Process 4: Balance

Process does not always mean laying out an intensive plan, sometimes it just means writing until you cannot write anymore. I was speaking to one of my housemates and something came up that I didn’t expect. We were talking about old work and the balance between protecting ourselves and looking back on the garbage that we had written before. I like reading the old stuff, which by my standards are not great art, but I love the growth. I love the way that I can map my progress with the words that I have written in the past. I like growth, I like being able track my progress. None of us are ever going to make the first thing perfect, or the second thing or even the third thing. It takes time, and being about to read back on the embarrassing pieces makes me hopeful because I am improving. That’s what this process project is all about, writing the completely raw things for no one to see, in hopes that I can process it better once I am further removed and feeling less vulnerable about what I am posting.

Part of the problem is I feel like I cannot be completely honest without scaring people, In no way am I a danger to myself, but I still fear that words that I write on this page are ones that may unintentionally hurt people. I always proud myself in being completely honest, but at the same time it is emotionally draining to share the rawness. I share enough to be honest while protecting myself, but recently it has not been enough.

I’m going to share a little bit about which I am writing at the moment, which is going to be very rare in these process posts. At the moment I’m dealing with potential, when I was a bit younger I had a fire in me that got stuff done, I was unstoppable, even in college I created things that are risks and vulnerable for me, when I was in high school I created a coffeehouse type music venue. At the moment my full time job is completely draining, it pays the bills, but I always feel like I’ve gotten hit by a truck towards the end of the day, it’s physical, it’s eight hours a day of just pure exhaustion, physical backbreaking work sprinkled with dealing with difficult customers, and working the floor. It’s too much work for too little pay. I saw myself as a young person making art consistently and doing my dream, Now all I worry about is bills and health insurance. It’s frustrating. I’ve got a lot of ideas, just no energy to follow through. I’m hoping things are looking up very soon.

The good thing is I’m surrounded by other motivated people, so making work and writing a lot has helped. I miss being a visual artist, and I’m starting to think that the wait period between making a series and trying to plan one should be shorter, I need a new job or two part time jobs in order to make this happen. I figure I stay at my full time job long enough to save up to do this, which I can do. I’ve suffered through worse, but in order to complete any sort of dream I’ve got to be able to save. I wonder how many more artists would be able to make things work if they didn’t have to worry about insurance, skyrocketing rents (this is something I’m grateful for, my landlord is amazing and charges us such reasonable rates.).

Community building is so essential and the process of doing so creates a lot of creative energy and beautiful energy in the house. I’ve never lived with a group of people that are so passionate about sharing their energy and life with each other.

The balance comes in when we’re learning our boundaries as an artist, learning what is okay and what isn’t okay to share. Not because I am considering my audience, which was the excuse I lived with for a long time. IT is me that still needs protection. It is me that needs to prevent ripping my heart out every time I write something on here. I am protecting myself, and I hope that changes, because honesty is the best policy, but my health comes first.

Here I am explaining myself again to try to soften the subtle blows that I have no choice without concerning people. It’s the horrible thing of the more you insist you are sane when you have documented your illness, the less people believe you.

More came out in this blog than I intended it to be, but I think it was needed. Maybe tomorrow I’ll write a poem or an absurd retail job post, Lighten things up a little.