Still Alive and Kicking (But now in Chicago!)

Fair warning… I have no idea where this is going.

I’ve been absent for well over a year now.  This blog was even hidden from public view for at least six months while I decided what to do with it.  Should I just delete it, and all the art thoughtz that went into it?  Or perhaps just leave it as private permanently?  Should it go public again, and I delete only the things that relate to my professional practice and make this an entirely personal blog?  Should I rename the whole damn thing?  Should I just start over on a new blog?

Yes.  I’ve actually been thinking about these things for over a year.  And, with so many things having changed in my life in that time span, I’ve really been missing this blog, especially the long drawn out art ramblings that always, in some magical way, seemed to clarify my studio adventures.  The Anxiety and the Artist so encapsulates everything I am.  I cannot totally divorce my personal and professional lives, nor can I erase something that documents the changes and growth in my life.

So here we are again.  I find myself with nothing to do on a Sunday, because my normal routine has been disrupted due to some banking issues.  Thus, I finally have the time to do what’s been kicking around in my head for the last month or so.  Start this blog back up.  It’s a good time to do so, and I think an important time to do so as well.

In many ways, the concerns I voiced in my last post are very much in the forefront of my mind, but I feel less… Rushed?  Less like things need to happen NOW?  But also so much more complicated.  Some of that is because I’ve gotten a “real” job and I’ve moved out of Tallahassee.  I feel possibilities now.  I feel like I’m making progress professionally (even if only incrementally).  So now, in some ways, I’m totally content being alone.  I don’t have to worry about anyone’s motives or intentions.  I don’t have to fear the moment where compromises can no longer be made and one or the other has to sacrifice and be resentful, or there is a parting of ways.  I just don’t feel the pressure to try to find a partner any more.

Even more basic than that though, is just the amount of brain space that dating takes up.  When I thought I was going to be spending another year in Tallahassee, I decided back in February that I was over dating.  It just took up so much time, effort, and brain space.  I wanted to cocoon myself in my “studio” (read: bedroom) and make art.  Apply for jobs.  Basically focus.  So I had deleted my dating profiles.

But then, oh but then!  Out of the blue I got a job, moved to Chicago, and was like, well why the fuck not!?  (I still very much maintain the mindset of “Why the fuck not?  What’s the worst that can happen?)  So I started up again.  And I have been enjoying it.  It’s been a great way to start to see the city and meet people.  I get to have sex again (something that was incredibly rare the last six months or so)!  I like feeling the possibility that I can, in fact, connect with another human being.  That I’m not an android, or such an introvert that I want no one around me.

I’m torn though.  It’s been difficult enough to get settled and get the studio (yes, I have a studio again now!) set up.  I keep running into technical difficulties.  The space is currently cluttered with boxes of studio things that I have no place to store right now (and clutter is distracting to me). I’m still having a hard time adjusting to working full time from 8-5 for a full 5 days a week, to commuting 45 minutes each way.  So I’ve not been as productive in the studio as I would like, much less in getting out in to the art community or *shudder* networking.  That’s giving me a certain amount of anxiety, but not unmanageable amounts.  I just have to keep reminding myself that not everything can happen all at once.  And I’ve only been here for a month (as of tomorrow).  Dating is… While not taking away from my practice (because I firmly believe I need to have a life and have fun in order to function as both an artist and a human being), taking up brain space.

At the same time however, every time I hear another friend is pregnant, or I see friends totally content in relationships, I feel like my heart is being ripped out.  I feel a profound sense of sadness.  I want those things just as much as I want to focus.  Just as much as I need to make art.  I feel/hear my clock ticking, obnoxiously so these days.  My body is fucking with me.  My periods now come every three weeks instead of every four.  As if even my ovaries know that I need to get a move on, and so they’re trying to be helpful by speeding up the turn around time or something.  All the while just wasting their time (and my eggs!  Jerks…)  I love the idea of having some one to share my life with.  I crave having the ability to get a hug whenever I need one.  To feel loved…  However, given everything in my life, all of my experiences, and my motivations/plans for the future, I’m not sure that I can even allow that to happen.

As I was unpacking my studio in the new apartment, I came across a hunk of Post-It notes, hastily pulled from the wall in my previous studio *coughbedroomcough* and chucked into a box with my studio desk stuff.  I started unpeeling them from one another and sticking them on the wall that will eventually be the whiteboard in my studio.  And then I came across one that said “I don’t dare allow myself.”

Just let that sink in for a second.  I have no idea when I wrote that, or why I chose to keep it.  But at some point in the last year, that thought crossed my mind, and I jotted it down, stuck it to the wall with all my other Post-It thoughts, and kept it.  I don’t dare allow myself… If I allow myself then compromises have to be made, sacrifices follow, and I find myself in the exact same place I barely made it out of in one piece with my marriage.  If I allow myself, then I might start hoping, I might get expectations, I might start planning, and all of those things will be dashed and I will be hurt and disappointed.

My long and drawn out point here, is that, on some level, I’m not sure I can not allow myself to be enveloped into a relationship with any level of serious commitment, despite my desire for just that.  I think I’m too skeptical and pragmatic at this point in my life to believe that finding someone who can (and will) love me unconditionally, as well as want the same things that I do, and support me in my career, is likely.  I can have fun trying, but I don’t think that it will actually happen. I think that’s where my disinterest in dating comes from… I mean, why waste the brain space?

But still, even though they seem like a pipe dream, I want a committed relationship and a family.  I want stability.  And I don’t know how to get past the skepticism and pragmatism to make it happen though.  To let go a little bit of that control I have in being alone and focusing on me…. I just don’t want to do so at the expense of my professional endeavors.  And that’s a fine line to take.