Hejira

 

psycho analysis

November 8. 2000

more NYC pics:

pseudo cathedral

the pseudo cathedral in the Met

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zoom

fastfastfastfast 7trainzooooooooooom

Monday was a hellish day for me. My jewelry project was due the next day, and I spent from 8:30 to 6 working in the studio. I needed to learn to solder, and Daniella volunteered her services. For this I was grateful, because since she's only an adjuct professor, I knew her time was limited.

She led me into the back room with a soldering kit and pad under her arm, and began to set everything up. I wondered if she was going to do it all for me herself. As good as I knew it would turn out, I still wanted to do some of it, otherwise I knew I'd never learn how.

"I'm going to do the first part of it, to show you how. Then I want you to do the rest, okay? I know you want me to do all of it, but that way you'll never learn how." She laughed her little laugh and smiled her maddening smile.

I opened my mouth, about to point out that that was the exact opposite of what I was thinking, but I figured it wasn't worth it.

There was a silence. Through my heat shield mask, I watched the pretty colors the flame made as it bounced off the solder pad and the silver ring.

"So, how are you?"

Oh, christ, not this again. "I'm..." I hesitated. "...okay." I knew my voice betrayed me. Why can't I just LIE, for fuck's sake? Why do I have to always wear my heart on my sleeve and spill my feelings to any schmuck I meet?

"I was just wondering, because you seem so...timid, compared to last year. Less willing to take chances, more afraid to make mistakes. Why is that?"

God, this woman did not waste time beating around the bush. "I don't know..." I started, feeling my throat tighten and tears come to my eyes. I wanted so badly to clearly and lucidly express what I was feeling about my art right now, especially around her. I was beginning to think she saw me as some sort of mentally unhinged person, or at the very least someone who was just not that smart. "I guess I just realized earlier this year that....well, I don't have a lot of time left in school, and I'm just trying to get as much out of it as possible, and I feel like every mistake I make is wasting the time..." my voice petered out miserably over the roar of the torch.

This exchange between us went on for several more minutes, and ended in her handing me the torch to finish soldering my piece and me feeling stupid and inadaquate for feeling and behaving the way I do. I was upset, mostly because I knew what she had said to me was true, but also because she took such a keen interest in me, one that verged on uncomfortable and awkward for me. And insulting at times, because she keeps telling me exactly what she thinks I'm feeling, and always assumes she's right.

But in this case, she is. I am afraid of making mistakes. I am so uptight and nervous compared to the rest of my classmates. I want to succeed so badly. I feel like the outcome of my whole life is riding on these four years, and if I don't do well, if I don't do smashingly, I'll be working at some stupid corporate job for the rest of my life, like my job this summer, slowly wilting and dying creatively.

This is a completely fucked up and destructive mindset to have, and I think it's why I've been driving myself crazy this semester. I've finally realized that this, college, is finite. So short. It's going to be half over, soon. Time just keeps flying by faster and faster, and it leaves me feeling less and less prepared for whatever happens to me after I am handed a piece of paper saying I have a BFA in art two or three years down the road. I'm scared of the world, I'm scared because I don't have confidence, I'm scared of myself.

One Year Ago:
"I didn't realize until I left it, but Lebanon really is a nice, half decent place to live in. True, it may be 100% white. True, it may be a Republican, conservative, Pennsylvania Dutch kind of town. But when you walk down the streets, you don't have to worry about getting mugged. You don't have to worry about walking alone at night. You don't have to check your bags at the door when you walk into the Farmer's Market. People know your name. They're nice to you. The honor system is used, and it works."