I now live in Berlin. I have my own apartment here that doubles as a studio. I have to keep the windows open even when it’s freezing cold, because otherwise the paint fumes would probably kill me. I take lots of baths, boiling my skin so hot that I can only wear a t-shirt afterward. Then of course I get freezing again. This is all very confusing for my sinuses, and probably not great for my skin either.
I maintain a daily sketchbook practice, but most of my studio time is devoted to oil painting. It turns out that painting is difficult.
Everyone in this city is so goddamn beautiful, I can’t even look out the window of this coffee shop without falling in love. I can’t ride the subway without getting my heart broken three or four times.
I’m a year into my struggle with insomnia. I don’t have trouble falling asleep (thank God) but I invariably wake up after just a few hours so exhausted it’s almost as though the fatigue itself keeps me up. Then I have to take an allergy pill to go back to sleep (I know, I know) or else I’ll spend the following day miserable. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, as this affliction is slowly chipping away at my sanity!
On a lighter note, one of my best friends happened to move to Berlin at the same time as me. Thanks to him, I’ve all but bypassed the new-in-a-foreign-city isolation. This particular friend is a very talented poet, and we’re working on an illustrated book together. Stay tuned.
Speaking of books, I wrote a real book this past year! It’s going to be real-published too but I’m not allowed to say anything else about it. I signed a contract!
I just spilled my tea all over this table and I don’t have enough napkins to wipe it up.
I got accepted to a fully-funded MFA in creative writing. Basically, this means I’ll be getting paid a salary to sit around and write for two years. The only drawback? It’s in the Midwest. And no offense to Missouri but I am anticipating a rough transition from European capital to St. Louis. (Also I am planning to keep drawing/painting throughout the program because I don’t know how else to exist.)
This month marks a full decade since I dropped out of high school. In one sense it feels like I am living out my teenage dreams, wandering the planet making art. In another sense, life is extremely painful even when I’m exactly where I want to be. I suppose if life were any easier, I wouldn’t feel the need to write or draw. That would be another form of pain altogether. With that in mind, maybe I prefer it this way—feeling the pain and processing it through art—versus not feeling the pain at all. Numbness was never the goal.
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