Daylight savings has done it's duty and turned the world upside down. Leaving me up in the wee hours of the night. Bright eyed and bushy tailed, in a silent, dark house full of sleeping children. I've enrolled into a bachelor program. A commitment to many, many, many years of study. In order to eventually pursue and obtain my PHD in Fine Arts. A long road I had been so hesitant about going down because of.... Well, life. Husbands, children, debt, loss, illness, plain old stress. Life gets complicated. I have held myself back not wanting those complications to impede on my passion. But in turn allowed them to. Women carry so much. I feel you out there on the other side of the screen. A silent overwhelming mental load, weighing your already exhausted body down. I want to down size. Trim the fat. Be selfish say no to what no longer serves me. Escape away to some romantic notion of solitude, silence, lounging, good food and passionate unbridled work. I miss the days when my friends would call up to chat at all sorts of ungodly hours. The same hours that have me up. I wish one of them would call now. So I could unload a little bit of the emotional burden. Free myself from my overthinking and list making, Admit in open air that I am terrified, that I'll fail. Not because I am not good enough or smart enough. But because I am stretched so thin. That even though I am doing this. I can't possibly imagine getting through the experience of school, in one piece.
Getting lost in an online maze of scholarships and grants, that seem to have more ads featuring some old, fat white dude in middle America trying to steal my money. Than award me funds to further my education. I clicked on a link that lead me here.
I am crying. It's this it's all of this! The inescapable feeling that no matter what I do, the world is against me. Because I am a woman and then again because I am a woman artist, and yet again because I am a working mother. How will I ever make it? I don't mean the proverbial mythical "making it" What I mean is simply survival. The scales are stacked in the favors of others, not me or my half of the population. An article popped up on my social feed about elderly women artist taking over the art world. So that's it? Women are consistently inadequate till we can associate them with quirky, spunky, old grandmas? Then and only then will we give them the recognition they deserve. I will work a whole life time, to spend a decade (if I am lucky) In success very late in life? What is it about men? What is it exactly? The core the sticky sick twisted gunk that has everyone coming back for more? While wanting to award the consolation prize to all the women in the room?
I have gotten a little off point. School will start before I know it. Money is an issue as it has always been. But I'll do my best. Go into debt like every other American in the world. Spend the rest of my life paying for school and somehow make it work. I'll be overwhelmed and stressed out of my mind. Constantly reminded of that fact, every time someone innocently says something like " How do you do it all?" (Spoiler alert I don't) as I politely grin over a clenched jaw. There is an idea to challenge out of as many courses as I can. This along with what seems like a million other decisions need to be made/finalized before Christmas. Registration is this week and I should have really already made that decision. But alas I have not.
There is a thin line after high school. Right out of the gate you don't know who you are, what you want. What you like. Nothing you... sorry we were all dumber then doorknobs. Making giant life and career decisions in this state is detrimental and sets many people up for failure. If I had pursued a degree right out of the gate it would have been in medicine. Now low and behold I almost faint anytime my own kin bleed. If you wait too long however you could be pursuing degrees (like me) with a family in tow and all the beautiful mess that comes along with it. Like if someone gets strep we all get strep. So it doesn't feel like a couple of days sick then your on the mend. It's more like a good solid month till you have your life back. That's just one thing out of the many challenges that come along with having a family. We haven't even gotten to having the responsibility to support and nurture someone other than yourself, physically, emotional, spiritually, financially while you attend school full time and attempt to keep your own sanity. Which may or may not be frazzled as it is. Thank God they are getting older. I can't even imagine doing this a few years ago. Even though I wanted to. It wasn't that long ago I had three littles in diapers.
It's good I waited. I am more mature. Sinking deep into commitment. A determination that while was always present needed time to ferment into the rich perseverance I carry today. More sensible in my views of the opposite sex. Not so easily derailed by their charming smiles and dapper swagger. I needed to spend some time running away from what I am good at. From what I love. In order to fully embrace a calling that has been screaming at me since childhood. Hindsight can be a beautiful thing. Especially when it's gift of humility knocks you into your true self.
So while I am overwhelmed and the word stressed doesn't come close to touching my current state. I am optimistic. Perhaps it is in the knowledge I have found in myself. There is no turning back now. Frankly I wouldn't want to.
May your heart be light, your hands never idle and your mind inspired