Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Patience... A Constant Struggle: Part I

A well-known fact about me: I am NOT a patient person.

I speed when I drive, I have TERRIBLE road rage (if you've ever been in a car with me, you know), I have a bit of a temper, and I CONSTANTLY talk about what I should be doing or where I should be going. It's always one thing or the other. I have all sorts of wanderlust and want to live in Portland (my current location... please don't stalk me), Oxford, London, Paris, and Ireland all at once or I'll never end up over there (at least in my head). I must start my own animation company, work at various animation studios, work in my current job, edit comics, direct live action and animated movies while writing the scripts and doing the storyboards, own and manage my own book store, be a professor, an author/graphic novelist, illustrator, translator, train horses again, and become bigger than Walt Disney all at once. I need to have my 2nd Bachelor's (this one in Animation), my Master's (in Cinematography, Graphic Design, International Communications, and French), and my PHD (in Russian, Russian Doll-Making, and Design) all at once as well. I also want to know over 13 languages when I'm barely learning my 2nd (French). I want to master everything in the arts, yet I have trouble sitting past 1-2 hours at a time. I can't even sit through more than one movie anymore without getting fidgety. So no, I am definitely not a patient person at all.

A little well-known fact about me: I was a VERY patient kid.

In elementary school, I was so frustrated that I couldn't draw Mickey Mouse that I sat myself down for 5-6 hours straight and drew his face nonstop. I can still draw it from memory. I'd read for, what seemed like, days at a time (pure heaven), and I'd have whole 24-hour marathons of Disney movies whenever I felt like it (and if my parents didn't put a stop to it). I'd play video games on long car rides, I'd sit and draw or paint. If I didn't have soccer, I would've done nothing but sit and been perfectly happy.

For the longest time, I wondered... where did it go? Did I use it all up? Did I lose it somewhere? Did the Internet steal it or adulthood knock it out of me?

I think part of it is that I'm a dreamer. I want goals that are seriously ridiculous in height. I'm 23 years old right now and you know what I thought or wanted to have accomplished by now? Two or three of my books would be published, I'd be working at Disney or Pixar or Laika (etc.) and in the comics industry at the same time. I'd have my own animation studio on the side with enough influence to give the bigger studios a run for their money. I'd be in, at least, my Master's education, or possibly PHD. Life would be good. But the reality is I'm financially struggling out of both student loan and credit card debt while attempting to be financially independent AND paying for another Bachelor's degree, I'm not even halfway through writing my novel, and I'm struggling with school and with sitting down long enough to get work done. I'm taking anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, and focus meds while needing sleep aids to calm myself down enough to sleep. I'm looking at planning/paying for a wedding/honeymoon, but don't have the time to tackle it.

I do have the man of my dreams and two stupid fur babies though who make so much of it worth it. But still, it's tough.

(My Kyle and I at our surprise engagement party)

(Fur Baby #1)

(Me with Fur Baby #2)

I'm also at that point in my life where everybody my age is having kids. I in NO WAY want kids right now. But I'm thinking more when I'm in the 28-30 range, which isn't too far from now (scary, right?), and I'm worrying about how I'm gonna pay for a house and support kids, even then.

There's also the part of the Internet and the instant-gratification society we currently live in, especially in the U.S.. We all want things NOW, NOW, NOW. If the Internet takes more than 2 seconds to load, we get annoyed or twitchy. We order fast food, but they take a minute or so longer than we'd like and we get grumpy. Many people no longer read (I DO read, by the way), but look for instant bits of information/skim through websites just to get what they need and move on. This as an alternative to going through the library and taking your time with your research. Modern-day society and technology sets us up to be impatient and it's difficult going against the grain when this is the culture you grow up in.

And last, but not least, it's being out in the "real world." I never realized how easy I had it in high school. I was far ahead of my class in the arts, so I won many awards and praised all the time. I didn't have to pay bills or think about supporting myself, which left more time for focusing on my craft and my homework (I also didn't have a social life... or much of one, anyway). Another thing about not being low on money is that it allowed me to dream easier about doing whatever it takes to break into the industry, even if it meant working for free or camping out at studios (I'm not insane, I swear). It was easier not to think about what I'd have to do for work until I got there IF I didn't get in. But surely I'd get in because my mom says I will, right? Right? Things don't come easy in the real world. People who don't make it in the industry don't make it necessarily because they're not qualified. In fact, many of them are very qualified. They don't make it because they don't keep at it long enough and don't keep that patience. It takes an average of 7 years out of undergrad to make your name in the industry. I'm only 2 years out and I'm going crazy.

What can I say? Life ain't fair.

So, you see, patience is a necessary part of life. You need to stick it out. But what happens if you've lost it all? How do you gain it back? I've done a lot of research on the subject, but I won't tell you just yet. You need to wait until Thursday for Part II of this post. Call it... a little test on patience (and possibly my hubris, since I'm assuming you're not only interested enough to take a peek at my blog on Thursday, but that you're also interested enough that you'll NEED patience due to your level of caring about this very subject). Until then, I'll leave you with the link to this incredible article on patience. It has helped me immensely.

Until Thursday, best of luck to you all! I'll even post a bit of art then too (oy, with the hubris already!). :P