My Small World After All

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A dragonfly that overnighted on my studio jamb.

Without any great conscious effort, I've reduced the boundaries of my world fairly significantly over the past year. Unlike some folk I know, I have never possessed the comfort of knowing what I would be when I grew up. My uncle, for instance, always knew that he wanted to be a ranger for the U.S. Park Service. I, on the other hand, have floated, drifted, occasionally flitted, and have otherwise been fairly indecisive. What I lacked in a sense of vocation, I've made up for with trying various and sundry methods for burning time.

At some point, I realized that I was avoiding my life. I spent an inordinate amount of time playing at the university so as to avoid having to decide what I'd do once I was done. After I graduated with my super useful art degree, I dilly-dallied for a year before deciding to pursue graduate work. Because the art degree is a "professional" degree, and because I spent so much time taking classes that were more play than school, I worked for two and a half years laying the groundwork necessary to establish that I was capable of successfully completing academic graduate studies.

I loved my exposure to new ideas, modern and postmodern art and literature, and critical theory. I think that I was reasonably good -- not amazing or a wunderkind, but sufficiently interested and motivated to be worth a professor's time.

With Mr. Tate's arrival, my outlook shifted. Of course, it took me another half semester to acknowledge that as much as I enjoyed the mental masturbation of my course work, I was avoiding getting on with a number of other areas in my world. Between this and that, my life became so complicated trying to tread water at my job, school, home, and other activities that I left school. The decision to leave was incredibly difficult. I'd gone from sliding through my education to caring deeply about how I was modifying my thought processes. And I'd managed to pull a 4.0 GPA right up to the moment that I turned my back.

As difficult as the decision to quit school had been for me, I found that I was suddenly free to burn my daily allotment of minutes differently. I had time to consider what was important and what I wanted. And, I began to jettison some of the now frivolous aspects of my world. I am a long, long way from decluttered, but I'm making steady progress. Am I growing up?

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This page contains a single entry by jack published on May 20, 2008 3:16 PM.

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