It’s apparently 3:10 in the morning, something of which already gives me a moment of clarity as I thought the digital analogue reading was to read something around the sort of 1AM, perhaps as late as 1:30AM. Apparently I’ve been up for the past 3 hours – not quite sure as to what I’ve been pre-occupying myself with as, I have just said, I thought only an hour had past since my eyes peeked open at midnight. What’s worse is that I only went to sleep at 11:00PM with heavy eyelids, something of which I thought summoned a good night’s sleep. Clearly, I was just in need of a nap. Wonderful.
Anyways, this post has already rerouted itself from its original purpose. So back on track, here we go.
As just a mere few sentences ago I stated, yes, I have been functionally awake since midnight. Thinking it was one of those awakening moments when your natural body clock clicks itself on right before the alarm goes off, I thought, “Wow, its 6AM already and I feel pretty damn good.” Negative. My disappointment in my 1 hour ‘nap’ was not quite on the levels of theatrical, but most definitely more dramatic than it should have been to be classified within regular persons’ standards. And so I sat, somewhat anxious wondering what I should do to fill my time, and perhaps encourage a sleepy-time relapse. Computer? No. Internet surfing would just add to my anxiety I think. Letter writing? No. Although I’m sure someone would have received a rather incomprehensible rant concerning my failure at achieving a smooth night’s rest. I had visited Waterstones, a bookstore chain, today to gather some academic reads and whilst there picked up a John le Carré novel, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.” One of my dad’s favourite authors, the title has also been flashed on TV screens throughout the UK as an up and coming film – one of which le Carré has deemed a strong representation of his book. So, I decided to enjoy some old fashioned, and nothing-beats-it, English mystery literature.
Reading through the pages, my anxiety began to fade and thoughts of my upcoming move north surfed upon my awaking brainwaves. I think it was the act of an enjoyable activity of which brought up such thoughts. After a few more pages, I decided to write.
“So.. how did you end up in Indiana?”
Throughout the past decade (and yes, it does pain me to write such a timeline-based statement) I have gone through many transitions, as we all do post-16 year-old experiences. At sixteen, as many of you can recall, I wanted to be an athlete. I wanted to live it, love it, and encompass my identity around it. At seventeen, I decided that I would move to the United States and pursue an athletic scholarship to commence my dream of ‘making it big’ and proving everyone that I could do it. What didn’t come to my realization until after I had accepted an offer to attend Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and commenced my studies, were two things: A) I should have studied American geography so to have learned where the hell I was sending myself to; and B) I did not want to be an athlete, nor did I even want to study the trade. I did something purely outside of my goody-two-shoes, innocent reputation, and that was to give-up and drop out of university after one year of complete uninspired attendance. I still remember calling up my mum with what I thought was the most fantastic revelation of my life, but apparently was not as such on her end of the phone. Lesson learned: a few minutes after telling your parent you want to drop out of university after forking over a massive lump-sum of your life’s worth, it may be too soon to joke about it. So what happens next? Nothing. For an entire year, I did nothing but breathe. After sufficient oxygen had returned to my brain, I chose to move to England. At age twenty, I packed up a significant amount of my belongings and shipped myself over to London. Vulnerable, and still wanting to please all those around me, I ended my London dreams and moved back to Indiana to finish my degree. Never received any pressure from surrounding parties, and from my mum, nothing but pure support to do what I needed to do in life. Due to many reasons, it was the decision I had to make for myself to figure out where many paths of my life were taking, and to this day I do not regret it. However, what I do regret, is taking almost the entire four years of attending university at the Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI to realize the amazing people of which I was surrounded by. Which brings me to this first moment of clarity. Sitting on the bed, reading my Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy novel, I thought about all the wonderful people of whom I’ve met and am keeping in touch with still. From elementary school, to high school, to Purdue University, and now Indianapolis, I’ve met some pure, absolute quality. Some mates are also pure crap, but I adore them anyways. 😉 But even through difficult transitions and hurtful experiences, I do appreciate everything that each friendship gave me whether still lasting or not.
Turning it up a notch
What I see as inspiring my sudden happiness (a word I have used very rarely in sincerity in my life, and hold absolute heaviness on), is that throughout my four years I gradually developed a sense of wanting to better myself. I wanted to respect the fact that I was still forking out a massive amount of money to attend university, and so I was determined to match the dollar quantity with attended quality. My curriculum vitae is impressive, and my transcripts can match. I’m not shy to boast about my hard work! However, in addition to paper results, I wanted to change myself internally – both metaphorically and physically. After my trip to China in May 2010 with my homegrown mate Stephanie, I began to focus on alternative paths in my life. No matter how hard I had worked in university and in life, I had yet to experience the actual definition of “work” in relation to what my parents went through to get me, my sister and brother to where we are today. I grew tiresome of my own whining regarding money, course loads, work loads, etc. I was uninspired by my own voice, and such a feeling is merely a waste of time. I see myself as changed. I’m more spiritual, engaged, and I actually want to take care of myself so that I can take care of others in the future. This lead to my next clarifying view.
Traditional vs. Art Kids
Attending Durham University for my postgraduate studies is step one in the changes I want to make progress on here on out. Being a Fine Arts graduate, you can easily feel pinholed by your non-art studying peers. We’re eccentric. We’re extroverts. We’re oddly matched. We’re just odd. We’re unfocused. Loopy. Crazy. Unrealistic. Obnoxious. Snobs. Trendy. Freakish. Confused. Immature. Even by our artistic peers we’re judged. Constantly. In fact, its required within our curriculum to critique relentlessly and honestly. I think some of us, if not all, will own up to one or more of these stereotyped characteristics. But we are by no means held strictly to them, are we? secured by lock and chain? In one aspect, I do find that at times we don’t take on traditional academia with the same inspiration as we do our visual and mindful creations. Something of which I was determined to do for myself was to draw a path that I felt laid out a considerably undetermined definition as to what I was and am capable of. I did not want to be pinholed in seeing myself as purely creative in the world of academia. I wanted to see myself as capable of achieving and pursuing the discussion with those who consider me eccentric, extroverted, and unrealistic. What outsiders don’t see within us Art students is the way that our mind is able to reach a level of discussion which utilizes text book theories and history, but does not solely rely on it for opinion. We can speak from our heart and our mind, whether it be through abstracted smears of paint, or digital representations of modernity – and everything in between HOWEVER not all art students are willing to utilize these capabilities, which, I apologize, in my eyes is a person wasting the capabilities of the human body. And so, as stated, I’m hoping to progress on this within my own personal struggles and strengths.
A Lil’ Wee Side Project
I recently contacted 1/3rd of my facebook friends in request of their mailing address. One of my reasons for contacting numerous people I had linked as ‘Friends’ on facebook and requesting their mailing addresses was due to these changes that I am planning for myself. I want personal communication with those who will reciprocate. By using the term ‘personal’ I don’t necessarily mean through content, but through practice. I adore technology, and the digital world is definitely attractive. In the end, however, I still prefer a book in my hands to feel and hear the turns of the pages, and finding a newspaper on the underground still appeals to me rather than checking out updates online. And since I was little, letters have always been very, very important to me. I remember a conversation with my dad when I was little – pre or post-cancer, I do not recall. We were talking about reincarnation, and all I remember him stating was how he wanted to be reincarnated as a piece of paper. As a little girl, this statement seemed to hold the least amount of creative whimsy that an adult could possibly hold. His reasoning – so that whenever needed, he could be useful to everyone. To this day, that statement rings out with an indescribable amount of inspiration to me. After his passing in 1992, I began to write my father letters. I’d write them as if I was reporting my existing statistics, who knows why. I think I was convinced that someone would come across these letters like they do in far off novels of century-old discoveries, and I thought (at age 7 remind you) that whomever found these would be so intrigued as to who I was, and where I stood. So I would write “To daddy: My name is Victoria. I am seven years old. I have 1 brother and 1 sister. My father’s name is Chhuon, and his wife is Susan. She is my mum.” This would continue into scientifically termed statements as to how my father died. The most unpleasant and highly factual letters ever written by a seven year old who would later become an art student, if you ask me! Anyways, I still write him letters on paper. Less statistical these days, but nonetheless beginning with “To daddy..” and always signed off the same way for more than a decade. So there you go – a moment of honesty. And my reason for wanting to write letters more – to remain honest and connected without abbreviation or spell check.
Well, there you have it. My thoughts in the middle of the night. To sum up, I’m rather happy as I sit. For many reasons – some more significant, life changing, and inspiring than others… 🙂 xo
It is now almost 4:30 in the morning. Perhaps I can take another hour and a half ‘nap’ before my alarm goes off.
Speak again soon!
Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo
p.s – it is now 4:45AM. For those who know me, there was no way I was going to submit this without a read-over. Psh. 🙂 x