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En Route #6


Making Peace

After last week’s museum marathon mayhem, all I wanted to do this week was sleep. More precious than gold to the average college student, a decent night’s sleep is hard to come by. It seems the older we get the more claims we have on our time. Days become divided into weeks and weekends, work and play, until we’re left with little time for ourselves. In the trenches of everyday life, it’s easy to forget that we are not made for the sole purpose of being productive, and easier still to forget the little things that make life just that little bit sweeter.

Earlier this week around midnight, I was sitting at my desk dutifully working on homework (read: angrily staring at a blank Adobe Illustrator document) and glanced outside my window. Hung between two buildings, was a luminous view of the moon. This perfect sliver of unobstructed sky. I think I stared at it in complete silence for 5 minutes straight, in total rapture. I’d been homesick that day, missing the wide open sky of my small country town, but there was something about seeing the same moon here as I do at home that made me feel just a bit better.

As a 4th year in college, self reflection is an increasingly important part of my academic life. Senior Thesis and Senior Studio are both classes that ask you to consider yourself as a person and artist more deeply than years before. I was suddenly grappling with questions like, “Who are you?”, “What are your strengths?”, “What makes you different?”. I tend to think how you answer those questions reveals just as much about you as your answers do, but they’re still pretty tough to answer at 21, heck at any age really.

So far, the hardest part about this semester has been figuring out what exactly I’m interested in and want to pursue, whether that’s in the form of my Thesis topic, or just life in general. Over the weekend, a friend and I had coffee with the supervising animator for Shrek (definitely a dear diary moment). He was so kind and generous with his time, sharing a lot about his career and experiences in the field. I asked him if he had any advice for an artist about to enter the workspace as I felt unsure of where I was headed. He said that whenever you have an opportunity and are not sure what to do, to make the decision we wouldn’t regret, even if it means jumping into the unknown.

That’s something that can mean different things at different points in your life. For me, at 18, it meant packing my things and going to art school in Paris. Now, at 21, I’m realizing that I have a lot more questions than answers and that’s okay, maybe even exciting. In my experience, life becomes a lot more fun if you lean into the unpredictability of it all. The things you can’t plan for, the paths you haven’t discovered yet. I’m slowly learning to enjoy it.

It’s been a quiet, introspective week for me, the calm before the midterm storm, but I’m really glad I was able to rest and recuperate. Moving forward, I hope to maintain a sense of peace as we keep paddling on through the semester and I wish the same for you.

Try to get some sleep!

f t p