On Not Giving Up, Stress, and Eva.
My artistic output has not been what I’ve wanted it to be for a few years now. My workflow around writing (prose and music) has slowed down to a glacial pace, due to life issues seemingly beyond my control always taking precedent. The older I get, the less good I feel about spending time working on hobbies instead of doing things that could generate an income. It’s very hard to seriously pick up a gameboy and try to write music when it feels far more productive to endlessly scan craigslist for job postings. I’ve been out of school and unemployed for about a year, and since august, I’ve moved back home with my parents. For money, I’ve been following my step-father around on his contracting jobs. Laying floors, painting, etc. It’s very unreliably though, and I end up in situations where I’m not working for a whole month and student loan payments (the ones I can no longer avoid) will dry up my reserves and leave me at square one. I’m not dying on the street or anything, but it’s very hard to not be incredibly discouraged by many aspects of my life currently. I’m turning 28 this year and aside from a pretty solid twitter feed and some pretty good chipmusic EP’s, I really don’t have much going for me. Multiple times in the past year, I have stared blankly at my musical gear, or at a new ableton project and seriously contemplated just giving up. The stress from job hunting, not having any money, not feeling independent enough, not really feeling like an adult capable of taking care of myself financially, really sucks all the motivation to do anything other than fix those problems out of me. Sometimes I wake up all I can do is stare at my ceiling or my tv.
During a particularly bad two days, I re-watched all of Evangelion for the first time since I was a teen. I’m saving the bulk of my opinions for a later date, but I was honestly shocked at how much it still affected me as an adult. There isn’t much to say that hasn’t already been said by a million people, but at this stage of my life I definitely felt spoken to with regards to the theme of the young pilots dealing with failure in the face of being expected to succeed against seemingly insurmountable odds. Underperforming when failure seems completely out of the option. And honestly, totally flaming out when those failures do occur. Being crushed by your own expectations, and the expectations of others. I’ll be blunt and say that for much of my adult life I have felt like a total failure. My achievements during these years have only served as bandaids over this overall feeling. Each victory came with a loss. Each Angel defeated came with another battle that didn’t end as well. My Associates Degree came with a horrendous breakup, family stress and an uncomfortable period of unemployment. My first performance out of the country (Montreal) came with one of the most soul crushing retail jobs I have ever had. My first performance at a chipmusic festival came with financial aid issues and not being able to pay my own rent. My Bachelor’s degree came with terrible job interviews to no avail, and an even longer period of dodging loans while severely unemployed.
What am I getting at with all this. I dunno. I guess Eva did again what it did before, and what its always done: helped me recognize and compartmentalize the whole mess of feelings I had and still have swimming all around me at all times. Right now I strongly empathize Shinji in that folding chair, holding my head, trying to understand and process all his misery and self loathing. With Asuka losing all her will to fight after one to many traumatic encounters. All I want is to get through all of this, whatever it is I'm going through, to be able to accept myself, to not constantly feel like giving up. To feel worthwhile and to feel wanted. To achieve my goals, and be congratulated by my friends, family, and a weirdly sentient penguin.