Saturday, January 30, 2010

Me, Generic?

We chose to be so many things in life. A student. Successful. An artist. A lawyer. A lover. Why can't we simply choose to be happy? Why is this the most difficult thing of all? It's question I've been grappling with for a couple of days. It seems that happiness should be intrinsic in most of my life pursuits, but it seems to be difficult to find these days. I'm beginning to believe that it's because obstacles often pop up - especially ourselves. We are usually our harshest critics and I don't think it's always fair. Sure, having some degree of self-reflection is great. It can often motive us to get the job done. But there comes a point when this can be unproductive. We get so hung up on the things we're not, that we lose sight of what is fabulous and wonderful in our lives.

Last week in my drawing class we worked on self portraiture using ink and brush. Mind you I'm the greatest at drawing facial features, and I'm even worse when I have to use ink. I was taking my time, going slowly and just trying to the best I could. I always get really nervous during the studio time because for 3 hours it's dead silence and our prof walks around arbitrarily staring over everyone's shoulders but not saying a word. Judgment fills the air. It's very tense.

At the end of the studio session, we put up the ink drawing and the water colour portraits around the room and had a brief discussion. Our prof was talking about another girl's which was particularly unique and full of character, "as opposed to this one which is quite generic." This one was mine. Ouch. I don't think he realizes that his job is to teach and encourage, neither one he is doing particularly well. But for the past few days the word 'generic' has been seared in my brain, chasing me down like a bad habit I can't shake. I got me so down on Thursday and Friday, that I found myself making up little pep talks in my mind just to keep afloat. But today as I worked through my drawings, my faith in myself was restored. I was surprised at what I could produce. It's far from generic. I am far from generic.

Thinking back over January, I return to this notion of happiness. Lots of things have lingered on from last year, but that doesn't mean that I have to be trapped in the past. It's easy to let ourselves and unnecessary distractions stand in our way. I've come to realize that happiness maybe the holy grail of life goals for humanity, but it must always be defined in a personal way in order for it to be meaningful. Letting go of my professor's comment, I am planting my feet in the ground. Today I am declaring that I choose to be happy, because I enjoy drawing and I'm good at it.

"Fortune favors the fighters."

{photo here}


bananas. said...

that's a good question and i wish i knew the answer...

for me, i consider myself a very happy person. i thank my past for that. i've been through a lot of shit in my life so now i know what to appreciate and what to just let go.

Kristin said...

Love that quote! Have faith in yourself and never let the turkeys get you down. Cheesy but true. Ah ha ha