Squelch. That’s the sound of my head imploding. Now that my brain’s about the consistency of lukewarm applesauce, Life’s taken me on as an art project: steadily scooping out a spoonful at a time and fondling thoughts. She engages this sick game of hedonism, giggling while She spreads it around with grubby fingers, much akin to the way a child does paint.
School assignments wear heavy boots-the steel-toe, construction type; I can only assume that the repeated kicks to my chest are what jolts my heart into spasmodic palpitations and keeps this body in motion (albeit sometimes robotic in nature).
You know, I should probably be studying for that midterm next week…but look at me: the dull cyan light of my monitor casting shadows under the bags of my eyes, heavily caffeinated and slouched on the sofa, struggling to string together a bunch of broken ideas and reflect on my university experience. I’m grasping at knowledge, like pieces of shrapnel, and trying to stuff them into the holes laden throughout my body; but it cuts, with serrated edges digging deeper. Hollows have grown to elephantine proportions; I’ll have to polish up that shrapnel if I wish it to imbue my gaping apertures with anything of significance.
This brings me to my first bout of reflection…
Through some trial and error, I’m learning to gestate information and derive nutrients (meaning). It’s kind of a life-shattering revelation: my experience in school has transformed from observing in an inept institution into this grotesque entity of self-actualization.
An image to illustrate my immediate response to the transformation of academia
Balancing life and studies has proven difficult. I’ve come to realize that perhaps spending 40 hours huddled over an enormity of blank canvas and screaming at my pencils isn’t realistic, nor is it the most efficacious endeavor (my mind proves obstinate when it’s running on caffeine and conjectures). Think about trying to balance barefoot on a needle while juggling all of your responsibilities both in and outside of academia (try to remember to eat at least once a day, and coffee doesn’t serve as adequate substitute for water-even if you drink those 8 cups a day). You’d think by now I’d be starting to build up some time-management skills, but that’s not exactly accurate; you see, I’m not quite adept in this concept of time and one of the many perks of being an insomniac is that it affords me the ability to procrastinate twice as long as people who actually sleep at night.
Adulting’s hard. I’ve noted a lack of direction in assignments in contrast to my high school experience (hooray for freedom?). Previous years have brought me to the edge of a cliff, university gave me a shove and now I’m free-falling; but they forgot to give me a parachute. Figure it out they said, but there’s not enough time, nor any materials to build anything substantial before my carcass splatters and innards bestrewn.
Most often (I’m doing it now), following the completion of an assignment I review it and ask myself, “is this good? “. I look over the given descriptions and feel that I don’t follow them closely; I notice my tangents and try to cleanse the piece of my verbal diarrhea. As much as I try to quiet that reckless passion, I find it snaking its way through my diction and into my paragraphs. The general response to my work is a resounding face palm; incessant voices whispering and humming: you’ve spent 5 hours staring at your work and trying to fix it…all you’ve done is molded a piece of shit into a piece of shit that resembles a better piece of shit. Oh well, time’s up…make like a monkey and hurl it.
I had a plan when I enrolled in university, but now it’s obscured by perceived inadequacies. I’ve secured projection dunce hat and sit silently in the corner, leaving footnotes of uncertainty at the bottom of pages. My life is a series of neglected probably should’s and the abandonment of reasoning.
But that’s not to say that I’m completely oblivious to the inner-mechanisms at work while I slough through the unknown. Without divulging absurdity in detail, there has been a profound shift in my views towards analytical undertakings. I’m able to extract and infer a great detail; and I actually enjoy it. Reading through papers has become a delicate surgical procedure. The organs I procure can then be delicately observed and manipulated, and quite often transplanted into my own works.
I don’t readily articulate past experiences and I’ve tried to bury them, but I’ve learned, primarily through my writing and artwork, that digging that baggage up and examining it isn’t as frightening as I had initially conceived it to be. I can roll it around my tongue and weave it through my fingertips; I can put it down on paper. Reflecting and expressing myself through writing helps me continue to learn and look back on the progress I’ve made. All of my courses and their various assignments teach me something, besides the ability to regurgitate facts (I’m well-versed in that respect).
I’m most looking forward to continuing to explore art and interpretation as I’m starting to shape and strengthen my voice and my opinions and as I’m beginning to understand myself more through investigation and explanation. It’s a nebulous expedition that I hadn’t anticipated, not simply defined by it’s ups and downs; it’s sideways and zigzagging and trying to make sense of it all.
I’m the kid trying to force the square peg into the circular hole; if I push hard enough I could probably wear down the edges enough to make it fit…or I’ll just figure out some way around it.