Make 2016.

I got a new watercolor journal last week. It’s the first one I’ve bought: thick, cold-pressed pages with a textured finish bound between leather hard covers. It’s got a band to hold my craft tight in the pages and it’s more beautiful than I expected. But I haven’t touched it since the moment I tore it from the smiling box that Amazon so kindly sent my way.

It’s in my studio, waiting patiently on a shelf, while I do everything to ignore its presence. It begs me to put color in those pages, to sketch and practice and paint over every square inch of ivory paper. And so, I tuck it away in a cabinet and hope I can forget it there. The truth is, I’m dying to paint in that precious book.

But, I’m afraid I will ruin it.

January is coming to an end and 2016 is now broken all the way in. No longer do our souls blister in an attempt to get comfortable in this year. No more excitable (though nearly impossible) resolutions dance on our lips or even through the edges of our consciousness. No part of this year promises perfection after the last month.

The year opened valiantly. You dashed paint across its pages. And you now see the spots that offer a potential for ruin. You’re wondering how that black splotch can be incorporated into golden joy while the emerald of luck seems to run wildly across your days. Your palette is full of a sea of beautiful blues that you love, but that clash with what you’ve already put down on the page.

You’re afraid that you’ve ruined it.

Ruin is a state of mind, a hole in your soul, the lying words of a downtrodden spirit. Ruin is nothing more than your own choice to be defeated. Because some pages will be messy, more muddled than moving, while others will hold beauty only a King could paint over your life. You’ll approach some spreads with sureness -sketching and outlining the beauty that lies ahead-, while others will spill out chaotic and unsure -still containing the truth that is your art.

So, make 2016. Create it. Open the page and put on the paint. Let the Creator color your palette. Sketch or don’t. Plan and perfect or play it by ear. Make without ruin or fear. Make 2016.