Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summer's Here

It was only this week in practically-Canada that the weather started to warm up above mid seventies, but now it finally feels like real, true summer. (Besides the storm we had this week involving hail.) I've been at my job for a few weeks, and things are in full summer swing.

I've been trying to put aside some money for the wedding. I mean I've been trying to for a while now, but I keep having to dip into the fund every now and then in emergencies. It feels like I've been taking two steps forward and one step back, which is better than it being the other way around I guess, but I still feel as though we're not any closer to getting married. I worry about it all the time, and it really takes the fun out of being engaged. (Though, how much fun is left when it's already been two years, and there is still no wedding in sight?) I want everything to be perfect, and not that a less expensive wedding would be any less special, but you only get to do it once, and if I were to have a simple wedding I would want it to be because we planned it that way- not because we're young and have no money. Really I think I'll prefer a simple wedding, because starting off a marriage in unnecessary debt is simply not appealing to me. I would rather put more money toward a house and less toward a wedding than the other way around. As it stands now though, we can't afford a ceremony, a reception, or an apartment to live in afterwards.

We have such a long way to go.

Speaking of the future, I've been looking into some graduate schools, just to start thinking about what kinds of options are open to me. My bachelor's degree will be in painting, which leaves me with few career paths after school. I could become a working artist, which I really have no interest in at all, or I could become a teacher, which I'm sure I would love... but what I'm really interested in is therapy. Art therapy has many different forms and uses, and I want to learn about them all. Last summer, my youngest brother, Josh, was diagnosed with Autism at barely two years old. Since then, I've learned a lot about Autism, and the various ways in which it's treated. So, my true interest would be in using what I'm learning about art to help people like my brother find their voice. I read somewhere that people with Autism think in images, and using art as a form of speech therapy can be incredibly successful. That's what I want to do.

All that to say I found a school that looks quite promising: Eastern Virginia Medical School. (Who knew a little old art student like me would apply to med school?!) Their art therapy program looks incredible. The classes seem useful and interesting, and you end up being able to sort of customize your own degree by choosing three internships you're interested in. If I was absolutely sure I wanted to work with people with Autism, I would try to have my three required internships involve something in that field. I still have a lot of research to do, but the future looks promising again. I have to admit, after two years in art school, I was beginning to feel incredibly depressed at the thought of spending the rest of my life around some of the types of people I've encountered. Not that they're bad people, but I've never understood the idea of only making art for yourself, with no other purpose than to increase your popularity or fame within a certain group... not that that's what all artists do, but the farther I can be from that world, the better. I want to feel like I'm making a difference. Like I'm using my talent to change other peoples' lives, not simply to better my own.

It's not a profound or original thought, but it's one that's very important to me. If I could spend the rest of my life giving hope and a voice to people who never thought either thing would be theirs, I will die happy.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


It's been a while since I've written an entry... so much for keeping up with this thing.

I'm home now and it's bittersweet. I love being able to see my family, but I often end up feeling guilty for not spending time with one or the other of my parents. I live with my dad, about half an hour away from my mom, and she constantly begs me to come over or do things with her. I love her and I love spending time with her but I love spending time with my dad and stepmom too. She ends up making me feel really guilty for not wanting to move back in with her, and it makes it hard to make time to see her when I just end up feeling bad the whole time. I suppose though that if my parents fighting over me is the worst of my worries, I've got it pretty good. Another thing is that I don't see my fiance Jon as much when we're home for the summer. We try to get together at least a couple times a week but sometimes it just doesn't happen. He's working thirty-five hours or so a week at Walmart and I'm working almost that in town, and when we're not at work we're with our families. It's unfortunate, but over breaks from school we usually end up in the mindset that we'll see each other all year, but we're only able to see our parents and siblings at Thanksgiving, Christmas and in the summer. Because of that we end up as a second priority to each other. We talk on the phone every night and all that fun stuff, but it's weird that we end up in more of a long-distance relationship at home than anywhere else.

It's also odd to come home and run into people from high school. Sometimes I'm really happy to see someone, like my friend Shannon who I saw at work the other night. We weren't exactly close in high school but she is one of the sweetest people I know, and it makes me so happy to be able to catch up with her and her boyfriend every now and then. Others stress me out; some because I know I should know them but can't for the life of me recall their names, others because I know I should try harder to see them but really I just don't have enough motivation. The latter is the saddest, because there are people that I really truly miss, but in the end I almost feel as though I've moved past them. Not that I'm better than them, but that they represent a part of my life that's gone. It's somewhat anachronistic to spend time with them, I think, and it's more weird than pleasant. Maybe that's ridiculous and petty, but I can't help it. I still love them and all, but I can't possibly keep up with everyone.

The worst part about being home is missing my friends from school. I hate that for eight months of the year I'm practically living on top of certain people and then have to go three and a half months without seeing them at all. I would visit or have some of them come up if they could, but I simply can't afford to take time off of work.

I realize how selfish I sound here- that I can't be bothered to see people because I don't want to or because I'm too busy. Or poor. I'm really not an awful person like it sounds, I just have an incredibly difficult time sorting my priorities into the right order.

Well now that the summer is officially underway (though it doesn't feel like it; it hasn't been over seventy degrees since I got home), I hope it can start to be a more productive one. I promised myself that I would do at least a few paintings this summer, but so far I've been unable to get motivated, or inspired. It's really not a good thing that when no one is telling me what to do, I simply don't make art at all. This is why I wanted to go into illustration: so that I would always have someone telling me exactly what they wanted something to look like. I'm really really awful at coming up with ideas on my own, and unlike many others I know, I seem to be unable to produce meaningful work when not given any direction. Assignments are a lot of fun for me, but when we're given a week to do whatever we want or in between classes, I simply can't seem to get myself to do much.

I have however started to sew again this summer, and so far I've completed one dress and one skirt. The dress is cute, but the skirt is a mess. I tried to use this stretchy t-shirt kind of fabric and I just couldn't seem to sew it in a straight line. The seams are everywhere and they cross over each other and I'm really pretty embarrassed of it. Oh well, you live and you learn. I won't buy that fabric again for a while.

Okay, well, I'm tired of this entry so that's it for now. 'Til next time.