I awoke this morning earlier than I had in over a month. Gratefully wide awake at such an hour, for I hadn't slept away most of the morning. Last night I was visciously tired for no reason, and gave in by 10 pm. This morning I could hear the rain falling and looked over to the window to see a grey gloomy sky. The rain doesn't bother me much, but it did bring a strange feeling. Excitement accompanied by sorrow. I stopped myself from getting up immediately to ponder why such a feeling would grasp me. And then I realized: Fall is upon us! My excitement and sorrow come from the memories of returning to school, and the summer being over. I've been graduated from art college for 4 years now, so there is no schooling to look forward to. (Or dread) But this time in my life has in fact been opening up into a new stage of learning and growing.
My current day job is slowly ending and has morped into one that I can managed a mere few hours a day, at which point I am able to fill the rest of my time however I deem necessary. One might think I would spill the time onto relaxation, time with friends, and such. (Some of which yes, I have done.) But its a funny thing as an artist when all you wish for is free time to work on your craft and you actually get it! I have worked a day job the entirety of my time out of college, and have worked on my photography during evenings and weekends. This was a personal choice, as I never did quite figure out what I wanted from it, or really, what it wanted from me. So imagine, running at warp speed towards something you're just dying for and after years and years you suddenly find yourself tripping right over it! At first you may feel joy and relief, and then maybe a slight panic brought on by the obvious: The time is now! You must seize the day!
I suddenly found myself acutely aware of how much time I might have to really get some solid work done on my new website, looking for galleries, grants, job opportunities and finally finishing editing all the photos that have piled up over the last year. I'm unsure how long my unusual situation with my day job might last, so I haven't a moment to waste. This acute awareness is met with equal parts joy and anxiety. I find myself very much in a new vigilant head space where trying to relax at the end of the day is almost like going through the motions of a chore. I don't quite recognize myself or reactions, and the things I once found comforting I now find quite alien, as if I suddenly awoke from to find I had been cuddling someone elses teddy bear. I find myself looking in the mirror and asking what my real dreams are without the stipulations or responsibilities of time, money, or others. What are my values? What is my purpose and direction as a person and as an artist? What do I truly want to say?
I am doing my best to make the most of this time, being careful to clock in just as many hours a day as I would at a day job. I make sure to leave the house to work on my photos now, at a coffeeshop or otherwise. (A tip I picked up from a friend to ensure I don't slack off at home.) Despite me hitting the panic button a few times a day, words cannot express my gratitude for this time to be alone, figure out what I truly want, and make plans for my future.
And now, just because: Tears for Fears - "Head Over Heels". Enjoy!