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Ceci n'est pas un New Years Entry

(trigger warning - kind of introspective and mope-y)

Fucking New Year's Eve. Here's to another year of fuckery and grumbling, of incessant despair and pathetic failure, of utter lack of achievement. Or, just possibly, the beginning of a new thing. It's been a year since the heart attack. Since then, I've gotten my first degree. I've ...done very little else. This has not been a year of achievement. What has this been a year of?

Maintenance. Just keep paddling. Just keep swimming. What else is there? Swim til you drown.
I keep thinking that I can pull myself free if I just, y'know, DO it. But that's the rub, innit, it's just an act of will, will that I apparently don't have.

Read a post by somebody, I forget who, who said there's no shame in admitting that you're not the artist you think you should be, and that it's ok to just acknowledge that and do something else with your life. If you don't art, if you don't write, then you're not an artist/writer/creative. You're just a regular person who consumes art, appreciates it, and goes on with their life.

That's really the most depressing thing I can think of, right now. Because I've got nothing else to be. Yeah, there's the family, and I love them, and I'll keep pushing and working to keep them fed and sheltered and loved til I drop, but that's just the stuff I do because it's the stuff I do. It's not who I am. Is it? Yeah, I'm the husband and the dad. That's part of me. But it's not all of me. Is it? Do I have anything else to be?

I have these abilities. I'm a decent writer, I'm a semi-competent artist, or at least I've produced decent written work and decent visual work. I still trickle bits out, here and there. I'd be better if I did the work more often and kept in productive shape. I didn't earn them, these abilities, not really. They've always been there, at least the rudiments. As long as I can remember, anyway. But part of me feels like they're not really true, maybe. They're just things I've lucked into, that I've shaped my life around the expectation of doing, despite the fact that I've never been able to make myself do them consistently and reliably.

It's probably a bit late to rework my life around something else. It's not like I've got the skills for anything else.

I wanted to be a scientist when I was young. (Actually, I wanted to be a mad scientist, but whatever.) I'm still interested in the sciences, but that's a long and difficult road to climb onto at the best of times. Trying to do it at my age, that's a whole other level of not-at-all-likely to happen.

I wanted to be a historian. I'd still like to be one, really. I'd probably really enjoy teaching history, under other social circumstances. But with the academic environment as it is, and the cost of entry climbing ever higher, I'd end up bankrupting myself again for something that would never pay off and would probably break my heart. I like reading and learning about history, and talking about it, and sharing neat ideas, and finding a way to get paid to do that would be excellent. But I can't really see a way to do that from here.

So, what I have left are the arts. Or the rest of a lifetime of drudgery and drone-work. I love story. Capital S Story. I love making the pictures in my head a reality. (Well, I love the IDEA of making the pictures in my head a reality. I hate the inevitable disappointment of what comes out of my hands.) I love the idea of taking the stories in my had out and showing them to people, even though they never look like what they looked like in my head.

Is it that attachment to the ideal that kills my drive to create? That expectation of disappointment with the result, the divide between what I think of as the "real version", the one in my head, and the Actually Real Version, the one on the page? Or is it just laziness? Is that a useful descriptor? Are these useful questions to ask?

...Fucked if I know, really.

So, that's how I start the new year. Asking myself the same questions I always do. Am I gonna get the same answers? Am I gonna get any answers?

Are there any answers?


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jan. 3rd, 2013 08:18 pm (UTC)
Yah. I'd like to go back and "thwack" your parents for what they did to you...though most American parents did the same BS to their kids since the late 60's.
"You're Special". "You can be ANYTHING you WANT TO BE". BOTH set you up to be screwed over/up.
The Former: VERY FEW folks are "Special". Everyone IS, however Unique. "Special" Implies BETTER THAN.
The Latter: You can be anything your Abilities, Effort and CIRCUMSTANCES allow you to be.
This Fukkt up method of Parenting causes 1/2 to be like you, thinking having a Normal life is a FAILURE. The other 1/2 think that they automatically deserve better in ANY situaltion in life.
You've got a better life than most of the frigg'n planet(including ME). Be Thankful for both wht you've been Given AND what you've been able to Achieve.
And slap your parents for me;>!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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