up thinking ‘oh…shit….’)
I’ve been having some interesting conversations about the past recently – mostly past romances, it must be said.* The main thing I’ve taken from these conversations is that with all the regaling has come a lot of laughter, even about things which at the time seemed dire…
My absolute favourite thing about painting is getting lost in time and having your mind just wander and wander while you’re working. It’s kind of like when you’re falling asleep and you have bizarre thoughts or you suddenly remember somebody you’ve not seen since you were about 7.
While I was painting this I thought about some of the situations I’ve got myself into romantically in the past. I remembered moments of realisation (on many levels – why did I think he was funny again? Just how dark was it when I thought he was good looking?), betrayals (by me, never intending to hurt anyone but accidentally doing so in spectacular ways), sequences of events that left me with plenty of ‘what if?’ questions afterwards, and all kinds of first time experiences I’ll never forget.
All of them, to varying degrees, tick one or more of the following boxes: hilarious / bizarre / dangerous / ridiculous / as if they were carried out by a different person altogether. The latter because me at 25 wouldn’t dream of having anything to do with the boys that me at 16 thought were fucking fantastic and I just can’t imagine what the hell I was thinking back then.** Some of these memories also make me feel proud now (e.g. wow, I’m pleased I have never repeated that mistake!).
Obviously, not everything is easy to laugh at when you look back on romantic relationships, because emotions are involved and if you could laugh at every eventful thing that ever happened in your relationships then you were probably in the wrong ones… But while painting this, it was nice to have time to come to a realisation about some of the not-so-amusing things that have happened over the years: when something bad happens to you in a relationship, it’s not because you made a bad decision in being together with someone, but because that someone made the decision to do something bad to you. It was nice to get that clarity.
This painting is dedicated to my friends who came along with me through all the questionable decisions that are now my best stories…Sarah, Sinead, Helen, Katie, Pringle, Jess, Madeleine…I mean you…chin chin!
*Romance is a funny word to use…I’m not entirely sure much romance is ever truly involved in teenage / young 20s encounters with love (in my experience anyway), given that nobody has any money or very much privacy, and it’s hard to even look someone in the eye without having drunk a considerable amount of Glen’s vodka / Stella
** Of course now with all the wisdom I have at the grand age of 25, I’ll never make another bad decision when it comes to romance. HA.HA.HA…