Friday, Feb. 08, 2019 - 9:51 pm.
The February events I reported here at the start of the year are not happening. My friend Ahmed should have been here tomorrow, but his workplace cancelled his trip altogether; I was slightly brokenhearted and so was he. Then, my friend from my undergrad years who was doing a trip around Europe also had to cancel his trip due to personal circumstances. That sucks for him, but he was stopping here out of necessity and we're not that close, so ok.
Now, instead, my friend A from Mexico is staying with us. That's the friend from the PhD on whom I had a crush on, but that ship sailed a while ago. She'd gone back home after submitting her thesis, and now she's here for her PhD exam. She asked if she could stay with us, with Andrew and me. We have a guest room and she's a friend, so of course.
Andrew and I are very much used to not living with anyone else, so the thought of having another adult enter our personal space and routine for nearly a month sparked some hesitation at first. A few days are fine, but A will be staying here until around the 25th. Oh, well. She has her own routine so we haven't even had the chance to sit down for a chat, and she seems easygoing as a flatmate so far.
Other stuff: I think I've finished the first draft of my thesis. My first supervisor sent me an email with corrections for my discussion chapter, and one of the two lines of his email was just "Splendid". I read that at 9 am, and I felt I was done for the day. Of course I wasn't, I had that file with his corrections and a shitload of tasks, but it was a pretty good feeling. My second supervisor will read the thesis draft this month, and considering her schedule, that's very gracious of her. I'm leaving her chocolate along with my first three chapters on her desk on Monday.
I'm not sure if it's the thesis sucking my energy or if it's just an existential crisis, but I feel...creatively dry? With a drive to write and draw, but no will to formulate ideas to work on. After my repeated failures to get published last year, and my friend Virginia's feedback on my writing which turned me to dust, I've toned down my aspirations and I'm trying to accept that I have nothing to contribute to this world, and what I do have, is bound to be ignored. And what do I have, anyway? Some knowledge. A bit of a knack for writing. Not much more than that.
Furthermore, I've become so disappointed that I'm not reading much. I feel bitter looking at all the beautiful, moving things that other people write and then comparing them to my lacking output.
I figured I have to train properly. All that drawing* and writing is self-taught, some formal training could help me feel like I have something valuable to offer. First, I'd found some very nice drawing courses in the city, and there was one next month which I could afford. But not anymore. The bill for gas and electricity for the last few months wiped out whatever money I'd managed to save.
*Drawing: making stick figures. But I'm adding colors and shadows to the comic strips now! And I do think their stick bodies have some flow going on; Andrew said he liked how they conveyed movement, which means a lot to me. In one of the latest strips I did, one of the characters does some killer pole dancing moves throughout seven panels. I'm very proud of that, and I had so much fun watching pole dancing videos and drawing that.
Then I thought, I should really improve my tools for drawing. But then I can't find affordable illustration software for a mac, and there are great apps but I do need an iPad, and then I start thinking, all this investment for something I couldn't make a living out of. I should just take a fucking seat. I'm not an illustrator or artist of any kind, and the world is filled with people with beautiful minds and actual talent.
And yet, I keep trying. Mostly because I cannot imagine my life if I wasn't writing short pieces of nothing, or comic strips about stick figures, one of whom recently joined the union of sexual workers because he's a snack but also knows that there's power in the union.