Balance, and time

A few mornings ago I looked in the bathroom mirror and saw my future lest I change my ways. To be fair, I hadn’t gotten much sleep but none the less I stared and analyzed so I would recognize myself ten years from now.
My face was pallid and sweaty, and set with stony disapproval. My characteristic pink cheeks were muted and pale falling out of focus to the darkening half circles below my eyes. My attempt at a smile seemed grafted on. While I stared I thought of how I’d always been older than my age, and I began to wonder what that entailed.
There is a definite difference between when I was growing up at 17 and when I’m growing up now. At 17 my goals, though not outlined, were to live on my own, and take care of my new family.
My dad gave me an ultimatum: to be gay somewhere else or straight and stay at home. There wasn’t a choice as far as I saw it. So in the independent spirit that defines a good portion of my being I packed up my six boxes and Ashley’s six car loads and moved into 7777 McCallum Blvd. on May 15th, 2000.
With distance, I know I was looking for a reason to get out. I know had I stayed my dad would have come around, as he did later. But I think he need to experience my ‘rebellion’ to a fuller extent to understand that it wasn’t one at all, and my homosexuality wasn’t temporary.
Thinking about the challenges I overcame, I don’t want to be cliche and say things were simpler then, because they weren’t. That’s comparing a bicycle to a motorcycle. You have to master balance, speed and control for both but by the time you’re on the Harley, you’ve forgotten how many spills you took on the Schwinn. The main difference between the decisions I make now, and the ones I made then are the things I consider. More specifically the fact that I consider anything beyond whether or not I want to do it.
As an artist (which I will always consider myself) personal experiences influencing the present is part of the job, part of the creative process. If you distance your past from your work (as if you could) the work is superficial at best. But when you consider your past too much, it overwhelms the work, and when I do it, it makes me hate creating. Almost as if the best way to express an idea is to be tangent to it, like a board on barrel.
I’m beginning to view that as a metaphor for my life, running up and down the see-saw, getting closer to the center, to the tangent.
Now that I’ve been accepted to one of the top 50 business schools in the nation to obtain my MBA, my desire to create has increased. Not in defiance, but in balance. When I push myself intellectually I need to create, to balance my mind.
One curse of being an artist, or maybe just me, is being interested in everything. In the past it has confused me because I wasn’t sure if I was interested in learning something or doing something. Honestly, I’m still unsure.
I think that’s the main difference between now and ten years ago. At 16 everything I did was what I was doing without the burden of ‘the rest of my life’. Now it seems the rest of my life lingers around every decision I make. Maybe that’s why when I look in the mirror I only see a projection of the future.

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~ by The Great and Powerful RB on June 25, 2009.

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