Life Is Hard… Isn’t It?

Yes, it is, but for the sake of this question, let’s say it’s more in the middle. It’s not easy or hard. It’s just average.

When I was a pre-teen and starting to drift into adolescence, there was a time I feared becoming an adult. After spending every year of my life from the time I could speak complete sentences spouting how much I can’t wait to be grown up, that desire turned into one of fear. It seems when you’re a teenager, people love to pound into your head being an adult spells the end of any amount of fun in your life. That’s not an exaggeration in the slightest. I lost count of how many adults told me as a teenager, and a very impressionable one at that, how 18 essentially marked the end of any fun, pleasure, and joy. Telling me I had no choice in the matter, despite it already being a fact, did not help either. That only served to make me paranoid and further push me into a depression I was already struggling with.

I view it similar to how some people may speak about parenthood. Similar to the above, I heard countless times that having a child meant your life was over. Yet, the same people who said this either already had a child or asked why someone else didn’t want any. Gee, why wouldn’t I want any kids after hearing for 5+ years they spell the end of my life before I could even feel like I lived it? Yes, I know why people say this to teenagers, but the memory of those words don’t exactly vanish after age 18.

My frustration here is it’s apparently mature to make your life as hard and joyless as possible and I want to know why. Why do some adults push children and teenagers into believing adulthood means you never have fun again? Why is 18 treated as a magic age where you’ll suddenly know all the answers and you’ll do a 180 into an all-knowing, always serious person with no joy or empathy? I heard so many times during my adolescence that nobody cares about your hardships as an adult, yet I find more people care now than when I was a child! More people listen to me now! Not everyone, but more.

More so, what’s wrong with not wanting your life to be hard? Many people see someone who doesn’t want a certain responsibility – parenthood, the top of a career, etc – as lazy, lacking ambition, and a perpetual child. Why? Would it be better if they did those things and screwed it up? Why is a relatively lax life seen as a bad thing? If life is not supposed to be a competition, why the need to one-up someone else with who has it harder? If everyone is doing what they need to do, making their way, and managing in life, who cares who’s more tired than who? Everybody’s tired at some point. Go to bed.

Now, I’m not saying people shouldn’t be acknowledged and appreciated. If someone has worked 72 hours in a row, I’ll have more sympathy for their exhaustion than someone whose only exercise was getting out of bed once a day for the last week (assuming said person is mentally and physically healthy). I’m saying if life is hard, why make it harder if you don’t want to? Where’s the maturity in pushing yourself to the brink of exhaustion everyday because someone sees you as a child if you don’t? Most of all, where did this “adults don’t have fun” concept come from to begin with? If adults don’t have fun, why do R-rated movies and TV-MA rated shows exist? Why do bars and wineries exist? Why do nightclubs exist? I hope no kid is plastered on the dance floor at 2 AM!

The reverse is true as well. Adults also make Disney, toys, and video games. What I described above is not my favorable scene, so I stick to PG-rated fun. My bedroom looks like a child’s paradise and society can have my stuffed animals when they pry them from my cold, dead arms!

Unless your goals in life amount to being an axe murderer, or something similarly heinous, whatever you want to do with your life is fine. Aiming to travel to all the continents in the world? Good luck! I hope you get to them all safely! Comfortable in your hometown and like spending your days off at home? Cool! Me too! It feels great to kick your feet back, doesn’t it?

Unless you have the luck and privilege of being born into a very wealthy family, life is going to be hard in some way. Unless you want to, don’t make it harder than it has to be. Really, it’s not necessary.

Break It Down

I’ve got an art problem and it starts with “impatience”.

It’s much more fun look at your own than make it. At least, that’s how I feel when things start taking longer than I’d like. For the most part, I can reasonably assume how long something will take to finish because I’ve done it before. If it’s more than a day, the idea doesn’t leave my head. And I hate that.

The reason that happens is if something goes on for too long, I get bored of it, especially if I’m been working on it for several hours in a row. The longest I’ve ever worked on something was 14 hours and I still wasn’t finished. It’s not too hard to see why I didn’t want to open an art program again for a while.

I asked for advice on DeivantArt’s forum and I got two ideas I found useful. One was to take some time to make a bunch of rough drafts and sketches. It’s still practice and it’s hard to really get bored when they take about a half hour at most. That was a good idea to me because I do sketching. Can make everything messy and clean it up later. Besides, who says they all have to make it off the page? Some of my drawings never leave the sketchbook, which is probably good because some of them are really bad ideas.

The other idea was breaking down the process into smaller goals to achieve for the day instead of worrying about finishing the whole thing at once and getting it all done as soon as possible. Unless I don’t want to digitize it, my drawing process usually goes in this order: pencil sketch, transfer, outline, details, color, shade, background, sign and watermark, upload. Done. Depending on the size of what I’m trying to make, that can be a very long process, and it never looks like it took as long as it did. Something I spent three weeks on will often look like it only took half a day.

I feel like doing so makes me lazy, but I like the idea that I can just do one part at a time and decide I’m done of the day instead of trying to get it done as quickly as possible. That’s probably why they look so bad in the first place, in addition to the low skill I have. That’s not a new idea to me. Just one I always felt made me a lazy person because I’m making it easy on myself. Of course, if this is supposed to be fun, I probably should do that. I’m not exactly trying to make a career out of this. Having to rush, and still being unable to keep up, is why I never did well in art classes during high school.

I don’t know when I’m going to create or rework something again, but whenever I’ll do, I’ll give that idea a shot. Hopefully, it’s something I can manage to stick to.