Crossroads: Creativity & Real Life

One moment the light was like this.
The next moment, it was this.

I am the kind of person who is very easily divided on the inside. 
I really have a hard time separating my creative inclinations from my analytical tendencies. 
On any given day I can muster up lots of excitement about either side of myself.
Out of high school, I went the traditional route even though a week before the applications were do I almost tried to figure out how I could throw together a portfolio together for arts school. But I ended up at a Liberal Arts college. 
I wanted to learn about the world. I wanted to read about Plato and history and politics.
I did it. Very much. For four years. 
And I came out of it feeling tired. I came out feeling out of touch. I took a year off to apply to graduate school because, well what else do you do when you specialize in history?  
I got in. To a masters program at NYU. And I got married and was supposed to spend the rest of the summer working on getting my international visa when I had a huge moment. It's as close as I've ever gotten to an anxiety attack - I just couldn't do it. I couldn't go back into the ivory tower. I felt very disconnected from the academic world, from the university world and the idea of being lukewarm about a choice that would equal tens of thousands of dollars of MORE school debt left me cold.
So I gave up my acceptance. 
I've spent this last year struggling to figure out if what I need is to pay more attention to my creative side. I've taken workshops. I've dreamed about being an entrepreneur and running my own little show. I've worked on this little piece of the internet, this blog as an outlet and collection of sorts. I've tried to figure out my voice. 
And I have definitely been learning. I am learning about my limitations. Simple but important things. For instance, I'm not just a procrastinator. I can be ridiculously lazy. I'm also a terrible planner, as in I plan too much. I actually enjoy the tedious things that most people cringe at. I like the planning so much, it's all I end up doing. I really only work under pressure. I'm struggling with my own lack of discipline, with my own lack of training. I've told girlfriends over dinner how I need to pace myself - I want to turn into some artist over night - but I have to accept and respect that it takes years. When I see work I admire, work that is full and inspired, I have to remind myself that the artist has been at that helm for years. It's not something I get to suddenly evoke just because I'm bored with my retail job. I have to actually build. And build some more. 
I've been trying to give myself the summer off. I promised myself a hiatus on all the work. No more classes. Just some time to let it all simmer. But of course, I've been carrying all of the above (and then some) around with me. In my head. Eyes sometimes open at four thirty in the morning, trying to figure out the perfect answer. The equation that will light up in front of my eyes and reveal how I will no longer need to feel restless and defeated. The thing that will equal work and creating and thinking. Oh and will pay the bills somehow. All in a nice little bow. But it's not so easy. Not so clear at all. 
Right now what I have are these words. Time to let them ferment.


Anonymous said...

"If you wanna make Money...follow the Money. If you wanna be happy...follow your Heart"

Read this somewhere and although it's a lot easier said then done; Only through struggles do we rediscover our own strengths...

Chris said...

It is frustrating to be young, but the alternative is to be old. There will be time enough for that later, darling! Conflict and contradiction give birth to art, so don't dream of shrugging it off. Dream of giving it purpose. That's the way to find your voice.

t a n y a said...

Maria, we've spoken a bit about this before and I'm looking forward to continuing the conversation. If it makes you feel any better I was once where you are. I can tell you this: some things are out of your control and some things you have to make happen. I've embraced both types of events and it's led me to where I am today. The key thing, if I can share and suggest - is to just do something. Anything. Just do it, preferably now. I've seen what you can do! xoxo.

Anonymous said...

No recomendations here, just to let you know that at the other end of the world there is someone totally different thinking and feeling the same way.
Best wishes,