I've had a lot on my mind lately. BIG SURPRISE. I've been blogging a little bit more personally lately, but hey... it's a personal blog! I've got a lot of time to think. In fact, I've got all day, every day to do nothing but think. Such is the postgraduate life! But joking aside, and academics aside, I've been thinking a lot more about choices, paths, and outcomes. Spurred by anxiety over schoolwork, but also about what comes after this year, I realize I've been hung up on what seems like the "right" thing to do. What makes the "most sense?" What if I suddenly become interested in studying American art -- then why am I in Edinburgh? Why Scotland in the first place? Why this, what if that?
First, I will declare: I'm giving up on "right." Right is stupid. And obviously I'm not talking about doing the right thing as in, doing the morally good thing. No. What I mean by "right" is the perceived thing that somehow rationalizes or justifies why I'm doing something. Even though I don't totally buy the left-brain/right-brain theory, let's just use that for the sake of an example. In case you want to read up on this, try here and then here. In the most summarized of summaries: the right brain is supposedly the creative side; the left brain is logical. (Whatever.)
The right brain wants to do what it wants. In my case, I like to draw and I think I'm fairly good at it. I like to blog, take pictures, jot nonsense in my Moleskine, wander around quiet neighborhoods for no other reason than to see them, listen to loud music, travel, etc. Left brain gets all up in right brain's business and insists on time management, budgeting money, thinking about the future, success, and doing what seems "right."The two sides just don't get along.
A few things have led me to reconsider, and I'm happy to say that I have shucked my anxiety (or at least the swollen, stupid part of it that was stressing me out) because of these things:
1>> A Deepak Chopra quote that one of my friends on Facebook posted yesterday:
"If you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, you are basically assuming that the universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for another.
"The universe has no fixed agenda. Once you make any decision, it works around that decision. There is no right or wrong, only a series of possibilities that shift with each thought, feeling, and action that you experience.
"If this sounds too mystical, refer again to the body. Every significant vital sign- body temperature, heart rate, oxygen consumption, hormone level, brain activity, and so on- alters the moment you decide to do anything… decisions are signals telling your body, mind, and environment to move in a certain direction."
2>> A blog post by the beautiful Henna at hennablossom.com featuring the "Recipe for a Long and Happy Life" by Ruth Bernhard featuring 8 encouraging (and TRUE!) things to remember every day:
1. Never get used to anything
2. Hold on to the child in you
3. Keep your curiosity alive
4. Trust your intuition
5. Delight in simple things
6. Say “yes” to life with passion
7. Fall madly in love with the world
8. Remember: Today is the Day!
3>> This video that speaks to the difficulties everyone has and being real. "There is no harder, there is just hard." A bit about being true to ourselves and everyone around us from Ash Beckham:
4>> A note from artist Simon Ling about painting from an article in The Guardian:
"...you should stick with what you are interested in and screw everybody else."
Much of this sort of thing I've heard before, of course (we all have), but I felt like I couldn't ignore messages coming from all directions. I know who I am, and I know what I like. I also know what I don't like. I know the moment I see it, or hear it, or feel it. But everything is constantly changing, including me. I change my mind all the time! And there's no reason to be anxious about a future that will never, at any point, be a fixed, static place. Worrying about whether what I'm doing is the correct choice or not, or worrying if what I'm doing fits someone else's mould of what is acceptable isn't going to propel me anywhere but backwards. There's absolutely no reason not to trust my instincts, to do what I want to do--ESPECIALLY at the very moment when I start wondering what other people are going to think or how I perceive it's going to affect me in the future.
Also, the answer to "Why Scotland for school?" is answered most honestly and succinctly with: Scotland sounded like it would be fun! ;)