Life experience ·4.2·

From Graphic Design to Economics to Japanese – The path of failures, experiences and trying to follow your dreams and passions

The things you say to me, affect me more than you think

I worked in the supermarket until the evening and tried to produce art after that, but I just couldn’t. I felt useless, the praise I usually got from other people in school before was now completely meaningless, it no longer had that great of an impact and I didn’t feel like art was my strength anymore. I was not happy doing creative stuff, I was having doubts and I wasn’t sure about the things I wanted anymore. The deadline for university applications was approaching and I absolutely had no idea what to do about it. I wasn’t even sure whether it was the right thing to do anymore. My parents always asked about the progress of my application, but after a few more attempts, I didn’t really feel like I was making any progress at all. I felt like a failure and I was angry, because I felt more pressured than supported by my parents. They did buy art supplies for me and that was their way of supporting me and I appreciate it, I really do.

However I didn’t feel like being supported or encouraged mentally. They could have done that by telling me that I could do it or that I should have more confidence in my skills for example. Instead I got told, that they didn’t see Graphic Design as something I was suited, creative or skilled enough for and that I was not passionate about art like they see other people were. Even with every existing art supply on this planet, if my mind is a mess and I can’t come to terms with myself, it is impossible for me to produce anything I won’t hate myself for. Maybe I am not strong willed enough. Of course I could have convinced myself not to care what everyone else is saying. My problem is that I do care too much about other people’s opinion, especially my parents‘. As someone who values my parents opinions and praise really much, I can’t lie and say that the things they say don’t affect me. I am always working towards their praise, hoping to hear that they are proud of me, that the efforts they put in raising me aren’t for nothing.

However, all this time, they made me think that art was not something you should put effort into or something worth the time. I still remember the times when I had to finish some art projects for school at home. I took my time to do them, because I wanted them to turn out perfectly, so I can be satisfied looking at them in the end, without the thoughts of having to throw everything in the garbage. My parents didn’t like it that I spent so much time doing art stuff. They asked me everyday if I was finished, since I still had other subjects to study for. Sometimes I felt like crying and I hated myself that it took me so long to finish the projects. Nevertheless I always got good grades for them and I didn’t regret that I had put so much work in my art. I usually got good grades for my art projects and other exams concerning that subject. Still, I had the feeling, even now, that my parents weren’t as happy as when I got a good grade in math or another science subject. They always tell me, that they are happy as long as I get good grades, but it always seems that they acknowledge my science grade more. It was good that I didn’t get bad grades for my art, but it also wasn’t really necessary to get good grades as it had been for subjects like mathematics, physics or chemistry. I think that they thought that, because I was good at art, it shouldn’t be taking that much effort to get the stuff done and get good grades for it.  So they asked me what was wrong since I loved drawing so much that it should be no problem to draw a few things for the application. Yet here I was, struggling with every stroke I made and feeling like a complete loser because I couldn’t do it. I think that I was extremely desperate and scared as I was slowly believing that I was losing the confidence in the only thing I thought I was good at.

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