Tomorrow is my last (and only) final. It's a 20 minute painting critique, and then I go home on Sunday. I'm not too worried about it. I've only missed one class (single day painting, so, yeah. But I did an extra still life so it's like I never missed anything.), and I've gotten all A's and one B+ on my homeworks, which seems to mean that I picked up on class material well.
I cannot wait for this school year to finally be over. There is literally no place I would rather be right now than at home with my pets, surrounded by woods, away from my roommate, and without the noises of the constant traffic (it is lighter at night, but still.) and fire engines that come so frequently because people *coughstudentscough* apparently can't figure out how to not set smoke alarms off.
While I have had a few good experiences- like going to The Mütter Museum
, winning an award for my performance and work ethic at the library, and a few other smaller things, the year was pretty awful.
It was my first year without my roomie of a few years, and it felt... Wrong. Turns out, the current one (who is packing the last of her things as we speak), was a complete and total, victim complex-infected cunt. I didn't even feel welcome in my own apartment. I felt entirely alone, and really, I didn't see much of a point in going out and making new friends because, well, it's my last year here. There'd be no reason. I'd never see them again. I mean, I had decent relationships with all of my classmates and most of my coworkers, but that was the extent of it.
I was working at least 40 hours per week between two jobs, plus being a full time student with course overload and studio hours for three classes. Needless to say, I think I only vaguely remember what this mythical thing called "sleep" is. I've been consistently overworked, exhausted, and couldn't afford to take a single day off. If it hadn't been for sudden snowstorms, I wouldn't have had a single mental health day aside from "school closing" events (Thanksgiving weekend, winter break, etc.). This resulted in a near-alarming number of anxiety attacks and breakdowns (including one particularly embarrassing day at AC Moore where I had an anxiety attack during one of the most terrifying "20% off your entire regular and sale price purchase" events we've had and my entire line had to shut down...). It wasn't fun, and even if I wanted to see a counselor, I wouldn't have had time, anyway. (Don't worry, with me completing classes a bit early due to thesis installation, it started to die down.)
I lost my spark. I like drawing and all, but... I can't really get past a little doodle or sketch (that I generally end up tossing away and not bothering to continue.). I've been working on trades and commissions, and only have one remaining commission, but that's mostly it. I've found old projects that I'd forgotten to post and have been putting them up now and again, but yeah. I had a point this semester where I would look at my assignments (thesis, painting, and screen printing) and just either cry or shut down. I opted out of exhibiting my thesis project (which I literally barely passed- I think it's my first D in a course in my entire life...) because I couldn't handle the pressure of being made to act like something that made me feel so awful was a huge accomplishment that deserved to be shown.
Various other issues occurred. One of my rabbits passed away, a few days shy of his tenth birthday. My paternal grandmother was diagnosed with Stage 3 lung cancer- inoperable because the tumor is directly behind her heart (and may have gone unnoticed if she hadn't asked them to check, as she was a heavy smoker.). My parents are getting over a rocky divorce. Just. Tons of family shit on top of the school shit. Because everyone was dealing with their own problems, I couldn't really go to family about anything I was personally going through. It wouldn't have been fair to them.
My thesis advisor even said that, before I move on to applying to the School of Education, I need time off. She said she was surprised I actually made it through the semester without having a heart attack or being stressed to the point I needed hospitalization. She even told me that she could see how worn down I was and that she slowly watched the 'spark' die out because of how draining everything has been. I'm really hoping I get it back before next spring, when I'm aiming to student teach... I was so relieved to hand in everything I did so far and actually cried for a while today because I was so happy that it was all over.
Needless to say, I am now officially 100% done with studio jewelry. I never have to touch it again. I thought I loved doing it- I really did. Sadly, I realized that I was just telling myself that because I felt "stuck" with it. I had tried desperately to connect something I loved with it- which worked for a little while. I really wish I had been able to see this earlier. Then I could have gone with ceramics or scientific illustration or something.
So yeah. No more jewelry commissions. Might do some small things with the bones and claws and such that I still have, but that's about it.
All I can say is- I hope that the next chapter in my life is better than this one was.