The last week has been a complete upheaval of everything that I had thought was, at least for the most part, set in stone for the months in front of me. I went from being a Fine Arts major to a Behavioral Science major, and back once again to Fine Art. While the actual change from one to another isn't that interesting, exciting or challenging, it's the emotional strain it has put on my personal well-being and those around me that has me wondering why I do this to myself.
I've always been a thinker. I keep things to myself quite a bit (despite what those close to me may believe) because if anyone knew the lunacy that runs through my mind on a daily basis, I might not be permitted to roam the earth freely any longer. Okay, so it's not quite that bad, but I do have a constantly running hamster wheel in my brain, and it, unfortunately or fortunately, produces constant thoughts, ideas, possibilities and more. For some this would likely be a blessing, but for me, it's really more of a nightmare. Every time I believe that I've made a decision, some new-to-me piece of information presents itself and I am left questioning the original thought or decision I had made.
Today has been no different. The first day of classes was yesterday, and while it went as best as can be expected for a first day back to school, it also brought questions as to why I'm even there. From last night until this moment, I have gone back and forth about whether or not I should even continue with school. There's the debate of finances and loans to pay for this 'frivolous' side path of life, and the inevitable questions of whether or not it is even possible to have a creative career when one is through school, and, my personal favorite, the mind-numbing and self-defeating ideas of whether or not I'm even capable of getting through this without completely losing my mind.
The meltdown came in the form of a completely hysterical, crying, hiccuping, whining, self-effacing phone call with my mother. "I don't want to do any of it anymore!" and "I just want to get a job and have a normal life!" were at the top of the list of comments which came from my mouth this afternoon. This phone call was then followed up (and also previewed) by conversations with Sam that went very similarly. "Why am I here?" I keep asking myself, and I don't seem to ever quite answer the question.
At this point, I am severely in debt with school loans in order to have the opportunity to pursue an avenue that has interested me, but to which I was never privy to travel down. As I see things, I have three options:
1) Give up completely, drop out now, and find a job doing something I know how to do and begin repaying loans.
2) Continue the semester I'm in and be done with it in December; at that point, get a job and begin loan repayment.
3) Finish what I started, have the degree at the end of all of this (still about two years out, unfortunately), and then begin an even larger loan repayment plan.
An hour ago, the decision was option one, a half hour ago, it was option two, and at the present moment I've moved on to option three. While I'm sure I will continue to debate which option is best for me, option one is only available for a few more days, at which time the clock will strike midnight and I will turn back into a pumpkin, err, uh, an art student (at least for 15 more weeks). Though the second option is tempting to me, every semester I'm in school it becomes less and less reasonable to stop going. After all, I should have something to show for all this time at the end of this mess.
In all of my blabbering though, Sam made an excellent point: If it's not fun, you aren't going to want to do it... so make it fun. It seems simple enough, but putting into play seems to be more of a challenge. I need to stop taking it all so seriously (it's not someone's life hanging in the balance after all... okay, so my life kind of hangs in the balance, but it's definitely not life or death) and figure out a way to make it fun again. When things become tired, monotonous and routine, who would want to continue on? So, that has become my challenge: figuring out how to make this interesting and fun again. I'm not promising that I'll see this through to the bitter end, but at the moment, I feel the need to carry on and figure out what will make it enjoyable once again. An attitude change is definitely in order and I have to remind myself how many people would love to be in my shoes (and how I, myself, wanted to be in my present shoes just a few short years ago). I can change the way I see this, and I know that it really is about how I'm viewing it and not that I am a victim of some hilaciously horrible moment in time. I also need to remind myself that it isn't important what anyone in the classroom thinks, but rather that I am getting what I wanted or needed out of any given class. It's not always easy to remind myself of this because I find that I am so often just trying to please the instructor.
The one moment today that truly made me stop and laugh though was going to check the mail this afternoon and finding an early birthday present from Sam's mom: a gift certificate for art supplies. I couldn't help but smile and think, "Okay, so maybe I need to at least get through this semester." I'm very fortunate to have people around me who will listen to me carry on, change my mind, and then change it back again (and sometimes change it yet again to option C, D, or Z). I am so grateful for them, and that, even if they don't always understand my craziness, they let me get through it in my own way.
I am, after all, a squiggle, man!