Just out of college, I am out in the real world for the first time and it is nothing like The Sims would have me believe. In my senior year, a professor devastatingly told my class that this is the last time someone is going to care about the work you produce and take the time to consider and edit what you produce. He was right. Outside the coddling bubble of educational institutions, it is a fight to get anyone to care about the work you so passionately produce. Sometime, I struggle even to care myself, after dealing with the practicalities of living in Chicago. Quickly, perhaps too quickly, much of my idealism has been ground away and I am left a little lost.
I take pictures on my cellphone during my commute to work, allowing myself to feel, for a moment, that I am an artist. I can believe for that twenty minute ride down Western Avenue and I have a voice and an eye and a purpose that has not been smothered by being in the real world, a drive that I have not sacrificed to live lazily and easily. I am documenting the people’s experience riding the 49 Western bus! I am not just working all day and watching television all night! Some days, I can actually convince myself that is all true. I do not need anyone’s validation or attention or even criticism (at least they are paying attention), to draw or write or create.
Most days, however, I am just left with the unearned cynicism of a young, white woman of privilege.