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"Watch Me Grow" Painting by Irexe Art

This painting is a representation of Growth. Growing physically, mentally & spiritually.

The year 2022 was a rough year for me. I accomplished a lot yet I lost so much. Everybody I cared and loved for were just fading away. I mourned a lot of people who were still very much alive.

2022 was also the year I began therapy. I learned how to begin healing. I learned how to set boundaries. I learned how to stand up for myself. I learned that being selfish is not always a bad thing. Most importantly, I learned how to live my life for myself, I began to put myself first and be unapologetic about it.

I lost many acquaintances, friends, family members, and the hardest one of all, I lost my own mother. Growing up, it was just my mother, my siblings and I. I was promoted to the role of motherhood without giving physical birth at the age of 9. My childhood and freedom were suddenly gone. I learned what it was like to truly put someone else's needs before my own. At the age of 15 my mother decided that adding another child into the equation wouldn’t be a bad idea. So there I went again, raising a child when I was still a child myself.

At the age of 20 I decided it was time for me to begin my own life and I bought my first house. I had accomplished a lot but felt so much guilt for leaving my siblings behind. Due to my love for them the youngest 2 siblings were with me ALL the time, sleepovers, events, hangouts, you name it. I was pretty much coparenting with my own mother. No matter what was going on in my life my siblings always came first. Whatever they needed I was there.

Like any other mother, when it comes to their children they are always going to protect them. March 2022 some unfortunate events happened where my siblings life’s were at risk. I tried to set boundaries with my mother and even tried to fight for custody of the younger 2. Sadly the system is corrupt and I lost the case. My mother cut contact with my sister and I due to my actions against her.

So here I was, heartbroken and living in a surreal reality. My therapist advised me to use my art as therapy and that's exactly what I began to do. I created the painting “Watch Me Grow” to remind myself that no matter how sh*tty life is, everything is a lesson and wherever there's a lesson there's a place for growth.

Everything in this painting is 100% intentional. Plants are always growing as long as you take care of them. I see myself as a plant, if I care for myself I will continue to grow. Butterflies represent transformation, freedom, and rebirth. All butterflies go through metamorphosis, they are not meant to be caterpillars for the rest of their life, they are meant to grow and transform.

All the tattoos on her body also represent growth, the snake sheds its skin, the yin and yang is the balance of good and bad, the spider is self aware, the mushrooms come with new beginnings, the koi love and persevere, and the triskelion is constant growth.

The roots represent nourishment in order to gain a higher perspective and continue to grow. If you look closely at them you will see that the left side spells out “growth” and the right side spells out “beauty”. Going through a healing journey is not always sunshine and rainbows, sometimes it consists of thunder and hurricanes. One thing that is for sure is that there is always a positive in a negative, you just have to look closely.

In conclusion, I am nowhere near done healing but I do know that I will not allow others to get in the way of MY journey. What many don't understand is that you don’t have to agree with a boundary, you just have to respect it. I am learning the value of my worth and I will not settle for any less. I will take it one step at a time but for now you can Watch Me Grow.

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