Hi.

Welcome to my brain.

what do you do when your life is chaotic and nothing makes sense anymore

Yeah so I definitely don't have the answer to that, I have zero insight and I just put that as the title because it's been a reoccurring thought in my life for the past few weeks. 

Since starting back at school for this 2016 Fall Semester, I have found myself asking more questions than ever. To myself, to my professors, to my friends, to my siblings, to my parents, to God...and I have also found that the curiosity and wonder just grows with every answer that I'm given. Sometimes I think it's because I'm given an answer that I don't necessarily want, or believe. Sometimes it's because the answer isn't actually given, it's just suggested, or it's silent. The answer is the accumulation of thoughts, meditations, and prayers; and sometimes there's so many thoughts that it clouds the answer that I might find in my meditation or prayer. And it turns into this hot mess that is my brain. I compare my brain to a lot of things, the most common being scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, and cold oatmeal. I think I'm not alone in being totally caught up in what I'm thinking and forgetting to listen for the answers that I'm trying to find. 

That said, I don't think I'm looking for answers. Because I don't know what I'm looking for, I'm just asking questions because I think that maybe I should start looking for something. Lately, I've had this pull on my heart. This inclination to leave. This gut feeling that I am exactly where I am not supposed to be. I couldn't tell you why I feel this way; I could chalk it up to wanderlust if that's what I thought it was, but I don't. I know that I am a wanderlust. I know very much that I can't sit still and that I often have this desire to go places. I know that's what my parents and my friends think it is. That I need to stop, to slow down, to take my time. I am aware that I am young, and that I am restless, and that sure, maybe it's fernweh, but maybe it's not. Maybe I'm not supposed to be here. Maybe I'm not supposed to graduate, or be in Lincoln, even if I only have a little time left. Maybe I'm not impatient, and maybe this pull on my heart is God's voice. Maybe there's a chance that it's more than just wanderlust and desire to leave. What if I have this inclination and feeling and desire because it was set on my heart? Not because I made it up, but because it was placed there very carefully. 

Now if that is true, then why was it put there. Why do I have this massive need to be somewhere else? This is what my brain has been wandering to mostly. Why am I so unsettled wherever I am? In the recent weeks, I've been considering my options. I've been trying to not ignore this feeling that has been weighing so heavily on my chest. Because I'm on scholarship, and people get degrees, and this is what's expected from my generation, why would I consider dropping out of school? It seems mute to think about it, especially because of the scholarship. I should just ride her out until I have that stupid piece of paper telling me that I'm allowed to be an adult now. I was supposed to graduate this May, as in May 2017. I recently found out that my new expected date of graduation is December 2018, and that's if I start taking 17 credits per semester, with three studios per semester along with lectures and ACE courses. Hi, no thank you, I have a job that I have to work in order to pay rent, to buy groceries, to live my life. So, as any overwhelmed college student does, I think "K dropping out now, it was fun." But then I actually thought about it. 

I'm in a ceramics class that I physically can not do. My hands have further progressed in being terrible, which I'm totally at peace with, but ceramics makes me cry like a small child. The wedging, and pinching, and kneading, and lifting, and rolling, and okay all of it. All of it is very painful. But this class is required as part of my major. The only way to change my curriculum is if I get permission from the office of disabilities. The office of disabilities says I need have a diagnosis. I've been to many physicians but have no diagnosis as of yet. So for now, I have to stay in ceramics. And people have to help me. Which I hate (except when it's Cam). ( This is God saying, "let me love you" by making me accept help from people. I just had that thought right now. Nice! ) So I asked myself why I was in a ceramics class. Why am I in a class that I physically can't do, that I will not pursue after school because of my disability, that I have no future in? I then looked at my other classes: Human Geography, Painting, Art History. Human Geography, while relatively interesting, makes me want to die. (k drama)

Why am I sitting in a class room learning about culture and other countries when, wait a minute, I have two feet and the whole world is right underneath of them? Okay, so that might be wanderlust. But truly, this class is memorizing and regurgitating, and that's it. And after the semester ends, how much will anyone actually remember? The only way to actually learn about culture is to immerse yourself in it. To be part of it. I told this to pa Ervin and his comeback to me was, "how do you fund that lifestyle" 

to which I replied, "By not wasting my money on school, making and selling art, and tips at my day job."  Which I have been saving up for exactly that. 

And then it started to become more real to me. I am an artist. My degree is going to be Bachelor of Fine Arts. Yes, a degree is nice, and I'm not knocking it for anyone except for myself. I, Abigail Ervin, do not want a degree. Mostly because I've had more people tell me that it would be a good "back up" in case my art doesn't work out. Or it would be good for "options" in case my art doesn't work out. Alright, so I guess my art is just going to have to work out. I guess I'll have to prove that I am capable of doing something with my life, with my passion, with my talent, with my skills that I have been working for and changing and adapting for literally my entire life. Sometimes I'm not sure that people actually believe that I can do things. I think they forget that I am, in fact, an adult. And I do have plans. I have ambitions and goals. That I practice my art unceasingly. And when I say unceasingly, I mean it. I draw more often that I sleep. And isn't that how you get better at art? Isn't that why our studio classes are three hours long? So we can practice and improve? Imagine not being in those three hour classes for ceramics, and having an additional 6 hours a week to strive to better my skills in something I can use. In something I am using. Imagine having all of that time to practice and improve for something that actually matters to me.

And then figuring out why the hell it matters to me so much. Why drawing? Why am I good at it and what can I use it for? I like to imagine I'll go back to Kolkata and make more art. I like to imagine myself publishing illustrated books that spread the message of beauty. I like to imagine that I will use my talent for good things. And because it's what I love to do. While my hands are almost always hurting, drawing is an source of ease and almost a home to me. I get the practicality of a degree. I understand why people need school, and why it's important for people. I don't get why it's important to me. I don't get why I need to have a diploma shoved down my throat to say that I am good at my craft. I don't mean to sound like I think I'm great, or like I can't learn anything in school because I'm great, or anything at all like that. In fact, I'm staying right now because of painting. Because every painting, I feel like I'm learning about the medium, and about the way I can make art. But I also feel like I could learn that on my own. As like drawing, you learn by practice and obsessive repetition. I know that I have learned so much of what I know from the students that have surrounded me the past three years, and my professors, and visiting artists. I know how useful school has been to me until this point. I know that I will never find better more affordable facilities than the ones I have here at the University. But I also know that I can do this on my own now. 

I have been given what I need, and now I can do it. I am not afraid of my life anymore. I am not afraid of being on my own, I am not afraid of leaving, of disappointing people, of anything that I feel I am being called to do. 

It's more than wanderlust, and t's more than impatience. It is my duty to listen, to not cloud my crazy little brain, and to understand the difference between a fleeting feeling, and the path that I am supposed to be taking. None of this is for me. None of it has ever been for me. I know now that nothing will ever matter, nothing will ever make sense unless I am doing it for the right reasons. I am living for Truth, and I am living everything as truly and genuinely as I can. This is all very real to me, and very confusing. Most things don't make a lot of sense to me right now because up until a few weeks ago, a degree made the most sense. I know that I am fickle. I know that I don't sit still. But I also know where my heart belongs, and eventually I am going to have to stop ignoring the strings that are pulling on it. 

I can do this, and until this moment, I thought I needed people to believe in me and to support me. But I am not afraid anymore. 

Jesus things

everything is amazing

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