Catch Up

August 9, 2014 § 3 Comments

I had coffee today because I was in a bad mood and I’m an addict; only half a cup but I’m awake enough now at 2am to finally update here again. My Summer of Too Many Yeses is winding down, and I think I did well. Not as well as I could have had I not stretched myself so thin, but that’s neither here nor there. I don’t seem to have made it on to anyone’s black list, so that’s a plus, and overall I was pretty happy with my work. We flew to New Hampshire for a wedding weekend the morning after opening, about 4 hours after I left the opening night party in fact (but see? Socializing with coworkers! I’m doing it!), effectively kicking off a four-day migraine. And then on Tuesday, when I was 99% sure I was dying of some horrible rotting brain syndrome, I was convinced to drink a cup of coffee and immediately found out that I was fine and could cancel all my doctor’s appointments that a half hour ago I doubted I would live to see.

And now I’m in catch-up mode, getting returns done, turning in receipts, tracking down payments. It’s the part I should love the most, the getting paid part, but it involves so much paperwork, excel spreadsheets, and no creativity whatsoever that I basically hate it.

And I have fall projects I’m gearing up for, because I can’t sit still. But tonight was a great reminder for what I can fill my life with if I don’t work all the time. Because that’s a real worry for me: what the hell do I do if I’m not constantly running from one obligation to another? Sometimes I feel like I don’t trust myself enough to have an interesting life without scheduling out every minute with work. And I have reason to worry, because in the darkest days of my chosen unemployment, I did Absolutely Nothing. Not even one thing. I didn’t stretch myself, I didn’t strive for any goals, I barely cleaned up after myself. And it was super lame, and I don’t want to be that lame again.

But then tonight: my client cancelled with me due to unfortunate unforeseen circumstances, and I reached out to a few friends. I ended up going to my first drop-in drawing class in years, in which I drew this bitchface queen:

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And then we got crepes and watched Boyhood at the Charles Theater and it blew my mind. I can’t stop thinking about this film. But it’s not the kind of thing I can review; just call me up and we can discuss it over a beer. I’m already ready to tackle its not-quite 3 hours again.

It was a perfect night; so perfect I didn’t think about jobs or money or any of the nagging worries that have been plaguing me for months. And I made art, and I enjoyed art, and I spent some great one-on-one time with one of my favorites, and with a friend group like ours it can be hard to get alone time.

And I posted that picture to the internet, which terrifies and thrills me. I still feel a bit sick knowing more talented others can see it and pick it apart, but up it will stay. So yeah, little victories and a pointed reminder that work is not the only thing that makes for an interesting life.

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§ 3 Responses to Catch Up

  • Z says:

    All of this rings true. We should chat sometime about how relaxing and doing nothing feels strangely unnatural. Also I need to see Boyhood.

  • nevie b. says:

    ayay i should read your blog more. i sorta feel like you read my mind. especially this: “Because that’s a real worry for me: what the hell do I do if I’m not constantly running from one obligation to another? Sometimes I feel like I don’t trust myself enough to have an interesting life without scheduling out every minute with work.”

    I FEEL THIS SO HARD. grad school ended and i go home and say “um, what do i do now? oh, train. but after that…?” it’s a struggle to not feel worthless when i’m not working, because we’re conditioned to believe we’re only worth something when contributing to society.

    but i think we open ourselves creatively when we do exactly what you did, which is stop, and let go, and have fun. and it’s so easy to say and not easy to make time for and allow yourself to do, but i always think of that dead poets quote. what we stay alive for. beauty, romance, poetry, art. if i sit and read the same poem 40 times in a row, not because an english teacher told me to, or even if i have to clean the living room, even BETTER. life is worth enjoying, and *enjoy* is my favorite verb. to make joy an active choice.

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