It is normal to work hard, isn’t it?

I do understand that I need to be getting to bed to rise early tomorrow.  I do.  I want to get to the art store and back before the day really starts.  If I rise like I’m going to work, get out there and back…I should have the whole day to work either on my painting for Creative Process and/or on my Sketchbook assignments for Figure Drawing.

There was just something that flashed through my mind for a moment, in regard to the MLIS degree.  Part of it is thinking back to a TED Talk which looked at the roots of happiness.  The results of an experiment gone over in said Talk read that when people have many choices and the freedom to change their mind and second-guess their decisions, they tend to turn out less satisfied with their ultimate choice, than when they are given no chance to reconsider.

I also wanted to note that today I felt relief at having found an article I needed to read for class, which gave me an excuse not to have to draw.  Drawing is not really all the time relaxing, you know?  Or maybe it is, and the anticipation of drawing is the thing that bites me.  My issue is that when I’m drawing, I’m constantly making decisions which are not rational or logical, thus they’re hard to understand or predict.  Hmm.  Maybe my left brain and right brain are having a conflict, and the left brain doesn’t want to cede dominance, or something.  😉

Despite this, apparently I’m somewhat gifted where it comes to art…but I don’t understand how that works, or if there even is a why.  I have been thinking on the whole thing about being on the planet to be creative, but still needing to earn a stable source of income (in order to stay on the planet).

M says that if I can find someone who makes a living purely off of art, then I don’t have to go to Library School.  I’m pretty sure I probably could find one, but it’s like a kid who wants to be in the NBA interviewing LeBron James to ask him how he did it, or something.  I think it’s possible to make a living entirely off of art skills, but unlikely, and not for a long time.  In the meantime, I’d probably be doing work I don’t want to do.  (Like, as I saw a while back elsewhere on the ‘net, a Graphic Design job commissioned by some bro…which I probably shouldn’t describe definitely, but the job was sexist and misogynist to the degree that it looked like the troll was paying the designer to let him troll her.)

M and D have said that my comment about not wanting to draw doesn’t sound like something that would come out of an artist.  For me — I do art well, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t stressful.  It’s freakin’ stressful.  I’m pretty sure the feeling has to do with growing new neurons and confronting the fact that there are things I don’t know that I can only learn from failure.  And, as I was thinking earlier today at work, I feel like I fail — largely — when it is simply difficult for me to break even, or excel.  I dropped out of Honors Math when I was a kid because I got a B, which to me meant that I actually got a C, because the school positively weighted all the Honors grades.  So, to me, B meant “average,” which meant not excelling, which meant working my hardest and not excelling.

It really didn’t make me feel very good.  I can see something similar happening with the classes I have taken in Library School, where I think I got three A’s, but I had to struggle and kind of scrape together all my effort to get those A’s.  Master’s classes aren’t like upper-division Bachelor’s classes, and they aren’t like lower-division Associate’s classes.  They are freaking hard. And being challenged and expected to competently meet that challenge — on my own or with the support of my peers, but majorly, in my program, on my own — is stressful.  Especially in the case of the professor whom I can’t remember actually ever lecturing.

At least my English skills are good, but sometimes that can be a setback, as when, in the same class I note above, there were sentences that didn’t make any grammatical sense every few pages.  Grammar wasn’t stressed in my school district, but I can tell when people spout non-sensical sounds (or letters) that are meant to resemble words, which say nothing.

It’s a reason I don’t like listening to politics, because — especially with some of the candidates I really dislike — they will string a group of words together and it makes no grammatical sense and everyone in the audience cheers like it’s a monumental pronouncement.  I know the audience has no idea what was said, because there was no content there to understand.  So they have no idea what the candidate meant, but they cheer anyway because not to do so and to question the candidate’s intent would mean looking like an idiot because everyone else got it!  Right?  NO.  NOBODY GOT IT BECAUSE THERE WAS NOTHING TO “GET.”

Might as well have a Sage Grouse running for President and he can blow up his throat sack and whoop for dominance.

Okay, I’ll try and stop talking about that now.

What was I writing about?

Right — the situation I find myself in right now, allows me the opportunity to explore outside of my primary skill set — reading, writing, comprehension, and possibly analysis.  I’m really struck by the degree of overlap between Art and Creative Writing.  Right now I’m still developing this project…the story one…which I’m tying into my portfolio for Creative Process.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was thinking about this stuff back around three years ago; it just hasn’t really had the chance to grow and develop in expressed form, until now.  And…when it’s expressed, it transforms.  It’s like the mandala I was working on last semester:  every time I touch it, it changes.  I’ve had to remind myself that I can always go back to a previous form of the story, in order to be able to record divergences from my original idea.

Right now, it is becoming enough to make either a comic book or short-run graphic novel.  That itself, is kind of scary, but …well, why?  That’s an interesting statement, isn’t it?  That successful creative development is scary?  Why?

Ah, right:  The where does it come from, problem.  Another point where I might be called “talented.”  Not understanding my own abilities tends to freak me out a bit.  I used to think that my medications ramped down the creativity, as it got harder to write as I became healthier.  But no:  maybe it’s just contained, now, instead of spilling out all over the place and into my personal life, etc.  And hey, maybe I can be an author, even with a relatively healthy brain.  😉

Now there’s an unspoken assumption:  that creativity is helped by dis-ease.  Lack of ease probably spurs creative expression, but it doesn’t mean that pain is the root cause of talent.  Maybe healthy people are just generally able to put this in a little box in the back of their mind, or something, and not look at it or into it.

Earlier, I was also thinking that perhaps part of what has been going on over the last decade has been letting go of my dis-ease state as something that in some way defined me or constituted me.  I just remembered this.  Every time I’ve started a new medication, birth control excepted, the state of my mind has shifted to become quieter, or less distracted, or more stable, or less fearful, and less melancholy.  When I was younger, I didn’t understand this, and I felt like something of myself was being taken away from me.

This was what led me to think that I would not be able to write fiction again in a healthy manner — because I was a mess, the last time I wrote fiction.  But maybe, with the art, I can re-link my neural networks to be more positive, maybe more organized, and less…wholeheartedly, on some level, believing in what I’m writing.  Maybe, for people with normal neurotransmitter levels, it is this hard, normally.  Maybe, normally, people try their hardest just to get by — or maybe, even, to excel.

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Haru ("Codey") is a third-year Master's student in Library and Information Science, hoping to find a way to fuse their desire to make the world a better place and to finance their art.

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