Recently I reacquainted myself with my old journals and sketch books from when I was just starting out in art school. It was interesting to see the really rough transition of my disjointed life in high school where I grew to a place where I felt confident in my own skin then to be ripped from it and put into such a harsh lonely environment called art school I had to start from scratch again. Time again for redefining meanings, identity, friendships, personal vision and my general world outlook. I really loved seeing how I would cope and grow within a 2 year period. To see friendships form and how I struggle with letting go of the past. Also the big issues I was dealing with in the new surroundings were primarily isolation and socioeconomics. I had a bunch of writings about how I was struggling with class issues and feelings of self worth and the incredible amount of loneliness and loss I was feeling in a new city so full of people yet so empty. All these ingredients added to my depression and led me down a dark road those first two years at art school. But as I read on I slowly watched myself emerge as a more developed human who has learned through suffering and it made me sensitive toward those struggles. Seeing that growth documented of your self and looking back on it almost 20 years later well to me it feels like a gift. Seeing that jump, growth and change happen, having it documented in words so raw with such rantings about making art, relating to humans, the struggle, and even in the darkness quirky funny things popped up too... this one made me chuckle (I was really really poor and kind of lived off mcdonalds growing up back then hence the fixation on burgers):
"You know there are those people in life who you pass through life like a fast food drive thru as soon as you get your friendship food fix it'll be done over and gone dissolved and consumed by your energy processed and expelled. Those people from my past dissolved from my existence just like eating a burger and then shitting it out they are no longer with me however maybe there is an occasional residual burp of a memory conjured up in my belly brought up to the surface most likely leaving a bad taste in my mouth but for the most part they are just gone. Of course there are those few people who resurface just like that time you ate that burger and 2 hours later it sneaks up on you only to Regurgitate puking chunks coming up again for a visit... maybe this time it's not so good a visit. People and burgers we consume both they are both meat we need for energy we take them in devour them up eat them whole over and over and on to the next one. Now there are those more stable groups of people you have in your life they are like that condiment jar sitting in the fridge you call your soul or being. That jar of relish or bottle of ketchup that sits on your life shelf like a reliable friend always there for you to give your life some extra flavor when you need it."
- 18 year old Angie Mason
I enjoyed reading about my art process and progress how I thought about things. I was very frustrated at art school the first couple of years as time went on in those first two years I felt more and more isolated which is what drove me to eventually quit and take time off from both art school and the city.
"There is beauty in everything it just depends on how one perceives it. With so many different perceptions of everything how can we sit here and try to define beauty...you can't. Doing this feels like a waste of time. It's felt from within each unique person, beauty is very very personal and can not be made in to some generic homogenized idea"
- 18 year old Angie Mason
Here is a snippet of something I wrote when I was 19 growing through my depression and beginning to embrace things and move forward...
"I think one has to confront the darkness completely before ever really being set free from it into the light. And when I ride the train every morning to school I look out at a land that has been forgotten, abused,destroyed and rotting and the strange thing to me is a lot of this destruction becomes beautiful it's a reflection of our lives and even though everything seems so evil and corrupt which should be lacking in beauty isn't. Every human finds comfort and beauty in some form. Our resilient natures discover and loose and rediscover things as we go throughout life and throughout all it's harshness and isolation when we discover that thing that is really precious to us we hold on to that beauty and even when we loose it that feeling and memory should be remembered and felt."
- 19 year old Angie Mason
Coming to terms with loss and rediscovering an adjusted identity. Moving and navigating through life searching for meaning. It's an on going game that never ends till you do. It goes up and down takes sharp turns. It can make you sick if you are weaker. Stay strong and hold on it's going to be a bumpy ride till you die. That's for sure!