After watching one too many Netflix series, of which none provided any educational value at all, I decided that I needed to do something more productive (even if only slightly) during quarantine. After all, my friends were using this quarantine to better themselves, some tried to learn new languages with various degrees of success, others decided to take courses in topics they always loved but never had the time to dig deeper into, and others used this time to reflect about themselves, their accomplishments and where they wanted to go to next. Even my mom took this opportunity to become a writer. They took this quarantine as a moment in their lives to re-evaluate themselves and take the next steps for their future or at the very least, they learned something new. While all of this was happening around me, I was watching Netflix and procrastinating. After all, while this time at home has been useful for self-improvement, it also gave all the procrastinators around the world (i.e. me) a further opportunity to procrastinate.
I loved the opportunity to stay in bed all day, 24/7 pajamas, and absolutely zero guilt. Until the zero guilt started turning into feelings of boredom and ugly comparisons. That is when I decided to do something with my never-ending free time. Mind you, I never considered doing something that would take up so much of my free time that I would have to give up on Netflix completely, but at least, something that would give Netflix some breathing spaces to come up with new series to launch. However, I had no idea what I wanted to do. Sure, I could learn French but I never really liked French. Of course, I could sign up for a university course, but the thought of writing essays reminded me too much of nightmarish university days trying to submit last-minute papers in time. That is when I thought I could learn a new skill. As a child, it was very clear to all those around me that I had no talent for the arts. Not one single type of art, may it be singing, painting, or theatre. My brother (and the rest of the world) would define my signing as “atrocious”, my after school art teacher directly told me not to take up art as a school subject after having looked at one my “paintings” and truthfully, theatre always required a bit too much preparation for my personality. However, now, with no art teacher whatsoever on one hand and corona, on the other hand, I took up painting.
I took up painting like a 2-year-old learns to draw, within the lines. I bought one of those paint by numbers kit that Amazon had been “advising” me to buy for so long, as if it could sense my lack of talent from my search history. I guess buying one too many legal notepads and highlighters probably was enough for Amazon to categorize me as “boring” (if you didn’t get this joke, you didn’t study law) and therefore, in need of a paint by numbers kit. I bought a lion, and it told me exactly where to paint and what colors to use. In the pictures, it looks beautiful. In reality, it looks more like Frankenstein’s monster. Never again will I make fun of my little nieces and nephews when they learn how to draw within the lines.
I enjoyed the whole process so much, that I bought a leopard (to paint, not as a house pet). This is not an advertisement for a paint by numbers kit, but it is a how off to the world that even I did something slightly useful for myself during this quarantine: I learned to paint by numbers.
My art teacher would weep. I am in love.