I started flipping wood pieces at the beginning of the year. I realized how simple it was to take something old and make it look like a million bucks. Throughout this process, I discovered how healing it was to revitalize wood pieces. There is something beautiful, and healing, around taking something old and turning it into something new.
In March, during my medical leave, I started thinking about how I left a creative part of me behind back in high school. I had been given a series of gifts and wanted to bury it with whatever life I left behind. My adolescent years were very traumatic and I ran from every good human emotion, to numb the deep pain in my life. I grew robotic, angry, and isolated. I shut myself from everyone and did not want deep meaningful relationships. Investing in relationships, felt like giving a piece of vulnerability, something I no longer wanted to give away. Anytime I got close to telling people why I fled from my past, they would get nervous and back away. So I started thinking there was something inherently wrong with me. There wasn’t.
Wood work reminds me a lot of where I am now, I think. I take something that no one wants and see an exquisite piece of work. I remove the scarred outer layers through sanding and reveal the strong wood frame underneath, that is holding everything together. I unhinge the the rusted metal handles and give it a brighter coat so the world can see that it is strong and beautiful. I give the wood a new coat, to match it’s true brilliance, and seal it with paint (an example of its new strength). Before you know it, it has gone from a $5.00 goodwill item to an $80.00 drawer set. I think that’s how my life has felt all the way up until now, and it’s just so good to finally be in a good place again. One that is without trauma, abuse, and pain.
What helps you heal?