100 to 0 in the blink of an eye

I don’t know why this keeps happening. I am in the midst of the same moral dilemma. I realized that I’ve spent so much of the last several years eliminating the need for competition and finding ways to be inclusive and accepting. As much as I like to think of myself as an innately compassionate person, elevated by empathy, when it comes to academic type stuff I can’t seem to shake my distaste for mediocrity.

The problem is, I don’t actually feel this way except when I’m the heat of it. This is why I hate group projects and why I adore writing essays. I prefer settings in which I am a facilitator, not a contributor because (remember this is my outlet for all the vain things going on in my head) I am so far ahead of the curve. It’s a curse and a blessing.

I can’t tell if this is because my standards are just so high or if everyone else’s are so low. This discrepancy drives me insane. In that class I was looking for forward to, the one that was supposed to stimulate and challenge me, I could quite literally not stop talking. I had to physically sit on my hands to keep myself from contributing to the discussion. I would like to clarify, this is because the answers were literally in the text. If you did your reading, and attempted to comprehend the material (through deep processing methods) there is NO CHANCE you’d miss it!!! He was asking questions that in my honest opinion, were very straight-forward —again— BECAUSE THEY WERE TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM THE TEXT. There was no interpretation beyond googling definitions and a basic understanding of US history. I am not a history buff by any means, but I’ve taken the class and I learned the material and I can give you a overview (without specific dates or names) of conceptually, what occurred.

I mean this is basic stuff! 1900 – today. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just ranting because I need to get this off my chest. But I also need to figure out a way to reconcile my competitive nature. I am experiencing cognitive dissonance. I believe two directly conflicting things to be each in turn, true. I believe it is morally right for me to allow others to talk and to listen instead, to allow others to come to realizations on their own time. I believe in inclusivity and compassion. AND YET. I also believe in excellence. I believe that hard work and dedication should be rewarded. I believe that if I am the best, I should not be embarrassed for being the best and that it is my job to establish my grasp of the material to the professor and to speak up if I know the answer to something.

It’s going to be a long semester.

Advertisements

Let go my ego

I read this article recently that really stuck with me over the course of the last few days. It said something along the lines of “I really thought we’d had a connection because we talked everyday but then I began to realize that we didn’t because we never got into the deeper subjects that mattered”. I’ve looked at a lot of my relationships lately with that thought in mind lately.

I just got off the phone with my mom and I’ve gotta say, we don’t have that problem. I sometimes feel like I talk too much about my own stuff and because she’s my mom, she’s always willing to listen. I think I will constantly be reminding myself to listen more, talk less. But at the same time, we talk about everything. From trivial to tumultuous, we go there. I appreciate that about our friendship now.

I don’t know what it is about my college but for some reason, I’ve noticed more and more lately that a lot of people don’t engage in anything. Like the taste of blase is so tempting, they’re unwilling to try something new. My mom just said “I never noticed until I got here, how many people in life really just like to skate by, waiting for other people to do their work for them”. She went on to say that in her groups where this is happening, she finds out the real life lesson is usually something entirely unrelated to the group material. Once, it was about a bully in the room and learning how to (metaphorically) disarm her. I find that to be the case for myself more often than not.

I’m taking an art education class this semester and the first two weeks for me were SO frustrating. I feel like I’m sitting in a room of kindergarteners. I mean, I have had years of study in art (before this college, it was at my community college). In total, I’ve studied art — and I mean really studied art — for almost 6 years. I found out during a small group exercise last week that one of the girls in my group had only taken one other art class before and that the words coming out of my mouth sounded like an entirely different language. The thing is, I needed to hear that. I think my lesson this semester is in temperance and humility. Fine, I’ll take it. I have already decided I will make office hours with my teacher to explain to her why I’ll be a lot quieter in the weeks ahead. I hope she’ll agree with me when I level with her. I don’t want to intimidate or come across as a know it all. But I can see it in her eyes when she looks pointedly at me, she’s desperate for engagement and she doesn’t care 9 times out of 10 when I’m monopolizing the discussion. 

My problem is that I fear I will never be challenged intellectually at my current school. I’ve been here a year and so far, I’ve had two classes that I found remotely interesting. It’s really unfortunate and it is pretty soul crushing for something who finds knowledge to be akin to a fountain of ecstasy. When I was at community college, my brain was constantly exploding with new concepts and essays and wow, I never realized I was so spoiled. I fear I will never feel that way again for as long as I’m here.

My vent is this: HOW DID YOU GET SO FAR IN LIFE WITHOUT A BASIC KNOWLEDGE OF ECONOMICS, POLITICS, CULTURE, ETC?! Were we not required to take the same general education classes?! HOW have you NOT absorbed ANYTHING!? I just don’t understand how it’s even possible. My mind does not compute. No wonder facebook has destroyed our minds. These “peers” of mine just regurgitate and all I want to do is fall asleep listening to it. WAKE UP PEOPLE USE YOUR DAMN BRAIN.

Complacency and apathy are my biggest enemies. Ironically, when I use the word enemy, I don’t even feel angry about it. I almost wanted to say “disinterests” or “turn offs”, like my mind couldn’t even muster up the right emotions to feel.

I just don’t understand it and in many ways, I wish I knew how to blend in more. Flowers for Algernon sits heavily in my heart. I wish I understood how to conform and stop caring like everybody else. Is it so wrong to want to actually learn something? I understand that I will forever be looking at my classes from the lens of theoretical “life lessons” to take home at the end of the semester but really… I just want to learn something academic for a change. I want to be challenged. I wish I’d gone to a different school. I want something better.

RIP creative heart

I recently had the most complete draining of my creative energy, my spirit. It was an unfortunate result of my sorority and the demands they place on their members. Don’t get me wrong, I agree that these requirements often make a lot of people more responsible, involved in their respective communities, and overall allow for growth. In my case, I am drained. I’m a senior and my work is suffering. 

I awoke today with a bitterness in my heart.

static1.squarespace.jpg

It’s my fault because I didn’t read the announcement properly or something but I had it in my heart that I would be able to go alum early and it seems that is no longer the case. Which fucking sucks because I hadn’t realized how much of my mind had been set on the freedom I would soon experience. There is no way that I can continue being involved in this organization and still be able to create without this sort of negativity over my shoulder.

I feel it whenever I listen to anyone talk about their work or when I feel the pressure of deadlines. I need out. I’m suffocating and I need the fuck out.

It’s funny because when I got the email about going alum, the president’s phrasing was such that “I had not served my full four years” which I thought sounded like a contract for enlisted soldiers or a prison sentence. Either way, I’m definitely a prisoner in a voluntary placement.

I can’t drop because I’ve invested way too much time and I need the resume items I’ve accrued. I need the stupid accolades and the embroidery on my sash when I graduate. I don’t have anything else on my grad school application. I’m out of options. Send help please. 

white-flag-surrender_233204.jpg

2:51 am 8/30

Fast friendships confuse me

How does it work?

Does it mean more or less?

Is value even a question to those involved?

Is it simply because I haven’t met that kind of friend yet?

Home.

It’s taken me a year but I think I’m finally understanding why I stayed in my sorority. Like most things, the benefits of a decision don’t usually reveal themselves until the end. Since I’m at the halfway point – I go alum in Spring- I’ve been weirdly sentimental lately. All this talk at recruitment practice has reminded me of the way I felt before I joined. It reminded me of all the reasons I was seeking strong female bonds.

Image result for lock fence

People will say that it’s all fake and that we’re paying for friendships. On some level, there’s truth to that. But I guess it’s kind of like being in college and then paying to go to an all girl’s school at the same time. There are events, sports, uniforms, rules, bitchy people, drama. But there’s also a deep understanding that everyone is there for the same reason: to be a part of something. Even if that something doesn’t really mean that much in the grand scheme of things, embracing the present is no less valuable than working towards something bigger.

Related image

My sorority has taught me what I stand for, who I am. Most of the time, I feel like I only discover these things when I’m being pulled against my core beliefs. I’ve learned that I am kinder than I thought. I only saw this when people weren’t kind to me. I have learned that I am trustworthy and a pretty damn good secret-keeper. I saw this when people talked shit, or revealed things about themselves. I didn’t reciprocate. I learned that I am capable of being overwhelmed by other peoples’ emotions. I learned this when I became consumed by negativity because of the chatter of complaints around me. I learned that I have more courage than most people. I’ve only ever witnessed this in terms of male relationships and once I saw this in a group setting, I realized I do speak up for what I believe in. I learned that I won’t speak up when it’s something petty and will be sorted by someone else. I learned that I naturally delegate tasks through subtle suggestion, not coercion. I learned that I do not naturally give trust easily. I knew this before, but even after a year of being surrounded by these women, I am only just beginning to feel like I can let go of some of my defenses.

Let-Go

I needed to write this so that one day when I look back and think, ‘damn that was a waste of time’ or ‘thank god it’s over’, I will also remember all the good stuff that came out of it. I am no longer afraid of women. I am no longer afraid to paint. I am worthy of meaningful relationships and I am worthy because I have witnessed those who I deem unfit, receive the gift of friendship even when they shouldn’t. I am no better and no worse.

The human condition dictates that humans crave comfort and love. The fear of being alone is so strong, we work to find peace so that we don’t have to feel that way. I know these are random thoughts, but I can feel time slipping by so quickly and I’m a senior this year and totally terrified of graduation so I can say without a doubt, I made the right choice. I picked the right house. I found my home.

tree-hugger

How did I miss this?!

I’ve just come out of my religious studies class with a weird epiphany about my life and artistic process. My brain has been sort of hinting at the absence of my academic classes and the sense of satisfaction I get when I write essays that prove arguments or explore grand concepts. I love conceptual thinking that’s built up with evidence. I even like conceptual thinking that’s based in supernatural evidence, what some scholars term “sketchy”. Ultimately, the overlap is there within the foundation.

hqdefault

My favorite element across all artistic mediums is contrast. I love contrast. Maybe that establishes itself in the physical contrast of the work, or maybe the way the light hits a sculpture at a specific time of day or maybe there’s something else there in terms of color and that just hits me because that sensational pop against my mind makes me feel something deep. I’m not sure yet.

What I’m realizing is that i need to be in a field of work that allows me to explore conceptual contrasts and reaffirm different ideas through writing and research. I crave research like water. The problem solving I experience through writing and essays is akin to the feeling of figuring out which color to use within a painting or ceramic glaze. It’s equally as satisfying. Psychologists refer to this feeling as “flow”. My flow lives in conceptual problem solving.

buddha-2

I loved writing my essay on Cindy Sherman and I’m so stoked to write my fifteen page research paper contrasting buddhist ideals. I’m sort of dying to figure out the rest of my painting. I have no idea how I’m going to do on my history midterm Tuesday but the immense satisfaction that just began flowing through me has put me over the moon. This is the first time since my disengagement with photography that I’ve felt similarly stimulated and profoundly grateful. This feeling. This feeling right now is what I live for.

2:28am

Obligations
Affiliations
Incarceration
Connotation
Bureaucracy and blurred red lines
Sharpness of indecency
I hate this need to fight authority
My stupid desire to break the rules
Has more power over me than I do
This strange contradiction
Fuels my conviction
And I’m faced over and over
The whisper of memories fade
Replaced by rage
I’m not angry

My neck keeps shaking
My Russian teachers always made me cry

I hated bending and twirling
As long as they were there
I knew only good and bad
No compromise

I’m so very clearly there
Pick and choose the parts that make sense
My family says it’s easier to digest
I’m not craving
The Buddha says
But his golden body glows
I’ll swipe green across canvas
And spend hours on circles and spirals and waves
Tiny little pencil marks
One thing out of place
Daylight balance, warm tone, cool
Wipe clean the rules

In a field where the human condition
Is the one and only true theme,
Why did I stick myself in a place
Where identity is destroyed
And smiles quickly employed
And evil ovals stare at me
Across the plastic tables
“Not excused, sorry but that doesn’t count, you’ll still have to pay”
Okay.

2:17am

As I struggle with my own identity over the last few months, I realize that I was so frustrated by being marginalized with my community. People kept seeing me as a person I didn’t associate with directly. I thought sure, maybe there is some overlap but that’s not representative of me completely; there’s more than meets the eye. I realize now that being marginalized is actually way better because it allows me to remain somewhat out of reach. I can pick and choose which part of my community I associate with and which part I don’t. It’s nice because it’s safer there. I have more freedom to flow freely between circles. There is no group with one claim on me. That’s a double edged sword sometimes because it means I hear about things late sometimes but I make an in impression on people so there’s always someone who remembers. In many ways, it’s that same alienation that allows me to stand out. I think it’s silly that this all occurs to me as I’m browsing on amazon for a laptop cover. As a student, it’s those choices that will define how my friends and peers see me. Do I choose to blend in, or stand out? Or is it more so a question of accepting who I’m already perceived to be?

download

9/19/15 (#2)

I write this as I sit in the parking lot waiting to walk inside to quit my job. I want to remember the disdain my subconscious has for this place. It has become my personal prison; ironically, the very subject of most of my own work.

This place drains me of the creative freedom I once experienced on a daily basis. Instead of finding the daily projects and questions an escape from my own worldly issues, I’ve found it drives me further away from the place I need to be.

I need to be focusing and creating and experimenting and instead all I’ve been doing is routine and it drives me fucking crazy. The thoughts I’ve had over the last week shock me.

I have thought of more ways to insert Popsicle sticks into people’s bodies than I ever thought possible. What type of stretcher bars would be most appropriate to bludgeon someone with, the kinds of brushes that would do the most harm if I stabbed someone in the eyes. I’ve thought of throwing turpentine on people and whacking them repeatedly with oil pastels and paint tubes. And then comes the creative ways I’ve thought I could have myself fired.

I’ve dreamt of streaking mid shift down the middle of the aisles as if nothing was wrong, I could pee In front of a customer, I could take the money out of the registers and throw it in the air yelling “free money free paint!” I could just knock everything off the shelves or intricately carve out “fuck you” with the pieces of balsa wood we have for sale. The xacto aisle is dangerous, there are so many little triangles and blades. I’ve thought of just flooding the backroom or even setting people’s hair on fire.

I am so angry that I have to spend my days inside, aching now that I have RA. I spend more money on food than I ever have in my life because I can’t eat anything close by and whole foods is expensive and yet my only option. I’m rushing around on others people’s time schedules and hating myself.

I can’t tell anyone I love my boyfriend because he’s my manager and also the most wonderful human being. It would be my luck that I go and meet the dream guy but have to lie about it for months.

I am psychologically and physically drained and I hate myself and everyone around me and it needs to stop. So I’m going in to give my two weeks and that’ll be the end of that blip in the road. Like sand slipping through my fingers, I watch as one door closes and another opens; aka my freedom.

9/19/15

I struggle assimilating into female culture. I struggle assimilating with people my age. So far there’s a lot of struggle with friends. I do have friends, don’t be confused but I’m not sure how to make new ones without a common interest.

There are girls who have no trouble

As soon as I find someone on the same maturity level, I find out they’re w