crossroads and stoplights

I feel a bit, these days, like I'm out of the loop. It's not that I don't know what I want to do one day, but that I don't feel like I know what I need to do in order to get there.

As Bridget and Astrid and I have endlessly discussed every time we're in the same room, Terabil has this insidious ability to suck all the motivation to improve and move out out of you and lull you into complacency with its cheap rent and suburban sprawl until you're, well, living at home and working a shitty dead-end job a year later and wondering where the hell all your fire and passion went. It's truly disturbing. In fact, the only time I've produced any artwork this past year is when I have left the city and gone on vacation visiting someone else. This has led to some truly epic frustration on my part, as well as a half-sincere belief that this city has some kind of Frank Peretti-style demonic curse on it, except in this version the only people who are demonically possessed are the people who AREN'T college students.

I'm somewhat torn between accepting this job as the best I can do for a while and at least using that guaranteed income to get my own apartment, and continuing to try to find other jobs in other places and accepting living at home as the compromise I have to make for the chance to be able to take those other jobs if they come. Not that the other job offers are exactly flowing in, but the possibility makes me not want to settle down lest Murphy's law compel some employer to offer me a decent wage somewhere else right after I take out a lease. At one point recently I had a job opportunity elsewhere, which would have been just as unrelated to art as my current one and entailed a tripled cost of living in the new city for substantially similar wages, and I was ALL READY to jump on it until I looked at my work schedule and realized it would be impossible to make it to that city for an interview.

(Which is another work-related rant-- I am classed as a subcontractor, which makes taxes a right royal bitch to do, but I'm pretty much treated like an employee. Pretty much the only reason I put up with it is because I'm at least paid decently for my trouble, and I'm essentially being paid to be an insomniac with some nifty medical skills.)

Mostly what irritates me about the situation is that a full year and a month after graduating from college, and after swearing to myself that it would not be so, I am still, indeed, living at home and working at a job which has absolutely nothing to do with art. Not even the most tangential connection. And I have not produced a significant piece of artwork in nearly as long. In the last three months, I have produced two sketches each of a stuffed fish and a mounted deer head I found in the supply closet at work, as well as two small watercolors of eggplant from our garden. This is roughly equivalent to half a week's homework in college. A light week.

Now I'm looking up different graduate schools, and researching various financial aid things, and considering whether I would be able to work part-time and go to school or whether various programs would accept my somewhat baroque undergrad degree as an acceptable prerequisite or if I would have to take a lot of intro courses to get up to speed, and then I thought about portfolios... and realized that I basically have a big, blank year of doing dead-end work in the ideological armpit-pimple of the nation* and have absolutely nothing to show for it.

So pretty much now I'm looking for whatever entry-level design employment in pretty much any other city on the East Coast outside of NYC I can get and hoping that if I can just get out of Terabil, my right brain will wake up again and start making up for lost time.

*Anyone who's got real-name privilege, remind me to tell you sometime about the white-supremacy organization that's quartered here. And our newspaper, which likes to publish Michelle Malkin and Cal Thomas op-eds and letters-to-the-editor screeds about God-guns-and-gays. Oh, it's delightful.

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thus saith Liadan at 5:32 AM


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Anonymous Anonymous saith at 9/14/2008 2:28 PM...  


I just wanted to let you know that my brother is having the exact same problem. It's been two years since he (would have graduated if he didn't drop out), and he's still living at home, with the folks, and has no job.

All I can say is, if the only way you can feel inspired, or want to do something, is to get out of there...GET OUT. Seriously. Even if you fail, even it's a bit pricey, at least it will mix things up.

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