Should be no problem, right? I mean, I’m doing just what everyone else is doing and I can give the answer that my extended family wants to hear at Thanksgiving dinner when they ask what I’m studying at school. “Oh, I’m taking a management course and learning all about the unemployment rate in economics…which hopefully won’t affect me since I don’t want to be an artist anymore, I know.”
I sat in statistics yesterday and absorbed what seemed like endless amounts of equations, but to me, it meant nothing. I stared down at my notes. The alpha looked like a fish and the sigma looked like a beautiful design that could make lovely body art. The graphs are fun to draw because it’s almost like making art on my paper. It’s as if the numbers physically could not process in my brain. I can only see the beauty in the shape, the curves, and structure of the symbols.
Going through our modern education system, it has become very simple to fake our way through subjects that don’t resonate like others. We can pick up on the tiniest details and string the details together into coherent sentences that make us sound like we know what we’re talking about. Being a deep thinker, though, is not granting me the same amount of success as it has in the past. There really is no way to discuss concepts of the economy and calculations in a way that is spiritual and free.
My professors stand in front of the room and spit out fact after fact and all I can do is daydream. I’ll dream about my walk to my dorm from class and all the interesting people I will walk by. Then I’ll move on to the conversations I will have with the person in the elevator. I check back in and hear about the stock market crash of 1929 and I will begin to think of all the possibilities of what would happen if something like that would happen today. I will think about how ridiculous the stock market even is and how little, green, pieces of paper have taken control of the world. Then I will think of how we need shelter, clothing, and food. Speaking of food, I’ll begin to dream about what I’m going to eat next. As this all runs through my head, my hand is writing furiously everything my professor is saying, but my mind is in another universe. I check back in again and I pick out a word. That word just gave me the greatest inspiration for my next piece! Class is over and I’m on my way to put my inspiration into action before I forget already not remembering anything that just went on in class.
Sometimes I feel as if the life is being sucked out of me. Trying to memorize formulas and information is slowing morphing my creative mind. It’s almost as if I can actually feel the inventiveness deteriorating, but then there are other times where it feels so overpowering that my schoolwork seems physically impossible. It is a very complicated mess, just like my brain. Numbers and flashcards labeled with definitions are so spotless and so organized. I’m trying my best to clean out my mind, but a lot of the time, I just don’t want to.
I have so many questions. I want to know why we have to use a certain equation to find a particular answer and I want to know why all of these historical facts are so important and I want to know how past leaders have come up with the ideas that they did, but the answer is always just to accept what it is and don’t ask questions. It can get to be very frustrating because I want to know why things are the way they are rather than just to say, “It is what it is”.
My heart is saying to do what you love, but my head is saying that this business path is a smart idea. The one thing about artists is that they experience seemingly endless amounts of failures, but had the mindset to persevere through these failures which can be an amazing quality yet it makes it hard to identify what they really aren’t good at. The wonderful thing is that artists always see opportunity. I am improving in this foreign analytical mindset and I am proud. I will never be a mathematician or an economist or an accountant, but I do have the ability to gain more skills in those fields.
Contrary to popular belief, a human can be both analytical and creative at the same time even though society dictates that we have to make a choice. There is always an opportunity to improve, to learn, and to express — so even if the business thing doesn’t work out, maybe there will be something even better waiting around the corner. Who knows? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.