The hardest part about going to school this time is not the work load or time management, but the way it is highlighting the things within me that I don't want to see. I guess they could be called ugly or bad things, but they aren't really; they are just old things that make life harder than it needs to be. They are thoughts, beliefs, and patterns of behavior that have been a constant part of my life for so long that I assumed that they were part of reality. It didn't occur to me that holding onto them was actually a choice.
I'll be more specific. One of the things I've been really working on in the past 6 months is letting go of the judgmental and overly-critical view that I tend to hold. I didn't realize how pervasive this type of thinking ran at first, then I saw that it was embedded in everything I did. Rooting it out has taken time and I repeatedly fall back into it. Starting school brought it back up in full force. It took me hours to do an assignment that should have taken me 20 minutes because every time I tried to work on it I kept hearing how stupid and incompetent I was, how lazy I was, how much I didn't belong, etc. I wanted to get mad at the school and say that it was too critical, but no one from school said a thing. It was all me. It was in my head.
I'm the one who is being critical. I realized. I'm the one who is making something that should be a fun experience into a struggle. No one is doing this but me.
Other types of things have come up too. I won't go into too much detail but things like over-prioritizing school at the cost of other parts of life or mixing up what I do with who I am.
It didn't take me long to forget that who I am is not what I do or that one part of my life is not worth all the rest of it. Luckily I have supportive friends and family to remind me not to stray too far down these thought patterns.
This is a good opportunity to learn-- not just about art but about how I've chosen to live in the past and its a good time to decide if I want to carry that pattern into the future.
I can choose to follow old patterns and make the next few years into torture or I can choose to acknowledge them, make corrections and let go. If I let go I'll be a little more free. Am I brave enough to let go? I hope so. I guess we will find out, but I'll try.
Thanks for reading.
Hope everyone is doing well.