I should be working on my thesis.
I should be working on any number of things, but I paused for a moment of reflection and suddenly I can not get over the fact that soon I will graduate from NYU with a Masters degree in Visual Art Administration. This has been coming for a while but the sudden significance is perhaps due to my 10-year anniversary of graduating as an undergraduate.
It was 10 years ago that I graduated from Biola University with a BFA in Art and Design,
and I don’t feel that I have changed significantly from who I was at that moment. I have a very different living situation, a different amount of experience, and a different dress size (unfortunately,) I even feel differently about the event of graduation; but are these just finer points? How has time changed me or not changed me?
One measure of this time span that feels weighty enough to express my feelings is accounting for who I’ve lost, and who I’ve gained in my life. Here, pictured, is my Grandfather with me in May of 2004. I hope to pose for a similar photo with my husband, in May 2014.
My professional agenda has not changed, only refined. This Masters degree came later than I anticipated, but I don’t mind too much. It came at the right time – as did my husband. Perhaps the delay in higher ed kept me local in order to meet him.
It is the personal, per usual, that I’m reminded of as having true gravity in the span of our lives. I say this, knowing full well the cliché. But we all know that when these things hit you, they hit you.
In 2004 I had a thesis exhibit with two friends in the university gallery. My work was an immersive installation inspired by a coloring book series I’d created, but also inspired my a mural painting professor from several years earlier. I’m now working on a thesis around working with artists, with a case study in mural collaborations. The impression that professor had made was more indelible than I had thought back then, but people and ideas have stuck with me.
If ideas and people are truly this significant, how might this inform my next ten years? At 30, these questions might seem common place, but I think it’s worth noticing how our presence, absence, and expression might also impact those around us. I certainly do not expect for anyone to cite me as their inspiration 10 years down the line, but we do have impact on one another.
Now that I have expressed these thoughts to an ephemeral digital void, perhaps I can get back to the work of research and writing. Perhaps taking stock in where I’ve come from – to this point, will help me focus my energy on finishing well, which is what I have always intended, and what would have made my Grandfather proud.