I do it all the time. I write, I feel better, I fall silent. Repeat. When anxiety hits and my heart starts racing I tell myself that everything is okay. I’m in a better place. I no longer live where I’ll be greeted by an empty apartment I had gotten with my partner. I have roommates to greet me and pets to cuddle with. I like my new school, and I’m making friends. Nothing is really wrong.
Still, I wake in the night with increasing anxiety, and the thoughts won’t stop. Conversations I’ve had, things I should have said, what I have to do. Flashes of moments I’ve overcome surface in split seconds and leave me breathless. Me standing in a cornfield alone at night after getting groceries. Crying because I didn’t want to go back to school. Being sad to leave my family. The dorms I’ve lived in. My ex’s eyes, or face. The brief stab that comes with thinking of him over a year later.
“It’s okay, everything is okay.” I tell myself. Soothing like the way I’d talk to another person or animal. It’s my first semester of junior year in college and it’s said to be one of the hardest at my school. The training wheels have come off and we are left to make art, exploring what kind of artists we are. I’ve been experimenting with what sculpture means to me, and working with a combination of materials that are new and familiar. Sewing, painting, playing with wire, working with caulk..
I’ve been struggling with being torn between writing and art, and wondering if I should have gone to school for writing. What it would be like if I had. Questioning, “what’s the point? Why am I here?” Feeling worn down and not liking that my life revolves around school. That I eat and sleep less. Trying to work through having depression and anxiety. I’ve been meeting a group of girls who have similar experiences, which is comforting to know that I am not alone, but also troubling that so many people I’ve spoken to recently feel the same way. That they’ve thought about giving up and dropping out of school but we’re so close to finishing that we shouldn’t. I read an article recently that said how there is an increase of people in universities who are being seen for mental health, which is reflected in the people I have been talking to.
Since I’m torn between writing and making art I figure I should be posting more often.
During my first semester of college I was introduced to collage. A teaching assistant in a painting class had told us to fill pieces of paper with color, rip them up and make collages. There was an insane snowstorm -people from MA who were there in 2011 will remember- and my school was evacuated because the power lines had been taken out. My hallmates and I piled into one of our hallmate’s cars, and stayed with her parents in Danvers, MA. I spent the time getting really into collage, and filled pages of my sketchbook. I like having something to do with my hands while I’m sitting around, and spent a long time making collages while watching movies. Here are some of the ones I made during the snowstorm.
Made from pieces of paper painted with water color, and occasionally pen ink.
I do not own this image
It feels so good to be writing again. I have been itching to put up a new post but had been trying to stay at least somewhat focused on my finals and save this as a reward. I have just finished my third year of college and have time to reflect on what these three years have been like. The image above is a good summary. My highest highs and lowest lows in life up to date have been in college. I feel like my life has been a snowball downhill when I’m in school and I’ve been catching and juggling the obstacles that have been thrown my way. While some of them have knocked me down, I am so much stronger -both physically and mentally- than when I started college. This semester has been about picking up the pieces of lost love, and coming into myself. I have had a lot of anti-social moments and noticed that I like living alone. I discovered that I adore my cozy apartment, just in time for my lease to end.
As I’ve mentioned in other posts, along with being a poet/writer I am a visual artist, working in 2D and 3D. I’ve worked in wood, metal, ceramics, paper-making, collage, and painting. I now have the chance to update my blog and add some visual components, along with the poems that I have been writing this past semester. Now that the semester is over I can look around and see all of the work that I have been making in school.
When I was younger one of my dad’s friends took a picture of me with the words “restless until the moment recognized”. However many years later I have been feeling restless and tired of being the shy, quiet girl. The quiet ones are the ones who notice and absorb their surroundings, and have the most secrets. There are so many different facets of myself that I want to share, and be appreciated for who I am. I am much more than the awkward, quirky girl or beautiful woman that people see. I now have the opportunity to share some of who I am with all of you.
The picture that I mentioned. What I did not know is that there is a poem that goes with it on the back:
Restless until the moment recognized
I had almost forgotten about this picture, until I realized that’s how I’ve been feeling recently. I’m touched that my dad’s friend decided to write a poem for me out of the blue, and to this day it is still a mantra of mine.