i spent most of new year's evefternoon cleaning my "art room," which i haven't done since i moved in. as stupid as it may sound, i'm a taurus, and i fit so many of the typical astrological personality checkboxes set up for that sign that it's quite obvious who and what i am, and where i lie on that arbitrary line. i love security, being pampered. i'm obsessed with money (particularly just enough to get me to that feeling of security) and material objects (you should see my collection of junk i've just picked up along the way of my life-- something tangible to serve as a placeholder for my memories is very important to me it seems). i get a lot of sore throats. and i love beauty. i need beautiful surroundings in order to operate to full capacity, to be inspired. and so in order to really feel "at home" and "right" i need to clean and organize.
this of course messes with my naturally cluttered nature. maybe this is why i get nothing done, or as little as possible, in my life. i could be doing so much more.
but anyway, i was cleaning and going through papers, and i happened upon a folder in my file cabinet that held all my old college syllabi, transcripts, scholarship notifications, and evaluations. first i found the ones from my first year of TAing and that familiar sense of shame and indignation washed over me. because it'd been so long since i'd last looked at these things, these little sheets of abject horror, i had been under the impression that it wasn't "as bad as i remembered." re-reading some of the things not only the students but one teacher in particular said about me-- i.e. my laziness, lack of empathy, ignorance, disorganization and inefficiency-- and then contrasting that with all the work i did and all the lesson plans i made for the discussion course i taught really made it clear to me how much i was shafted that second year of grad school in just about every way possible. no wonder i decided that it wasn't for me.
then i came across my letters of rec and course comments for my simon's rock classes and i almost cried. just about all of them really said the same thing, painted this picture of me that i just didn't understand until nearly twelve years later. "we wish she'd speak up more." "she's too serious." "she worries too much about her grades, most likely because she's trying to get into vet school." and then later on, things like "april has really blossomed." "she's written the best material in the class." and from my acting teacher, representing one branch i just entirely blew off because of fear i guess: "i hope she continues on this path."
i wish i had, lindsay. hopefully it's not too late.
this year i'm reminded of how i felt last summer, before it all came crashing down on me again in the forms of fear and obligation and worry and distraction. i feel like i'm on the brink of a new beginning. this year i resolve to no longer deny myself what i want. to not take some shitty job just because i think it's what i should be doing to occupy my time. i dare myself to, as neil gaiman wrote in my copy of american gods
(thanks fluffy) and reiterated in his latest missive to his fans, "dream dangerously
." to get in with the sharks, as kyle cassidy
put it. to "do what i want and what i believe in," as shreve stockton
said just a short time ago. she's right, by the way. these people, and many more, are all my heroes because they got out there and did what they wanted, and didn't stop to think about how to appease anyone. they just forged ahead.
for far too long in my life, i think, i assumed school was the only place i belonged, and i guess there are a lot of reasons. my parents pushed me hard gradewise. i didn't have many friends, and because i did so well in school teachers befriended me instead. schoolwork was not primarily a social thing, and i fucking excelled
at it while shunning the things i really loved to do as "not a real job." intellectual property rights, combined with some sort of puritan ethic i'd picked up along the way and a sense of needing to change the world with my brain, made me nervous and reluctant to consider any form of art as a real career. i always had to be doing something "important" to be of any worth to the world, and sitting around making music all day or painting pictures or dancing just didn't count enough.
and besides all that there was a real fear that school was all i could really do well enough. in the very real, very fierce scramble to get to the top in middle and high school there was no margin for failure, no place but first in the class. therefore, in general if i tried something and initially failed at it, i gave it up. i hated playing games i knew i wouldn't win. i didn't want anyone to see that i was anything less than perfect at what i tried. i didn't want to be anything less than perfect. i remember jamie hutchinson sighing one day during an advising meeting with me and saying "i wish for once you could just let yourself get a D in something." at the time, setting my sights on vet school really did make it nearly impossible for me to understand. now i realize how little all that mattered.
i think i've rambled on enough about this. here's some other new year's resolutions:( i will )
i'm sure there's more, but i think that's a good start. note nowhere in there is "get a job." this is because i've tried that for a couple of months, with the only goal being to "get a job," and i've not had my heart in it. i keep coming back to the idea that i need to do what i love and try to craft employment out of that. when employers give you the run-around and actually lose
your resume after calling about interviews the universe is trying to tell you something. luckily i have a means of financial support. the time is ripe. it's now or never.
christmas, by the way, was good. as good as can be expected, although a lot of family crap came up for me. ( doings )
i also did a lot of thinking about 2003/4 compared to now, and what seems to make a lot of sense at the moment is that i grew up sort of ignored emotionally. no matter how much i complained it was laughed off, or completely disregarded, or misinterpreted in the most obtuse manner possible. so during that time when i was making a lot of lame enemies and losing a lot of new friends, i think it was one of the first times i ever was not allowed to get away with that shit. it was the first time that someone actually listened to what i was saying and, unfortunately, took it at face-value or worse. and i couldn't figure out why people were not allowing me my space to just say my piece and move on, but it was because for once what i was saying was actually affecting
them. now, granted, they could have been a little less retarded about how they dealt with it, but i should have listened a little more, maybe cut them a little slack. not enough to be great friends with them, perhaps, but enough to have just let it go and realized that others can be just as sensitive as i can and that we all need to find ways to protect ourselves emotionally.
for new year's we took a cue from just about everyone else in the universe and stayed in, drank some good zinfandel, tried out the fireplace for the first time, and watched casino royale
(and then later some discovery channel special on execution methods-- both of us were crushing over the same girl). i don't know what it was about 2008, but i think a great many of us just needed to rest after that soul-crushing year and just try to regain some semblance of inner peace.
hopefully that plan will last for longer than one night. happy new year. :)