The Poem That Every Angsty Kid (And Future Parent) Needs to Read

Mrs. Taylor’s AP Literature class wasn’t boring. In fact, she was always sure to entertain by drawing out some oblique Freudian innuendo from a text, then wiggling her eyebrows at us to add to the scandalous situation. And yet, I found myself mindlessly flipping through the pages of my textbook in class.

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How Lettering Saved Me

When I was young, I often wished that I could make art erupt out of my fingers and wrap around my entire body. Only then could I feel the stress melt away, I thought. Only then could I feel alive when my anxiety froze everything inside of me.

I thought my art form was writing. In many ways it is. But with writing comes its own form of anxiety–the dread of the blank page, the pressure to keep moving on, the failure when you let go of a project. Writing demands time. It requires soaking in the right moment, bathing in emotions and memories.

And when Jaya was born, finding that time became impossible.

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The Time for A New Obsession

As a teacher and mom to a 10-month-old, it seems like it would be impossible to find time for a new pursuit. I don’t even have enough hours in the day to sleep! But with the stress of teaching and parenting, art and lettering are what keep me sane. I make time for it, and I take advantage of natural lulls to nurture it.

Right now, I’m writing at 3am, sitting on the floor of the nursery, as my daughter finally dozes back to sleep after 2 hours of playing with my hair. During those two hours, in between a diaper change and sleepy attempts at coaxing her back to sleep, I was building relationships and studying artists on Instagram. Before going to bed at the very grown-up bedtime of 10pm, during the short time I get with my husband when we’re both awake and the baby’s asleep, I got a quick sketch in while we watched TV. For the past three months, I’ve been learning tips and practicing during conference periods, pumping sessions, nap times, and late night feedings.

That’s pretty much the way of it–as I wait, as I try to be patient, as I force myself to stay awake so I can be with (physically, if not mentally) my family, I create. Summer’s been good to me, giving me time to practice every day and start to find my own style. Now that school is starting again, I’ll have to play with time some more. 

I think that’s the nice thing about finding a new obsession: the passion fuels you to stay awake, urges you to ignore the dishes and the laundry, and instead do this thing that is so much more fun. The challenge now is to keep this passion going as more obligations come up, and to remember to not just make time for my passion, but to make time work for me. 

Find your passion. Obsess about it. Bend time to your will. And ignore the dishes just a little longer.