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  • (All Over Coffee #582 by Paul Madonna - shop/site here.)

    This comic was published in April 2012, before I left my marriage but after I knew I had to go. The words could have been written specifically for me: you know exactly what you have to do.

    I did know, but I couldn't act. I was unhappy, yes, but I was also comfortable. My life was not what I wanted, but it was safe. I knew what to expect. I have always been a planner, looking toward what lay ahead, and when I thought of leaving all I could see was an unpredictable void. It terrified me. I kept choosing comfort and safety over joy, but no matter how much I tried being happy with my life as it was, it didn't work. I had to find the courage to be on my own.

    Then one random morning, this image popped up in my RSS feed. It felt like a message from the future: you know how to be happy. Why aren't you doing it? The words didn't stop me from being scared, but they made me believe I was capable of navigating the void. And I was. I am.

    A few months later, in a major twist of fate or a strange coincidence (or maybe both), I found myself at a dinner party with the artist of the piece, with the rare opportunity to tell him exactly how his art impacted my life. I told my story for him, getting more and more triumphant as I followed it out to that night, answering his questions about how my life had changed and diving down into the creative process, the differences and similarities between artist and receiver.

    Art forges connections between strangers; too often, those connections are invisible. Once in a great while, though, the stars align and you get a chance like I had, to sit down with a person who touched your life without ever having met you and thank them for the image, story, song that reached inside and pulled out a little piece of you. And they, in turn, get to thank you.
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