i’ve spent the last several years distracting myself. maybe eight years or so. with work. i love to work to avoid what’s underneath. it’s an easy way to admire yourself and have others admire my work ethic, when really i’m avoiding a mass weight of life under the surface.
it has also been the ultimate means for presenting my flawed decision making tactic: spontaneity. it’s not that i skydive frequently. it’s more like i overwork and worry on mindless, unimportant things as if they matter to the point that i avoid thinking about crucial issues so that i just make important decisions in the moment. then i overthink the aftermath when i have no choices.
recently i took a new job. it’s the first job i’ve had since university where i leave work and actually leave work. it’s normal office hours (a shock to my psyche). i’ve had time to think. and write. and evaluate. and be introspective. it’s been therapeutic, and honestly, a little agonizing. but i’m feeling peaceful to acknowledge more within.
when i changed my major from art to business very spontaneously in college, it seemed right. a friend of mine had just died, and i was trying to cope. i could keep my scholarships. i wouldn’t have to spend six to eight more years in school. my artistic mentors even suggested the change, because they said i’d get farther in life professionally and artistically with a bachelor’s in business.
with the flick of a pen, my mentality changed for years and years. as an art major, the world was bright with hues and forms. everywhere i looked, a painting. a project. boundless energy. trading to business, i struggled. there was artistic opportunity. there were people to influence and communicate toward in marketing. but it wasn’t art. at it’s core, it’s science. feeding science to an artistic brain changes it. i became less creative. my ability to paint and my focus on what i loved in career and hobby died a little.
during this same time in my life i had the greatest romantic love i’ve ever known. will i ever know anything as great? i spent so many years denying that it was a love for the ages. but inevitably, it’s shaped all the chasing, running, and comparing i have done these subsequent years. thrilling myself with feelingless flings, jumping into relationships with major red flags, hoping on people who invest little in me. have i even healed properly? i know true love and i have experienced bliss. yet i have recklessly pursued so many situations that are unfulfilling and full of pain.
business is a great degree. the men in my life are great people. but the choices to invest my life have all been snap. i can see moments like stops in a film reel when continuing the course instead of spontaneously diverging would have benefited my dreams, my health, my heart. hindsight is haunting. but who would i be without the pain of knowing? maybe someone more. maybe someone less.
i am my experiences, so how could i know?
i wouldn’t have my child.
i am a marketer now.
i am an artist still. i’m simply a different artist than i envisioned in my teens. a graphic artist. a practical, everyday artist. i do make a living designing, so my art teachers were right. that paid off. i may not be painting still life or drawing illustrations on a whim like i might have a decade ago, but i’ve learned my mind can be altered by its environment and its training.
maybe i’ll never know love like i once had it, but i am grateful i had it for a moment in time. i don’t miss a person. it’s a difficult feeling to articulate. when a person is young, they don’t know what’s ahead. they think there is so much of what they’re holding. i was naive to how unique sharing intellectual depth, understanding, connection and chemistry is. spending unsuccessful years trying to grasp that concept in others is maddening and lonely, maybe even impossible.
diving inward can be dark some days. ultimately, i feel very peaceful. i am in a friendly place with everything that could be negative. all of my triggers are at a distance. i’d rather experience some loneliness and be in an honest, authentic place than cover up with distraction and chaos. i think there’s a place for spontaneity in making decisions. some of my snap decisions have been beautiful. some have been challenging. methinks, for now, i will be more thoughtful.