Monday, November 07, 2005

Fact: Math can lead to Depression

I've always wanted to be a mom. And I've always wanted to have a career. I never thought it would be easy to do either and certainly not both, but my grand scheme/master plan was to become an illustrator, thus combining my love of art with a job I could do from home and allowing me to help support my family while simultaneously raising my kids.

Ha. Or much more appropriately, SOB!

I am not an illustrator by any stretch of the imagination. Yeah, sure I went to an art high school and majored in visual art and followed that up with a 4 years of art college. I even had a solo show that got rave least in the little blank book I left at the gallery for comments. (Another Fact: Reading "You're talented at a young age!" and "You'll go far!" comments in said book from solo show that happened about 6 years ago can also lead to depression.) Yet in the end I've failed miserably at being an illustrator, mostly from lack of trying and fear of demonstrating just how mediocre an "artist" I am. So I've done what scores of fellow art school grads have done: gotten a job doing very basic graphic design type work at a soulless corporation.

Today, I decided to play the masochist and create a little math problem like the ones we used to do back in elementary school (because that is about the level of math my brain can handle) to figure out how little time I get to spend with Sylvie because of aforementioned failed plan and soulless job:

If your daughter generally wakes up around 7:45 am and her usual bedtime is 8:30-9 pm, and you leave for work around
8:20 am, returning around 6:20 pm, and you have extrapolated from this information that during the work week you are able spend at most 3 hours and 15 minutes a day with your child, how many hours total do you get to spend with her during a full week?

3.25 hrs x 5 days=16.25 hrs +48.00 hrs (weekends)= 64.25 hrs - 22.00 hrs (rough estimate of time spent sleeping on weekends)=42.25 hrs

So if my calculations are correct (and they probably aren't since as I indicated before I suck at math), I'm getting to spend just over one quarter of the total hours in a week with Sylvie. What's even sadder is that once she's in daycare, I'll most likely see her even less. I know that countless parents have been through this same I should probably quit whining. But I felt the need to vent and this is MY blog so, there ya have it.

And yes, I would like some cheese with my whine.


River Mom said...

Hey toots? What is keeping you from going after something you are much more suited for in a job as sson as you can? Only YOU can do that as it won't fall into your lap. I know it's hard and a gamble but you are FAR...VERY FAR... from mediocre with your art. I know, I Know, you don't have TIME to work on stuff because of working at a job you hate and having any time at all with Sylvie. BUT I KNOW that the day WILL come when you WILL have time. Do work (art)for fun for yourself when you can (after shes in bed). Your selling yourself short and giving up to easily. DOAH back me up here up !!!! I still think you and big T should open your own business one of these days ;o*

Doah said...

Oh. My. GOD! You are not alone here! I could have written much of this myself honey. How bout the old chestnut of not TRYING, because you're afraid if you try and fail, then you'll only prove how crap you are, rather than not trying so you can think "Well, had I tried I might have made something of myself." That is my biggest sin. And I think I wrote before how sad it is to watch mediocre people succeed, while talent languishes! I'm talking about YOU lady! Go over your own shameless self promotion links and tell me with all honesty that is the work of someone with no talent. Argh! CAPS! LOUD NOISES! (For those who have seen Anchorman) That frickin' tears it. Now I have no choice but to write a children's book so as to showcase your talent to the world. Am I having a Paige rocks tickertape parade all on my own here?!? C'mon people!

River Mom said...

AMEN and THANKS Doah! knew I could count on ya hon ;o*

Robyn said...

I know all too keenly the depression associated with career ambitions and dreams...Paige...seriously...Your art, and yes it is ART, is amazing. Find any way to incorporate it into your daily life. I hang costumes and stage plays in my head. Whatever it takes.

You're amazing as an artist and a mom.

If you want things to illustrate, talk to my Dad....or I'll give you a draft. Anything. Keep the faith.

Manda said...

I can't belive you think you're rubbish Paige. I really can't....Both you and Theron are very talented at what you do, neither one of you is mediocre, never have been never will be.

You are being very self defeating. Of course it's hard to see yourself, and I'm sure you think since we are your friends and family that we are biased in some way...which we are but also we are very honest too.

I agree with Doah, look at your work. Honestly tell me that you've seen one kids book that has art like yours in it, that's as good as what you do.

Don't give me that rubbish of not being able to produce art out of your head, like Travis. You've already done it!!!!
You're a perfectionist though so it never lives up to YOUR standards.

Check out the Harry Potter website, JKR has links on there for pulishers and how to get published. Look at where she was when she published her book....

You can get your book out there, and then another and another. Perhaps I don't know how little time you have with Sylvie, or how little time you have to work you your art....but things like this take time and effort.

You and Theron have both just been trying to get along, you both need to put yourselves out there. Not only for your benefit but for Sylvie's!!! Look at what kind of role models you guys would be!!! You're excellent role models now but you aren't happy and she knows that...she wants you to be happy

Look to her for inspiration, look to each other...

You aren't a failure Paige. Stop thinking that. If I hear you typing or saying anything like that again I'm going to come up there and kick your a$$.

If you are a failure, then so am I, so is Mom and Dad. Are we mediocre? are we talentless? I think not!!!
and neither are you!!!!

Do you think I'm a failure because I still haven't gone to school for nursing?
I know you think I should have done before I got pregnant but oh well right?
It'll happen, I'll just have to put myself out there, and see what happens.

Maybe you wrote that post just as a little kick in your own butt, maybe you wrote it because you are depressed. You are not a failure.

I'll say no more.

Paige said...

Thanks mom, Doah, Robyn and Manda for your ardent encouragement...

The thing is I don't think that I'm without talent exactly; it's more that I am without the passion and the drive necessary to make it as an artist. I get spurts of creative energy, but they never seem to last. I mean it took me a whole freakin' year to illustrate "Omar Goes Home" and that was before I had Sylvie. I have my own children's book idea and even an idea for another fine art show, both of which have been languishing for several years now. I owe marriage gift paintings to some folks (including you and Travis, Manda) and baby name plaques to others...I haven't even finished one for my own baby yet! So the ideas are there. And most times I even believe that the talent is there. So why don't I just do it? You'd think that wanting to spend more time with Sylvie would be the perfect goad...and yet still I procrastinate.

I haven't given up totally though, if that is what you are thinking. I just get down about being such a lazy git.

Anonymous said...

I think you should remember that it's alright to be lazy sometimes. I'd think with as many admonishments as you give me.. ;-) well I guess now we understand each other better.

Just relax - dont use the time you have worrying about not having time - its not productive and cause stomachaches.
Love ya!