The way you want to live your life should never be restrained by some necessary excuse. By “necessary excuse” I mean something that you have to do or are committed to in life out of necessity, but you use it as a cop-out to all the things you want to do that make you who you are. These are the things you love to do, stop letting the necessities get in the way. That being said, I do not mean you should quit your bill-paying job to become a starving artist. At the same time you shouldn’t get too down and lazy about what you have to do, because then that’s all you’ve allowed yourself to have.
I say this because for the past couple of years I’ve used the necessary excuse too often. With each passing semester, I use this excuse more often. Last semester I used it so much I truly believed I couldn’t do anything with my life that I wanted to do, and that I would be condemned to a life I felt I had lost control over long ago. Near the end, a month left to go, in one moment I finally decided no more.
I had let this excuse keep me from doing all the things I loved to do. I let this excuse limit my happiness and halt the fruition of my talents. I went to college to sharpen my talents and skills and to absorb all I could regarding my favorite things. I let people influence me. I allowed society to have a say. I let my incorrect biases get the best of me only to tear me open down the road, as biases usually do.
My necessary excuse was school itself. I constantly complained that I had too much school to do anything I really loved. I had too much school work to do all I wanted to do. However, the work was easy. Time consuming, yes. I will not sit here and lie that college entails quick projects, short essays, and ten minute class sessions, but it does not consume every second of your time unless you allow it to do so. College does not drain every bit of your energy unless you allow it do so. The work is not easy for all, but it is for some like me. Again, it takes up time, it has always taken up quite a lot of time, but I never should have used that as an excuse to keep me from doing all that I love. I should have never used it to keep me from doing what I came here to do better.
It only took a moment after a few years of letting school get to me to stand up against my excuse. One short moment was all I needed to finally say, “enough!” Then I sat down, and I wrote. I worked on books more. I cooked more. I cleaned more. I drew more. I crocheted, I painted, I made jewelry, I decorated, I created. Most of all, I was happy and motivated. I am happy and motivated.
Yes, college is tough. People make it tougher. It takes up a lot of my time and energy, but it will never take up all of me. Nothing can take up all of who I am. I can hobble myself with excuses, but I will never truly be not active. Not again.
Next semester will be insane and will involve the tightest schedule and heaviest load. Despite all the classes and work ahead of me, I will always find time to do all the things that make me truly happy. I didn’t have to take on an extra pottery class, but I did because I love creating useful pieces with clay. I don’t necessarily have to keep my current job, but I will because I love teaching children art. I love to watch children grow and learn about themselves through their artwork. I don’t have to finish college either, but I will because I came this far. I will finish because I won’t use my disdain for societal demands as an excuse to walk away. Whether I like it or not, my experiences in college have made me tougher to the ruinous waste of the world, but more compassionate and understanding to the innocent. College has taught me how to decipher the waste from the prosperous upon initial meeting. I have endured destructive, terrifying, maddening, hellish worlds in college, but from each experience I have come out alive and kicking in so many ways. I have recharged my soul many times throughout college.
If what I have learned, what I can now do, and what I have become does not impress and scare you simultaneously, then you have no idea what I’ve been through.
Honey, I am one terrifying and incredible sum’bitch you ever did see.
Stop making necessary excuses and do what the fuck you love. Go learn something new today. Move to a place that will better support who you are and what you do. By a .99 face mask and take a bath. Steam up your bathroom with the hot shower water and soak. Take a walk by yourself. Take a walk with a friend. Cook something yummy, even if it is cheap. Don’t look up a recipe to do it. Donate those clothes you will never fit into, whether too big, too small, or too harsh. Watch a movie you’ve overlooked again and again. Make yourself a delicious drink. Look at pretty things without buying them. Window shop online, fill up your cart, find the best deals, then leave the site. Play around with beginner words to a language that interests you. Write a poem. Sketch an image or idea that wrangles your attention. Smoke a cigar. Learn a magic trick. Whatever it is, do it. Do all of it. Don’t just do it “when you can” and never get around to it. DO IT.
You’re better than this. You always are. Stop letting non-cognitive, inhuman entities say what you can and can’t do. You can always do what you want, and let’s be honest, you don’t want to just sit around on the couch watching sitcom reruns every time you have a couple spare hours.
What is your necessary excuse?
P. S. When I feel like I can’t do anything because I have too much of what I hate already to do, I listen to Amanda Palmer’s “Ukulele Anthem” to pick me up. Then I go make my own “Ukulele Anthem” in my own way. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njDQsQpFIqA
Personally, anything by My Chemical Romance brings me out of any funk, but “Ukulele Anthem” is always a good kick in my ass to get me going.