This is a manifesto on being in too deep to retreat. Like being five hours into an eleven hour road trip. Like having all of the ingredient cut up for a recipe that you realize needs to cook for an hour and a half. Like fifteen minutes after agreeing to work a job on a Saturday at 8am. Like being eight minutes in to a twelve minute YouTube video. Like being six payments in on your car lease. Like being four months pregnant. Like being $40,000 into a $60,000 masters degree.
Is it too late to turn around? This is generally my first instinct from minor decisions to life altering events. I always go through with it because time. Money. Time and money.
Like writing this, it’s too late to drop out of grad school this semester because I have already paid for it and would only get a portion of my money back and I already spent so much time preparing for this end of semester review that could really go either way depending on how your day yesterday went and how much sleep I got last night. That is time that I definitely can not recuperate and allocate towards something else, because you as a collective faculty keep giving me incredible amounts of busy work to do. That is money I most likely will not ever get back, actually it will probably end up costing me more since I will lack the ability to pay off my student loans in a timely manner and our educational system is fucked beyond belief.
It is probably too late to get a masters degree in something more practical than art, because I am pushing thirty and the good years of my brain being elastic and absorbent are almost done. I am filled up with knowledge about linguistically sophisticated ways to convince people that the shit I think about is worthy to be deemed “art” and that they should invest time and/or money into me because I have convinced them I am an “artist”. I guess it is too late to learn how to convince people I am something else.
I’ve also been brainwashed into thinking this is a possible career path, if I push along for enough years, it will work out, and I’m already about ten years in to what I estimate will take me forty years to find success.
I guess I should probably just finish this manifesto and turn it in since I am three hundred and eighty words and two hours in to second guessing myself. I guess this manifesto was supposed to be future oriented, with a sprinkle of optimism about my practice, but it is pretty hard to think about anything other than how I missed the window of opportunity to retreat. So all you are going to get is a manifesto from the darkest corner of my mind. I hope reading this makes you feel just like I do when I when I am halfway through waiting for a bath to fill up.
So I guess if there is a take away from my manifesto (which I hope someone formats into a cute font on Pinterest and that someone else references that Pinterest quote in their high school valedictorian speech), it is:
1. Never drive farther than the next state over.
2. Only cook microwave dinners..
3. Only work Monday-Friday.
4. Never start a YouTube video that is longer than 4 minutes (unless it is a pirated movie).
5. Win a car on The Price is Right.
6. Use two forms of birth control always.
7. Never pay for school.
8. Showers are always superior to baths.