I found out on Friday night that I was accepted to Bowdoin College (which, for those not from around these parts, is a small liberal arts college in Brunswick, Maine). I screamed. And then I cried.
And then I got the financial aid package and I cried again because I can go without crippling debts when I graduate.
Last night, I drove by the campus for the first time since receiving the news (I live five minutes away). I cried for the third time.
I couldn’t help myself. I feel so incredibly blessed and humbled and I wish I had an outlet for this energy radiating out of me. I don’t know what I should do first, or how to process all that has happened these past few days.
I have officially enrolled and I could not be more ecstatic!
My other college options did not unfold as expected/planned. Had Bowdoin not accepted me, I don’t know what I’d be doing with myself right now. I just… I’m speechless. For the first time in my life, I am truly speechless– about how my life is unfolding, the gifts I have been given, and the opportunities just around the corner.
If there’s one thing that I best remember my grandmother saying, it’s the ever-present echo of one single word: “Persevere!” Every time I’d get frustrated or want to call it quits, she’d sing-song this word– which, of course, would send me through the roof.
I was such an impatient kid, but I am becoming increasingly more aware that I have never truly conquered this childhood struggle. At this in-between phase of my new life, it feels like I’m often trapped in a revolving waiting room door: waiting for college acceptances, waiting to become aware of my purpose, waiting for the rest of my “real” life to begin. It hasn’t been since these changes have occurred that I’ve realized just how much I crave– and, to a certain degree, expect– immediacy. The old adage of “Good things come to those who wait” seems to me to be the most asinine phrase. Surely there can be nothing “good” about the restlessness, the anxiety, or even fear that comes with treading the waters of the unknown.
My need for patience has infiltrated every corner of my life, and it seems to me that this convergence must be a sign that now is the time where I have to learn my lesson. There’s no sense in putting it off any longer. I will wait for college acceptances and have faith that I will end up where I’m supposed to be. I will cut out the self-deprecation for X, Y, Z and wait for improvement and enlightenment. I will stop settling for things or people I’m not happy with and wait for something/someone right to come along. I will stop trying to force personal relationships and let them progress easily, naturally. I will not wish my youth away in anticipation for adulthood.
I will also have to wait to see the results of patience. The irony of this just seems too ridiculous to be real.
But it is. So I will wait, and I will savor it. Slowly, and with no reservations.
Over the past few months, I’ve grown increasingly addicted to watching videos about mixed media techniques and art journal pages on Youtube. Youtube is an invaluable resource for garnering new tips and tricks to use in your art, and I love seeing everyone’s individual style.
Or rather, I loveD seeing everyone’s individual style. More often than not, art journal pages and collages have started to look just like everyone else’s. Everyone’s using the same products in the exact same ways– all in the name of the mixed media “style.” I really object to this new attitude for a lot of reasons. I guess what bothers me the most is when Youtubers refer to mixed media as a “style.” Mixed media is not a “style” like Pop Art or Impressionism, it’s simply a description of the materials you use. The whole point of choosing mixed media as your medium is to have the freedom and flexibility to create things that are unique to YOU. Don’t defeat the purpose by trying to be like someone else!
Also, there seems to be a total abandonment of craftsmanship and intention! Jackson Pollock literally threw paint on canvas, but you can bet that he calculated precisely where each splat would be placed. Doing shoddy work because “it’s mixed media and it’s okay” is really quite despicable. If you’re creating for YOU and for your own enjoyment, take a little pride in what you’re doing, ESPECIALLY if you’re putting it out there for others to learn from. If anything, YOU deserve better from yourself!
I know, I know. There are no rules to art. And who am I to judge anyway? It’s just disheartening that people, I feel, are limiting themselves by trying to mimic a certain “style” instead of steering their creativity and imagination in their own unique direction.
Over February vacation, I rediscovered my love for hand-carved stamps. I dug out a chunk of unmounted linoleum, a few odd erasers, and an X-Acto and went to town.
And so it was that in an effort to try my new stamps, I made 83 pendants out of brown stoneware clay.
My next step after these beauties have gone through the bisque and glaze fires is to open an Etsy shop. Someone, somewhere must want these. I know I can’t stop looking at them!
I started this new blog as an outlet specifically for my creative thoughts– for the words coiling around my brain, for the art itching to be seen, and for the occasional playlist or two.
I also started this blog to snap out of the Winter Blues. Here in New England, it’s a long, wet, miserable season that often decimates my motivation to create. I figure that with the added encouragement of a prospective audience, it just might give me the spark to get me going again and to maybe offer advice and guidance for those in a similar situation.
Finally, I just wanted to have fun with something! Art, music and literature have become opportunities for people to pursue elitism and general snobbery. That’s not what I believe the arts should be about. Art should be enjoyable for everyone, not just for those who are creating. Art should be open. Art should be freeing. Art should be a connection to our world, a reminder that the human experience is a shared one. So I’m not going to think, I’m just going to do. I’m going to open myself up and make what I make and write what I write. I am going to have fun.
Maybe this blog will help make a difference with my fight (or even yours!). But in the meantime, I’m sure I’ll enjoy the process.