No. I won’t do that to you guys. I promise. Love the song, but watch the movie twice and realise how bad it actually is. Anyway, the movie isn’t what this blog post is about.
This post is about getting home from vacation and finding out that real life was waiting to slap you upside the head with a smile and a WELCOME HOME BWAHAHAHAHAH. Ten thirty at night I get home and realise that whilst I’ve made it onto the President’s (Dean’s) List again, I’m also indebted to the school in the proximity of 4k.
Now, I’m on the GI BILL, which is awesome, and which pays for my schooling. 100% of my schooling if you include the Yellow Ribbon Program.
Except for remedial classes.
Which I’m in.
Those the GI BILL will not cover because they’re not directly related to my degree.
So, what did I do? I panicked. I absolutely panicked last night. I thought it was an accounting error. There’s NO WAY I could be indebted to the school for so much. Except that it’s not an accounting error and I am in debt.
I shouldn’t be complaining. There are people out there much more in debt than I am, and who have far fewer options than I do to get out of it. I’m not complaining. I’m scared. I’ve been poor before. 4k hell, even 5k is scary to me now, because I’m just barely getting myself out of the bucket. So, naturally, I panicked. I about cried. My brain swirled. How am I going to get myself out of this? How am I going to make my dollar stretch further? How am I going to get a job and manage to keep a 4.0 in college? How am I going to be able to do the things *I* want to do?
The funny thing about worry is it doesn’t make the situation any better. I’m prone to fatalistic thoughts. I take the worst thing that could possibly happen and fixate on it, thinking that it will happen because that’s usually how these things go with me. Is the remedial class clause the worst thing that could happen? Yes, because it means that I have to find a way to pay for the classes or risk getting booted out of the school.
Will worrying about it help? No. It’ll make me sick and give way to a bunch of other psychosomatic problems that are triggered by my particular type of worrying.
So, what do I have to do?
Well, selling art is an option I’m seriously considering. Avoided doing it like the plague, but now it’s looking like a good option. Getting back into the workforce is another. Scholarships and going out on a limb for Pell Grants and FAFSA loans are a third.
Worrying is not.
I can’t worry. Because if I worry, I’ll crawl into a hole and never come out. I’ll start doubting everything about myself, including my ability as an artist and to get a job in the future.
Let it go.
I have to tell myself this.
Let it go.
There’s nothing I can do to change the fact that I am in debt. I am in debt. This is a fact. Letting go of the fear, the panic, the worry and accompanying self-loathing and doubt, is the first step to realising that there is a way to pull myself out of debt, I just have to be clever about it.
Because this is a writing blog, I’m going to tie it back. Check it out, the arts (any kind of arts) is a scary business. It’s fluid, it’s always changing, and eight times out of ten; it’s getting outsourced to Korea. Art doesn’t discriminate, art doesn’t even want you to be good, art wants you to try because when you try you learn and when you learn you get better. But you don’t get better if you don’t put yourself out there to be criticised, critiqued, hated, and lauded. All will be thrown your way. If you stay in your shell, if you stay in your head with the art you’ve created, you’ll never grow. Fear is the thing that makes or breaks an artist. We are fragile creatures. Anyone who tells you different is a liar, and probably high on something. Letting go of the fear, learning how to grow a thick skin in the face of assholes (there are many) is the key difference between that terrible, useless word ‘aspiring’ and ‘writer/artist/graphic designer’.
Let It Go is a great song, everyone should listen to it at least once. Not because Idina Menzel is a fantastic singer who deserves all the praise she gets, but because the song reminds you that letting go can be the best thing you ever did for yourself.