I really enjoyed hanging out with Venice. She's a much more rad 13-year-old than I was! I have no regrets, but I think had I embraced my own self-exploration and love of art at her age I would be a different person today. Things happen in their own time and generally in the time that is required but I'm left no less impressed by Venice's commitment to who she is.
I'm sure that she probably doesn't see this so much in herself at the moment. 13 is one hell of an age of life, as are the surrounding years. There's a lot of confusion and awkwardness and some of that never goes away for some of us. Some of us even embrace it in a wonderful way and end up becoming artists.
In the answers that Venice gave, I saw a great deal of wisdom. Not necessarily in just the conclusions that she's so far arrived at but in her clear process of independent and expansive thought around arriving at those conclusions. I talk to full-grown adults all the time that seem to have never developed that much for themselves. It's no small feat, especially at 13.
For those of us that have surpassed the age of 13, I think that it is still essential for us to heed some of the same reminders that would have been great to know at that age:
Life is confusing at times and you just can't always make sense of or understand it. We will all feel like we're pulled in 100 directions and not see a clear option at to which to take, if any. We all feel lost from time to time. We will all go through periods of doubt and even loss of hope, but there is hope around us. I promise! More importantly, you're not alone in any of it! Reaching out to others in conversation will quickly prove that. Listen to and stay true to your heart-of-hearts. It's the voice that's always there but we're often good about tuning out or covering up.
Venice, thank you for sharing yourself with us all and for being a shining example of a human and artist!
Love Aimlessly, My Friends
What gets you out of bed every day?
Probably just knowing that I have to be somewhere. Not like school but that I have things to do. I’m really passionate about some things like art and singing… and I want to do them and continue doing them. If I didn’t have any interest or hobbies like that I probably wouldn’t get out of bed. So, it’s just having the drive to keep doing the things that I like.
When I’m happy I try to do things with lots of bright colors in my art. If I’m sad I might sing sad songs or something. It’s just a way to get stuff out and can be easier than talking to people because I’m not always good at that all the time.
To date, what is the greatest lesson that you’ve learned?
That’s kind of tough… My mom has never completely said this to me, but I’ve learned from watching her that over all things I should just try to do what I love. I’ve just noticed that in her. She’s in college right now for philosophy and she moves a lot. She kind of focuses on doing the philosophy and not that she was leaving her friends or moving a long distance away. Right now she’s living in Australia because she loved the program there and she wanted to go. Even though she knew that she had to leave everything, and the United States completely, she just focused on what made her happy because that’s the main thing for her. I’ve learned that from her. It’s obviously difficult to do but I think that’s the biggest lesson for me.
What is love?
In a nutshell, I think it’s kind of like friendship but leveled up. That’s sounds kind of lame but… You know… in healthy, loving relationships there’s some sort of friendship basis in it. With your significant other you’re going to be friends with them, obviously, if you’re going to be with them, love them and live with them. You love your best friend and you love your parents and that’s all based on a kind of trusting friendship.
Love is also just this want to be near someone. Even if it’s a not good situation. If you love someone you just want to be closer to them, even outside of a romantic relationship. You see it in friendships and just love in general.
About Venice : Venice is still in school and is next year moving onto an art school. She loves all kinds of art but specifically paints and sings a lot!
Lives in Nashville, TN
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