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Confidently Unsure of Everything

So, I’m a recent graduate of art school. I got my bachelor’s degree in 3D studio art. Right after graduating I moved to europe with my family as a way to get out of the place I’d lived for my whole life and finally experience what else there was in the world before completely going out on my own in the real world. Obviously, I left everything behind to do this. I left the best friends I’ve ever had and I miss them dearly. We talk literally every day though, so that’s been good (thank God for group chats). I left a good support system for the line of work I hope to be in one day. This includes professors, mentors, and even more good friends. Leaving that behind is hard, but not impossible to overcome, just difficult to find new people to help me on my way because of how scared I am of speaking to new people that I don’t know. I left behind a girl who I was dating. She turned out to be absolutely no good for me and ended up draining me way more than lifting me up as I believe partners should do for eachother. I left behind a girl who used to be my best friend in the whole world, but she left me years before… however, she’s never left my heart and mind. I left behind my strange coping mechanism that is a antique volkswagen bus. Having something like that to work on and fix with my own two hands is the biggest reason I’m even remotely ok after losing that best friend almost 3 years ago. It makes me feel like I have at least some control of my little corner of the universe.

Damn, that was a long intro…

Presently I work at an American department store as a cashier during the day and make my art at night. I don’t make much money from my art currently, but it is beyond the best feeling any time I can pass on a piece of my work to someone and they truely appreciate and enjoy it. But, man that day job is killing me. I’m just always drained. Dealing with people every day who just generally suck is so taxing. Also, having to pretend to the world that things are ok is the worst. Internalizing things is obviously not an ok thing to do, but I don’t have my prefferred coping mechanism around to help me out. I’ve been working to create a teaching position for myself at a local arts center, but the budget for it keeps getting pushed around and seems like it will never happen. If I could just get that job set up, I could rid myself of so much undue stress. I’m not really sure what I’m doing with myself career-wise right now and I knkw that’s ok to be unsure of at this stage. I just wish something would come of all the work I’m putting in…

That’s it for my external struggles…

Internally, I have been emotionally bleeding for almost 3 years. I was with a girl who was nothing but perfect. But she left because she had some issues to work out. I inadvertently pushed her even further away because I have some issues that make involuntary changes in my life feel 1000% worse than they should. I didn’t mean to make her go even further from me, but there was nothing I could do once it was done. I’m ok with what happened now. It allowed me to grow as a person and in my professional field. I had to watch her be with someone else (we went to the same school and were in the same field). That sucked, but they’re not together anymore and somehow I’ve found myself being friends with this girl again who used to be the best friend I ever had. There’s hardly been a day, even when I tried dating other people, that I haven’t thought about her. We don’t talk every day, but she’s told me twice now in the few months since we’ve reconnected that she regrets leaving and that I am the best person she’s ever met. But she’s also expressed that she feels it might be too late for us because I’ve moved so far away. I will be coming back to the States in about 2 years. I would do anything to reconnect with her again when I get back. I knew from the first time I saw her that she was the most special person I’d ever meet. Something inside me screams that I have to know her… That I have to know her heart and be the one to help support it.

How I’m dealing with my predicaments…
I’m going to be clearing a space and test firing a kiln this week so that I can start making ceramic work again. I think this will allow me to possibly move forward with a more self sustaining, definitely more emotionally gratifying way to make a living. I’m trying everything to get out of working for another corporarion like the current one I’m at.

As for my helping my heart… I’m calling her tomorrow. I will hear her voice for the first time in over a year. I don’t know what I’m going to say. I want to ask if she’ll wait for me. Two years isn’t that long in the grand scheme and I’ve already waited 3 for us to even be able to speak to eachother again.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading. If you’ve been in a similar situation or just have any kind of advice for a guy who doesn’t really know what to do with himself feel free to drop it for me.

P. S. I blame I, the mighty for breaking down my emotional wall enough to finally share something on this forum.

First of all congrats on getting your bachelors degree. As for your day job why not find a job that relates to art that you enjoy? That way you can quit your current job and you don’t have to do art at night to earn extra money. You mentioned how you’re interested in a teaching job for art; and how you don’t think it’s gonna happen cause of the budget, or it will take a while for now. My suggestion for that is to start a fundraiser where the money would be going to that art position you’re interested in. You can mention it to customers who buy your art in the spare time. As for that girl you want to try and date again it’s a good idea to call her and catch up. You can see if she’s willing to give you a chance again or move on. Good luck with her and your career/job. I hope things work out for you.

Thanks so much for the kind words. Things have been getting a bit better in regards to my job/career. I’m still at the same job, but I’m learning to cope with it a little better. It’s hard for me to get a job somewhere dealing with art because I don’t speak the primary language here, so I’m pretty much limited to American businesses. In the coming few months, I believe the arts center here will be finally setting up a position for me. I’ve been in regular contact with the guy who runs the place and he says it’s very likely to happen soon. I’ve also applied for another job that will hopefully be a lot less stressful for me than my current job is, but we’ll have to wait and see how that goes.

Oh, and I’ve been able to fire my ceramic work finally. It’s been really good for me to be able to produce finished work. I also took first prize at the alumni exhibition at my alma mater, so that really helped boost my confidence in my abilities. There’s no way I thought I was gonna win over some of the other artists that entered in the show. I also have two commissions in progress. It’s just hard to juggle making things with having a regular job. Like when am I supposed to sleep?

I’ve been talking to her a lot. She’s still every bit as great as I remember. We’ve been very open about how we feel towards eachother. Well, me more than her I think. She says she misses me, but she’s afraid if we were to be anything more than friends that she wouldn’t be able to deal with it for fear of hurting me again. She says she doesn’t understand why I’m still good to her even though she hurt me in the past. I don’t really know what to say that. I’m afraid of telling her anything more than that I care about her and I’m here for her because I don’t want to compromise the friendship we’ve been rebuilding. But, man if I don’t love this girl.

I was on the phone with her really late last night. When I was making breakfast this morning, my mom asked why I still looked so tired. I told her why I was up so late. And she just looks at me and says: “You love her. You always have.” That was just a weird kind of confirmation that I needed to tell me that my feelings aren’t wrong. What I need is to stop being afraid and to tell her what I feel for her and just lay everything on the table. But I feel like that needs to be done in person. I was planning on visiting the states in October. Maybe I can do it then.

Again, thank you for reading any of this at all. I know it’s just regular life stuff that I’m going through. It’s just nice to let it all out into the open.