“I like winter because it’s an excuse to cover my body and face like armor. I feel presentable and safe with make up on as another mask. Even though the picture shows me in the daytime, I have to prefer the night as it envelopes me in a cloak of darkness so no one can see what I’ve become. The problem is that I don’t want to limit myself with winters, makeup, and darkness. I want to feel all the other seasons again, in my own skin, under the sun.
The crowds and the rooms full of people are quite terrifying for me. Meeting new people is hard and they well up all these emotions I can’t control. I try to push myself into this crowd but it is very difficult. I avoid them, and yet I want to belong. It’s hard for me to communicate my thoughts, but even when I have the words right, I’m still weary of them leaving my lips. So I keep quiet and eavesdrop on conversations, focusing on things I might have in common with strangers. An outsider looking in.
I was hoping to be much more than this. I feel like a screw up and that these problems have hindered and continue to hinder me from accomplishing things I should have accomplished ages ago. The people I love had great expectations for me but the bar has been lowered to relieve that pressure. They know something is wrong. Some don’t know what it is exactly, so some have built a cage to keep me safe. I know the love they give me is unconditional, but I want to feel like I deserve it. That I deserve to be a part of their lives. Then there is this part of me that wants to break free of this cage, from this life. In hopes that I can make them happy while I’m gone.
There were quite a few serious things that may have stemmed these sides of me, things that I cannot share here but I have shared them with someone near and dear to me, who spent the time to listen. I have never expressed the fact that I have anxiety (and may be even a whole other host of problems I can’t define) publicly like this, so this is all quite new to me. Even the small circle who love and support me, who don’t know exactly what’s going on, try to encourage me to share the sides they think make me special. So I try to do this through photos and my artwork. Sharing things that may be small or obselete to others but are important to me that make me smile. I do this in hopes it would make others smile and that it would have them believe that there is nothing else going on with me.
I am a girl of happiness and nostalgia, a sketcher of things that make me smile. I am a girl of awkward small talks and self loathing, a part I don’t like sharing. I am a girl of two faces, and many masks, and I don’t know who the real me is. An internal battle, a tug of war rages inside and I don’t know who will win.“
Artist: Jonathan “Jayten” Perucho
Medium: Mixed medium