Self III

'Self III' Ink and acrylic paint on paper by Jina Wallwork

Self III - Jina Wallwork

 

My old friend, she tells me that I have changed. Does she believe that my personality has been captured by death and is now lost forever? As I look at myself in the mirror, I can see myself through her eyes. I don’t recognize my reflection. I’m not changing, although I am returning to who I really am. Can I separate my perception from hers? I would’ve liked to have remained friends, but I have no desire to become the person she believes me to be. I’m confronting the false self that exists only in her vision. I’m not angry or disappointed; I just wanted to find a space for who I really am. I know now that I was looking in the wrong places. It feels good to breathe. I’ve been trapped behind a label and squashed in a box, and now all I want to do is stretch.

I didn’t realize I would reach a point in life when freedom of expression would become so important to me. I didn’t realize how much I had denied myself the opportunity. I thought there could be times of laughter but also moments of seriousness. Sadly, I didn’t realize the confusion it creates when you move between the two. They couldn’t see that I was anything more than the joker. I had become as two-dimensional as the joker card in the deck, and they could see nothing beyond it. I had enjoyed seeing them laugh and smile, but the price has been very high. She tells me that I should stop pretending and be myself. That’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m refusing to conform to her perception. I discard the person she believes me to be. I don’t recognize myself in her eyes.

 

'Self III' Ink and acrylic paint on paper by Jina Wallwork
'Self III' Ink and acrylic paint on paper by Jina Wallwork