Okay? Okay. Okay.

Next year, hopefully, I’ll be starting a three year degree in Visual Arts. My art is something I’ve always enjoyed and though I still have a great deal to learn I can see the considerable progress I have made since sketching long haired boys in my Economics class with hands that look like a mincer was involved. To do something I love, something that I will put my all into and thoroughly enjoy strikes ice cold fear within my humble, home-is-where-security-is soul.

Long ago I decided I couldn’t get a job as an artist without actually trying. Always I have placed it down to not having enough ‘talent’, not understanding as the fucking bean I was that to get ‘talent’ you needed thorough practice and the advice of other artists as well as some solid confidence in your own work and chosen style. That’s important. The word that scares me the most in that first sentence is one you might guess: job. It’s highly likely I’ll struggle to get a job in that field. Perhaps I’ll get one off the bat. Perhaps I won’t even get a job. In this current reality it’s difficult to tell and really depends on your charisma than your skills as a creative person. That’s something I don’t like to consider.

Even now writing these supposedly harmless words is giving me first degree anxiety. Ah yes, anxiety my old nemesis. Come to keep me awake as I lay in bed crying? Perhaps you’ll distract me to the point that I book a doctor’s appointment and have no idea why. You see me looking starry eyed onto that course in Visual Arts and to you it looks like a three course meal with a Baked Alaska on the side. All too easily you’d tear through these ethereal dreams and leave me adequately fucked and wanting to die (again). However this time I cannot let you do this. From the recesses of my mind I’ve pulled out a feeling layered in dust and old memories, not all good. I haven’t used impulse in a long while, spare when the waiter suddenly appears and I have to decide if I want a hash brown with my eggs. Now I need it, even if mistakes are made.

There’s a particular dilemma I have with inspiring quotes and idyllic concepts that people use to drive themselves. You know the ones I speak of. Live on impulse and with good friends, decide on the day and dance through the night, do whatever you are passionate about in life, do it now now now, travel and love and flourish, you only live once and the money isn’t worth it. Though I don’t word it particularly well it’s the kind of crud you’ll find on the fridge of any middle aged couple with a few kids behind them and dreams of the Caribbean boiling between them. While I fully support being motivated and some of the statements should be lived by (you only live once so you better get the deluxe milkshake with extra cream don’t go pussyfootin’ and get the medium) others are contradicting. You must act now to get to what you love and take high stake risks, but what about slow and steady wins the race? Always strive for the highest success and challenge the challengers. I suppose that’s looking the gift horse in the mouth. I thought about this a lot as a child. What am I supposed to be if there are two different, perfect ways to do it? Whichever way I tried to do it always seemed the wrong way anyway, a maddened bastard of a hybrid who was too boisterous but with nothing to say and urinated when things became too exciting. What I’m trying to say is that following a risk-induced goal like this is hard when you don’t know what advice to take or how impulsive to be. Raised on the belief that a good life was a well paying job (a statement my psych responded to with ‘ah, that old chestnut’) and openly turning away from it to do something strange and dangerous and fun is fearsome.

I’m sorry if I’ve been utterly intolerable over the past few horrible days. Hopefully, after this, I’ll slowly grow more confident in my choices and begin enjoying life or at least tolerating it like an disillusioned child on the carousal. There’s something my mother (who I strive to succeed in the ways she wished she did, another reason I chose visual arts. I shall expand on that one day, as I with a thousand other things) said today when I was ready to throw the day away at 11am and simply sleep. “If you had a choice, would you rather be dead or doing a visual arts degree?” It put my struggle into very simple terms and made a very simple answer make very strange sense. Yes mum, I’d rather be doing something I love to do than dying, losing this world and you.

It’s worth the risk.