photographer. artist. author. singer. songwriter. musician. teacher. student. humanitarian. visionary.

Posts tagged “sabbatical

The Green Fairy

So Josh and I finally decided to try Absynthe:

Absynthe

It’s a liquor that was banned for almost 100 years due to its psychoactive properties (which are brought on by the wormwood that it contains) and a curiously high percentage of alcohol by volume. In other words, it’s a rich man’s moonshine. You’re supposed to drizzle cold water over a sugar cube into 2 oz. of absynthe until there’s a  1:1 ratio of each. We’d never tried it before so we decided to test out a small bottle- lest we find ourselves running naked through the streets after giving it a whirl.

After the solutions are mixed, the lime green colour gives way to a milky white- opaque sort of greenish concoction that’s quite pretty. We really didn’t have enough to judge accurately, but after we’d both had 2 oz., we were pretty laid back. It didn’t make us feel tipsy at all in an alcohol-induced way- but we were strangely subdued. (Josh took the gorgeous pic above with the Lensbaby.)

I’ve been MIA from my blog for quite some time. I haven’t had much to say, but really, I’ve been on a serious sabbatical since graduating in May! And this will be a short entry due to my raging migraine at the moment. (Nothing to do with the absynthe. It’s hormonal.)

I pictured my extended vacation (before graduating) and I saw myself doing a lot of lounging around, catching up on Netflix and just being a glorified beach bum (sans the beach + a dirty river instead). In fact, I’ve done very little of that. I’ve already opened up my first Etsy shop- selling anything and everything that Josh and I make art-wise. He makes clay African heads which are totally badass and also some pretty freaking awesome computer chip earrings and necklaces made from old motherboards. I’m so impressed with his creativity. 🙂 We’ve worked super hard on opening the shop, gathering inventory, and working on our packaging/branding. I won’t announce it here- not yet- because we’re not where I want it to be yet. We’ve only got 15 items listed, so we’re not quite ready to roll out a grand opening. Soon! Also, we’re working on our 2nd shop, which will be nothing like the first one. The first one is a catch-all for anything that strikes our fancy, but the 2nd one is deliberate and focused. So, we’ll be announcing both shops at once in the next few months. And, as much as I hate FB- with every drop in my body (and haven’t been there in 6 years)- I’ve decided to rejoin so that I can do my necessary PR and networking for our shops. Without social media, any business is dead in the water, and you have to PR the shit out of something if you want it to sell- it’s just that simple.

So- in several months, we’ll be linking our two shops here, and also on Facebook and Twitter and all of that good stuff. It won’t be a “fan” account at FB, it’ll be my own name and personal account, but it will double as a PR machine for new pieces we add here and there.

We’re pretty excited about this new direction we’re taking. I knew I wouldn’t be able to freaking lay around doing nothing! That doesn’t really exist in my world.

More on everything later. I currently have a rabid (invisible) critter gnawing at my head and the only thing that’ll help at this stage is to fall blissfully into unconsiousness. So, be well all. I miss everyone. x

 

 

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Three Weeks to Go

I can’t believe that there are only 3 short weeks to go before graduation. (Bachelor’s in Psychology.) My long road is almost over! At least for a while. Somehow, through my incredibly crazy life, I’ve managed to hold on to my grades: I’ll be graduating with honours. 🙂

Statistics for Behavioral Health- A
Marine Biology- A
Senior Seminar- A
Sensations and Perceptions (Psych.)- A
Psychology of Personality (Psych.)- B

I’m not happy about that B, but I can live with it. I am utterly exhausted. Five classes is no walk in the park and I’ve been doing this college thing for a long time now. I’m looking forward to picking up my camera again and MAKING ART. 🙂 I miss the mercurial, barefooted girl I used to be- wandering around abandoned farm houses picking branches and leaves out of my hair. And, if I have to reject one more null hypothesis I’m going to SCREAM. (Feel free to scream with me if you even know what that means!)

I’ll be taking a significant amount of time off after May- at least for the rest of the year. (And maybe all of 2017.)  I need a long sabbatical. Two years ago, when I got my Associates degree in Behavioral Sciences, I wanted to take a year off and do the photography thing again; but- I ran right back into the fire because apparently, I like my challenges on full blast. But I think I’ve had just about enough of that for now, so I’m ready to kick off my shoes and break out my M42 lens adapter and the Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon and go for a long walk.

I think it’s been more than two years consecutively since I’ve had an academic break. It’s been so long I don’t remember and I think I hit burnout about 3 years ago. I’m so glad it’s almost over! The academic and the artist have been battling it out for years now, and I’m happy to say, the artist is winning.


A Very Long Sabbatical

I’ve decided that after this semester’s over (in December), I’m going to take 1-2 years off from school. I’ve been pushing myself very hard for 4 years now (since the fall of 2010) with only one summer break. My brain hurts! I’m clawing at the fuzzy realization that it’s only two months away.

I remember the last day I worked at Dialamerica. I was a telemarketer (the woman everybody loved to hate!) and as I got out of the car, pregnant with my son, Brian, I put one foot on the pavement and it was all I could do to heave and ho and drag my other foot out. I hated every second of it. I thought to myself, “This is the last day I’ll come here. No more.” And that was it.

Well that’s how I’m starting to feel about school. I have chronic TMJ gnawing away at my head like a deranged hamster- the pain is gnawing at the pain, and it’s every day. Sleep is the only comfort I have because it’s the only time I’m not in pain. It’s making my schoolwork virtually unbearable. I just don’t feel good. I have the immune system of steel, I really do. I haven’t had the flu (or even a cold) in a year, and before that, it was another year. I seldom get sick, but I pay in pain in every other way.

As long as I’m convicted and driven by principle- I’m in it for the long haul. But this lukewarm romance with college is falling away and I’m scrutinizing the “balance” of it now. I have 3-4 years to go before I get my Master’s. By then, I’ll be 50! I don’t want to wait until I’m a burnt out shell to record my songs and work on my art and photography. (This is not a new song I’m singing. It was the same thing last year, and the year before.)

My mind is tired. The stress and hard work are taking their toll. For anybody who’s never been to college that might think it’s easy to be a full-time student year after year, not so! it’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done, continually. I don’t have the best track record in the world either. I have many ambitions and dreams! I’ve followed through on a few of them. But I’m suffering, and I just need a good, long sabbatical. Like- 2 years. I’ll be able to get a “hardship deferral”, so that’s not a problem.

And if I’m honest, part of me doesn’t care if I never return. I’m just So. Burnt. Out. 

Josh is very supportive of this executive decision. It means that I won’t get my Bachelor’s in 2016, but I miss the clouds and my photo-walks and my editing and my guitar playing and my dreaming and I miss the wondering of what the next day brings!

If I have to smell the air of indifference one more day I’m going to break. I’m watching the world spin from under my microscope and I get to be part of it when I go to the store. Yay! It’s not enough. I’m dying inside and I can’t let myself turn into an old, predictable, flaccid curmudgeon! So I’m counting down the days before I’m set free of this academic cocoon.

Today, I was sitting at a red light. I surveyed the scene and it was flat and dull. Cars turned and moved and sat and beeped and it was all very “normal”. I didn’t feel the least bit inspired by anything and felt stale inside. And then I realized why. My “photographic eye” has been asleep for months! When I’m actively taking pictures, daily, then I’m burning with fire inside- I’m alive. My eye is sharp and keen- like a hawk- and it’s quick and I see shots everywhere. I hear stories everywhere. People “speak” just in their gestures and I’m the storyteller, or, my camera is.

Today I was looking at the world through non-photographic eyes and it scared the crap out of me. As I’ve said before, school is choking the artist in me, and I have to do something different for a while. Besides, I want to focus more on my writing. Poetry, memoir, who knows? It’s yet to be explored and that excites me. :0)

But more than anything- I want to take pictures again and wander around with my camera- lost in the moment. That sounds like Heaven…

Weary


Sabbatical

Imageself portrait-natural lighting/manual-Helios 44-2 film/taken today

I don’t know how much longer I can do this school thing. Many of my friends are now applying for residencies- Bell, a brilliant writer has just applied to a writer’s residency in a remote fishing village in the Arctic Circle and another friend just got back from her residency in a remote rural area in Southern Iceland. I could probably list 50 others (no, seriously) right off the top of my head who are flying here and there and working hard on their exhibitions. They’re truly amaaaaaazing people and I’m really getting to the point to where I miss the crap out of them! It’s more than that. When you form a bond with a tight group of artists- for years- you come to know each other so well. And, you become a cycle of flowing water, each watering the other and eventually, you’re not even “you” any more but hundreds of other people- all reflecting one another.

Because of the hardships that have smacked me down over the past few months, I’ve had to put off my schoolwork until the last minute. I simply couldn’t do anything about it. Now, I’m facing 30 assignments in two combined classes and my deadline is March 7th. Am I screwed, or what?!

I have the resources to take a year off. I won’t have any extra money, but I would be able to minimally pay my bills and rent, buy food, but not much more. I’m not ready to jump into a “career”, socially speaking, not until I finish school, and so I’ve been in this tailspin for quite some time. My complaints are still the same. I want to do so many things with my art and music: I simply can’t as long as I’m in school.

And school is choking the living daylight out of me. Sure, I’m accomplishing small goals, always. But my bigger ones are drying up, such as, making a music CD, doing more school readings with my book- guh. I just don’t know how much longer I can do this.

Tonight, I’m supposed to work on my assignments, but I have to hook up with my art peeps and reconnect.

I can’t believe it’s March and there’s this much snow on the ground.
My red wine awaits. I have to take a freaking break before I blow a gasket.

I’ll be back…

…eventually.