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Monday, June 11, 2012

Frustrated Artist? Me?

It will be June soon, the beginning of the middle of the year. Summer. When being sticky is less hobby and more obsession. We will pay good money to be in places with good air conditioning, and are talking about purchasing an improved model for our humble apartment. Something to aid the dehumidifier in the fight to keep back the black mold that was only delayed, not driven out, by the change of wall paper.

But summer has not yet come.  I can still bike to work without bathing in my own sweat.  The 6.4 km ride used to take more than 25 minutes, but I recently got it down to under 15.  The stoplights and traffic and wind have to cooperate, but I can do it. Of course, I now have to take closer to 25 minutes to avoid the sweat bath, and by the end of June I will probably need 35 minutes.  Still better than cramming on the subway, hoping to stand under the aircon, breathing in kimchi breath and farts and whatever else has made its way onto that car.

I took a personality test during my Wednesday night Fellowship group, and it described me as, "The Artist".  I wasn't exactly thrilled to find this out, but the label feels very accurate.  I enjoy teaching, but the part I like best is explaining something so well that another person understands it easily.  I love having the right words.  When I was young... no.  Scratch that.  I'm 42 years old, "young" takes in a depressingly large chunk of my life.  When I was a teenager, one of the most important lessons I learned was this:

Not every clever thing you can say should be said.

Of course, there are undoubtedly many friends, family and acquaintances who would testify that I still need to  learn this lesson.  Including the people who I work for now.

This year I decided to not talk in staff meetings.  I decided that whether the emperor was wearing a robe, nothing at all, or a peekaboo teddy, I would not be the one to point it out.  I would smile and nod, confident that others in the crowd were also shutting away a part of themselves, studiously ignoring the banging on the inner room in which one locks up one's sanity from time to time.

But I digress. My point was this: I loved saying the clever thing. Still do. Because I love the words.  I am a frustrated word artist. My idea of visiting a museum is reading a book. I love reading something that is well written, and long to create things that are well written as well.

I've done well in the classes I've taken the last few years, including passing a standardized education test with flying colors.  The assignments were all essays, of course. The test was half multiple choice, half essay.

Some of you reading this will be saying the same thing I am saying right now: I shoulda been a writer. Living hand to mouth (not so different from being a part-time math teacher in that respect), depending on my brain rather than a roomful of kid brains, getting paid (hopefully) to take the same old words everyone else has access to and put them in slightly different orders to amuse and inform other human beings.

Is it too late?  We're looking at a school for Maxine that will require us to come up with about $9,500 for her to start in March.  I'm going to change jobs to something that sucks away a smaller percentage of my soul, but no telling what sort of housing, if any, will be provided. It's such a crazy time to be having thoughts like this.

And I'm 42 years old this year.  The year of meaning. The year of The Answer.

I sure hope it's not a midlife crisis.  Gotta try to get my hypertension under control.

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A Brief Introduction

Roblog is my writing lab. It is my goal to not let seven days pass without a new post. I welcome your criticism, as I cannot improve on my own.

Here is a link to my cung post, which remains the only word which I have ever invented, and which has not, as far as I know, caught on. Yet.