First of all, I want to share one of my most recent projects. It was an “adventure box” birthday gift for a nice lady’s boyfriend. She shared with me many aspects of his adventurous lifestyle and had me translate these stories into the illustrations on the box above. There were wind surfing, scuba diving and hiking scenes, as well as personal elements like a Land Rover Defender and San Mig Light bottle. I think I particularly love doing projects like this because it takes me back to my initial style, before I ever even knew I had a style. Haha. I’d just put things together. Random objects in my head, all incorporated into one cohesive image. With patterns, just there to fill in the gaps. It would always end up looking the same – intricate black and white art. But, it would always represent something. Like… everything I want to do before I’m 25 or what I want to do in summer. Good thoughts, bad thoughts. I’d release them from my system by putting them on paper.
Anyway. I loved that project. I love most projects I do and I generally love this creative outlet. I have had it for almost five years now and I’ve been able to get through life just fine. Balancing Details Ink in high school was easy but, of course, it wasn’t as much work as it is today. Right now? Hm. Juggling all my orgs, my architectural studies, running this business and doing one too many projects a month is starting to get a little bit overwhelming.
Above is a screen shot of a random lady’s post around a year ago. This was taken at Estancia Mall, the weekend before a Math 53 exam. I used to take pride in being able to manage all the things I get into. I still do. Except. I’m trying to figure out how my past self handled it, as she seems to have had things way more figured out than I do now. Haha! I used to make zero excuses. It was pretty simple in my head: Okay, Kara. You got yourself into something? That’s fine. Just do your best. Your very, very best. Make that a wonderful, beautiful, meaningful, memorable experience. Because you chose that over something else, and despite having other commitments. And if you fail, that means you can’t handle all the things you’re getting yourself into. It means you should have said no to some of those things. It means you’re not good enough. You’re not good enough. You’re not good enough. You’re not good enough. You’re not good enough.
That’s pretty much how my mind works – not that proud of it but, that’s the truth. (Not all the time, don’t worry) And that is the truth for millions of people. Not just me.
And that’s why this post meant a lot to me. It’s like she reminded me of something really important. Not sure exactly what that is but, it does run along the lines of making the most of this little life that we have.
I guess I’m tired. And the once-rare feelings known as failure and rejection have been coming around more often, in the aspects of my life that I have chosen to neglect. I used to be able to get away with not caring but, now it seems much harder to do that. Maybe because we’re all getting older and there’s more at stake, and everyone’s standards are getting higher and everyone else is getting better. I don’t know. But, this is a good thing. A new challenge. Another opportunity to push myself even more than I already do.
The thing is, I really just want to do what I love. I want to do what I want to do, when I want to do it. And that is my problem.
So, what now? I guess I need to strike a balance between everything – all the things I love, all the things I want to do, all the adventures, all the projects, and as much as I hate it, that also includes all the things I’m required to do. So, if I want to go to that art fair or my best friend’s gig, or do live art on Vinyl Day, I better make sure to do what I have to do to make it to my 8:00 AM class the next day, with the homework, and a giant smile, and not a single trace of the fact that my mind is far, far away from that classroom.
Life’s a number line and the goal is to stay at zero. We can veer right and left once in a while but, not too much. Never too much.
The lady’s caption says, “We do what we have to do but, we can keep on doing what we love.” While that is my advocacy, my main point for this post is sort of like the inverse of that statement, as well as my current note to self: Make time for what you love, yes… but, don’t neglect the things you have to do.
Do both. Choose both. And work hard as hell to keep that balance.