In the final stretch now. Finals week has officially arrived. I technically have three, but one of them is my thesis defense, which is next Thursday. I have two papers due on Tuesday and a boatload of black and white prints due on Thursday.
Currently I'm aboard an intense emotional rollercoaster. In one moment I feel relief, anticipation, excitement, and just a tiny hint of pride over having come this far (somehow), the end is so near and in less than two weeks' time I will be a free girl. Then, in the blink of an eye, I find myself suddenly overwhelmed by doubt, terror, and intense anxiety.
That seems to be the motif for all art-things in general. There are two sides to the coin, and it never stops flipping.
Right now I'm taking a break from painting. The final painting of my art-school-whatever. That in itself is a relief. Unless I somehow mess it up. I'm banking on not doing that though.
I was hired at a government-owned golf course nearby as a server for weddings, and late-night bartender during the week. It's not much, but the pay is decent, I'll have benefits, and a pension. Graduate with a BFA, become a waitress amongst high school students. Nobody's fault but mine.
I'm terrified that I'm going to mess something up between now and the end.
I will not miss the awful pain in my back from spending hours bent over a painting. I'll be very glad to be able to take frequent breaks to prevent this from happening, instead of endlessly hunching over the work in an attempt to get as much done as quickly as possible.
I am hoping that painting becomes enjoyable again.
There is still so much to do, and so very very very little time.
I will miss access to equipment; projectors, cameras, lights, a proper studio, negative scanners, etcetera.
I will miss the tomfoolery of my peers.
I will miss certain faculty members.
I will not miss taking out loans or doing FAFSA every spring.
I'm looking forward to lots of time with Brogan. Hikes as the weather warms up.
I'm looking forward to a thorough cleaning/gutting of my room, the likes of which have never taken place before (to the degree that I will most likely have to sleep on the couch because it will be in such disarray.)
Greatly greatly greatly looking forward to quitting smoking (the day: 21 May.)
Also jogging with Brogan. It's been months.
Planning to spend an entire day watching all three lord of the rings films. After I finish the books (I'm halfway through "The Two Towers" now.)
LOTS of reading in general. There are so many books I'd like to read that I have not had the time for.
I'm dreading the monthly bills from sallie mae that will start as soon as, if not before, I get back from Inis Oirr.
When I put in front of me all of these things I have to look forward to, it lightens the load, just enough to make it tolerable and provide motivation to get through the load. But it's difficult to remember these things in the moments of misery. It's difficult to shove "I clearly don't understand my own work and it's been five years and I am going to be in huge trouble at my defense," out and replace it with "Just keep working and remember that in x-amount-of-time you'll be able to do this-thing-that-you-love." I've put quite an amount of weight on school and the quality of the things I must do for it lately, and it's far more harmful than helpful.
I'm hardly looking forward to riding tomorrow night because it's an hour less time that I will have to get things done.
And so it's back to painting now.
Inis Oirr is starting to sound really really nice again.