Not many of you know this about me, but I live with a two-year-old. No, he is not my child. But that is completely beside the point or the moral of the story. I envy the way this child wakes up every morning with a smile on his face, ready to go the day’s excursions which often involves food and watching dinosaur movies. He plays all day with his trucks, runs freely chasing his brother, and laughs carelessly at the world around him. He has no worries because he doesn’t even worry about his diaper and most importantly he is surrounded and consumed with love every day. When I look at him, I smile and think to myself, I used to be something like this child back then. My least favorite time of the day was when my mother used to do my hair, but I laughed carelessly, played with my puzzles and as I got a little older I used to live in the magical world of Harry Potter. No worries.
Then the real world happened and I felt like the perfect image to describe this is Banksy’s piece. (I provided the image above so you can gather your own feeling/emotions/perceptions before reading further) Behind the little girl are the words, ‘There is Always Hope”. But as you look to the left of the picture, you notice a little girl reaching out to a red balloon that is just out of her reach. The balloon appears to represent peace, happiness, innocence, and dreams and yet this is all not reachable by the little girl. Now, the balloon is red. Red is the color of energy, passion, and action. According to color psychology, red is a positive color associated with our most physical needs and our will to survive. However, red can also be the color representing aggression and violence. Now with that being said, let’s say the little girl is a representation of yourself. The biggest question seems to be when you personify yourself as the little girl, did you release the balloon or are you trying to retrieve it what you seek that’s beyond your immediate reach?
I embarked on my road of self-discovery and self-love a little over two years ago. I realized that growing up I had given and dedicated myself to endeavors that took that away from me, and as time passed I lost sight of the most important person in the process, myself. When I look at this piece, and when I personify myself as the girl, personally, I am always looking to retrieve the balloon because it is a representation of what’s left in my journey. The words on the wall are that constant reminder that the journey isn’t always what you envision it to be, there will always be setbacks, and life isn’t always going to go in a straight line and go according to plan. But… “there is always hope” found in ways that aren’t always clear. Speaking from personal experience, there are times when the darkness will try to linger and reappear but the piece shows the girl surrounded by whitespace. Although I still have to learn this myself, things are only as negative or as positive as we perceive them. When things are indeed full of light and happiness, embrace them rather than inviting the darkness in. When things get dark, like the picture, remember that there is always hope.