It’s such a common thing for people to wonder about what the meaning of life is and, more often than not, never reaching an answer. I personally discovered that mine is art, in every type or form, and maybe this will help you find out it’s yours too.
I can’t remember a time in my (short) life when I didn’t appreciate art, but I can perfectly say that it became as important as air to me once I got to high school and officially needed an escape from reality. Before that, my grandma used to take me to the opera at least once a month, I took theatre lessons and listened to a lot of old music (my older brothers took it upon them to “teach me young” what good music meant to them, and I sure learnt). Later on I realized that I hadn’t appreciated as much as thought in the moment. I, of course, enjoyed it, but never felt like it was necessary to feel okay.
The summer of 2015/2016, before starting freshman year of high school, I felt so alone that I had to turn to something, and that was art. I started with music, I listened to hours on end of any record I could. I didn’t have a Spotify account at the time so it was not that easy. That same year I picked up a guitar for the first time, and that’s where it all really began. The first song I learned was “Dead Flowers” by The Rolling Stones and, just like that, music became a safe place for me. I loved the feeling of comfort it gave me, it was the hug I was waiting for. It felt like every band and singer were making sure that I knew my feelings were normal, important and temporary. It's an incredible thing, relating like that to someone you don't even know. Now I have this thing where I listen to at least one album every single day (very cool way of expanding your preferences and getting to know an artist or band more in detail), it’s something so vital for me.
A few years after that, in 2018, life was pretty rough for a few months, I was constantly sad and so unmotivated I even stopped playing the guitar for the whole year. That’s when I started writing and drawing. I would write whatever was going to my head, I even began doing it without realizing. It was a way of emptying myself from emotions for a little bit, like a sheet of paper was taking my pain and grief away. It felt so damn good, to throw everything into a poem or sometimes even just a sentence, I started getting in touch with my inner self so much. It made me grow to a level I though was imposible, if I'm being honest. It taught me how to communicate better with both myself and others, which is such a key thing to life and relationships. That’s when I definitely felt like I would never stop appreciating art as a source of surviving, when I realised it helped me be and feel better.
What I’m trying to say here is that my own issues made me realize that most artists are doing exactly what I was doing as a sad teenager in my bedroom. They all use it as a channel to communicate their emotions, to get it all out, and I think that is beautiful beyond words. Now I think of art as an extension of language, a different and unique way of communicating feelings or literally whatever it is you want to express. A way of getting to know ourselves, our likes and passions, what we stan for. Art is life in its most beautiful, raw and pure form. Everything can be art if you really want to see it. I love watching any artwork and thinking about how the author was feeling at the moment, what they wanted to give to us and how it makes me feel. I have found different meanings of life in art, and, through that, I realized what mine is. I just believe that, as long as it is out there, I will never be alone.