09 October, 2008

Exhausted and Slightly Downtrodden

I cannot seem to sleep. I think it has something to do with sleeping alone in a tiny bed after years of being in a queen size bed with someone else. My restless nights are compounded by regular fire alarms in the building at all hours. And then last night a mirror fell off my shelf, smashed into a plate on the desk below and sent my makeup flying around the room, shattering into the carpet. I wanted to go back to sleep, but it wasn't mean to be.

Sound travels down the hallway, and every morning a few of the room mates' more piercing voices find their way to me as they prepare breakfast in the kitchen. Sleeping in rarely happens on planet Redhead, but a little sleep would be nice right about now.

Zzzzzzz five more minutes, Mom....

Anyhow, my summer project presentation was disheartening, to say the least. I knew I hadn't gone all out for it. I knew I could have made presentation boards and painted pretty pictures. But I didn't. I was focused on the emotional havoc caused by moving, and when I arrived here I arrived with no art supplies and no fabric. Art was not high on the to-do list, I'm afraid.

But when most of the class pulled out collaged books of photographs and fabric experiments, followed by books of illustrations and test runs on mannequins, or fully painted renderings and beautiful hand made fabrics they did themselves.... I realized that I really need to step up my game.

I have never before been at the bottom of a class. I've always pulled an easy A, or at least an easy high B. But sitting in this classroom, watching everyone else present their beautiful work and all the research and time and effort they put into it.... I was ashamed to get up there and show my crappy little sketchbook. I turned red, forget everything I wanted to say, made a few excuses, flipped through a couple pages to show my thought process, and stood there to meet the blank, bored stares of my classmates and professors.

"Do I really want this?" I asked myself. "Am I cut out for this?"

And then I asked, "am I really so lazy that I'm not willing to work my way up to the top?" This program is going to be hard for me. I suppose I am used to my work being "pretty good" on average. This program is going to be quite a trial, I think.

I am not so competitive that I need to be the best. But I refuse to be the worst. I have got to pull out all the stops and dive in. I need to do things that are not fun or easy for me. I need to establish that I am not the lazy American girl that presented a shitty project the first day of class. I cannot let that first impression last. My next project has to be amazing. It has to be fucking incredible.

But on the bright side, I suppose I have nowhere to go but up. If you start at the bottom, your progress is more noted, more obvious. If you start at the bottom, you have the opportunity to blow them out of the water someday when they least expect it.

So I guess I just need to stop distracting myself and focus. Focus entirely on my courses, and not on running home to chat online, or wandering around high street looking for a jacket and a pretty lamp. From here on out, if there is any chance that I could reach higher and push myself harder, I need to do it. I need to focus on school. I did not come here to sit around online like I did back home.

And I need to get some sleep.


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