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Kangaroo Spotting

30 31 32 36 32 36 37 38 Kangaroo Spotting: September 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

Dawn the Artist?

It’s been years since I picked up a brush. I found myself singing and bopping as I mushed paint around the canvas.

I was completely and happily surprised at how good it felt. Something that was once second nature has become a treat. Or I could even call it a retreat.

Art lessons all those years ago- first in the basement of a retired artist- I was by far the youngest in the room. Copying designs off greeting cards and learning how to create flesh tones from the basic watercolors on my palette.

How serious I must have appeared about painting. Working with supplies meant for college students at age ten, squeezing the metal brushes close to its hair for better control. The instructor must have thought it was adorable.

Later when I was in school doing a double major in Studio Art AND English the compromise to keep my parents happy. Hours were spent in the studio- long after my fellow students were playing beer pong and video games, I painted and repainted.

Often I took the work home with me, supplies covering the kitchen table I shared with my roommate Alexa. She tolerated it to an extent but would usually be dragging me out the door to go dancing.

Wednesday nights, our favorite dance night at the Daily Planet, I enrolled in an oil painting class- with conditions. Before I left the apartment I was to pack a bag with clothes and makeup. I’d paint my heart out until the last possible minute- studio lights shutting off behind me and leave campus. Driving the two minutes to our apartment complex, I'd pull up to the back door of the building, honk the horn and climb into the passenger seat. Lex would hop in, already dressed to the nines, and drive my car North of the boarder as I changed, lipsticked, and sometimes even painted my nails on the way to Canada (where the legal drinking age is 19.)

I made Art fit into my life as naturally as it had when as a little girl. I remember sitting for hours quietly drawing at my grandmother’s dining room table. I’m not sure when I gave up on the idea of it all.

Travel and writing filled the places canvases used to occupy in my heart. Instead I painted with words and drew portraits with my camera.

Last week I spent a few bucks on some shitty brushes, a cheap Chinese canvas and some student acrylic.

At that point the motivation was purely cost driven. Original artwork in Australia costs a small fortune.

The result: My little abstract piece brightens me up as much as the room it hangs in.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Generation X,Y,Z...Now I know my ABC's

Recently I an article on lemondrop.com caught my attention:

And for some reason I've found myself Googling information on Generation X and Y since I seem to fall smack in the middle of both.

What it means to be in your 20's in 2010. And ironically 2010 will be the last year I will be in my 20's.

So I actually took the survey because the questions were interesting:

How far do you have to travel to see your family?
How many jobs have you had?
How many times have you moved?
Whats your level of education?

It was interesting to know that I'm not the only one who experienced the infamous quarter-life crisis and that others in my demographic are experiencing the pressure of finding the perfect career- not only spiritually fulfilling but financially viable. A cinch right?

I must have been interested in how I fit in so I even submitted "my story." For something I threw together in the midst of a crazy work day- it was still pretty wicked-sounding.

This is what I wrote off-the-cuff (OMG I sound so Gen Y):

I moved to Melbourne, Australia four months ago to be with the love of my life. He has had a career for almost a decade and I’m just a gypsy.

After nights of arguing with my parents over a “a career path” I graduated with an English major/ Studio Art minor and I set out into the real world, waiting tables and looking into applying for the peace core.
Rather than a job or a village in Africa I went to Grad school. My thesis title was “How the Cult of Celebrity Influences Fashion Trends.”

From Graduation party to a flight to Germany I attempted selling Chinese advertising to European CEO’s. I lived in Germany, the Netherlands and Finland all within a year. The experience of new countries and culture was eventually overpowered by the spiritually and creatively unfulfilling job.

I bought a condo in my hometown and moved in with my tattoo artist boyfriend. He dumped me a few months later so I sold the joint and crammed myself into a studio apartment, sleeping on an air mattress in the middle of winter.

Bartending and soul searching I plunged myself back into school thinking I needed to go pre-med and make a difference in the world. Help people, when really, I was the one who needed help.

In the meantime my best friend decided to quit her international job so I told her I’d move with her to Sydney. We booked our flights 8 months in advance. As a treat at the 6 month mark I flew to Malaysia to visit her on my “Spring Break.”

This is where I met the Australian. We exchanged details, kisses and promised to meet up once I got to his homeland.

Our relationship rocketed forward when I arrived in OZ. A quick stint back in the states to settle my affairs and here I am in full commitment mode. The new country, living together and the big 3-0 looming.

I can’t help but think that this is exactly where I want to be at 29. I’m still searching for my dream career as a writer or Professor but I know that will come in time.

It may be non-traditional but I could never bear the weight of the white picket fence ideal. My Mom had two kids at my age and had been married for almost 10 years.

Girlfriend, wife, baby-maker? Sure, but when I’m ready. For now I have a lot of new slang to learn and need time to settle myself into a more stable life. For now.

I’ve made decisions and plenty of mistakes. Luck has nothing to do with it. Money will always be there to be made, responsibilities will always exist. My only advice is be willing to be uncomfortable and brave enough experience the unfamiliar. Strange and wonderful things will happen.

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