Four Beers Later

Author oh, rebecca. Category ,

I want you all to know how difficult it is to be a new art-school student, ten or so years older than most of the other students in my classes, with a mentality like mine:

I wound easily, bruise on contact, scare loudly, blush maddeningly, embarrass publicly, have a thin skin and an irascible temper. I offend quickly, bite sharply, cry freely, apologize ridiculously, lose ambition often. I miss the mark, I resent sentiments, I upset myself, I upset others, I hold grudges, I get nervous, I quit early, I analyze overmuch. I refuse to look you in the eye if you've hurt my feelings, I hold my head low but my eyes high, I look above and beyond where I currently am: if you are in front of me, you might soon be behind me.

I'm human.
You are too.

I worry, I misstep, I make mistakes, I regroup, I learn, I re-learn, I sometimes need a refresher in my learnings and re-learnings. I'm bad at math and logic, I'm good at creativity and troubleshooting. I don't suffer fools kindly, quickly, wisely, or surely. I don't mean to hurt your feelings but I probably will, at some point, unwittingly, unwillingly.

But I say yes to new things, new challenges, new people, new projects, new places, new me, new you. I give chances and chances and chances. I try alternate routes, different roads, consult maps, search, research.

I almost never know, but I almost always think.

If something is too much for me: I stop, collaborate and listen. I come back with a brand new invention. I not-so-begrudgingly reference Vanilla Ice well into the 21st century.

There are few things that give me more anxiety than group or one-on-one critiques (this specifically applies to art school, but can be broadened to nearly anything: work, relationships, family). In the past, I have habitually neglected to leave anything resembling or representing my own creativity up for debate, or criticism, or review, or help. Unfortunately, there's no way around that in art school. Though every time I'm required to tape up a drawing or painting in front of the class and sit imperceptibly shaking in the corner, my heart beats a little faster, I pray a little non-denominational prayer, I think that that which doesn't kill me only makes me stronger (trite but true). Old Rebecca fobbed off compliments, took criticism harshly, ignored ambivalence. New Rebecca is learning, albeit slowly, slowly, slowly, to accept compliments, take criticism constructively, and question ambivalence.

In art, in life.

Art school is not giving me confidence (which in my opinion and experience is often falsified and short-lived), but acceptance, of how things are (normally, regularly) done and should be done. It's a process, in progress. I don't do it right often or correctly, but I do it nonetheless.

Did I just enumerate a bunch of negative things about myself without accentuating the positive? I did. But I'm not sure you're ready for all the positives about me. Some people never will be. Some people already know and are thinking all those things in their computative brains just reading this, countering each and every negative trait I've mentioned. Just know and remember that I am me, and I am human: the bad things about me may be more noticeable, more prominent on first glance, but there is a veritable goldmine of good things, and you don't even have to dig far. They are there, yea and verily.

Because I, according to art school and various other sources, including myself, and probably you, am awesome.

I think you are too.


Lara Eichhorn said...

You are awesome! And I'm happy that you remember that.

Critty Critty Bang Bang said...

I'm a non-traditional student as well.

Lets start a "I kick ass" club.

mylittlebecky said...

i loved this! a lot :)

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