A blank canvas…
You could think of this in a literal way. A canvas that has not yet been painted on. Or you could think of it in a metaphorical way. In a way that means life and death, sadness and happiness, sorrow and joy.
When your born, you have a blank canvas. An artist would know that a blank paper can be overwhelming, it can scare you. But at the beginning it may take you a while to get the hang of it but you soon will and your canvas will turn into the art of your life.
Your canvas shows your personality. It shows the way the cogs in YOUR brain work. You may be the person who sketches and draws or uses bright coloured paints to cover your canvas or some people might like to graphite a few words on theirs. No matter what you do it is your unique way, it’s the way you work.
When you are painting, or drawing you always have something your happy with, something you are proud of but then you also have things that disappoint you, things that you think you could do better with. There are always those things in life. You make mistakes, everyone does but what might make you different is the way you deal with those mistakes. Don’t be that person who hates themselves for it, don’t make it your fault. You be that person who embraces those mistakes in life. This may be a clichéd quote but I believe it’s true, YOU LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES. You don’t truly learn from others mistakes or others triumphs you learn from yours.
A painting has sadness; it has happiness and joy. A painting is a journey from a blank canvas to a magnificent piece of art. It is exactly like our journey, like your journey and mine. You start small, a baby then you grow into a child full of fun and happiness, then a teen maybe a little hard to deal with but full of surprises, after that stage you become an adult which is where you take everything that you have learned from child hood to your adult hood and that includes your canvas.
You know those people who always say bad things to the stuff they have made. Then their friends compliment them on whatever is there even if it is bad or good. That was just what that person wanted, they wanted compliments from other people. On YOUR canvas, the canvas that is always there and is always being worked on there will be people who love it and people who don’t and instead of finding the people who don’t like it and doing whatever you can to make them like your canvas try and find people who appreciate you and the way you do things, people who do like your canvas and they respect it the way they would respect themselves.
Sometimes you make mistakes that you just must get rid of, mistakes that you just got to paint over. So, that’s what happens. Layers and layers of white paint go over the top of your canvas. Paint you re do, you paint, you re do and that happens to everyone. That is why you probably can’t see the first thing you painted on that canvas, that why you can’t remember the things that happen when you’re a baby. Scraping those layers off is pretty herd. You can usually scrape off a few but you can never go back to the very beginning that’s why the best thing to do is keep moving forward, keep making new memories. That’s how life should be.
Now you are probably thinking, but if we can paint over our canvas and keep on bringing it back to its blank self then wen does this canvas finish, when do we stop? Well you don’t ever finish. Your painting lives on, it even lives after you, the memory of you is your painting. But if you really need to finish you have to say one thing. It’s something you say, no one else can say this. It’s just you. You say “I’m happy” and ‘I’m ready to leave my painting for others to admire” and that is when your painting is finished.
Now I want you to imagine your painting it’s there right in front of you. Now look around you see everybody else’s canvas. You may not see the things they have painted but you can see their canvas, it’s there. Now look at me, this is my canvas it’s not finished yet and it won’t be for a while but it’s definitely there. When I have left the stage want you to remember. Remember that your canvas is there, it is always with you. It might be beside you, behind you or right in front of you. But it’s always there.
This was a speech I wrote for a public speaking competition in the beginning of 2017. It was my first year in my new high school and I was really excited to show people my thoughts. I didn’t win and I didn’t even get into the second round but it didn’t let me down, I was still really proud of what I came up with.
If you read this and couldn’t really understand what I was trying to get through, here is a short explanation.
I tried to connect a very simple idea (a blank canvas) to a very tricky and complicated word which doesn’t truly have a meaning, that word is LIFE. I tried to explain that the journey of a painting is in a lot of ways the journey of life and how it has its ups and downs, achievements and failures. And I hopefully planted the idea that your canvas is always there, sort of protecting you from the world and that it will never leave you.