Sunday, September 8, 2013

"There is a spark that never goes out."

You know, in the seven short weeks since I got the physical fuck out of Indiana,

I, Ryan Timothy Bish, have undergone (and am undergoing) a spiritual emotional mental magical physical transformation of mythical proportions. I rather doubt my own ability to write about it with words that will make anything resembling sense to anyone who is not me, but it's worth a hit.

I guess I started to notice that it had started when I found out about getting accepted to art school. The idea had been making itself known in my head at least once an hour for months and months and months, so, when it was confirmed that I was, indeed, going, my very tiny very soft very quiet shrieking internal reaction went something like this:

        Oh, my.
        They really want me? They're really willing to let me find my dream and then keep following it for the rest of my life? They believe that I am an artist?

        Well, this is basically the greatest moment of my life.
        But wait, college is so expensive! And a private college is even more expensive! And I hate paperwork and emails and tax forms! And I hate being a grown-up! And I'm so good at not knowing how to take care of myself!
        And I'm going to be twenty-five years old the day after the day after tomorrow. So I'm obviously ALREADY a complete failure, and "complete failure" is a mark that never gets scrubbed off, no matter how many success showers you take, ever.
        Seriously, how am I going to pay for this? My whole life has basically sucked because we're so poor.

All of which I gave myself permission to feel for approximately seven seconds, although it may have been closer to seventeen.

But then I started to share the news with my friends, who (naturally) received it with much celebration, and consciously made an unconscious decision to take my favorite bit of fairy magic,

        "You are not consumed by the darkness because you are full of light,"

and use it in a new way that was radically different than any other way I had ever used it before: Even if I doubt my ability to actually attend art school, my friends believe I can do it & do it well, so I believe because they believe.

It has now been almost one full calendar year since I received the news. Figuring out how the fuck to pay for this degree is still an ongoing process (hint: quit my crappy job as a coffee slinger, found a new job that pays better and provides a set schedule and allows me to sit the fuck down), but the simple fact that I have not lost interest or given up or, well, died of depression should be somewhat of an enormously significant clue that, yes, this is my dream and, no, I am not going to let anyone stop me from making it happen.


That decision was what we could call the catalyst for this got-the-fuck-out-of-Indiana transformation.

The thing is, this transformation has already had such a profound effect on me that, honestly, all I can foresee is that it will just keep going. As much as Now Me can barely recognize, for example, Bothered to Give Hunter Half a Chance Me, it seems that Nearly-27 Me will barely be able to recognize Now Me. (If that made sense to you, either your reading comprehension skills are off the charts, or you might have ADD. Either way, give yourself a round of applause and then go get a snack.)

But, what if it isn't enough?

What if, for example, on August 14th of next year, I wake up and realize that Sunshine (Robin McKinley's brilliant book that gave us "You are not consumed by the darkness because you are full of light," which was originally released around my 16th birthday) no longer means anything, or makes me happy in any way?

What if Shadows (Robin McKinley's newest book, which will be released around my 26th birthday) totally sucks out loud? What if I look over at all my gorgeous Ponies and decide that they're stupid, so I throw them away, and the Elements of Harmony with them? What if I watch Buffy and can't remember why it ever inspired me? What if I watch The Heat for the twentieth time, and it doesn't make me laugh the fuck out loud LIKE A BITCH anymore?

What if Cara moves to Paris and we can only manage to talk on the phone a few times a year? What if Kiki moves to London and forgets to remember to ask me to visit? What if, as I approach my twenty-seventh birthday, I am still "still" single?

What if I do make a legitimate effort to get my shots into shows, and no one buys them?

What if I do make a legitimate effort to get back into stand-up, and no one likes my jokes as much as I like my jokes?

What if, in short, I no longer have any reason to try to make myself (not to mention: everyone else) laugh every hour of every day of the rest of my life?

Well, then.

Even if all (or even just one) of these highly unlikely possibilities do come to pass,

if anyone bothers to ask me if I'm happy with my life, I will still be able to say,

"You know, I must be doing something right for someone as motivated & driven & talented & wonderful & inspired & inspiring as Tony to call me his best friend."

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