I’m not even going to apologize for not posting for two weeks again… I think maybe we should all just accept that I’m terrible at keeping up a regular blog. Don’t let that stop you from reading on though! Prepare yourselves for a first class tangent!
So this past week I have been in a really strange frame of mind. I’ve been totally spacy, restless, and unable to focus on anything for more than a few minutes at a time. I have been daydreaming like there is no tomorrow, and having incredibly vivid dreams. This is very much unlike me. I don’t think I’ve daydreamed or let my mind wander so much since I was in high school. I typically don’t have time to be unfocused…adulthood and responsibility have sucked that luxury from me. In fact, if my mind does wander these days, it goes to the list of things I need to accomplish during the day, and then the ever increasing things piling up that are waiting to be taken care of when I have a free moment.
Needless to say, this past week was an interesting one for me. I kept forgetting things everywhere, calling the kids at work by the complete wrong name, leaving the house with out my lunch, losing track of time on my lunch break walks and coming back late… I sat down twice to try to write a blog post, and couldn’t get past the first sentence, and forget trying to finish reading Why Art Cannot Be Taught. In fact, right now as I’m typing, I have to keep stopping because I am unsure if my words are spelled correctly, and then I get distracted by something else. It’s been a long week.
On Thursday or Friday, the husband said something mean to me, but in a teasing manner of course. As a joke, I told him I was just going to leave him for Joseph Gordon-Levitt (We had just seen The Dark Knight Rises, and I have long harbored an innocent crush on said gent..and who wouldn’t? He’s handsome and incredibly talented. hitRECord anyone?). The husband’s retort caused me to pause for a moment. His reply was something along the lines of: “He is so far out of your league you have no idea…” Obviously that’s a very negative thing to say, and really, if Mr. Gordon-Levitt is out of my league, what does that say about Hubsley? But, what really made me stop and think, was the implication that even if realistically speaking I am unlikely to ever meet this person, I should not even be thinking about it. The thought should not cross my mind.
Now, in conjunction with my daydreamy self, I began to wonder exactly why and how it had come about that I had ever stopped daydreaming to begin with, and then I started pondering why it was so unacceptable to daydream, or have dreams that were perhaps beyond reality. I have spent all summer teaching art to kids who so absolutely nothing wrong with dreaming unrealistically, so I can hardly say that its a bad thing.
I’m not going to lie… A huge part of why I became an artist is because I got to exist in a world in which my ideas could be bigger than life, and where whimsical, unlikely things are encouraged. But somewhere along the lines I have completely lost that. Instead of having daydreams unlikely hopes, and dare I say, fantasies?…I have goals, targets and intents. I have concrete, realistic, mature markers by which to gauge my success and progress in life. I spend next to no time in that imaginary world that belongs solely to myself, where I can think (or rather dream) about life’s possibilities, outside the realm of reality.
Of course leaving this world behind is part of growing up, entering the “real” world, and accepting responsibilities. But that doesn’t mean that our own personal imaginary worlds are gone for good, and there are some people who continue to enter into them as adults. But I think in my case, my chosen path into academia, was the final poison arrow to my ability to day dream. I don’t know what it is, but academia really jades you. You lose your sense of possibility, and it becomes about quantifying, recording, and proving exactly what you can achieve. It becomes less about the process and more about the end result. You may begin with an out of this world idea, but if you can’t conceivably achieve it by the next review or the end of the semester, you lower your sights and the idea morphs into something more realistic. You don’t get points for being daring or risky, or really for failing. Professors will deny this, but I really think it’s true. As a result of this, I think I stopped entering into that world of daydreams and non-realities, because I became so utterly focused on what I could realistically achieve. Subsequently, because I became so absolutely terrified of failure, I didn’t dare to dream. Does that make sense? Maybe it’s just me that’s lost this ability in life, I haven’t done a scientific double blind test in order to prove my theories. I’ll get right on that…
When I brought all of this up to the husband (I opened the conversation with: “Remember the other day when you told me Joseph Gordon-Levitt was out of my league?” using my best serious face. Ahhh, the look on his face was great!), he offered the characteristically stodgy academic response: “Well I remember in one of Orloff’s classes, we discussed the idea that analysis decreases pleasure.” (Orloff is Deborah Orloff, a professor we both took classes with in undergrad.) He then launched into a lecture about whether as artists we should forgo that analysis and understanding for the pure pleasure of creation. *Buzzer Sound* He totally missed the point of what I had to say. It is not only about being an artist, its about being human, and also about reclaiming that part of yourself that you frequently deny. I’m not advocating a complete return to our imaginary worlds, but maybe just a visit every once in awhile to brighten our days and put life into perspective.
So, until the day that I die, I will make it a point to re-incorporate daydreams and unrealistic hopes (as opposed to the unrealistic goals and expectations I frequently struggle with) into my daily life. As such, I will continue to hold out on the hope that I will get to go on a date with Joesph Gordon-Levitt. So Mr. Gordon-Levitt, if you are out there and by some freak chance read this blog… Pretty, pretty please? Don’t worry, I have a permission slip from the husband! Marital discord will not be sowed. Don’t make me start an internet campaign…hahaha. I’m certain that came off as creepy, but it is meant in the most harmless, funny way possible.
Hope all of you imaginary readers enjoyed another random tangent brought to you by me.