Thank you.

by Olivia Joy

It was about this time last year, that I made the decision to become an art major, giving up my long-thought dream of becoming a teacher only to start studying art and making my hobby, my lifestyle. Recently, I’ve been reflecting on what this year has looked like for me, and in the heat of pre-finals week, the only thoughts running through my mind seem to be “Was this really worth it?” And I keep coming back to an answer of “Yes.” And not even a haphazard one, more like “Hell yeah!” 

Over the course of the year, I’ve learned how to draw my face on a piece of paper (a huge victory!), make a crappy bowl on a wheel, and how to go to town with some power tools. But I’ve also met some professors that have been the few to tell me to keep going when I wanted to give up, I’ve had to fight for what I love, and best of all, I’ve found my people. Yeah, the ones that I can be stupidly goofy with and that I can wear my plaster-covered overalls around and they love me the same. The ones that when I wear glitter on my face, they tell me I look like a fairy instead of a child. These are the same people I get to cry with when our crap falls apart at the last minute and the ones I rejoice with over the one day-extension for a project deadline. The ones I stay up with until six o clock in the morning to perfect our piece. They’re those people.

This past year has been the most windy up and down-turn about back and forth whirlwind of a year, it’s been full of tears, life change, art related and not, but the fact that I have gotten to come back to the studio nearly every day of the week and create things has been reassuring. It’s been safe. Even when things fell apart at the last moment and when finishing that piece meant I got thirty minutes of sleep in order to make it to critique on time, it all seemed worth it and I’m confident it will continue to be so.

So, “thank you.” Why? Because I would likely be dead without you. And if I wasn’t dead I would be having a mental breakdown at the end of each and every week. I could never have expected to receive the amount of unconditional love that I do from all of you. I know, sometimes it’s hard to accept a thank you when it’s over some mode of social media and you feel removed, hardly involved, and like there is nothing to be thanked for, but in all vulnerability, sometimes, I feel like you all are right here with me. The me when I’m bright and cheery, exhausted and cranky, delusional and loopy, and when I’m just “me.” I don’t know how you put up with me, but you do it so well and so lovingly. Thank you. 

So, as I’m wondering how on God’s green earth I’m going to finish everything that needs to be completed this quarter, and questioning my very existence because I’m graduating before too long, I come back to understand my heart just a little bit better. I’d be lost if I didn’t get to make things each day. I’d be lost if I didn’t have my people. You know? This was just right for me, it’s been a year, I tell ya, but it’s been a good one. 

Farewell, gotta go make some things.