Bird in a Cage

Two things I want to talk about. First, if you’re interested in being an art student, here is my critical piece of advice: stick to your guns and fight for your work. Today we were supposed to have a final showing of our thesis work before the winter break. It was emphasized that the work should be as final as possible. But when we arrived and displayed, the professors (one in particular) seemed to treat it as another crit.

After all the work we’ve put into this project, you expect us to make such drastic changes that you’re suggesting? I realized that this was (unintentionally) a real challenge to our art. Can we defend it? Can we stand by it? Because everyone’s a critic. Everyone has an idea of what direction your work should take, and how it speaks to an audience. In the end, you can’t make everyone happy, and you can’t change your work based on multiple opinions. I wish someone had hammered this into my brain when I started art school. And that’s my two cents.

My second bit is about my desire to leave NYC and be my own woman. I feel this has come into question more often because of my impending graduation. I have loved NYC with all my heart, but it’s time for me to move on. New York has stopped inspiring me. I want to do so many things and go so many places, and I can’t have anything or anyone hold me down. I can’t have someone or something tell me where to go or who to be or what to do. I want to live in Seattle. Maybe I want to try living in Canada, too. I want to work with numerous organizations and film festivals. I want to live in the Bay Area again.

But there are so many people I love here. I have connections here. I have a sweet apartment here. And if I leave, I can never have any of it again. NYC will replace me and forget me like yesterday’s headlines. There are so many people who want what I have, and I can’t decide if I’m willing to let it go.

But I’m tired of feeling like I can’t be who I want to be. If NYC doesn’t like me, it’ll chew me up and tear me apart. There are times here when I feel I can’t be an activist and an educator and a photographer and a baker and anything else I want to be. And it is at those times that I realize again that I can be all of those things, but New York will not let me happy that way. And I know there are people who are all of those things and more here. But NYC wants me to be a New Yorker or get the fuck out, and that’s not who I am. I don’t want to be a New Yorker. I want to be me, and most importantly, I want to be happy.

Decisions, decisions. I have to make dinner now.

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One Response to Bird in a Cage

  1. […] as an Army partner. Her concerns are similar to the ones I raised in an earlier post about independence and womanhood. Here’s a fun fact I learned from my aunt, who is the wife of a retired 4-star […]

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