Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Bag Lady

It’s been a strange and frustrating time. I confess, in a moment of utter discouragement and anxious uncertainty, I literally typed “Where do I go in life?” into the search box, offering up my every question of life-purpose and direction to the gods of Google.

There’s been talk lately about frustration with jobs and peoples’ souls being eaten by stagnancy and dying passion. And while I resonate with this to a lesser degree, the restlessness is indeed unsettling; but I keep remembering the look on his face when he said, “Why would anyone, EVER, make themselves so vulnerable to their job that they let it eat their soul???”

I thought that was brilliant, and also difficult to reconcile for a person like me.

All my personal anxiety in this regard came to a peak on Monday. Bubbling over with frustration, I reached a new readiness for change that exceeded anything I’ve felt in the last 2 years. I woke this morning with the weight of it all pressing my chest and head into my pillow, suggesting I shouldn’t even bother getting out of bed. But I did, and decided the only thing to do was break out the strong coffee, paper bag, and a sharpie. This Paper Bag Therapy, as I have named it, is one of the most cathartic things I’ve ever done for myself. Lying on my stomach, I uncap the marker and have at it; the Sharpie didn’t have the slightest clue what was coming.

Furiously writing every scattered thought, question, idea, conundrum, obstacle and need, I categorically spelled out everything I know and do not know about what I want in life, at this point in time. It’s worth mentioning that the header reads: “PAPER BAG THERAPY, Session #2, 3 march 2010, Age 24. >>HANG ONTO THIS, I'M SURE YOU'LL GET A KICK OUT OF IT WHEN YOU'RE 50.”

So although I’m knee-deep in the murky ambition of a twenty-something, I can still appreciate the fact that this is a stage, a necessary stage of searching and exploring, and when I’m much older with much more perspective, I’ll laugh at the adorable innocence of all my current anxiety.

I was however able to identify some things I most definitely do NOT want as I move forward in life (ehem.. marketing/sales positions). Beyond that, the list of potential career interests was somewhat vague- lacking practical knowledge of professional applications or the steps to even ‘get there.’

But despite the lack of resolute clarity, I feel a bit better. I feel honest about where I’m at, mostly joyful while searching, and certain that life can still go on colorfully in the face of aimlessness and uncertainty, if you decide so.

New #7: The Finished Product

(Done at the request of a friend; centered around a theme of homelessness)

Canvas, synthetic fabric, paper, coffee, thread, spray paint, acrylic, wetfoam, clay, glue.