Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I've been looking into Expressive Therapies as a career. This would entail about 2.5 years of school and a decent amount of student-loan debt, but it would incorporate art, my affinity for disturbed people/kids, and my desire to physically help people in a capacity I can see.

If I go for this, I would really have to go for it. This would take up at least 40 hours a week for years of my life. My fear is that I would let my personal art fall by the wayside in this situation. As David, a music therapist says, "40-50 hours a week still leaves a lot of time, as long as you don't have a family."

Two years ago, I would have scoffed at this idea, but somewhere around 25, my biological clock has started rattling around with unprecedented bombast. I could see myself as very happy having children in the next five+ years or so, but this sudden desire raises a whole new level of confusion. You can't work full-time, actively pursue your art, AND be a good mom, can you?

I used to say I wanted my art to be the way I would procreate, but as I get older I'm not so sure if I wouldn't ultimately find that romantic notion unfulfilling. Of course, having a family might conversely leave me feeling resentful and suffocated. I hope this wouldn't happen, but it's not unheard of, even for people I think are pretty decent.

This would all be easier if one of my novels hit big, but even the publishing industry as we know it is dying. Also as its been over a year and no one has picked up Backstage yet, I'm starting to come to terms with how rare actual success is in this field. My early-twenties projection of my starving-artist adult life works if it's just me. If I have other people I love to think about, it's not fair at all. I use to say I wasn't born to be happy, that I had a responsibility to my talent. I still believe that in a way, but don't talented people deserve to be happy, or at least fulfilled? Is happiness even the point? I just don't want to wind up a lonely 40-year-old woman working a shit part-time job talking about Faulkner and Nabokov.

I wonder if men think of these things.

I'm still young, but I'm coming up on some very difficult decisions and I have no idea what to base them on.

1 comment:

Jess said...

Oh goodness, this has been, like, the inside of my head for the past few months. It started as, like, a little tick-tock once-in-a-great-while thing, and then when I started thinking about grad school and what I actually wanted to do, it was more like an incessant pounding.

It's mellowed out a bit as I'm started to put plans into place and stuff, but, man, all of late January and February I was crying, like, every day because I was so freaked out and confused. I literally, like, burst out crying one night to C, "I can't believe I fucking want KIDS! What the FUCK?! BAHHHH this is so weird!!!"
He just laughed and said, "Good! You know, you don't have to be afraid to tell me that."

Occasionally I wonder if it's irresponsible to pay less attention to the irresponsible/starving artist side of my person(a), but I don't know...I think it's more about incorporating other aspects of yourself and opening other doors.

But in the grand scheme of things, we are young—I think the female inner clock hasn't caught up with the times yet. Or something.