Emily is a senior at East who has happily joined the Harbinger as a Staff Writer and Anchor. Besides would-be writer, Emily is an International Baccalaureate candidate, "theatre kid," and artiste-wanna-be. Read Full »
I feel caught between my mother’s goal for me to make six digits a year and my secret desire to hop trains and work as a freelance circus freak. Or a standup comedian. Or a bartender. Or a writer.
Or an artist.
Every Sunday morning, afternoon, evening, and at midnight, I find myself in a war against my keyboard. An outdated Microsoft Word 2000 looms, strutting the sloppy outline of an unwritten research paper.
Okay, picture the following. An accountant. At eight, he crawls out of his cocoon of bleached white, silk sheets and goose down pillows. A cup of coffee–two sugar substitutes and cream. The front page of the newspaper–he frowns and scoffs at the tragic state of the world, biting into his blueberry bagel topped with original flavor cream cheese. He flips to the business section to comfort himself: statistics, numbers, finances–those seem more reliable to him. Noticing the time on the digital clock above his top-of-the-line electric oven, he saunters into his blue 2008 Toyota Prius and makes the twenty-three minute drive to work. Here, he’ll sit behind his mahogany desk in his corner office overlooking his personal parking spot for eight, ten, or even twelve hours.
Sounds a little miserable, right? A little gray?
On Friday night, he soothes his exhaustion with a solitary glass of Cabernet. Saturday, however, after a brisk morning jog through the park and before meeting some colleagues at an Italian restaurant downtown for a for a distant friend’s thirtieth birthday party, he comes to life. Armed with a synthetic white bristle brush, he paints. A landscape of early spring lazes across a stretched canvas as he adds a sparkle to a friendly, blue creek.
On Sunday, he opens his briefcase and can be found behind an outdated Microsoft Word 2000, staring at the sloppy outline of a business letter. For him too, Sunday is just a business day spent trying to catch up.
But he paints. On Saturdays. If there’s time.
Okay, now take the inverse. Let’s say we were talking about an artist. She graduated in the bottom 50% of her senior class and will be paying off her student loans from the esteemed, world-renowned art college her mom refused to pay for until she’s thirty. She lives in a poorly furnished loft in midtown and rushes to catch a 7:45 bus every morning.
But she gets to paint every day. And, more than anything, she doesn’t spend Sundays having a staring contest with Microsoft Word.
I’ll be the first to admit that high school demands a lot of homework. Seriously, don’t underestimate the International Baccalaureate program. And, usually, I really do love it. I love discovering symbolism and debating political motivation. At the end of the day, the time I pour into a research paper feels like it payed off.
But honestly? On Sundays, I would rather paint.