Sunday, July 1, 2012

pretending to be grown

The past year has been a lot of different things. Last June I accepted an offer to work full-time on a limited contract as an administrative assistant. It was an education. I learned how to graciously answer angry phone calls, that office politics is all about patience, negotiation and the ability to sit on a snide email and answer it helpfully a few minutes, hours or a day later. Every office has big movers and shakers, but I learned that the glue that hears and sometimes fixes everything are the quiet ones, the second in commands and the admins. I admired their ability to keep things together, to initiate the steps that make the biggest plans happen smoothly. I've always loved behind the scenes work, and this world sucked me in. I wanted to learn everything I could, I wanted to be a great admin.

I could figured out most office tasks with minor instruction, was efficient with my tasks and wrote professionally enough that there was always a double-take when someone who knew me over the phone or email met me in person: I was not the established professional, I was a young short-haired upstart. I earned a lot of praise but not a permanent job, and my contract, though extended, ran it's course. 

I've spent a lot of time in the past year being the average 20 something: working a part-time job, applying for full-time ones but not catching a break. Feeling helpless in this economy, resentful of the articles written by Baby-boomers who like to blame the state of our society on the narcissistic streak of my peers. I ignored that none of this was ever what I really wanted when I left Wisconsin and my sheltered adolescence behind.

It can be hard to admit that you don't have the foggiest idea of what you're doing or even who you want to be. I just want to wake up into the life where my bank statement doesn't induce a panic attack and where I split my day between keeping house and spending time with people I love, and painting it all out in a space I don't have to share; where I feel safe and am warm and can experiment to my hearts content. It's a big dream. It is so big that it's easier to let it stay a castle in the sky than to try to cut it down to fit here in reality.

 Baby steps, patience and just putting it out there is the advice I give everyone. I hope to finally start following it.

I am trying to come back to myself. I will start posting about art and projects. I will show the things I have worked on in the past year. I will make more work, and make time in life for my art. The 12 months that span from July 2012 to July 2013 will be an artistic year; a year where I work on growing my inner core, the part of me that is beyond a resume. This year I will put in the work and learn and row and be able to introduce myself as an artist without any hesitation or apology.
When I pull this off I can stop pretending and finally be grown.

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