{September 27, 2013}   What’s Your Beef?

Having spent a lifetime in the educational system and half a lifetime pathetically rallying against it, I am finally out — dropped out, in fact, for a year of doing whatever the myriadic wants of my frustrated and greedy inner child dictate. This was the ideal I had planned before I realised just how frustrated and greedy this little brat is.

I am a hobbyist. I have too many interests to manage, and none of them strong enough to say what it is I actually want to do with my life, which at almost 21 is starting to worry me. Having lost love in the worlds of drawing, acting, and now writing too, my current ‘love’ is with videomaking, but nothing’s being made because I have videomaker’s block. I’ve started drawing daily to stimulate some creativity, but now what little I have is geared towards my drawings. I try every day to do something worthwhile, to follow some creative dream or another, but in the end, nothing happens. I’ve done nothing for my first month of freedom, and yet in my mind and body and my athiest’s soul I feel as though I have been working heartlessly for months. And now I’m ill because I ate 2 year old beef.

Let me tell you the story of the beef.

A few days ago, a friend of mine undertook a quest of the modern age — to reclaim our communal freezer from the Great Frost, and to salvage any lost treasures within. After 2 days of thawing and the unpleasant job of awkward cleaning (including mopping up unknown animal blood), he discovered just one item, one proud reward. A human baby sized hunk of vacuum-packed beef. After a long slow cook resulting in dog food scented slices in a sweaty brown puddle, I eventually decided to set aside my suspicions of the ‘Best Before’ year date-lacking beef baby, and help him devour the great haul. Needless to say, I got ill and he got the squirts.

2 years ago, I left home for the first time to study at University. It was an adventure — new territory, new prospects, new people and a new me. I’d found belonging in my month-old daily-updated blog, I’d found friends whose dreams and ideals actually matched my own, and I was on a course that would inform and support me in my vague dreams of being a great scriptwriter. I was so proud, so hopeful, and so looking forward to the future.

In my second year, I got ill. Something about the course and its requirements just didn’t sit well with me, and my body started to revolt against it. The stress of writing so many essays that I didn’t care about and having to back up every single ‘original’ thought with whichever dead theorist thought of it first was utterly disabling. I lost all my time, my peace of mind, and my joy. I lost myself.

When my year out is up, I will return to the educational system, albeit in a much less heart-numbing arena. I’ll be replacing essays with hands-on practice, and set questions with open-ended video-making projects. Maybe it’ll work out. And maybe videomaking will be the first hobby I loved that I didn’t fall out of love with. Maybe it’ll be another plate of suspicious beef. All I know is I’m drawing again, and I’m writing again, and soon I’ll be making videos again. I’m going to stop being ill, and I’m going to love my life again, and it’s going to show in everything I do.

Just you watch.

H x



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