The struggles of becoming a better man

Published 10:54 pm Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lately I’ve been trying hard to get myself back into my artistic pursuits. When I was younger, I’d spend late nights working on my art. And when you’re in the business of commercial art, getting back into your own art requires bringing a certain amount of yourself to it that you may not have at the end of the day.

And with each passing day, it can feel like you’re slowly getting behind in the game. This feeling can lead you right back to your daily routine, once again letting your aspirations slip away to another day. So, much like my bout with diabetes, it’s an uphill battle.

Since these battles are so similar I’m trying to take a similar approach to becoming a more productive visual artist. So I tell myself, to take it slow. Make one small stride at a time.

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Now, I try to work a little time each day to sketch something on a piece of scrap paper or somehow begin collecting my ideas again. Slowly but surely, I feel like the old artist lights are starting to come on again. The familiar cramp in the muscle between my thumb and index finger is starting to return from drawing with a pencil.

There are always moments, though, when I feel like the process of getting back to making art is too much with all the other things I have going on in life.

Then I read the article about the Better Men Coalition here in Suffolk, and I’m inspired and reminded of some very important things.

For one, there are those out there climbing much steeper and much more pitfall-laden hills in life than I am. It can’t be easy getting one’s life back in order after leaving prison or being homeless. Regaining the trust of others in a cynical, untrusting society is certainly a real obstacle.

I’m inspired by those men in the coalition out there putting in the work it takes to get their place in society back. Much like my need to get back on track as a studio artist, I know it is a very gradual process, and each day presents its own set of challenges.

I know my struggles with diabetes and the need to return to my art can never compare to those of the men participating in and contributing to the efforts of the Better Men Coalition, but it’s important that we all remember the keys to overcoming obstacles, great and small.

Working hard and making one small stride at a time is the only way to get to where we want to be in life. I promise to continue making my own strides, and I hope all those working with the Coalition to put their lives back in order do the same.

The Better Man Coalition’s car wash is located at 244 Carolina Road. Suggested donations are $10 during the week and $15 on the weekend. The work includes an exterior wash and full interior detailing.

For more information, call 809-4500.