Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Good Will Hunting (part 2)

Am I the person I am or the person I could be? If I'm trying to be true to myself and not be someone I'm not... where does "bettering myself" come in?

"No, I don't fold my laundry or wash my dishes. I'm a lazy, messy person. It's just who I am."

"No, I won't go back to school or try a new field of work. Shoot, I won't even relocate for a fresh start. I'm afraid of change and rejection - I'm an insecure person. It's just who I am."

I spent Monday in Charleston. I love going to Charleston. Somehow it helps me think... plus it's friggin' awesome and also beautiful. I took my big Mead, 5-subject spiral notebook and a fat ink pen out to the pier, lay down on one of the square benches at the edge, and began to write. I was there for hours.

See, I loved my job at the church. It was something I felt like I could do. Not in the sense of capability, but by default, in the sense of "you can't hardly screw this one up, right?" Obviously, one can. But it felt comfortable and safe. And yes, I believe I truly did love what I did. But they said I wasn't perfectionistic enough to hold it. They said they wanted to "release" me to find somethin
g I really loved.

Before I went to the pier, I went in the Waterfront Gallery on East Bay Street. I looked around slowly, soaking everything in. As I passed by the front desk, they asked (and I'd heard them whispering before) if I was an art major. The question flattered and crushed me. Flattered because I must have looked like I knew what I w
as looking at... crushed with a wave of, "I should have been." Back in a corner, taking in every inch of the pieces, I spontaneously started to cry. At the beauty of the works, yes, but mostly with an overwhelming realization that I could be doing that. I should be. I NEED to be.

Looking out alternately between the desperate cries of prayers on my paper and the glistening water before me, I forced myself to talk (write) through everything. How I felt, what was valid, what was true. After a while I was in tears. I was angry that I felt so pressured to find something great, my perfect fit, when I didn't even know what it was. That they were telling me I didn't love what I did. That I was hearing that I'd failed. That if this wasn't for me and I couldn't even handle something this simple, what could I ever be good for in the working world other than perhaps scooping ice cream?

"I want to love. I want to live. I want to love life. ... Is there a fire in me? Can I ever set it loose on the world? Will it only destroy me in the end? I don't want to settle for contentment due to fear, but I don't know what to do next."

A man, a stranger walked by and I was struck by the fact that it's not that I don't like people... just large groups of them that are talking at me and irritable because they've let their pride get to them. But REAL people - hurting people, happy people, people who need a hug... I like them. I want to love them.

And then I knew. It scared the spit out of me, but I knew as clear as I knew I was sitting there with tears leaking down my face. I need to go back to school. I need to study art. And I need to get a job in the meantime as a massage therapist.

Just like that.

I stood up and walked to the far right end of the pier where I could just let it out without lots of people walking by and stared at the reflection of the setting sun dancing on the waves. And then something else hit me like a ton of bricks - I could brush this all off, say it was something I ate, go home and look for something safer... but I'd be disobeying God.

So what does that have to do with a movie that has way too many swear words in it? Will had a gift and he wasn't doing anything with it. He was happy and satisfied with the easy, the simple, the safe. I'm an artist, or so I claim... but isn't an artist someone who is not just capable of making art but someone who actually DOES it occasionally?

Maybe one day - should be some day soon - you'll come knock on my door and I'll be gone.

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